Husker Hot Takes – 12/11/2014

11 Dec

Fill your Christmas stockings with a fresh batch of Husker Hot Takes:

What in the holy Incarnate Word is going on with Nebrasketball?

That was a meltdown of epic proportions.  Fouling a shooter taking a three pointer.  Twice.  Throwing away in-bounds passes.  Mental lapses and physical breakdowns.  All while a less than capacity crowd watches quietly.  Somewhere in Indiana, Barry Collier said “Damn, that’s a bad loss.”*

*He probably didn’t say that.

I heard a conspiracy-minded person hint that maybe Nebraska lost on purpose (for reasons that are still unclear to me).  My response:  “If they were trying to lose, they would not have been as obvious as what happened”.

So what now?  Obviously, there are issues both physical and mental going on with this team.  This team isn’t going to develop a dominating post game anytime soon, nor are they likely become three-point marksmen.  My guess is Tim Miles will figure out what his team does well and try to accentuate it.

But if you’re panicking about not making the NCAA tournament or seeing the program backslide, it is important to remember just how unlikely – and incredibly ahead of schedule – last year’s run was.  You may not agree that Coach Miles is playing with house money right now, but surely you can appreciate all of the big steps forward this program has taken – even if they took a giant step back Wednesday night.

 

Mike Riley is winless as Nebraska’s coach – and his old boy network of assistants is to blame!!!

I am bemused by the hand-wringing over Mike Riley and his future staff.  He’s bringing too many guys with him.  He’s not keeping enough of the current staff.  He should be getting Scott Frost and an all-star cast he’s never worked with before.  Why is he not paying millions for a big name coordinator?  Did you see Oregon State’s defensive stats?  Nebraska is doomed!

Relax.  Take a deep breath.

It should go without saying that Riley wants to surround himself with the best possible staff.  He didn’t come here to lose.  In his mind, the only thing he’s going to gravitate towards is a championship.  If that means bringing along people he knows, trusts, and believes in, I’m okay with that.

Admittedly, my initial reaction to the Riley hired was rather underwhelming.  But, that initial disappointment was not as great as when Nebraska introduced some unknown coach named Tim Miles.  I’m not saying Riley will replicate Miles’s success or popularity, but maybe we should wait until September (or even October) before we call the hire a failure.  Okay?

 

 

Jack Gangwish is not going to be PETA’s Man of the Year

Sheesh, you club one little raccoon to death with a crescent wrench and you have to deal with PETA sending letters to your athletic director implying that you are on the fast track to domestic violence.

All joking aside, let’s call that PETA letter what it is:  an attention-grabbing stunt that is unfortunately far too common from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  It’s a ridiculous “me-too” move from an organization that derails any positive work they could do with stupid antics like this.  I know I’ve already given them far too many pixels.

The whole story is silly.  College aged male sees raccoon on side of road, improbably* thinks “this would be a great photo opportunity!” and attempts selfie.  Raccoon feels camera-shy and bites man, who reacts quickly and harshly with a crescent wrench.

*I say “improbably” for those of us who are not males in the 16-22 demographic, as my wife would never think to take a selfie with roadkill  But for boys in that particular age range, almost no idea is improbable. 

As for Jack, my affinity for tough, hard-working walk-ons is well documented (Mackovicka, Jeff & Joel; Rigoni, Brandon; etc.) and Gangwish certainly fits that bill.  As legend of this grows, I suspect it will only make me a bigger fan.

I am bummed that he announced that the rabies test came back negative.  Not that I want Gangwish to have rabies, but I love the idea of him lined up against some Trojan tackle in the bowl game, foaming at the mouth.  In other words, use this to your advantage!

 

Are the Huskers secretly working to destroy Wisconsin?

Let’s recap:  Husker AD Shawn Eichorst fires Bo Peini (1-3 vs. Wisconsin with three big losses). Eichorst replaces Pelini with Mike Riley, creating a vacancy at Oregon State.  Oregon State hires Gary Anderson, leaving Wisconsin to have to replace a coach that just took the team to the Big Ten Championship game. Rumors swirl that Anderson bolted for Oregon State because he did not like working for Nebraska grad Barry Alvarez.  Alvarez now will coach the bowl game and will hire another head coach.

Is this all part of some elaborate plot that Eichorst and Alvarez cooked up to neuter Wisconsin and give Nebraska a clearer path to the Big Ten West title?  Probably not.  I won’t claim to know (or want to speculate) why Anderson thinks Oregon State is a better job than Wisconsin, but it’s not a great look on Wisconsin.  But if Eichorst and Alvarez are conspiring on anything, it should be to get rid of the ugly-ass Freedom Trophy.

 

Erstad on Hall of Fame ballot.

The former #1 draft pick and veteran of the Angels, White Sox, and Astros appears on the ballot for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame.  Erstad would need to appear on 75% of the ballots to be inducted.  However, with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz also appearing for the first time, his chances are not that great.

The balloting process for the Hall of Fame has been under criticism for a while.  My suggestion is to make it an online fan vote.  With Husker Nation behind him, Erstad would be elected for sure.

 

 

 

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