Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Final Week BIG XII Power Ranking
Here, at the conclusion of the BIG XII regular season, are my picks for the final power rating of the conference:
1) Texas - No arguments here. The horns problems with the Aggies could spell trouble for the Buffalo.
2) Texas Tech - This one could be argued due to the bad calls during the OU game.
3) Oklahoma - They have steadily gotten better during conference play.
4) NEBRASKA - A VERY impressive win in Boulder. Huskers used the last game of the regular season to hi-lite great improvement - has the turnaround begun-?
5) Texas A&M - Some assistant coaches will probably become scapegoats to save the Head Coach's job.
6) Kansas - Their defense was probably good enough to save their Head Coach's job but some offensive assistants may hit the road.
7) Iowa State - This year's under achievers once again.
8) Colorado - The just reward for a dreadful showing both on and off the field - You get to be Texas' whipping boy once again-!
9) Kansas State - Coach Snyder may be leaving Manhattan at just the right time.
10) Missouri - This is a team that's been hard to figure all year - The MU administration will probably keep Pinkel and fire their B-Ball coach instead.
11) Baylor - Looked better this year so they're NOT #12.
12) Oklahoma State - New coach, new staff and new system and their season looked like it-!!
OK, that's it from down here in HillBilly land - See y'all next year.
Monday, November 28, 2005
This was easily the best performance by the Huskers under Callahan. You need good coaching and good talent to succeed. My argument all along has been that Nebraska has sufficient talent right now to win the Big 12 North. They proved it against Colorado. The coaches put together a brilliant, almost perfect gameplan and the players executed it extremely well. However, let's not forget that these are the exact same players that Callahan referred to after the KU loss 3 weeks ago with "you do the best you can with the players you have". These players didn't suddenly become more talented in the past three weeks. The coaches did a better job against CU than they had in any other game and they got the most out of the talent on hand. I think the coaches get most of the credit for the CU win, just as they deserved most of the blame for the Missouri loss. After KU's win over ISU, even the Huskers' loss to the Jayhawks wouldn't look so bad if now if the final margin hadn't been 40-15. Let's give the coaches credit for the CU win...but you can't have it both ways. These are the same players supposedly "weren't talented enough" just 3 weeks ago. Perspective and balance, people.
As for the "non-football" reaction:
I've been shocked by the reaction to the Colorado game from Husker fans, and not just on this board. There's been as much gloating at our own than at Colorado. I backed off interacting with Husker fans (including on the Husker Forum) since the win because I just wanted to enjoy the win instead listening to us attack each other. I can somewhat understand such frustration after a loss...but after winning at Colorado? Both sides have been guilty of doing this. Within minutes of the game, I noticed posts about how Callahan or Pederson should still be fired or how it was too bad the win would save Cosgrove's job. While I'm not a big fan of Coz's and I happen to agree with the need for Pederson's removal, these were simply not appropriate comments, IMO, minutes after the biggest Husker win since 2003. On the other hand, I also noticed several posts "taunting" any Husker fans who have been critical, as if critical Husker fans didn't celebrate the Husker victory. Furthermore, I enjoyed the win as much as anybody (I was hoarse from celebrating!), but since when does a win over an unranked, 7-3 team vindicate anybody at Nebraska? I'm not sure why Steve Pederson feels "vindicated".
In short, we should use the reaction to this game as a lesson: we are all on the same side. In the future, I'd advice we keep our reactions to Nebraska games (win or lose) away from taunting fellow Husker fans.
Now comes the fun part: what bowl will Nebraska play in and what opponent will they play? I hope it's either Iowa, Michigan, or Florida State in that order. The Alamo Bowl would be nice, as would a trip to Orlando (Champs) or San Diego (Holiday) for the players. They've earned it. :-)
Friday, November 11, 2005
Callahan needs time but Pederson should be fired
My desire for Pederson to be fired has very little to do with wins and losses. First, Pederson simply lucked into Callahan - he didn't plan to hire him when he fired Solich. I wasn't a big Solich supporter (at least until the staff changes before 2003), but an AD CAN'T fire a 9-3 coach unless he has somebody better lined up. Period. An AD should not lie to the public. An AD should not make implications that put the blame on college football players rather than his million dollar coaches. And an AD should not bungle PR so badly as to cost the athletic department millions of dollars in potential bond interest expense. Pederson's worst offense is to split Husker fans with his "your with us or against us" dogma. Pederson's "leadership" has resulted in a multitude of additional negative consequences. Among them:
-Media-types around the nation now seem to regard Husker football as a joke. I don't know what could be worse in terms of recruiting.
-In the local media, there are stories of Steve Pederson laughing during a critical loss to K-State in 2003 and acting glum after a critical win at Colorado 2 weeks later.
-There is a widespread perception that Pederson is dishonest, incompetent, or both.
-Recently, the fundraising struggles of the athletic department were documented in an OWH story what I'm certain you're familiar with. Epley's comments about the fans were unbelievable, but typical of PR under Mr. Pederson's watch. I found his question "how can 60,000 fans attend a spring scrimmage but only 4,000 donate?" to be quite interesting. Indeed, why? What is the cause of the fundraising struggle that could potentially cost UNL $30 million in additional bond interest expense?
If Callahan does eventually fail, we need an AD in place with the credibility and ability to be able to hire a great coach. Pederson has neither. How well have his other targets (Wannstedt, Nutt, even Walt Harris to a degree) fared as head coaches? In addition to being without integrity (or at least appearing to lack integrity), Steve Pederson simply isn't up to hiring a good football coach. Bill Callahan didn't create this mess. Pederson did. And he should pay for that mistake with his job.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Why I've changed my mind about this team
I tried to be positive, but there's not enough to be positive about. The team appears to be going into a tailspin just like 2004. These are facts:
-Nebraska has gained over 400 yards total offense just once this season.
-Nebraska has rushed for 36 yards or less in 4 out of 9 games this season.
-Nebraska has passed for more than 281 yards once this season (431).
-Nebraska has given up 34, 14, 41, 31, and 40 points in the last 5 games.
-Nebraska has given up 277, 180, and 213 rushing yards the past three games.
-Kansas gained a SEASON HIGH total of rushing yards against Nebraska (this includes games against Florida Atlantic and Applachian State)
-Kansas gained more total yards against Nebraska (428) than every opponent on their schedule except Applachian State (435)
-Kansas held Nebraska to its lowest total yards defensively by 42 yards.
-Kansas held Nebraska to its lowest yardage totals in both rushing and passing
-No opponent has rushed for fewer yards than Nebraska did against Missouri
-In the last three games, Missouri has gained 318, 523, 180, and 176 total yards. Guess who the 523 was against?
-In the last three games, Missouri has rushed for 88, 277, 33, and 59 yards. See above.
-In the last three games, Missouri has given up 157, -2, 208, and 136 rushing yards. Guess who?
-Nebraska is last in the Big 12 in rushing yards and total offense
Nebraska's highest rank in the Big 12 among major statistical categories is 6th (scoring defense, rushing defense).
These are facts, and they cannot be disputed. As Callahan has said "it is what it is". Steve Pederson created this mess, and he should be fired. Changing coaches is a bad thing, but if Callahan loses to a terrible K-State team at home and finishes another 5-6 season with a 5 game losing streak...he should be fired and the entire house should be cleaned. Although I was never a sunshine pumper and have always hated Pedey, I've woken up to reality. It is right in front of our faces. If you're still defending this staff, it is time to face facts. "Pedey's Big Adventure" is a failure.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
A little about a lot - I Think
Now, I've had my mind made up about Athletic Director Pederson ever since he sent that plane down to Arkansas. ARKANSAS?? What kind of IDIOT would have ever thought Houston Nutt was an improvment over Frank Solich?? It was obvious at that point that Pederson's plan for hiring a coach wasn't a plan at all.
Now, to the current situation - what do we do?? Well, that deserves another question. How are we ever going to get a really good coach to come to Nebraska as long as Pederson is in charge?? "Mr. Gravitating to Mediocrity" has the Husker Nation LOOKING UP AT MEDIOCRITY !!
I'm setting here this morning nursing my fourth cup of coffee lamenting the things I've been reading in various publications about the Huskers - NONE OF IT IS GOOD!! In the past, I've always been proud of the Huskers, even in defeat. Well, that hasn't been the case for a year and a half now. Initially, I was willing to give EVERYBODY the benefit of the doubt, expecting that it would take time and good things would come. A lot of those feelings were due to the fact that this staff does seem to recruit very well. BUT, after this amount of time and their latest showing at Kansas, it's pretty obvious they can't teach nor inspire their way out of a wet paper bag!! One of the articles I read this morning pointed out how well the West Coast Offense was working - AT COLORADO!! I guess, after their dismantling of Missouri this week end, you'd have to say Barnet knows a little more about coaching than Callahan does. Another article in a forum in The Independent pointed out how Coach Leach brought in an entirely new offense to Texas Tech and how well they did IN THEIR FIRST YEAR - without Leach having his OWN RECRUITS in place.
So, back to my question - what do we do?? Well friends, in this case it starts at the top. We have got to get together enough 'boosters of substance' to raise the money (or a big stick) to buy Pederson out of his contract then go get an Athletic Director that knows what he is doing. The new A.D. and a search committe would have a mandate to obtain the serves of a Head Coach that could salvage this years recruiting class and get things turned around for next year. Otherwise, next year will be as disappointing as last year and this year and, what's worse, no prospects of it getting any better!!
One other thing to consider - in order for OU to get back to prominence, they had to 'clean house' from TOP to bottom. Yep, they got a new A.D. that knew what he was doing THEN they got a coach that knew what he was doing. I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAS TO BE DONE.