Tag Archives: big ten

Breaking Badgers with Cousin Ben (Again)

Welp. It’s time for the Huskers’ annual showdown with the Badgers and the return of Cousin Ben, the biggest Wisconsin fan this Husker blog knows.

Ben was gracious enough to  take time out of his busy senior year of high school to write up a little preview of what Husker Nation can expect when the Badgers take the field Saturday night. What follows is his preview along with my commentary in  italics.

Take it away Cousin Ben…

Cousin Ben… ready for business or basketball.

Hello everyone- welcome to your least favorite article of the season. This year does feel a bit different, however. Night game. Lincoln Stadium. [I know you’re just trolling with this “Lincoln Stadium” business. Well played.]

I expect the atmosphere to be absolutely electric- which will make it much closer than it should be. Before my predictions, here is a breakdown of the best team in the Big Ten West. [You’re breaking down Nebraska? Nice!]

OFFENSE 

Wisconsin’s offense comes into the game following a fantastic second half against Northwestern. [You left out the part where the Badgers relied on Northwestern playing like idiots.]  This is pretty much your prototypical Badger offense once again. Great line, three good backs, shaky QB play. The line is young, but expect them to get plenty of good pushes. Wisconsin needs to run the ball a lot to win this game, and that all starts with the massive boys up front.

Carrying the ball will be the best freshman RB in the country, Jonathan Taylor, along with Pitt transfer Chris James, and Bradrick Shaw (yes, that random dude who ran for a 21 yard TD last year is our 3rd running back). Taylor has been tremendous, showing a mix of speed, strength and balance that not many freshman show. James has been decent, but a lot of fans had high expectations before the season, so he has underwhelmed a bit. Shaw is a big, powerful dude with underrated speed and elusiveness who could easily be an every down back on a lot of teams.

Now, onto our quarterback Mr. Alex Hornibrook. His inconsistencies have shown way too often this year, even after spending the offseason working with great coaches (including Peyton Manning). [At the Manning Passing Academy? Even T-Magic and Tommy Armstrong got invites to that. Whatever.]

Overall, he’s a really sound quarterback, who makes good decisions but his lack of athleticism and a weak arm make it tough for him to control the game in ways that elite teams quarterbacks often do. [OK. This is good.]

The receiving core is much improved, with all of it centered around the nine fingered wonder Troy Fumagalli (who is questionable for Saturday as of now). [Whoa. He really does only have nine fingers.] The thing Wisconsin has really improved on in recruiting is getting some young guys who can go deep and come up with the ball. Sophomores AJ Taylor and Quintez Cephus, as well as freshman Danny Davis (beast) have been pleasant surprises early in the season, and the seasoned vet Jazz Peavy, [Please tell me his nickname is Autobot.] while under targeted, could go off at anytime and have a big game. This offense as a whole is young, but extremely talented.

DEFENSE

Death, Taxes, and Wisconsin having a top 15 defense. [Thanks for being modest by saying top 15 instead of top 5.] This group is similar to recent defenses, but the defensive back play has really stood out. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Wisconsin’s new DC is former NFL safety Jim Leonhard.

Natrell Jamerson and D’cota Dixon have been fantastic at the safety spots, and corners Nick Nelson and Derrick Tindal have been manning the corner spots well. The linebacking core is absolutely unbelievable once again this year. TJ Edwards and Chris Orr are an elite package of MLB, and Garrett Dooley, Leon Jacobs, and Andrew VanGinkel off the edge give teams offensive lines some serious problems.

The defensive line, while mostly unknown, has been solid this year. The rotation is deep, and every guy does his job as he should. This is a defense who could force 3+ turnovers this weekend if Nebraska isn’t careful with the ball. Based on what I’ve seen in the games I’ve watched (Oregon and N.Illinois)  Wisconsin’s defense could have a very good night on Saturday. [Well, you clearly missed what the offense did against Rutgers and Regular Illinois.]

SPECIAL TEAMS

We have a fat kicker who kicks bombs and dances after field goals. Enough said. [Don’t worry. We all remember this tub of love for ripping out our hearts two years ago.]

FINAL JUDGEMENT

This is going to be a defensive game, which I believe is going to really help Wisconsin. Nebraska has been way too turnover prone (9 picks in 4 games by Tanner Lee) which will flip field position and give Wisconsin the advantage.

I see this one ending up 24-13 Wisconsin.

Jonathan Taylor runs for 115 yards and a touchdown, and Hornibrook throws for 200 yards and a TD. Tanner Lee throws 3 picks and Wisconsin forces 2 fumbles. I think Nebraska is a much improving team, but I think Wisconsin’s depth is too great. It’ll be very tight until the 4th quarter.

As you may remember, last year, I predicted Nebraska was going to lose 4 out of 5 to end the season… They ended up losing 3 out of 5. This year, I think Nebraska ends up going 3-4 to finish the season, with losses to Wisconsin, OSU, Penn State, and Minnesota. [Wait… so you’re saying the Huskers will finally beat Iowa?]

 I think Wisconsin finishes the regular season undefeated, but loses to OSU in the Big Ten Championship. [Another heartbreaking year for the Badgers? This makes me so happy.]


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It’s Already Been a Week?

The best part about being your own boss is dictating your own schedule.

A week has passed since the Huskers ended their regular season by getting taken to the woodshed by Iowa and I’m only writing about it now because, quite frankly, I didn’t want to deal with thinking about that damn game.

A season that started with so much hope and promise flat out belly flopped on the Kinnick Stadium turf. (Writing that sentence alone is giving me a serious TUMS craving. Or maybe that’s the box of cereal I had for lunch.)

Out of the Huskers’ three regular season losses, losing to Iowa by far hurt the worst and not just because it was stinkin’ Iowa.

Coming up short in overtime in a winnable game against Wisconsin stung but proved the Huskers were ready to compete with anyone in the Big Ten, for at least a week anyway.

Getting blown out 62-3  by Ohio State seven days later showed there was plenty of room for growth before being able to compete with every Big Ten team but the thing about getting trucked like that is that sometimes it’s just your turn to get eaten by the bear to paraphrase The Stranger from the Big Lebowski.

Losing to Iowa, though, was a whole new level of ugly, like getting farted on during a lap dance in a Council Bluffs strip club kind of ugly.

There was no justifiable reason for the Huskers to have even have been in a situation where that could have happened but everything that could wrong did go wrong, starting with Bad Tommy coming out to play.

Side story time…

My good buddy Marc joined us at our local Husker bar to watch his first ever Nebraska game on purpose.  He’s a die-hard USC fan and for the last three years our Dodger season tickets have been a couple rows behind his and his father’s. Marc’s meltdowns are the stuff legend in our section. He let it be known well in advance that he was looking forward to seeing myself and fellow Big Red Fury writer/Dodger fan, Leslie Micek, get heated like he does when the Dodgers blow an 8th inning lead.

Thanks to the Huskers laying an egg from the get go, our level of outward rage didn’t peaked at “disappointed grandpa,” which, if you’ve ever disappointed your grandpa, you know is the worst kind of rage. That I’m-so-mad-I-can’t-even-talk-to-you kind of rage that makes you question your very place on this Earth.

Our lack of conversation gave Marc plenty of time to observe the Huskers. He fit right in too, even yelling “holding” right on cue with everyone else who noticed penalties that the Big Ten refs are seemingly blind to.

Marc’s big observation involved the lack of creativity the Huskers’ offense.

1st down: Get stuffed with a run up the middle.
2nd down: Swing pass to the sideline that goes nowhere.
3rd down: YOLObomb that lands in a green sea of empty turf.

At one point Marc sincerely asked us if Tommy always played like he did against Iowa and how much worse the Huskers backups had to be if they weren’t getting any PT.

After explaining that Tommy was basically playing on one leg and how the holder was the emergency third string quarterback, he simply shook his head in awe that we’re able to saddle up Huskers week in and week out.

It’s what we Husker fans do. Ride or die, ya know.

On to the usual stuff…


Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch
mike-riley-flaming-pile-of-poo
Oh how we didn’t miss you, flaming poop emoji.

Our Score Prediction

Honestly, I should have known the Huskers were going to be doomed thanks to the random drunk Jedi. I only wanted Chewbacca in the video but he insisted they worked as a team so I gave him $7 thinking they’d split it like a couple of Hollywood Blvd’s Spider-Men do. When we were done filming, which took exactly as long as the video above, he asked for his cut. I told him I only had a buck left and that’s all I could give him so homeboy had the audacity to pull out a Square credit card reader and had the balls to ask for $20 for his performance.

The last costumed weirdo to pull that move was a Captain America before the Miami game last year and we know how that one turned out.

You’re dead to me, Chewie.

What a Husker crowd looks like after Iowa has walked most of the room.

NUMBERS TO DEPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

I don’t even want to look. Enjoy this courtside view of the Husker basketball team instead. They didn’t look to bad against UCLA.


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The Big Red Fury Season Preview: Our Most Optimistic Post of the Year

As the calendar lurches towards the start of the season, each passing day brings fans new reasons for hope or dread as college football prognosticators trot out their previews.

Well, we’ve got nothing but good news and better news for you, dear reader. All three of us here at Big Red Fury summoned the ghosts of football future and came away with a consensus opinion.

The Huskers are going to kick a lot of ass this season.

The only question mark is exactly how much ass will be kicked.

Pour yourself a glass of Kool-aid. You’re going to enjoy this preview.

Game 1: Fresno State – September 3

FRESNO STATE FAN
At least one guy is pumped to be living in the Grand Island of California.

KUBRICKIAN GLEE: Tim DeRuyter got off to an auspicious start as Fresno State’s head coach when he landed in the raisin belt capital back in 2012. He won two straight Mountain West Conference titles while amassing a solid 20-6 record. Since then, Tim’s luck has gone to shit. The Bulldogs are just 9-17 over the last two seasons. You may remember Nebraska terrorizing these bastards on their home turf back in 2014 in a 55-19 waxing. Things aren’t going to get much better for the Bulldogs when FSU hits Lincoln for the season opener. Nebraska 49 Fresno State 10.

TODD MUNSON: It’s not BYU so I’m happy. Does the dad from Orange County Choppers still coach the Bulldogs? Huskers roll 42-17 and give fans visions of somewhere between 1995-1997.

LESLIE MICEK: I think it’s going to be a bigger blowout than 35-14 but I’ll stick with with something more realistic. This is the part of the season where anything is possible. I would have said BYU would have been a blowout last year but then I watched them throw a Hail Mary.

Game 2: Wyoming – September 10

WYOMING FANS
Pull your pants up, son. You’re wearing a bucket, old man.

KG: Right about now Craig Bohl might wonder why he exchanged the dynastic FCS bounty of Fargo, North Dakota for the massive headache of trying to run a Division 1 program out of Laramie, Wyoming. Sure, the scenery beats the hell out of Fargo, but former Husker Bohl had become the Tom Osborne of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, forging a run not dissimilar to Nebraska in the mid 1990s. But now? Bohl is the owner of a 6-18 record playing in the God-forsaken Mountain West. Relish those 2015 victories over Nevada and UNLV, Craig, because you and your Cowboys aren’t waking up from your prolonged nightmare any time soon. Nebraska 45 Wyoming 14.

TODD: It’s a rude return to Lincoln for Craig Bohl. Nebraska wins 52-21 in such a convincing fashion that fans will momentarily forget that Oregon is coming to Lincoln the following week.

LESLIE: Wyoming stinks. Huskers win 45-7.

Game 3: Oregon – September 17

Sad Ducks Fans
When your Tinder date turns out to be a juggalo

KG: It’s Duck season! Nebraska fans have this date circled on their calendars the day these two teams were scheduled. Some of the luster may have fallen off, though, after the recently mighty Ducks fell back to Earth a little in 2015 with a disappointing (for them) 9-4 campaign. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost’s departure to UCF also saps a little of the intrigue this game had going for it just a year ago. But seeing Mike Riley get a crack at his old in-state nemesis with an arsenal like he’s never had in Corvalis— there’s still plenty to get excited about.

The Ducks, as usual, will be able to put up some points on the Blackshirts. But Oregon’s own defense is a definite liability. Opponents scored an average of 44 points against Oregon in 2015. And most of that personnel returns in 2016. Throw in a questionable quarterback situation (that has former Husker commit Terry Wilson in the mix), and conditions seem favorable for Mike Riley getting a little payback against the old neighborhood bully. Nebraska 42 Oregon 38.

TODD: This game is the only question mark on the Huskers’ home schedule and there’s no middle ground. A win for the Huskers will mean the sky’s the limit for the season (at least until October 29). A loss, no matter how close, will mark the return of  the dark cloud of doom (at least until October 29.) Best case scenario for this game is that Coach Riley channels his inner John Kreese and sweeps the leg for a full 60 minutes. Huskers win 28-24.

LESLIE: I’m glad they don’t have  Vernon Adams or Scott Frost anymore. Easy to root against them again. Huskers. 28-21.

Game 4: at Northwestern – September 24

NORTHWESTERN FANS
A moment of silence for these poor kids who were rejected by Ivy League schools.

KG: Let’s be honest, before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, what would you have predicted Nebraska’s record would be against Northwestern five seasons in if you’d have bothered to even think about it? 5-0? 4-1, allowing for some strange fiasco of an upset somewhere along the way?

Well, Nebraska is now 3-2 in conference vs. Northwestern. And all but one of those games has turned out to be a nail-biter. Last season’s match was one of a gamut of frustrating, heartbreaking losses within the final minute of play, despite Nebraska outmatching the Wildcats in virtually all facets of the game. The difference in that contest (as with most in 2015) was turnovers. Nebraska had just one against Northwestern, but it was a big one — a 72-yard pick-six with just over seven minutes left in the half. Nebraska was marching on that drive and, had Armstrong’s pass gone the other way, it would’ve meant a 17-7 lead that probably wouldn’t have been relinquished. Instead, the Wildcats took a 14-10 advantage, giving them just enough to stave off Nebraska’s control of the game in the second half.

If Armstrong is new and improved in the turnover department, as some observers have said, things probably won’t be quite as rosy for Northwestern this year. Even with the game in Evanston which, let’s be honest, isn’t a particular advantage for the home team. Nebraska 31 Northwestern 21.

TODD: The good thing about playing Northwestern on the road is you don’t have to worry about the Wildcats coming into Lincoln and finding a new way to humiliate the Huskers. Nebraska hasn’t lost at Evanston since 1931 and they won’t do it again this year. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: Not only am I planning on sneaking onto the sidelines again at that embarrassment that they call Ryan Field, I’m planning on dancing after a bunch of touchdowns. Huskers 34-does it even matter? Northwestern is losing.

Game 5: Illinois – October 1

ILLINOIS FANS
Sorry, Chief. Lovie Smith won’t save your Illini from another horrible season.

KG: Prior to the Purdue debacle, Illinois was the absolute nadir of Nebraska’s season in 2015. I still boil with anger when I recall the manner in which Nebraska squandered a 13-0 4th quarter lead only to lose in the final ten damn seconds. It was like watching the scene in Austin Powers when the security guard screamed for a solid 60 seconds as Powers’ steamroller inched toward him. All he had to do. All Nebraska had to do. Was step out of the way.

When the Illini come to Lincoln this year, expect something more akin to the Pelini-era outcomes. Nebraska 49 Illinois 17

TODD: Just to prove that last season was a total aberration, the Huskers should run the ball every time they face a 3rd & 7 and rack up 150+ bonus yards in the process. Chief Illiniwek gets wrecked 42-10.

LESLIE: I’m worried because Illinois will be coming off a bye week and I’m just kidding. Huskers 31-14.

Bye week – October 8

KG: I’ll be driving the choo-choo at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.

TODD: Do some yard work. Reintroduce yourself to your family.

LESLIE: I predict Nebraska will win.

Game 6: at Indiana – October 15

INDIANA
A capacity crowd was on-hand for Indiana’s season opener last year.

KG: One of the most intriguing matches of 2016 is Nebraska’s trip to Bloomington. The Hoosiers have the most statistically dominant offense in the Big Ten — although, talent-wise, that title probably should go to Ohio State. Nonetheless, Indiana can put up some points and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just ask the 2014 SEC East champions, Missouri. The Tigers fell to Indiana 31-27. On the heels of an Indiana loss to Bowling Green, too. 

The Hoosiers will be game for a basketball-type score (what else would you expect), but Nebraska should have no trouble tearing through Indiana’s defense. This one is going to be a track meet (and a little too close for comfort) but I see Nebraska pulling it out. Nebraska 41 Indiana 34. 

TODD: This is Nebraska’s sixth season as a member of the Big Ten and it’s their first time squaring off against Indiana as a conference opponent. Your days of dodging the Big Red are over, Indiana. Huskers win 55-21.

LESLIE: A battle to the death of two teams coming off 6-7 records. Only difference is that Nebraska is a lot better than their record shows. Also, Indiana plays Ohio St. the week before and Nebraska comes off a bye. Sorry, Indiana. Huskers 45-17.

Game 7: Purdue – October 22

PURDUEPhotos of Purdue fans do not exist on the internet so here are some Indiana fans insulting the ladies of Purdue.

KG: Revenge will be at hand. Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten and they will come to Lincoln having poked the gorilla with its ridiculous 55-45 win last year. Look for Nebraska to eliminate the five turnovers that turned last season’s match into an embarrassment. Nebraska 49 Purdue 17.

TODD: The Huskers should save the Boliermakers the trouble of a road trip and just schedule an Indiana/Purdue double header the week before. Or, they could give Tommy the week off and let Ryker start so he can get chance at cold-blooded revenge. Huskers win 38-24.

LESLIE: Goals for the Purdue game this year: under 4 interceptions, rush more than 77 yards, and win. Simple. Huskers 37-14.

Game 8: at Wisconsin – October 29

badgersfansWisconsin fans are creeps.

KG: Quick trivia question: What is Nebraska’s combined record vs. Big Ten juggernauts Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State?

Is it a) 4-10 or b) 10-4?

If you said “b” 10-4, give yourself a cigar! This cherry-picked bit of knowledge belies the notion that Nebraska has struggled in its time in the Big Ten. Nebraska has, in fact, posted the 4th best league record since joining the conference in 2011. While it hasn’t quite hit the mark that most Husker fans anticipated heading in to the Big Ten, Nebraska has held its own in virtually every category. Except one.

Playing Wisconsin.

Oy. I wonder if Barry Alvarez has any mixed emotions seeing the Monster of Madison he created bat his alma mater around like Lennie Small petting a scared bunny. While Mike Riley’s Huskers did a great job of not allowing the Badgers to embarrass Nebraska (in a way Pelini rarely could), the last second loss was still among the hardest to stomach in 2015. Andy Janovich’s 55-yard burst up the middle in the waning minutes of the game had Husker fans believing the Wisconsin demon had been exorcised. But no, the Cheesehead Linda Blair had one more gullet of projectile vomit to spew in our collective faces.

It will be tough. But I think Nebraska goes to Madison and takes care of business. It helps that Wisconsin, I believe, is on a slow downtick from its respectable run of the last decade. Nebraska 28 Wisconsin 24.

TODD: Welcome to the first installment of the most terrifying two weeks of the season. Since joining the Big Ten, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat when playing at Madison has been a robust 33 points. For the sake of it being August and all, I’ll go out on a limb and say Mike Riley delivers an eat shit and FU of his own to the troglodytes who call themselves Badger fans. Huskers 24 Badgers 21.

LESLIE: Don’t be scared, Todd. The Blackshirts won’t be. Huskers 24-17.

Game 9: at Ohio State – November 5

columbusriot1
This is what happens when Columbus runs out of Cincinnati Chili.

KG: Ohio State. What’s there to say, really? Urban Meyer scares the shit out of me. And so does the talent level in Columbus. Still, in this age of parity, no team is absolutely invincible. Nebraska will get beat in The Horseshoe. But make no mistake, Riley and his squad will make a game of it. Nebraska 28 Ohio State 34.

TODD: If you’re traveling to this game, here are two things to know: 1) It’s only 175 miles from Columbus to Youngstown and 2) Bo Pelini and his Penguins will be playing on the road at North Dakota St. If you regret not egging his house when he lived in Lincoln, this is your big chance to make amends and give yourself at least one thing you’ll want to remember because I don’t see how the Huskers can escape that burning couch of a state with a win. Ohio State 35 Nebraska 21.

LESLIE: Todd doesn’t seem to understand that it’s August and this is the time right after depression and right before reality. The perfect time for optimism. The Huskers are going to walk right into that dump called Ohio Stadium and make that WR coach Zach Smith want to delete his twitter account. I hope they pass the ball 100% of the time and win so we can all tag him with the #Shhh hashtag that he loves so much. Westerkamp, DPE, Reilly, and Stan the Man are gonna get savage all up in Coach Smith’s face. Honest to god, I hate that guy. Shut him the hell up. Huskers 28-21.

Game 10: Minnesota – November 12

sel 4078Minnesota Nebraska
If you don’t have enough fans who are willing to spell out your team’s name, you don’t deserve to have a team.

KG: Jerry Kill had a remarkable run at Minnesota, moving the Gophers from an after-thought to a solid middle-of-the-conference program. I genuinely feel bad for Jerry and his health issues. But I’m not sorry to see him absent from the opposite sideline of Nebraska. The Husker dominance of Minnesota resumed in 2015. Onward. Nebraska 45 Minnesota 21.

TODD: A week of many hack Caddyshack jokes being made by this site culminates with the Huskers starting a new win streak at the expense of the Gophers who will find themselves hiding near the bottom of the Big Ten West standings. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: If the Huskers could beat you last year, they can definitely beat you this year. Huskers 55-21.

Game 11: Maryland – November 19

MARYLAND FANS
Supposedly this is what Maryland fans look like.

KG: Maryland and Nebraska meet for the first time ever in Memorial Stadium. Since the two teams are unfamiliar with each other, it’s good news for Nebraska that the Terps are about as intimidating as a squad of actual turtles. Nebraska 51 Maryland 24

TODD: You might remember Maryland as the team who had those atrocious uniforms a couple seasons back, or for their most famous alumni (Shawne Merriman) dating Tila Tequila. If you need to use this weekend to prep for Thanksgiving you’re in luck. This game won’t be close. Huskers 42 Maryland 20.

LESLIE: Three wins last year? Good lord. Stick to basketball, Maryland. Huskers win by a billion.

Game 12: at Iowa – November 25

IOWA FANS
When Iowa fans realize their welfare checks aren’t big enough to cover Powerball tickets or an oil vaporizer pen and the Vape juice.

KG: The worst 12-0 regular season program I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing take the gridiron. As snake-bit as Nebraska was in 2015, Iowa was itself holding aces all season. But both teams showed their true colors in bowl games — a solid 37-29 victory over UCLA by Nebraska (a healthy margin that, quite frankly could’ve been even healthier) and a 45-16 ass shellacking of Iowa by Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Iowa made rings to mark their 12-0 regular season accomplishment. Good for them. Fucking losers. Nebraska 45 Iowa 10.

TODD: Mike Riley puts the exclamation point on #IOWAHATEWEEK by stealing the keys to Herky Hawkey’s El Camino and burning some donuts on the 50 yard line of Kinnick Stadium following a Huskers blowout victory.  Huskers win 38-14.

LESLIE: If I was running things, Iowa would have to sit out a year for that Rose Bowl performance. But since it doesn’t look like that is going to happen, Nebraska is going to have to play them. Unlike last season, Iowa actually has to play some real teams before Nebraska, so there is no chance they go into this undefeated again. As you can tell, I actually have the opposite. Nebraska is going in there undefeated this year and kicking some Iowa ass. Leave me alone. A person can dream. Huskers 21-17.

(But for real, watching Iowa collapse at the Rose Bowl was the highlight of last season.)

Final regular season tally:

KG: Huskers go 11-1 with a loss to Ohio State.
TODD: Same.
LESLIE: Huskers run the table and go 12-0.

Remember, what you just read is published on the internet, so you know it’s true. GBR.

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Look Hawkeyes, You Ain’t Nebraska’s F#*king Rival

Back when Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, did any of you get a weird sense of deja vu over the welcome we got from our neighbors just over the Missouri River?

I did. I felt like I was watching the Star Wars cantina scene, where Luke and Obi-Wan walk in and see all these weird alien faces staring back at them. And while Obi-Wan goes to take care of some business, Luke sidles up to the bar and tries to make himself comfortable. In doing so, he bumps elbows with a creature named Ponda Baba. For those of you not steeped in the geekdom of Star Wars minutia, Ponda Baba is the alien with a damn hairy camel toe for a mouth who gets his arm hacked off by Obi-Wan’s Lightsaber.

imgresPanda Baba, enjoying his final moments of having two arms.

When Ponda initially protests Luke’s intrusion upon his space, a friend of his by the name of Dr. Cornelius Evanzan informs Luke that Ponda does not like him. Luke shrugs it off. Then Evanzan says that, in fact, he himself does not like Luke, either, and that Luke had better watch himself.

Does this all seem eerily familiar now?

You bet, because that was exactly the way Iowa approached its newfound conference relationship with Nebraska back in 2011. Nebraska was just trying to get the lay of the land in the Big Ten (and maybe order a drink) when Iowa came over and said, “Hey, we’re you’re rivals.”

Nebraska did a double-take and checked its surroundings, then looked back at Iowa and said, “Were you talking to me?”

And Iowa shot back, “I don’t like you. You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.”

To which Nebraska then beat the Hawkeyes three times out of the next four seasons. A metaphorical equivalence of chopping off Ponda Baba’s arm.

Living in Omaha since Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten has given me a new perspective on a place that I never much pondered having grown up in Grand Island, gone to college in Lincoln and lived ten years in L.A. The metropolitan area of Omaha spills over into Iowa which produces encounters with actual Iowa fans — an event I’m not entirely sure ever happened to me prior to my move here.

As it turns out, Iowa fans are under the impression that their football team is somehow simpatico with Nebraska’s. What evidence do they put forth? Well, the fact that since 2000, Iowa and Nebraska have had a similar winning percentage. Both being in the 60% range. Actually Nebraska’s is 67% (the 17th best percentage since 2000). And Iowa’s is 60% (the 36th best winning percentage over the same time period).

Why is this significant to Iowa fans when comparing their program to Nebraska’s? Why discard the entire 20th and 19th Centuries? Because, if you include the entirety of college football history, Nebraska has the 7th best win percentage of all time. Iowa has the 60th. Nebraska also has five National Titles. But if you look at just the 21st Century, Nebraska is just 7% better than Iowa and has zero National Titles. Just like them.

So recently, a Hawkeye friend of mine was pondering out loud — Why does Iowa have so many rivals? He then went on to list them: Wisconsin, Iowa State, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska.

To which I said, “Hold up. Nebraska isn’t Iowa’s rival.”

He looked at me as though that were the dumbest thing he’d ever heard.

He said, “Yes, we are. We’re border rivals dude. You realize that patch of land on the other side of the river is a state called “Iowa” and in it, there is a football team that has nearly the same winning percentage as yours over the last 14 years and who has won a conference championship, twice, while you have not and has played in the Orange Bowl twice, while you have not and has finished in the Top 10 four times, while you have not.”

All right. Well, be that as it may — Nebraska has had its own little spate of things Iowa has not had over the last 14 seasons. Namely a Rose Bowl appearance. How did that happen when, as Hawkeye Hank pointed out, Iowa has won the Big Ten twice? Because, as he so painstakingly avoided mentioning, Iowa split its two Big Ten Championships. Once with Ohio State and once with Michigan — both of whom were sexier choices than Iowa for the Big Ten representative in Pasadena.

The last time Iowa won an outright conference title was in 1985. One of just three in the Hawkeyes’ illustrious history. When was Nebraska’s last outright conference title? 1999. The last of 37 such crowns.

What else has Nebraska done in the last 14 years that Iowa hasn’t? Played in a National Title game. When has Iowa done that? Never.

But don’t tell that to Iowa fans who will club you to death with their 1958 Football Writers Association of America National Title Award. A team that won 8 games for the season, tied Air Force and lost to Ohio State by ten points. And never mind that 10-0 LSU was given the AP and UPI National Titles. To Hawkeye fans, that 1958 “national title” is just as legit as any of Nebraska’s. The Huskers went a combined 62-0-1 to collect their five trophies, while Iowa bumbled through an 8-1-1 season to get theirs.

Yeah, sure, that’s the same thing.

Continuing my conversation with Hawkeye Hank, I pointed out that the pinnacle of Iowa football (the Kirk Ferentz era) is equivalent to Nebraska’s worst stretch since the 1950s. Their “highs” were essentially our “lows.”

My friend, naturally, misconstrued this statement to mean that I said Nebraska’s lows were just like Iowa’s 2015 season — which is essentially their dream season. His contempt was anything but vague when he responded, “Oh, Nebraska’s lows are 10-0 are they?”

At the time of the statement, Iowa hadn’t yet beaten Purdue. But this remark got me thinking. Nebraska’s lows aren’t 10-0. But that record is actually closer to Nebraska’s “norms” than Iowa’s “highs.”

With a win over Minnesota, Iowa became 10-0 for the first time in the history of their program. Nebraska, coincidentally, also had a first in 2015. The Huskers never had 6 losses before the month of November ever in the history of the program. Initially I thought both bits of trivia couldn’t be true. Nebraska sucked in the 1940s and 1950s. Surely, at some point back then NU suffered six losses before November. And Iowa never going 10-0 before? I know they suck, but who hasn’t done that?

But nope. The research bears it out. 2015 is the first and only year for each stat for both teams.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how common these firsts were for each of the other programs. And here is what I found.

Nebraska has started 12 different seasons at 10-0. Iowa has had 8 seasons in which they’ve lost 6 or more games before November. (Sometimes 7 and 8.)

In fact, Iowa has only ever had 7 seasons with 10 or more wins in total. Nebraska has had 7 10-win seasons since 1999. The Huskers have had 28 10-win seasons in total. More than a quarter century if strung together. Iowa’s record of 10-win campaigns can’t even fill a single decade.

When I presented this information to Hawkeye Hank, he gave me a cold, dead stare and said, “Wow, man. That’s really condescending.”

imgres-2Iowa Hawkeyes fan by day. Stryper groupie by night. No costume change required.

Condescending? No, you know what’s condescending? Pointing this nugget out: Nebraska’s first 10-0 start to a season was in 1902 and NU was just the sixth school in the history of the sport to accomplish such a feat — following Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Penn and Michigan.

Iowa’s accomplishment came only after these school’s managed to pull the same trick:

Air Force
Alabama
Arizona State
Arkansas
Arkansas State
Auburn
Ball State
Boise State
Boston College
BYU
Colorado
Clemson
Florida State
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Harvard
Hawaii
Kansas
Kansas State
LSU
Marshall
Maryland
Memphis
Miami (FL)
Miami (OH)
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
New Mexico State
Northern Illinois
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Ole Miss
Penn
Penn State
Pittsburgh
Princeton
San Diego State
San Jose State
Stanford
Syracuse
TCU
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Toledo
Tulane
Tulsa
UCLA
USC
Utah
Virginia Tech
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming
Yale

That’s 61 other teams who have enjoyed the equivalent of Iowa’s “dream season” before the Hawkeyes ever fully realized it.

And that, my friend, is condescension.

To that, Hawkeye Hank got a little contemplative. He said, “You know, it’s hard being a fan of a team that stays in contention every single week. Seriously, the stress winning brings to every game can’t be good for the heart. It’s way less stressful if you already expect 3 to 4 losses. If you’re expecting to win them all, or at least, feel you’re good enough to win every game, it’s just devastating when that loss finally happens.”

To which I smiled and nodded. I said, “You see, that’s why Iowa and Nebraska are not rivals. You have a wait-until-the-other-shoe-drops mentality. I simply can’t relate to that. I went to college at Nebraska from 1993 to 1999. Watching my team practically never lose felt like a perpetual blow job, really.”

And that’s it. Nebraska and Iowa football are fundamentally different. The history, the expectations, the head-to-head record. Is it possible that Iowa and Nebraska eventually do become rivals? I suppose. Iowa will need to have more seasons like this one. And they’ll need to have Nebraska climb back up to the elite, too. Rivals are born out of mutual respect. What we have here is a middling program with stars in its eyes amidst the best season in its history. And a one-time Titan looking to get back to its dominating ways.

When the series history becomes a clash of titans, that’s when we can roll out the rivalry talk.

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Stuck in a Rutgers. Six Sad Facts About the Scarlet Knights.

Before the Huskers head to Piscataway, New Jersey for their first ever-game at Rutgers, here are few nuggets to give you a better idea of who the Scarlet Knights are and why they are the absolute dregs of the Big Ten Conference.

1869: The year Rutgers hosted the very first intercollegiate football ever. The Queensmen, as they were called back then, bested Princeton 6 – 4. Their only other game of that inaugural season was a rematch against Princeton a week later that resulted in them getting blanked 8 – 0. Somehow with a 1 – 1 record, Rutgers had the audacity to claim a national title– their only one in 146 seasons of playing football.

Basically, Rutgers is  the Anvil of college football. While they may have helped “invent” the sport much like the greatest band you’ve probably never heard of helped influence the speed metal genre, the Scarlet Knights football program has been all but left in the dust by their peers. Luckily for both Rutgers and Anvil, their fortunes have been mostly on the upswing since 2008.

6: The number of current (at the time) Rutgers players who were arrested and dismissed from the team after being charged with a string of home invasion robberies this spring.

3: How many times Rutgers has finished a season undefeated (1876, 1961, and 1976). Curiously, they did not try claiming a national title after either of their clean sweeps during the 20th Century. In fact, the Scarlet Knights were so butt hurt about not being invited to a “prestigious” bowl in 1976 that they took their ball and went home in lieu of playing McNeese State in the first-ever Independence Bowl.

10: The number of times Rutgers has appeared in a bowl game in their previous 145 seasons. While the Scarlet Knights are on the bowl bubble this year, they’ve been on a hot streak with nine bowl bids since 2005. In fact, they played in TWO bowl games in 2008 (the International Bowl against Ball State on January 5 and the PapaJohns.com Bowl against NC State on December 29). Rutgers’ overall bowl record is 6 – 4.

52,454: The seating capacity at Rutgers’ home field, High Point Solutions Stadium. 53,774 fans squirmed inside the gates for the Scarlet Knights’ first game as a member of the Big Ten last season, which led to the Rutgers administration issuing an official apology to Penn State for the rude behavior of their fans.

rutgers-stadium-1
High Point Solutions Stadium is like a smaller, sadder version of Memorial Stadium.

rutgers-fan
A Rutgers fan celebrates his team’s entry into the Big Ten by demonstrating that sunscreen makes perfectly good body paint (as long as you have the time to hit the tanning salon).

Rutgers Fan
One can only speculate that this Rutgers fan’s nickname is R-U Going to Eat That?

Rutgers Mascot
Even the Scarlet Knight is a guido.

61,221: The number of people who have the courage to admit to being fans of the Scarlet Knights on Facebook. (For reference, the Huskers boast 597,889 fans.) This shockingly low number says two things: 1) Not as many people care about Rutgers as the Big Ten would like people to believe. 2) Maybe New Jersey residents are still all up in that MySpace.

What Rutgers fans lack in online presence they make up for it with pessimism that puts Husker Nation’s biggest negative nellies to shame.

Rutgers Facebook Fans

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Purdue Edition

As Purdue closed out the third quarter by scoring their third unanswered touchdown to go up 42 – 16 , this Huskers’ season reached a turning point.

If you stuck it out to the end to see the Big Red almost steal a victory with a 29 point fourth quarter, congratulations. You are not afraid to go down with the ship.

Yesterday’s game was 3 hours and 45 minutes of gallows humor at its finest. If there was a scene in Titanic where some rapscallions from steerage said F-it and broke into the liquor storage instead of trying to escape,  that would have been the prefect summation of what it was like to watch this game in an empty bar where the staff outnumbered us Husker faithful who showed up for our weekly gut punch. (And no, the scene with the Brandy sipping Guggenheim does not count. He was far too classy.)

Hats off to Ryker Fyke. Dude played his ass off and made up for running game that didn’t make the trip to Indiana by throwing for over 400 yards and leading the Huskers to 45 points but with the Bankshirts getting torched worse than Thích Quảng Đức, his heroic effort was all for naught.

At the rate things have gone so far this season, it honestly won’t be surprising if the Huskers somehow end up rolling Michigan State next Saturday. 

On to the assorted random stuff!

Headlines if the New York Post covered Husker football

Huskers step in big pile of Purdue-do

The Huskers’ Season is Pur-done

Purdue or do not. There is no try. (The Huskers did not try.)

Boilermakers run a train on the Huskers

Mike Purrriley Won’t Be Purring Over Losing to Purdue.

Our Score Prediction

Purdue Score Prediction
Left the house dressed like a champion and couldn’t have been farther off-base with the final score. Get your own “Gamer Tee” at Nebraska Red Zone.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch: We have reached DEFCON 1.

Thermonuclear Balloon

Sam Mckewon: Throws absolute hot fire in his post game video. It is a performance for the ages and is a must watch.

Oddest Paragraph In Dirk’s Post Game Column About a Road Trip From Hell: Suddenly it’s 2:30, your iPhone is dead, your wife forgot hers and the baby is waking up. Another turn. Wrong. Another turn. Wrong. 

Uh… Dirk, not keeping a phone charger in your car is just bad planning. You can get one for $8.99 and extra lightning cables are just $5.99. C’mon, buddy. You’re better than that.

And this leads to…

Important Piece of Life Advice #1: Even though you’ve been invited to a friend’s annual Halloween party for five years running, always take a moment to actually read the Evite to save yourself and your lovely wife the hassle and embarrassment of getting all dressed up, slogging through traffic for an hour, only to arrive in beautiful downtown Burbank to discover that the party happened the night before, on Halloween Eve. Lucky for us, it wasn’t a total surprise to our friends that I would pull such a move and they invited us in help them put a dent in the leftover party fare which included scarfing down a container of Jell-O shots.

Important Piece of Life Advice #2: Don’t skip dinner and hope that whatever nutrients are found in a container of Jell-O shots will be an appropriate substitute.

NUMBERS TO DEPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

31,351: The announced attendance at Ross-Ade Stadium which holds 62,500.  Yeah, right. Check out all the empty seats.

55: This was Purdue’s highest point total since they took down Indiana State 56-35 back in 2012. The last time the Boilermakers hung 60 or more points on a team was when they put up 62 against Indiana in 2008.

50: Back in the 1994 Matt Turman game, the Huskers ran the ball 50 times for 168 yards against Kansas State and three-yard-and-a-cloud-of-dusted their way to a 17-6 win on the road. Yesterday, the Huskers ran 22 times for 78 yards with Andy Janovich accounting for all of 2 yards on a pair goal line carries. This was the first time the Huskers have been held to under 100 yards rushing this season.

10: Purdue’s ten point margin of victory was the largest for any of the Huskers’ opponents this season. The next closest was BYU and a Hail Mary that led to a five point blowout. With Purdue’s win factored in, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat has ballooned to  3.83 points.

Even with the annual blowout or two factored in, the last four seasons under Bo Pelini, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat was 11.75 (2014), 16.25 (2013), 21 (2012), 19.75 (2011).

6: The number of Los Angeles fans who had the courage to step out into public to cheer-on the Huskers at our local watch site. We nearly cracked double digits when a UNL professor in town for a visit arrived with her son and daughter-in-law. She teaches leadership at Husker U. and had some great insights about how much work it really is to change the culture of a team but she still doesn’t like to see the Huskers losing how they are.

Husker Fans
Back when the season was still full of hope, this place was standing room only.

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Minnesota Edition

Clearly, there is something nicer than Mike Riley and that is Minnesota.

Thank you Golden Gophers for going into hiding and letting the Big Red run wild on your home turf and giving the Huskers a much needed 48 – 25 victory.

Wait… who are we kidding?

That was a good old fashioned Husker ass kicking.

Or at least as close as Riley and company could get to an old fashioned Husker ass kicking at this point in their tenure. Either way, it was a sight for sore eyes and the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy is in the possession of Husker Nation for at least a year.

Mike Riley’s first signature win as a Husker. 

The offense actually looked like an offense and the defense (mostly) looked like a defense. The secondary is still the biggest red flag for the Blackshirts as Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner had arguably a career day against the Huskers. Only the defense of 1 and 5 Purdue(!) was any worse this season at containing Leidner.

Regardless, winning is always better than losing.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch: The flames have been extinguished. Win next week against Northwestern and Mike just might get his balloon back.

Mike Riley Poop Balloon

Our Score Prediction:

If the scoring could have stopped during the third quarter we would have nailed it.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

197: Andy Janovich‘s season rushing total so far, which is the most yardage gained by a Husker fullback since Steve Kriewald rang up 54 yards back in 2004.

69: Dude, Terrell Newby‘s 69 yard touchdown run off a zone read was the Huskers’ longest play of the season and led to the Big Red having a 100 yard rusher for the second time this year. Not that Danny Langsdorf needs to go all Tim Beck with the zone read but here’s hoping the success of that play inspires him to not be so shy turning to the “college football” section of his playbook in the future.

69: Percent, dude. Tommy Armstrong went 18 for 26 on the day with no interceptions, a solid rebound from the last two weeks of completing passes at a 35.5% clip.

6: Jordan Westerkamp made six catches for 76 yards, including a borderline ridiculous 27 yard grab on 3rd and 6 when things were getting a little tense in the fourth quarter. In the previous two games against Illinois and Wisconsin, Westerkamp had 3 receptions for a grand total of 17 yards.

2: The Huskers only had TWO penalties! They’re going to have break out the folding chairs and foreign objects next week against Northwestern if they’re serious about keeping the title as the most penalized team in college football.

0.2: Michigan State’s win probability percentage before Michigan’s ill-fated punt attempt to close out the game. Thank you Jim Harbaugh for making the world instantly forget about any of the Huskers’ last second meltdowns this season.

38 – 8: South Dakota State (aka the same Jackrabbits the Huskers played in 2013) scampered over to Youngstown, Ohio and thumped Bo Pelini’s Penguins 38 – 8.  This is the second consecutive game the ‘Guins have dropped and marks their first blowout loss of the season.

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5 New and Bizarre Ways the Huskers Can Lose To Wisconsin

With this year’s installment of Nebraska vs Wisconsin being the first match up since 1901 to have both the Huskers and the Badgers unranked, the hype for this game has all but been replaced by a feeling of dread for either side.

With the Huskers flailing to a 2 – 3 record and the Badgers at 3 – 2 thanks to a beat down against Alabama and an ugly 10 – 6 loss against Iowa, today’s contest doesn’t exactly set the table with blowout potential.

Which is good because frankly, watching the Huskers get blown out by the Badgers is getting old.  The Huskers need to find a new way to lose.

Look at this repetitive mess:

2011: 48 – 17 Nebraska fans are introduced to Russell Wilson.

2012: (round 2) 70 – 31 some kid named Melvin Gordon scampers for 216 yards on 9 carries.

2014:  59 – 24 Melvin Gordon runs wild for an NCAA record 408 yards. At least this time he needed to tote the ball 25 times in order to run almost a quarter mile. If you’re too lazy to do the math, his day worked out to a paltry 16.32 yards-per-carry.

In effort to spice up the bitter stew of defeat, here are just a few new and exciting ways the Huskers can lose to the Badgers today that are guaranteed to keep the water cooler conversation buzzing all week long.

5. Ryker Fyfe whiffs a tackle allowing Wisconsin running back Taiwan Deal score the winning touchdown in an otherwise close game. (It’s a long, arduous story but Ryker ends up filling it at linebacker after an already depleted corps is diminished even further as Coach Riley had ordered the back ups back ups to spend their game day slathering the new Riley homestead in allergen-free paint.

4. Alex Lewis blows kisses to the West Stadium crowd as the Huskers head back to the locker room at halftime. Wisconsin ends up winning by forfeit before halftime ends following the breakout of what will go down in history as the Great Blue Hair Riot.

3. The clock strikes 00:00 before Drew Brown gets a chance to chip in the game winner as Coach Riley forgets to call a time out in a scenario eerily similar to what happened to his Beavers in the 2012 Alamo Bowl.

2. The operator of Der Viener Schlinger blows a gasket and mows down the officiating crew following a botched call. The carnage caused by seasoned entrails makes everyone realize there is more to life than football and the game is suspended.

1. Rich Kaczynski‘s  halftime text messages to “his” players offers differing advice than that of the current coaching staff causing the Husker sideline to erupt into a full blown melee not seen since that time The Warriors were wrongly accused of shooting Cyrus. And just like that, the Husker football program spirals into new and even more unfathomable depths of dysfunction.

Or, the Huskers can somehow remember they are the daggum’ed Nebraska Cornhuskers and run a train on Bucky Badger and remind the college football world that the Big Red ain’t dead yet.

Positive thoughts, Husker Nation. Positive thoughts.

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Breaking Badgers with Cousin Ben

Since the Huskers joined the Big Ten, their battles with the Badgers have become an extra special time among my family, the vast majority of whom hail from the Land of Cheese and Swill Beer.

With my brother and I being the oddballs who grew up in Nebraska and raised as proper Husker fans from birth, a familial friction has sparked every time the Huskers and Badgers throw down. Mostly, it’s Badger backing cousins who take a jab or two before crawling back into the safety of their dens until the Badgers have jet sweeped their way to victory. Then the smack talk claws come out in full force.

The best of the worst in my family is my cousin Ben. He’s a 15-year-old three sport juggernaut and is an absolutely rabid fan of the Badgers and the Packers (you can see Lambeau Field from the end of his street). Ben knows more about sports than most people at ESPN and wields emojis like a master assassin. In other words, he’s a full-on honey badger when it comes to heckling the Huskers when they’re down.

Ben was gracious enough to take a break from his homework to give a glimpse into the world of Wisconsin athletics and what Husker fans can expect to see on Saturday.

Just so our readers get a sense of who they’re dealing with, tell us a little bit about your level of fandom for the Badgers. And this can be the all-encompassing Badgers, football, basketball, etc.

Well I live about two and a half hours away from Madison but I don’t think I’ve missed watching a Badger basketball or football game in about four or five years. I’ve gotten to see some amazing games like Melvin Gordon’s 408 yard game and that 70-31 slaughtering in the Big Ten Championship (okay, now I’m just teasing you) but it’s been an absolutely crazy ride. Being a Badger fan has brought me to Texas, LA, Indy and of course more times than I can remember, the best college town in America, Madison.

What are your favorite moments as a Badger fan? Best game you’ve been to?

My best moments as a Badger fan have probably been the three straight Rose Bowls and the two Final Fours. The fact that Wisconsin won three Big Ten titles with basically one QB that could throw the ball (sorry, Scott Tolzein) is pretty crazy. The best game I’ve been too would have to be is when Wisconsin beat #1 Ohio State back in 2010. I was just walking in when David Gilreath took back the opening kick and the Badgers dominated when I was in my seat as well. That’s the only game I’ve had the pleasure of storming the field for.

Does your mom ever get upset with how you and your dad disappear for most of March to chase the Badgers around the NCCA Tournament?

My mom just pretty much stays out of the way during March and early April because I think she just knows we could be gone. She did come to the Final Four last year so I think she was especially happy about that.

As a whole, Nebraska fans tend to be more than a little terrified of the Badgers, especially after the last couple times they’ve played. What do Nebraska fans have to scared about this year?

The Badgers always seem to have two things on their team: a great line, and a top back. This year, we thought we had the great back but (Corey) Clement has been out since the Bama game so that’s gone. Stave will be back to his ways where he can’t complete a pass if it’s not 25 yards down the field. The only real thing that will have Nebraska fans shaking their heads this year is going to be the defense. The line is solid, and maybe two of the best OLB in the country in Joe Schobert and Vince Biegal will have the lineman picking up Armstrong all game. The secondary is solid led by safetys Michael Caputo and the QB… I mean receiver…. no stick to safety Tanner McEvoy. (Editor’s note: Tanner changes positions more often than the Huskers change running backs.)

Will Joel Stave ever graduate? The dude has to be like 25 by now.

I sure hope he does soon.. They have a Sophomore QB named DJ Gillians that is a stud. Stave just isn’t very good against good teams. (Editor’s note: I think this may be a burn towards the Huskers.)

Do you think Barry Alvarez somehow find a way to get rid of Paul Chryst so he can coach another bowl game?

Haha. Barry is getting up there and Chryst is a Wisconsin boy so I think getting rid of him will be tough for about 3 years.

And on that note, how happy are you that Bret Bielema is Arkansas’ problem?

Goodness. That’s about the best thing the Badgers have going for them is watching Bielema choke. When they played Texas A&M, he called two pass plays on 3 and 4, and 4 and 4. If that would’ve happened in Madison, he probably wouldn’t have been picking up any sloozy college girls after the game.

What’s your prediction for the final score? I know you texted me but my phone is across the room and I’m too lazy to get up and look.

31-17 Badgers. I figure if it’s closer than that, Stave can throw up a prayer and the defense will either back away or push the receiver.

What are the Badgers’ chances for making it back to the Final Four this season? How will they ever replace Frank the Tank?

Not great but I think it’s better than what other people think. They have the best PG in the Big Ten (might be a bit biased there considering my dog is named after him) and a top 20 pick in next year’s draft that will anchor the team. I’m at least expecting a sweet sixteen run and since it’s Bo’s “last year” (Tony Bennett or Bo only) you never know what he can get the boys to do.

Are the Packers going to the Super Bowl or will they find a new and clever way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? That was so brutal how they lost last year.

I have no doubt in my mind right now that the Packers are the best team in the NFL right now. Last year I probably would have said that but I’m a lot more confident this year. Plus, the hands team is 2/2 this year I believe so that’s a good start towards not choking in the same way.

How does it feel knowing that after all the great running backs that Wisconsin has produced, the best running back in the entire history of the Green Bay Packers is Ahman Green who just happens to be from Nebraska?

The only thing I remember well about Amahn in his prime was he came to my school after a domestic abuse charge I believe and I told him not to beat his wife. True story.

Like I said, he’s a master assassin of talking trash.

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The Season Isn’t Over Until It Starts

Hey there dear reader(s)! Remember us? The blog that said it was going on hiatus until August 3rd? Well, with the first game of the season kicking off next Saturday, it’s time we make our staggering return to mid-level glory, new website or not.

Lucky for us, the guy we hired to redesign our site finally found a new Adderall hook up (his old one bolted off to college) so his productivity levels should be returning to normal any day now and he swears he’ll have our updated site ready before the season opener against BYU.

Kickoff is still at 2:30, right?

But enough about us. Let’s get to the reason why we’re all here- the Huskers.

Since we last left off, the Huskers have had their share of drama. Fortunately, most of it was just of the silly kind and not the a-linebacker-stole-a-truckload-of-bikes variety.

To recap —

Wisconsin running back Corey Clement talked more trash than a sanitation engineer convention (hiyo!)when he said the Huskers were a flip phone compared to the Badgers who embodied the far superior and sleeker iPhone.

This in turn caused the Nebraska sports media to unholster their flip phones and furiously text reaction tweets to 40404 as fast as their thumbs could T9 their way to coherent thoughts.

Meanwhile, we mined our kitchen junk drawer, unearthed a Motorola lounging in a weathered Cell Phones for Soldiers shipping bag (hey, it’s the thought that counts) and cobbled this gem together.

Badgers Huskers Flip PhoneGet it? 5 x CHAMP. Are jokes from a month ago still even remotely funny?

Not long after Husker Nation’s big flip out of the summer, the first fall camp of the Mike Riley era was underway and optimism for the season was running high…

UNTIL COACH RILEY ANNOUNCED THAT De’MORNAY PIERSON-EL INJURED HIS FOOT AND WOULD BE OUT FOR 6-8 WEEKS.

Faster than DPE can take a punt to the house, Husker Twitter went straight to DEFCON 1. 

Meanwhile, Husker Facebook was surprisingly rational and borderline optimistic.

Husker Extra Facebook Reaction
Could these comments be a sign that Coach Riley’s inherent mellowness is spreading like a virus among the Husker faithful?

To learn more about DPE’s injury, listen to Dr. Rob Zatechka’s always interesting Husker Doc Talk podcast. Plus, you’ll get to hear a bonus story about Dave Rimington’s love of Burning Man.  (Seriously, WTF?)

While losing an All-American who figured to be a key cog in the Huskers’ offense  is not exactly an ideal start to the season, the important thing to remind yourself is that it hasn’t even started. To put things in the parlance of Vacation, the O.G. National Lampoon version, not this summer’s turd of a reboot, we’re still lost in St. Louis our way to the proverbial Walley World.

The script for the 2015 Huskers’ season has yet to be written and not even a million football savvy monkeys armed with a million typewriters and a communal copy of Chris Brown’s great new book The Art of Smart Football could predict how the season will play out so we might as well do our best to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.

GBR!

ps: Check it out. We made a pump up video.

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