Steven M. Sipple: Late Spring Conversations Remind Us Of NU’s Place In College Football | national
You might be hearing the analysts’ off-season conversations and seeing the predictions.
If you are a Nebraska football fan, maybe you are not paying attention. I do. I want to bank everything in my head if only because someday I might write the “Do you remember when?” rooms.
The past week has provided some interesting material for Nebraska fans. It’s the kind of material that lets them know without a shadow of a doubt where the Huskers stand in the college football world.
In the end, Nebraska faded into the peloton. We already know a lot. Will the Huskers eventually get out? How quickly could this happen?
Accept the discomfort. Some of the fun of competing is not guaranteed.
In the meantime, think about:
* Oddsmakers released win totals for each FBS team last week, with DraftKings setting Nebraska at six. Would you like to go more or less? I’ll take over. The Huskers, in Scott Frost’s fourth season in charge, now have enough skill and experience to surpass six wins and, with great luck, reach eight or even nine.
For the sake of conversation, I’m more interested in the teams that are in the Nebraska neighborhood, so to speak.
Big Red has obviously lost its status. No more gated community. They won’t even allow Nebraska in the neighborhood where Alabama (11½) and Clemson (11½) built mansions.
Even Missouri, set at seven wins, has a court that looks a bit healthier than Nebraska. We are talking about an SEC team. Woody Widenhofer is long gone from Colombia. And, please don’t tell me the Huskers schedule is so much harder than the Tigers. The SEC remains king.
Boston College also sits at age seven. Let that soak in, Nebraska fans. At least you’re ahead of Arkansas, Kansas State, and Baylor (each is 5½), but you might run into them while picking up the mail.
Washington State, Virginia, Tennessee and the State of North Carolina sit at six years. Wave your hand when you take out the trash.
Former Nebraska quarterback Luke McCaffrey has clearly moved to a similar neighborhood, as Louisville is 6½.
The “veterans” among Nebraska fans will shake their heads when they notice that the state of Iowa received a 9½ total. But I won’t buy the rhetoric of Matt Campbell-is-a-genius until he beats Iowa. He’s 0-4 against the Hawkeyes.
Nebraska fans can also shake their heads when they see North Carolina at age 10. Larry Fedora kicked the program into the ground, as the Tar Heels finished 2-9 in 2018. Mack Brown has since been 7-6 and 8-4 and now things bigger are expected.
Tell me I’m wrong when I say that Nebraska took on the feel of, say, West Virginia (6½). Mountaineers have averaged 6.9 wins since joining the Big 12 in 2012, while the Huskers have averaged 6.8 wins since joining the Big Ten.
By the way, Nebraska’s winning tally is the fifth-highest in the Big Ten West. That makes sense, doesn’t it? NU follows Wisconsin (9½), Iowa (8½), Minnesota (seven) and Northwestern (6½), while Purdue (five) and Illinois (three) are in the back.
* Speaking of Northwestern, he twice beat Frost in Evanston, Ill., Which Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos noted last week when discussing why the teams’ 2022 competition move to Ireland had makes sense to the Huskers.
“Now we’re taking that home game in the Northwest and making it a home game in Nebraska because I just know we’re going to outnumber their fans there (in Ireland) and the stadium will be red. , and that works in our favor, ”Moos said.
Cue the Frost skeptics: One reason Nebraska is playing in the northwest of Ireland is because of concern about winning at Evanston? Is that so?
I don’t think we considered any such conversations in 2011, when Nebraska entered the Big Ten fray.
A green beer toast for better times, Husker fans.
* Berry Tramel, a 60-year-old columnist for The Oklahoman, contributed to the conversation in our kingdom last week, telling audiences on “Early Break” (93.7 FM) that anger has been mounting frequently in Sooner Country for a long time. decade on OR have to start games at 11 a.m.
In other words, the Nebraska struggles aren’t necessarily the reason the September 18 game kicks off at 11 a.m. on Fox, as opposed to a more traditional time.
As Tramel pointed out, Fox is trying to carve out a niche in a sport dominated by ESPN / ABC, while CBS still claims the SEC and NBC has Notre Dame.
Fox’s competitive response is what she calls the Big Noon Kickoff, at 11 a.m. CST, following a pre-game show of the same name, designed to compete with ESPN’s “GameDay.” . For its Big Noon slot, Fox is looking for a branded team, preferably against another branded team.
“Fox seems to think there’s a window out there that they can own – 11 am,” Tramel said.
Along with the state of Ohio, Oklahoma is the biggest name in Fox’s arsenal. Keep in mind that Fox’s contract does not include the SEC or the ACC. So in the case of Nebraska-Oklahoma, the 11am kickoff is more about the bright mark of OU than the faded one of NU.
* Yes, Tramel also reported early spring news that Nebraska were considering trying not to play historic rival Oklahoma in hopes of playing an extra game at home.
“Disbelief,” he said. “When I first heard the story, I was like, ‘What !? It’s absurd.’ Turns out, on some level, it was true. ”
Tramel noted that Nebraska’s successful withdrawal from the game would have left Oklahoma in one hell of a scheduling problem. As one can imagine, many Sooner fans were confused.
“To be frank, it sparked a lot of talk about the downfall of Nebraska football and how it must be for them to consider this decision,” Tramel said.
Ouch. Not much more to say.
* It’s been a few days since Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network last put Frost in the spotlight with on-air commentary. In my opinion, Nebraska would have to suffer a total disaster of a 2021 season for the NU administration to seriously consider taking a step. Frost has sufficient support at the highest levels. Finebaum, however, knows a staunch fan base when he sees one and isn’t shy about trying to annoy him.
Hey, at least someone’s talking about you, Nebraska. When there is silence, you know you are in trouble.
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