Tag Archives: college football

Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Miami Hurricanes

Welcome to Nebraska, Miami. Remember me?

Tommie Frazier

I’m the guy who did this…

Tommie Frazier Orange Bowl

Of all the times Tommie Frazier and his Haggar Wrinkle-Frees could have been trotted out from a pre-game pep talk, it’s tonight. Too bad the former Doane State head coach (3 – 17 record, yo) had to go and do that little Twitter meltdown on Coach Pelini last season.

On the bright side, maybe that meant Bo could go one name deeper on the 1994 roster and get Cory Schlesinger to say a few words about what means to drive a stake through the Miami Hurricanes.

As exciting as the Nebraska vs Miami match up is for anyone old enough to remember ’84 and ’95 (we’ll just forget about ’89, ’92 and ’02) one can’t help but wonder what this “storied rivalry” even means to kids who were barely out the womb in ’95.
Case in point, Miami’s signature trash talking has been reduced to heckling Jordan Westerkamp over Instagram.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be anything lower than arguing sports via YouTube comments.

Even fans of the Hurricanes aren’t much better these days.
Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.16.54 PM

A pretty big Miami fan base in Nebraska? How does that even work when this is the Miami fan base in Miami?

hi-res-153051923_crop_exact

If Hurricane fans can even outnumber McNeese State fans, color this blog impressed.

OK now to the nitty gritty.

Confidence: This match up has all the makings of Missouri’s visit to Lincoln in 2010.  The Big Red has got this.

Scouting Report: Warren Sapp had the balls to trash talk directly to the media. The Hurricanes of today troll Instagram. Miami may get some early action from their “skill players” but look for the secondary to eventually shut down Phillip Dorsett leaving running back Duke Johnson to shoulder a very heavy load.

Ideal Scenario: Nebraska scores early and often. Ameer Abdullah breaks off not one but two highlight worthy runs in his first chance of the season to play against a team of a high enough caliber to prove he’s a legit Heisman contender. Randy Gregory goes beast mode and scores a TD for the Blackshirts. Jordan Westerkamp and his blistering 4.6 speed burns Miami deep.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 5. With the game on ESPN 2 they’ll probably even have a special Bo Cam. By the mid third quarter they stop checking in on him.

And on a final note: Here are Nebraska a Miami’s most famous fans.

Larry the Cable Guy and 2 Live Crew

Two things about this pic.

1. No offense to Larry the Cable Guy but we were really hoping to have a picture of 311 decked out in their Husker jerseys circa 1995’s ‘blue album’ or possibly 1994’s grass roots. No matter how hard we tried, the Google was no help when it came to digging up images from 311 album liner notes and being that it’s 2014 our CD collection is buried deep in the garage.

2. Why is Brother Marquis in a sling?

 

Share

A Bloody Odd Couple

Growing up in the 1980s, kids had a pretty standard set of villains haunting their nightmares. Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers and Jason Voorhees formed the unholy triumvirate that spooked most Gen-Xers in their formative years.

But the two monsters that kept me cold-sweating into the wee hours of the morning were Cujo:

imgres

And fucking Sebastian the Ibis:

p1_miamimascot

Children of the Cornhusker State may have written Sebastian off as no more than the malignant alter ego of Donald Duck.  But I didn’t.  Beyond the cartoonish “tough-guy” sneer, this was a bird capable of (and ever willing to) rip the still-beating heart right out of your chest.

bloody ibis

Starting with the 1984 Orange Bowl and continuing on to the 2002 Rose Bowl, Sebastian and his Hurricane Horde frequently left Nebraska teams in physical and/or emotional devastation.  And, by extension, their wide-eyed fans.

I don’t need to recap the path of destruction Miami laid upon Husker history these past 30 years.  We all know it.

But as the Hurricanes get ready to storm Lincoln on Saturday, I’ve developed a strange sensation.  A bittersweet nostalgia. Which is not what I expected. I am , in many respects, still reeling from my one and only experience seeing these two teams clash in person — the Nightmare in Pasadena.

As rivalries go, Nebraska and Miami are an odd coupling. Nebraska’s quiet and reserved Felix Unger to Miami’s brash Oscar Madison.

http---makeagif.com--media-9-18-2014-fYiOqn

It’s hard to think of two locations in the country that have less in common.  And, yet, thanks to college football, Lincoln has often been on Miami’s mind and vice versa.

In the summer of 1994, as a second-year freshman at UNL, I flew out to LA to participate in a week-long media workshop.  The event was attended by two to three hundred Hollywood-aspiring college kids from all over North America.  The organizers of the event made a concerted effort to assure that students from varied backgrounds intermingled. For example, we were all housed in suites at UCLA’s Olympic village and, in my four-man dorm, I was joined by a guy from Montreal, another from Maryland and Heath, from Miami.

We all wore badges with our names and Universities on them. When Heath saw mine, he immediately bore a huge grin and said, “Cornhuskers.” Surprised by this greeting, I read his name tag and stammered, “Hurricanes.” We then became best buddies the rest of the week. Which weirded-out the dude from Maryland who saw Heath as a potential clubbing partner. Someone he could be wing-man to, because Heath — sure as shit — wasn’t going to be his.

Despite the organizer’s best efforts to scatter the participants based on backgrounds, students from the same colleges did end up grouping. Heath found a buddy from Miami. And I formed a mini-wolfpack with another UNL student and a guy from UNO. These two groups then became a college-football gabfest — reliving the rise of the Hurricanes and the folly of the Huskers. We were still six months away from Nebraska exacting its revenge in the 1995 Orange Bowl.

Now, beyond this (albeit) intense bit of mutual interest, Heath and I didn’t have all that much in common. He was attending the workshop as part of his dream to enter sports broadcasting. I, on the other hand, was an aspiring Francois Truffaut. As odd a couple as the Hurricanes and Huskers themselves. But there was something magical about this bonding. Kind of like a cool kid in high school taking a shine to one of the students who dwells in the periphery.

Sort of like the movie, “Lucas,” I guess.

So, the Ibis isn’t quite as scary as he used to be coming into Lincoln this Saturday. Much like his last appearance at Memorial Stadium. This will be the first meeting since then that the outcome won’t determine a National Title. An astonishing 5 such matches have been played in the interim (with Miami winning 4 of those).

Part of me is excited at the prospect of Miami’s offensive line being grossly outmatched by the Blackshirts on the other side of the trench. Seeing the Huskers walk all over da U would do a lot to wash away the bitter taste left by the 2002 Rose Bowl.

On the other hand, another part of me wishes it was the same swaggering Miami. The gnarly old bird gnashing its beak through the tunnel smoke. The dirty albatross around Nebraska’s neck.

A win against the mystique, after all, is the kind that forms bonds across the varied American patchwork.

Share

Big Ten Impotence Rankings

“Dr. Delany. Paging Dr. Delany. You’re needed in the emergency room.”

“What seems to be the problem, nurse?”

“It’s the conference. It’s choking on something.”

“Well let’s have a look. Let me stick my fingers in here a moment… Ah-ha! Here’s the problem.”

“What is it, doctor?”

“Donkey balls. It appears the conference has been sucking on them.”

I originally intended to do a week 2 “power” ranking for the Big 10 Conference, but after seeing how each team looks hell-bent on proving who is the most namby-pamby, I’ve decided to respect their wishes and rank the conference teams according to inadequacy.

So here goes.

WEEK 2 BIG 10 IMPOTENCE RANKINGS

1. Northwestern (0-2)

460x

It’s the Wildcats who have swung the limpest of dicks so far this season. Featuring the nation’s 113th ranked scoring offense and 80th ranked scoring defense, Northwestern has lollygagged out to an 0-2 start to the year. They first headed to Berkeley and got golden-showered on by the Golden Bears — a school that went 1-11 last year — and then came home and lost to Northern Illinois. Granted, the Huskies are used to beating Big 10 teams by now. But still, it’s goddamn Northern Illinois.

2. Purdue (1-1)

1410036754000-LAF Pfoot-CMU main_01

The Boilermakers have gone one for two in their attempt to pad their win total via a gauntlet of Michigan directional schools. It looked like a brilliant strategy, in week #1 at least. But Central Michigan is no Western Michigan, evidently.

3. Ohio State (1-1)

imgres

Week 1 showed that things were definitely amiss in Columbus without Braxton Miller in the driver’s seat. Week 2 proved that Ohio State is nothing more than pellets for a flock of Hokies.

An old Ohio State alum can probably tell you what it’s like to sit through a four-loss season, Buckeyes. Because that looks to be where you are headed.

4. Michigan (1-1)

imgres-1

Notre Dame ended your series like a disinterested ex-lover. Then proceeded to take your house, your car, your dog and your manhood. The clock may be ticking on Brady Hoke’s tenure in Ann Arbor.

5. Indiana (1-0)

images-1

The Hoosiers had little problem with in-state nemesis, Indiana State. But being the only game on Indiana’s resume thus far still puts them higher on the impotence scale than a pair of Big 10 losers. Getting stopped by the Sycamores on fourth down twice inside the red zone doesn’t help, either.

But hey, the alternate uniforms sure are dandy!

6. Michigan State (1-1)

hi-res-1a1f1d13643ed597196551f15f145142_crop_north

Sparty went out to Eugene with one single mission. Show the world that the nation’s top-ranked defense didn’t merely build its resume on the dubious backs of an offensive bush league.

And how did that go?

Well, if surrendering 500 yards and 46 points is your idea of making that statement, then mission accomplished.

7. Wisconsin (1-1)

imgres-2

Does a 34-point win over Western Illinois do anything to lessen the pitiful display of Wisconsin’s wet-noodle-tackling, lame-duck-tossing blown 4th quarter against LSU?

No.

8. Rutgers (2-0)

imgres-3

Not a bad start for the Scarlet Knights. As long as giving up 1,000 yards to winless Washington State and Howard doesn’t worry you. No cause for concern in Piscataway. Right?

9. Minnesota (2-0)

imgres-4

Out-yarded by both cream-puffs so far this season. Good thing the Gopher defense is killing it in the take-away department.

10. Iowa (2-0)

images-3

Pair of shitty wins over a pair of shitty opponents.

11. Illinois (2-0)

imgres-5

A guy with the first name of “Wonderful” put a scare into the Illini on Saturday. Western Kentucky was supposed to be an easy win for Illinois, but the Illini needed all of 21 points in the 4th quarter just to get some breathing room.

12. Penn State (2-0)

images-4

Within spitting distance of being the League’s best team is a program that isn’t even eligible for the post season.

13. Nebraska (2-0)

images-2

Okay, Nebraska narrowly escaping overtime against FCS school McNeese State does come with a few caveats. The Cowboys — a team filled with Power 5 conference transfers — are thought to be contenders for the FCS National Title. They even shellacked South Florida last year, giving McNeese State the distinction of having the largest margin of victory by a FCS school over an FBS team ever. We can also assume that, given a second chance by Armstrong, the 98-yard pick-six would not have happened and Nebraska mostly likely would have taken a 28-7 lead into half time. Even with a shitty 10-10 second half, that’s still a 21-point win. A large enough gap to keep the Huskers from tumbling out of the AP Top 25.

But, alas, the 98-yard pick-six did happen and Nebraska did tumble out of the AP poll. So swallow those caveats like caviar, Huskers. Your performance against McNeese State (particularly in the second half) lands you second fiddle to:

14. Maryland (2-0)

images

That’s right. These crab-cake-eating, Old-Bay-dipping, Blair-Witch-chasing Johnnie-come-latelies are the froth atop the Big 10 septic well. Just two weeks into the season and the Rust Belt Conference — home to no less than 4 college football Blue Bloods — has been shown up by a team whose sole purpose is to quell the grid-iron lust of Ravens fans one day prior to when REAL Maryland football gets played.

Congratulations.

Share