Tag Archives: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Missouri, Nebraska Grab Prime-Time Football Slot

As Iowa found out a few years ago when Missouri ditched a home-and-away football series with the Hawkeyes, Mizzou will do what it deems is best for Mizzou.

By the way, much as you Hawkeye fans surely enjoyed your team’s dominance of South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, a Missouri-Iowa Alamo Bowl would still have been a better and more-meaningful matchup.

Anyway, Missouri is going to host Big 12 rival Nebraska on a Thursday night this year. It’s the conference-opener for both. ESPN will air it, and it will be a big deal.

The HuskerExtra.com story: http://www.huskerextra.com/articles/2009/02/13/football/doc4994cecf95ae9266018125.txt?orss=1

As part of the bargain, apparently, the Tigers will also get their game at Nevada moved to a Friday night for ESPN packaging, and the Mizzou-Illinois annual tussle in St. Louis is also set for an ESPN slotting.

Nebraska won’t mind the national audience for its trip to Columbia, either.
It’s a progressive move by both programs. I’m not sure I’d want to have the Thursday night game, especially if it meant a road trip. But at the same time, you know it will attract a lot of television eyeballs who normally don’t see these two teams.

Today, All Football Recruiting Classes are Full of Class

 

Every college football program in America got much better this week.

The headlines tell the tales.

Cardinal crop is as deep, talented as any in years — San Francisco Chronicle

Spartans excited about recruiting class — Detroit Free Press

UCLA joins USC among nation’s top recruiting classes — Los Angeles Times

Then I read The Gazette’s Page 1C headline about Iowa’s recruiting. It was stunning and troubling.

Iowa’s recruiting not in the stars

Apparently the Hawkeyes didn’t land a ton of five-star recruits. And that’s just sad.

Not really, of course. It would be tedious to list the many few-star signees that went on to become All-Big Ten players for Iowa in the last decade.

(Les) Miles wins recruiting national championship for LSU — Monroe News-Star

(Jim) Leavitt glowing after USF recruiting haul — Sportingnews.com

(Bo) Pelini’s staff finds rich recruiting soil far from Midlands — Omaha World-Herald

Hard-core Hawkeye fans won’t soon forget the winter of 2005.

Seven of Iowa’s 2005 signees-to-be played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio for high school standouts.

Ryan Bain, Tyler Blum, Jake Christensen, Dan Doering, Tony Moeaki, Dace Richardson, Trey Stross.

Bain and Christensen are no longer with the program. The other five are still Hawkeyes, but have had injury-plagued careers. Maybe one or all of them will have big senior seasons.

Only two members of Iowa’s 2005 recruiting class started for the Hawkeyes at the end of the 2008 season, linebacker Pat Angerer and offensive lineman Kyle Calloway.

When Bettendorf’s Angerer committed to Iowa in August 2004, it rated six paragraphs in The Gazette. That’s no criticism of our coverage. Angerer wasn’t a recruiting “name.”

Angerer had a terrific junior season in ‘08, and figures to be a defensive anchor as a senior.

Calloway wasn’t a nobody in Recruiting World, but he wasn’t one of the 5-star/gold-star guys that had Hawkeye fans frothing at this time four years ago.

Iowa has 19 signees this year. Pick one of those with a shorter bio and fewer stars. Tell your friends this is the guy to watch in a few years.

You’ll eventually look like a football genius.

Rage Against the (Gators) Machine

Lane Kiffin (right): Rage Against the (Gators) Machine

Recruiting doesn’t make everyone look good, though. New Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin certainly rattled some Southeastern Conference cages Thursday.

They do things differently in the football-mad SEC: Tennessee held a “recruiting celebration” at the Knoxville Convention Center, and almost 1,000 fans showed up.

Referring to an alleged recruiting violation by Florida Coach Urban Meyer in pursuit of eventual Tennessee signee Nu’Keese Richardson, Kiffin told the gathering:

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you. Nu’Keese was here on campus (on his recruiting visit) and his phone kept ringing.

“One of our coaches said, ‘Nu’Keese, who’s that?’ He said, ‘Urban Meyer.’

“Just so you know, when a recruit is on another campus, you can’t call him. I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.”

The response of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley:

“There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with the Southeastern Conference.

“(Kiffin’s) comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by publicly criticizing another coach and institution.”

But not all is unpleasant with the Gators. Meyer signed a receiver from Sanford, Fla., named Andre Debose.

“I don’t want to single any guy out,” Meyer said, “but he is as good as there is. I think he is the best player in America.”

Sometimes, as Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has proved, the most-touted recruits do turn out to be special players.

So tell your friends Debose is the guy to watch in the next two years.

You’ll eventually look like a football genius.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

The Hlist: America’s Favorite College Football Collection of Quips, Quotes and Quackery

AP photo

AP photo

Opening kickoff

“We’re all going to be dreaming it for the rest of our lives, but even if it ends right here you’ve got the happiest group of students and alumni and townsfolk in the whole wide world. If we don’t win another game again we can die happy.” — Texas Tech 1972 graduate Bill Windsor on the Red Raiders’ 39-33 win over Texas

First downs

1. High Tech: Who knew it could actually be fun to be in Lubbock, Texas?

If you didn’t find Texas Tech’s win thrilling Saturday night, you must be too numb from watching Big Ten football.

“Play 60 minutes. You may have a second to spare,” Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach said after the game.

Leach was right about that, and everything else so far this season. His unbeaten Red Raiders won the Game of the Year on the Play of the Year, Graham Harrell’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.

Crabtree went all-or-nothing on the play with time slipping away. Instead of slipping out of bounds after the catch to set up a chip-shot field goal, he tightrope-walked the sideline after shedding a tackle, then veered into the end zone with: 01 left.

“On the sideline, I dreamed that I would catch a pass and go in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown,” Crabtree said afterward. “But I do that every game.”

For those thinking the win was a fluke, Tech outgained the Longhorns 579 yards to 374, and only trailed for a minute and 28 seconds all night. Harrell vaulted into Heisman Trophy contention after completing 36 of 53 passes for 474 yards. Suddenly, Texas counterpart Colt McCoy isn’t a lock to win the Heisman.

“Colt’s a good quarterback. But I think the best quarterback lives in Lubbock,” said Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill.

Leach took the win, called the biggest in Tech’s history, more in stride more than anyone in Lubbock. His team hosts No. 8 Oklahoma State Saturday.

“Now the biggest game in history is Oklahoma State,” Leach said, “or the history of this year, anyway.”

2. Dawgs Pounded: Florida’s players were ordered to do 42 repetitions at each weight station during summer workouts, one for each point they allowed in their 42-30 loss to Georgia last year.

The Gators also did 188 sit-ups, push-ups and crunches each during those workouts, one for each yard Georgia back Knowshon Moreno rushed for in that game.

After Moreno scored Georgia’s first touchdown against Florida last year, 70 Bulldog players rushed to the end zone to stomp around. In his biography called “Urban’s Way,” Florida Coach Urban Meyer said “That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal. And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. . . . So we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”

Meyer called timeouts with 44 and 30 seconds left in the game and his team ahead by 39 points.

The Hlist thinks Urban’s Way could use some Urban Refinement.

3. Kafka No Nightmare: Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka set a Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 217 in the Wildcats’ 24-17 win at Minnesota.

Kafka, playing because starter C.J. Bacher was out with an injury, also passed for 143 yards.

“That kid was good,” Minnesota defensive end Willie Van DeSteeg said. “It was like having two running backs out there.”

“And only the Northwestern eggheads could have a quarterback named Kafka, by the way,” wrote Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “His wideouts were Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy.”

The Wildcats, 7-2, were playing to hang on for an overtime. But Brendan Smith returned an interception 48 yards for the winning score with 12 seconds left. The ball bounced off cornerback David Oredugba’s hands and into Smith’s.

“They always make fun of me for my bad hands,” Oredugba said, “so thank you, Lord, for giving me bad hands.”

Fumbles

1. Bo-loney: Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini was a little miffed after his team got crushed at Oklahoma, 62-28. The Sooners had a 28-0 lead six minutes into the game.

Pelini refused to make his players available to the media afterward. Which was kind of a rotten deal for the dozens of traveling reporters from Nebraska, where Cornhusker football is still bigger than life even though the Huskers are a humble 2-3 in the Big 12.

A city named Lincoln shouldn’t have a dictator as a prominent resident.

When asked to explain his decision to muffle his team, Pelini’s voice started rising.

“You know what,” he said, “I will make them not available the whole week, if that’s what you want me to do. Is that what you want me to do? I thought I made it clear where we stand on that.

“The players are not available for comment, OK? If you don’t like it, tough. Ask me the questions you’d ask the players.”

To which a good first question would have been, “How come your head coach didn’t put you in a position to compete tonight?”

2. Michigone: How bad is it for Michigan? Toledo shoved coach Tom Amstutz out of his job Monday even though the Rockets won at Michigan last month. In years past, Toledo would have given a coach a lifetime contract for beating the Wolverines.

Michigan secured its first losing season since 1967 with its 48-42 loss at Purdue. The 2-7 Wolverines won’t go to a bowl for the first time in 34 years.

“We’ve had great tradition and we still have great tradition,” said Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez.

Well, at least he’s half-right.

3. Bottomed Out: Wisconsin was ranked ninth in the nation in September. Now it’s November, and the Badgers are 1-5 and alone in last place of the Big Ten.

The Badgers only trailed for seven seconds of their game at Michigan State. They were the wrong seven seconds, the last seven seconds. After their 25-24 loss, UW safety Chris Maragos said “Everything is kind of in disarray right now.”

“We are just trying to get to a bowl game,” Badger wide receiver David Gilreath said. “You don’t want the season to go down the drain.

“You want something good to come out of it. I guess a bowl would do that.”

Uh, David, what if the bowl is the Motor City?

Final gun

“I stayed up watching the game again until 2:30 (a.m.). I didn’t erase it and I’m going to watch it a couple of other times.” — Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance

Las Vegas and Our World Have Changed

Michigan is a 23-point underdog Saturday at Penn State. The last time the Wolverines were 23-point underdogs, our president was James Garfield.

Las Vegas made Penn State a 24-point pick when the games were put on the big boards, so the early money has gone with Michigan. But would you take the Wolverines and the points against the Big Ten’s most-powerful offense when Michigan got torn up by Illinois’ offense and couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone more than once against Toledo’s defense?

The “Who’d a Thunk It” response applies to both I-A games in Iowa Saturday. Until last week, who’d a thunk the Hawkeyes would be 3.5-point picks over Wisconsin. And while Nebraska is no world-beater like back when Garfield was president, who’d a thunk the Huskers would be just 7-point favorites over an Iowa State team that has just one win over a I-A team, that being Kent State?

Las Vegas. If it didn’t exist, it would need to be invented.

The Hlist: Everything That Happened Last Saturday in College Football and More

OPENING KICKOFF

“I’ve taken more pills in the last two months than I’ve taken all my life. … I’m not letting anybody get near me with a knife.” — Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who watched his team’s win at Purdue from the press box because of pain in his hip and leg.

FIRST DOWNS

1. Double Decker: You Iowa fans in the crowd are keenly aware Michigan State linebacker Adam Decker kind of messed up the Hawkeyes’ final offensive play in MSU’s 16-13 win.

Decker stuffed Shonn Greene for a 3-yard loss on Fourth-and-a-foot. He called it the most exhilarating play of his life. His teammates seemed to agree with the way they pounded on Decker’s helmet.

“I had to tell them to stop,” he said. “No, it felt good.”

Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker had a big day of his own. He had 13 receptions for 190 yards in the Gophers’ 16-7 win over Indiana.

Wrote Rachel Blount in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “The Gophers would commit a turnover, or allow (Adam) Weber to be sacked, or fail to give their running backs any room to operate.

“Those stumbles ignited groans that echoed off the wide swaths of empty seats. Then Decker’s sure hands would keep a drive going and defuse the frustration while he tied the school record for most catches in a game.”

2. Flying Tigers: Missouri 52, Nebraska 17.

“That’s what they get for scheduling us for homecoming,” said Tigers tailback Derrick Washington, who rushed for 139 yards in just 14 carries and scored three touchdowns in Lincoln.

“That’s kind of like we’re a bad team or something.”

Missouri has been the Cornhuskers’ foot wipe for decades. The 52 points were the most a Mizzou team ever scored against the Huskers. It was the Tigers’ first win at Nebraska since 1978.

“That wasn’t just about the 2008 football team,” Pinkel said. “It’s about 30 years of fans from around the world and a lot of former Missouri players.”

The Kansas City Star’s Jason Whitlock sees No. 3 Mizzou as something other than bad. His words:

“Gary Pinkel has constructed arguably the nation’s most lethal offense.

“There’s just no way to stop Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman and Derrick Washington. I’m not sure you can slow them. We know Nebraska can’t.”

3. Geeked Up: Before Vanderbilt played Auburn in Nashville, a sign in the Vanderbilt student section proclaimed “Geeks Rule the Turf!” The geeks were omniscient.

Vanderbilt is the smallest and sole private school in the Southeastern Conference. Its 14-13 upset over Auburn was its first triumph over the Tigers since 1955. The Commodores are 5-0 for the first time since 1943.

“This is what coaches live for,” Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson said after the game. “I live to walk into the locker room and see how happy our players are.”

Joe Biddle of The Tennessean: “I didn’t check with Nashville International Airport air traffic control to get official confirmation, but I did see a significant number of pigs flying around Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday night.”

4. Oklahoma is OK: Oklahoma has three FBS football programs.

Tulsa: 5-0, first in the nation in scoring with 56.4 points per game.

Oklahoma State: 5-0, third in the nation in scoring with 52.6 points per game.

Oklahoma: 5-0, fourth in the nation in scoring with 49.6 points per game.

All three average at least 530 yards.

Tulsa is 5-0 for the first time since 1945. Slick Shelley returned a punt for a TD in the Hurricanes’ 63-28 dismantling of Rice on Saturday. The Hlist tells you that for one reason: To get the name “Slick Shelley” in print.

FUMBLES

1. League of Lethargy: Which is rarer these days in Big Ten football, razzle or dazzle?

The five Big Ten games played Saturday had an average of 36 points. In stark contrast, an average of 71 points were scored in the six Big 12 games.

It wasn’t Michigan’s fault Big Ten end zones were so seldom visited. The Wolverines got trampled by cool Juice Williams’ Illinois team in their 45-20 defeat.

“This is ridiculous right now,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez rued.

“I’m mad. I’m sorry. What do you want from me? I don’t like losing. I don’t want to accept it. I don’t want anybody in this program accepting it.”

Illinois Coach Ron Zook: “I would say it’s a big, big win for us, but we have to keep it in perspective and understand that every win is a big one,” Zook said. “Michigan had a big win last weekend and understand that in the Big Ten it’s one game at a time.”

The Hlist eagerly awaits Tina Fey’s impersonation of Zook on the next Saturday Night Live.

2. A Basketball State: The state of Indiana, fortunately, still has hoops.

Indiana, Iowa’s next opponent, didn’t get its first first-down at Minnesota until 2:29 remained in the first half. That was Minnesota’s defense, not Ohio State’s.

Purdue’s Curtis Painter, who has started 37 straight games for the Boilermakers at quarterback, was yanked from the game in the fourth quarter of his team’s 20-6 loss to Penn State.

Boilermakers Coach Joe Tiller said Painter’s lone interception was the last straw.

“It was a horrible throw, a horrible decision,” Tiller said. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was really, really ugly.”

But hey, Indiana can also claim Ball State, 6-0 and in the AP Top 25 for the first time ever.

3. Tapout: Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck Liddell was on the sideline at the Missouri-Nebraska game, wearing a red Cornhuskers jersey.

Liddell co-owns two bars in Lincoln. They undoubtedly got business Saturday night from Big Red fans trying to drink to forget their 52-17 walloping.

“I’m sick to my stomach after this game,” sober NU quarterback Joe Ganz said. “I don’t want to feel like this again. We better get this ship righted. Otherwise it’s going to be another long season.”

Nebraska defensive end Pierre Allen sounded tipsy based on this comment he made after the game:

“We got great talent and great depth. It’s all about executing. We can compete with anybody in the country.”

Well, anybody but Missouri.

FINAL GUN

“How’s O.J. going to find the real killer now?” — radio show host Jim Rome.

The Hlist: A Look Back at Last Week in College Football

Opening kickoff

“Lloyd’s of London has just refused to insure Ringer’s legs. Forty-four carries in a single game means Ringer deserves a sedan chair to get around campus for the next week in between practices and workouts.” — Spencer Hall, Sportingnews.com. Michigan State running back Javon Ringer rushed 44 times for 198 yards in MSU’s 42-29 win at Indiana.

First downs

1. Victors Valiant: Michigan Stadium sits nearly three-fourths underground. The Wolverines dug out of quite a hole in their 27-25 win over Wisconsin.

In the first half they had 21 yards, one first down, and five turnovers. They trailed 19-0 at halftime and were booed off the field.

“If you were anywhere in the Ann Arbor vicinity,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez said, “you heard that.

“If there was a hole to crawl into, I’m sure a bunch of us, including myself, would have liked to crawl into it.”

Wolverines receiver Greg Mathews: “Their strength-and-conditioning coach was talking about how we were soft and out of shape, and ESPN was talking about how this was a warm-up for the Big Ten for Wisconsin. We take that personally. Michigan is nobody’s doormat, especially in the Big Ten.”

2. Biggest 12: The SEC faded into the sunset as superpowers Florida and Georgia lost at home. Looking westward, America finds its football power conference to be the Big 12.

Four of the top seven teams in the Associated Press rankings are Big 12 bullies. Oklahoma ascended to No. 1 after throttling previously unbeaten TCU, 35-10.

The Sooners rushed 36 times for a measly 25 yards — and still dominated. In the first half alone, OU had pass plays of 38, 24, 73 and 55 yards.

“Some teams are great stopping the run,” said receiver Manuel Johnson, who had an Oklahoma-record 206 receiving yards. “Other teams are great in the back end. If they’re going to give you an apple you’re going to eat it.”

3. Rebels With a Cause: The University of Mississippi hosted a rather important debate Friday night. The next day, its football team ended the debate over whether Florida was a strong contender for the national title with a shocking 31-30 triumph.

“I still can’t believe it,” a giddy Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden told a bunch of writers when talking about Florida’s shocking loss after FSU’s win over Colorado. “I’ll have to read your newspapers just to make sure.”

The game effectively ended when the Rebels stopped Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on a keeper on 4th-and-1 at the Ole Miss 32 with 41 seconds left.

“(Tebow) was saying, ‘I got it, I got it.’ I said, ‘No you don’t,'” said Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

4. High Tide: Before the season, Georgia was the chic pick to win the national championship. But national champs don’t trail 31-0 at home, at halftime, to anyone.

Alabama bulldozed the Bulldogs, 41-30.

“They had probably never been hit in the mouth like that,” said Crimson Tide offensive tackle Andre Smith.

“Forget Corso and Herbstreit,” wrote Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Forget Holtz and May. Forget, for that matter, anything you might have read in this space about Georgia being really good this year. For guidance in matters concerning college football, you had only to read the financial magazine Forbes, which last month proclaimed Nick Saban ‘the most powerful coach in sports.’

“Here’s how mighty the Alabama man actually is: He came to Sanford Stadium and outflanked (Georgia Coach) Mark Richt in a way nobody has since … since ever.”

Fumbles

1. Choked Cheddar: Wisconsin blew a 19-0 lead at Michigan in the game’s final 18 minutes, allowing three scoring drives of 75 yards or more.

“It was embarrassing,” Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy said. “I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t believe this was happening, how we basically gave the game away in the second half.”

“This isn’t something that ever goes away,” Wisconsin defensive tackle Mike Newkirk said. “No matter how much time passes, it’s going to haunt you.”

Thanks for participating in National Title Derby, Badgers. Off you go.

2. Fla-Fla Flooey: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has a Heisman Trophy. He won’t get a second.

Tebow’s top speech of this year won’t be given at New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. Instead, it was delivered after the Gators’ stunning loss to Ole Miss.

“To the fans and everybody of Gator Nation, I’m sorry. Extremely sorry,” Tebow said. “We wanted an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here. I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this.

“You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see another player push his team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

“God bless.”

3. Black Eye: Georgia went to black jerseys for its game against Alabama, and had its fans wear black as well. It was a blackout, all right.

Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran told Crimson Tide players in a practice last week “They’re wearing black because they’re going to a (expletive deleted) funeral.” Somebody caught Cochran’s comment on video, and it showed up on YouTube.

Georgia’s players were so upset by that insult to their competitive spirit that they rolled over and played dead.

4. Ooooh! Scary!: Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky issued a warning for unbeaten Missouri as the Tigers get ready for their game at Lincoln this week.

“Missouri … they need to watch out, because we’ve got a lot of anger right now,” Lucky said after the Cornhuskers’ 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech.

Lucky had eight carries for 17 yards in that game. The Hlist thinks it’s better to be good than Lucky.

Final gun

“There’s a certain emotional fragility about (Coach Joe) Tiller’s recent teams. They simply don’t bounce back, after a bad break, after a bad loss. After Notre Dame came out in the third quarter and scored a quick touchdown to go ahead 21-14, Purdue became deflated. Just like that.

“The Boilers routinely put up big numbers against lesser teams, but routinely fall short against better teams.” — the Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz on Purdue’s 38-21 loss at Notre Dame