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Date Title Body
12/11/2014 - 9:00pm Clarification

Nebraska = NU.

We answer to UNL, too, but NU is the standard abbreviation. (Yes, we realize it 'should' be UN, but it's apparently a Big 8 thing. OU, KU, CU....)

07/09/2014 - 9:16pm I hope whomever is right about Michael Rose...

...but I suspect they're not. As someone with a keen eye on my hometown Huskers, the idea the Michael Rose was somehow the turning point makes me chuckle. The defense did improve mightily over the course of the season, but to my eyes it was due to a lot of incremental improvement by a bunch of different people, not a big step forward by Rose.

That said, MIKE is a tremendously important position in Pelini's defense, as that position is responsible for a lot (all?) of the play-calling. Given that, it's certainly possible that a young player like Rose could improve markedly in his on-field leadership (which I wouldn't be able to see easily), without improving his own play to the same extent (which I would be able to see). I hope it's true that Rose did represent a turning point, but I don't know that it's very likely to be true.

In any case, I expect NU to end up somewhere around #6 in this particular set of rankings. Better, but not world beaters. (Yet.)


04/17/2014 - 11:02am That's just a smart footballer

Everyone knows that the Great Circle route is shorter.

08/27/2013 - 12:36pm It's a way of life at some schools

Picking one year at semi-random, in 1995, Nebraska's top four receivers of non-tight end or I-back persuasion were:

Clester Johnson, 5'11"

Reggie Baul, 5'8"

Jon Vedral, 5'11"

Brendan Holbein, 5'8"

Of course, the season catch totals for those four were 22, 17, 14, and 14, respectively, so when you said "another BCS-level school" you probably meant "another BCS-level school that completes more than 11 passes/game". When your receivers are mainly blockers, height isn't critical. (And to answer the clear follow-up: yeah, I'd rather start a team with Gallon, Dileo, and Norfleet.)


07/18/2013 - 1:30am Ron Brown at Nebraska

Brown has coached under Osborne, Solich, and Pelini. You'll notice a Callahan-sized gap there.

Please don't read that as a shot at Callahan - not retaining Brown ranks about 3000th on the list of Things That One Can Take A Shot At Bill Callahan For Doing.

/shot at Bill Callahan

02/22/2013 - 11:58pm Almost exactly right

The small difference that I'll point out is that in the University of Nebraska system, the medical school is its own campus, and is not a part of any of the others: UNL (Lincoln, the flagship), UNO (Omaha), or UNK (Kearney; you can't spell 'drunk' without UNK). The medical school is physically located in Omaha, but it's a separate campus, even from UNO: it's called UNMC (University of Nebraska Medical Center). The inability to count those research dollars, along with the USDA dollars at UNL, had a lot to do with UNL getting booted from AAU status.

Disclaimer: I'm a proud UNL grad (and a UM grad, too, FWIW), but I'm not going to claim that UNL is a top tier school, or even was in the top half of the AAU peers. That said, getting booted from AAU based on the metrics that were used was a joke.

01/09/2013 - 8:53pm Hey, NU didn't get totally blown out of the gym tonight!

Hanging in there for a fair chunk of the game against UM, beating (awful) USC and (terrible) Wake - we might just be the best worst major conference team in the country!

Best wishes the rest of the way folks - this team you've got might just turn out okay this year. ;) 

12/20/2012 - 4:28pm Nebraska fan here

You're correct in that I don't think we really have a current main rival, but I wouldn't say that we've cultivated that attitude - at least not on purpose.

After the Oklahoma game got ripped away from us with the start of the Big 12, we didn't really have a clear #2 in waiting. Colorado had long been trying to make us their rival, but that was really more annoying than anything (it was kind of a Little Brother situation, even though we didn't have that terminology handy back then). We didn't have a consistent series of hard-fought, annoyingly won (or lost) games with any of the teams in the North, due to one or the other of us being bad for a stretch at a time. If you had asked me our last year in the B12, I probably would have said Texas, with full knowledge that we're not even in Texas' top 3. Now that we're gone, I don't really miss *any* of the series. Some of that's due to new surroundings being inherently interesting, but some of it's due to the fact that we weren't seriously emotionally attached to anyone that we left behind.

That's the thing - rivalries pop up because of a series of games that manage to annoy both fan bases, and they stick around because the games remain competitive more often than not. Nebraska hasn't had a yearly series with another team like that for a looooong time, and now with the conference switch, we find ourselves rivalless. I'll tell you though, we've seeded this place over the last couple of years with annoyingly decided games, so there's a rivalry that's bound to emerge from somewhere. (Sorry B1G, but it probably won't be Iowa.)


11/29/2012 - 11:42pm We do this once and a while....

It was originally part of 2-for-1 deal, two in Lincoln, one in Hattiesburg. NU has done a similar deal with S. Miss in the past, and also with Fresno St. and Wyoming(!), if I'm remembering correctly.

10/31/2012 - 4:23pm Mmmmm....Runzas.....

I need to go see if I still have one in my freezer. Yes, I freeze fast food and haul it with me 800 miles. Don't judge me, I'm a product of my upbringing.

Great writeup, and I'm glad you had a good time - tailgating with Frazier must have been a real trip! Now let me tell you about the time Johnny Rodgers sold me an enchilada. (True story!)

10/26/2012 - 10:54pm We need a damn trophy for

We need a damn trophy for this.

10/22/2012 - 1:23am Losing Burkhead hurts...

...for multiple reasons, especially the nebulous "intangibles", but the main reason I hate having Burkhead out is that we can't run the special Wildcat package that's built around him. It seems that when the offense goes into an extended funk, running a short series with Burkhead under center or in the pistol often snaps the offense back to life. Plus, it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch (which doesn't really have anything to do with winning).

10/07/2012 - 12:01am That's a perfectly fair

That's a perfectly fair viewpoint, but I would point out one difference. NU would run up the score in the fourth quarter with a fullback dive by a walk-on from Ogallala. Urban ran his starting back outside the tackles up 18 with 50 seconds left. Nonetheless, it's the defense's responsibility to stop the guy with the ball, and NU can't, well, do that. No sympathy for NU requested, just venom for Meyer, please.

10/06/2012 - 11:54pm I submit that there's a bit

I submit that there's a bit of space in between 'pity' and 'being an asshole' that Urban could have shot for. That said, the defense needs to notice that one team is still playing and try to make contact with the guy carrying the brown oblong object before he embarrasses you even further.

To be clear: Urban = jerk; NU defense = theoretical.

10/06/2012 - 11:46pm Cosigned.


10/06/2012 - 11:30pm I shudder to think.

The handful of representatives that OSU sent to Lincoln last year was bad enough. That's the main reason I didn't try to get tickets and drive down to Columbus this year. 

10/06/2012 - 11:16pm Case in point: the

Case in point: the Blackshirts haven't been awarded yet this season (for good reason).

10/06/2012 - 11:12pm Truth.


10/06/2012 - 9:37pm Trust a longtime fan...

...but NU games are disconnected events. I promise you that even if Nebraska wins big, we can still derp it up against Iowa with the best of them.

04/03/2012 - 5:02pm I look forward to the

I look forward to the conclusion of this series. I do hope that Brian manages to (quite appropriately) use the phrase "tire fire" when describing the state of the program of my alma mater. 

04/02/2012 - 8:02pm This post was tremendous.

This post was tremendous. Fred_Jackson combines the wit of Nabokov, the insight into the human condition of Plato, and the lyricism of Paul Simon into a singular posting talent not seen in decades.

03/16/2012 - 10:20pm Gooooooooooooooooooal!


03/01/2012 - 12:26am Guernica references get an auto-upvote

Did I just write that in a forum on a sports blog?

11/18/2011 - 1:33pm From a fan with an abundance of mascots... one with none, I explain it like this - remember how we all used to hate Rasheed Wallace until he became a Piston? Yeah, it's kind of like that. (Not that I'm rooting for you to get your own bug-eyed inflatable pan-dimensional being as a mascot, as we'd like to keep that market cornered for ourselves.)

11/18/2011 - 1:19pm One nit to pick

"Alfonzo Dennard and some guy who is not good"

Half right. The "not good" guy (Dejon Gomes) isn't on the team any more because he got drafted by the Redskins. Not that currently sitting the bench for the Redskins does anything to prove one's Not-Goodness. However, this:

"Dollars to donuts this is because the Huskers have one asskicking cornerback and not much else in the secondary."

That's 100% dead on. Dennard is a beast and everyone else is some combination of young and meh. Couple this with our suddenly understaffed D-line, and the linebackers are our defensive strength by default, which did not look to be the case entering the season. Result: a much poorer and more inconsistent defense than we posted last year.

Very good write-up, Brian - the previews always sound pretty good when I read them, so I was interested to read the one about a team I actually know well.

10/16/2011 - 5:29pm That's about right

Our wave of commits usually shows up late in the season, often after the bowls. Looking back at the commit dates in the Rivals database, on this day each of the last four years NU had 10, 8, 11, and 10 known committments. So 7 is lagging a bit, but certainly within historical tolerances. (Coincidentally, three years ago NU received two committments on this day - if I'd written this post yesterday, that 11 would be a 9.)

10/13/2011 - 6:17pm The actual Ohio St should be in the running

In the fourth quarter of the NU-OSU game, leading 27-20 and at the NU 32, OSU took an intentional delay-of-game to give their punter more room for a pooch kick. It "worked" in the sense that the punt was downed at the 9-yard line, but I refer you to the final score to test another definition of "worked".

I cackled with knowing glee at the decision. This, folks, is why we all need to root for Fickell somehow keeping that job.

10/12/2011 - 2:42pm "collapsing the waveform"

That is why Brian is able to keep this non-Michigan fan coming back every day. It's the writing, man. Smart writing.

10/02/2011 - 12:21am You rang, sir?

You rang, sir?

09/27/2011 - 11:55pm You've got that exactly right

The only time NU has gone all red was against Oklahoma in 1986 - that was a particularly painful (and freezing) day. End Zone Jones was indeed the top back (but didn't have a great day), and Broderick Thomas guaranteed victory, but they couldn't stop OU from scoring 10 points in the last 90 seconds. Jamelle Holieway to Keith Jackson was on a loop in my nightmares for weeks. So yeah, kill the all-red look with fire.

The all-whites have shown up a bit more often (and more recently), but they don't have quite the same searingly painful memories associated with them. They just look dopey, that's all.

09/27/2011 - 4:17pm We've tried the all white look before...

...and it doesn't work.

Edit: Neither did the one time we went all red:

Send those to the grave, I tell you!

09/27/2011 - 4:12pm Do me a solid and use 'UNL', then.

UN is just...wrong. You don't hate us in a TSIO way already, do you?

09/24/2011 - 12:35am Harpoon Leviathan Quad. Three

Harpoon Leviathan Quad. Three or four of these and you're really finished.

09/04/2011 - 11:28pm Nope.

Nope. Only paid attendance counts, and there's a minimum ticket price for a given ticket to be considered "paid", too - it's very low, something like $3-5. However, part of the campus exclusivity contract with Pepsi has them buying however many tickets it takes to get up to the minimum to stay I-A. (I know it's a tired strawman, but it's not like that Pepsi money wouldn't be welcome in the general scholarship fund....)

08/21/2011 - 2:44am Cosign on Bread Basket

The pastrami is heavenly. Get the triple decker with coleslaw and dressing, and handful of extra napkins. This is not a sandwich built for multitasking.

08/16/2011 - 12:55am No surprise to most Husker fans

Once his hometown team selected him in the draft, we all pretty much knew NU had no chance. No matter how much he might like the thought of being a starting QB in a big-time program, we couldn't compete with all those zeros. I mean, we're not Auburn.

Best wishes, Bubba!

08/14/2011 - 6:00pm That's about right

As far as I can tell, NU has about 16 scholarships to give this year. I suspect that the staff is being cautious, just giving offers to mid-ranked kids that they're really high on, and waiting on decisions from some upper-tier recruits before filling out the class. That said, I kind of hoped there would be a couple of more names on that list by now.

08/14/2011 - 12:07am Slight clarification

The medical school is actually its own campus: UNMC. It's in Omaha, but it's not part of UNO. The crux of your argument is spot on, though - the med school's research dollars didn't count in the AAU's eyes because it's technically a different campus within the state system.

08/09/2011 - 12:50pm I'm a bit light on cash

It seems that since they're only practice jerseys, I ought to be able to barter with some temporary tattoos. I'm sure I could in Columbus, anyway.

08/04/2011 - 11:48am I never get tired of that picture

I'm someone who didn't buy a Big Chill shirt because I didn't want an Arby's logo dead center on my chest, but I'm not going to lie - when saw it coming out of the far tunnel and realized someone made a "mascot" out of a box of curly fries it made my day. Why? Because it's the most ridiculous thing ever, and *somebody* in the decision-making process had to be aware of that. They could have just made it a big cowboy hat, and that would have felt like obvious, cynical branding. But a walking box of curly fries in goal? Genius.

DISCLAIMER: The above was written by someone who cracks up every time the (secondary) mascot in his avatar jumps up and down on his head.

08/02/2011 - 1:06pm A sign of a good writer is

A sign of a good writer is someone who can use a seemingly contradictory phrase like "establish a new baseline for Michigan's ceiling" and not make me want to copyedit it for clarity. Excellent writeup, as always, Brian.

08/02/2011 - 10:53am Proximity helps

Over the last decade or so living in Ann Arbor, Michigan has easily grown into a solid second, and there's not really a third place. After Nebraska, Michigan is the only other team that I consistently follow and take a genuine interest in. (The quality of Brian's site makes this much easier.) A cynic might say it's Stockholm Syndrome, but I think it's genuine affection.

However, NU joining the B10 may change things - it's easy to root for Michigan when the result has no real impact on my favorite team's lot in life. Playing every year as division-mates may, uh, strain my affection.

07/29/2011 - 3:03pm ...and a brand new car!

(For the record, I stole this from someone else in a thread from a year ago. And yes, that's Nebraska's senior senator/former governor driving it.)

07/29/2011 - 2:52pm Yeesh

Can the B1G please stop making up trophies and just let them happen naturally?

Little Brown Jug? Cool. Floyd of Rosedale? Weird, but that's why it's cool. Slab of Bacon? Awesome. Land Grant Trophy? KILL IT WITH FIRE.

I shudder to think what this thing is going to look like. And the worst part is that I won't be able to truly express my hatred for it, lest I appear to hate actual heroes, and therefore, America. The next thing I know, J Lehman is breaking down my door.


07/28/2011 - 9:23pm When did you take Chem 451/452?

I shudder to ask what semesters you took Chem 451/452, because I might have been your TA - that's the same combination of professors I was assisting. And given it was my first year in grad school (and that organic was my specialty, not biochem), there's a non-zero chance that you hate me, too.

07/28/2011 - 9:13pm Greene gave a public lecture

Greene gave a public lecture in the Chem building auditorium sometime when I was in grad school - probably about 2001, if I remember right. I was about halfway through Elegant Universe at the time (Fabric of the Cosmos hadn't been released yet), and since his talk assumed you hadn't read it, I could actually follow along reasonably well. It blew my mind - that guy is a fantastic speaker.

07/25/2011 - 7:56pm Sloppy odds-making on my part

You're right that 50/50 is too high - I was scaling back from the ~80% chance that's implied by the voting results without really thinking about the number that I ended up throwing out. Without all that much more thought, I'd thumbnail the real odds of Nebraska winning the division at around 2.5 or 3 to 1. Still the favorites, but the smart money's on the field.

07/25/2011 - 1:50pm I'd like to think that the

I'd like to think that the beat writers are correct and my dear old NU will win it all in our first year, but I don't see it. It's not even so much the difficulty of the schedule, but the fact that every league game is a new opponent - someone the team's never prepared for. That intense level of preparation that NU will have to go through the first couple of times through the league is going to lead to more than one supposed upset.

Combine that with Martinez's shaky ankle, our recent inability to score offensive points, the above average difficulty of the slate, and the general bloody-mindedness of it all, and I think the odds of a division title for Nebraska is 50/50, tops.

07/24/2011 - 7:29pm I'm with you

The sprinters have had to drag themselves over the mountains in a respectable time for a hundred years - there's no reason this crop can't do the same.

07/23/2011 - 9:23pm All part of the master plan

I knew that coming here for graduate school would pay dividends.