Tag Archives: michigan

View from The Red Zone: Michigan

After an exciting one-point win over the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing, it was no surprise that students were lined up outside of Pinnacle Bank Arena before doors opened to watch the Husker men’s basketball team take on Michigan.

The excitement surrounding this game came from more than just a four game winning streak, though, as this game was the annual Avery Strong game. Fans sport their bright gold #AveryStrong shirts in support of Avery Harriman and pediatric cancer research and are encouraged to get swabbed to see if they could potentially be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant.

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The Red Zone gets stocked up with #AveryStrong t-shirts.

As one of Big Ten Network’s on-campus marketing interns, I was ready for the flood of students to pour into PBA as doors opened an hour and a half before the game. “Flood” might not be the right word, considering each student has to get scanned in one at a time, making it a little anti-climactic… But you get the point.

Being a BTN intern, I stand out in the concourse and get people to take Instagram pictures to enter the #BTNWinningShotContest (come visit me). This time, we borrowed some fatheads from The Red Zone for fans to take pictures with as well. It’s amazing how giddy the older demographic gets when presented with the opportunity to take a picture with the Pope.

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Pope Francis is a big fan of Tim Miles. Huge.

Another thing I’ve learned in my time as a marketing intern is how unsubtle people are when they try to avoid someone. As someone who does a large amount of shopping at the Mall of America, I like to consider myself a natural at avoiding kiosk workers and other people trying to get me to come over and buy something or do something. But being on the other side of things, I’ve learned that the avoid-eye-contact-and-walk-a-little-faster isn’t nearly as subtle as some people may think. Time to re-think that strategy, I guess.

After tipoff, I was able to trade in my BTN shirt for an #AveryStrong shirt and join my friends in The Red Zone. Much like football, I forget about any dignity I have left as I yell at the opposing team and dance around like an idiot. The main difference? They can actually hear me.

You’d think with how often I harass the cameras (if you’re new, check out this recap) I’d be used to being thrown up on the big screen at the most embarrassing moment.

Nope.

As the camera jumped from fan to fan during the Emoji Cam, my roommate and I turned a bright shade of red as the two of our faces graced the screen for everyone to see. Later, fans got the chance to check out some pretty sweet dance moves from me on the screen (not really). You’re welcome, Lincoln.

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Avery Harriman on the big screen at halftime. You can learn more about become a potential bone marrow donor here.

The Red Zone was able to get quite a bit of use out of our many fatheads for free throw distractions, considering how whistle-happy the refs seemed to be in Michigan’s favor. Everything from Donald Trump to crying Michael Jordan to the poop emoji were waved around by students in attempts to distract the Wolverines. The Red Zone might have to look into some more distractions, considering the Wolverines made 10 straight free throws in the final minutes of the game.

RefsThe refs debate over what foul to call next on the Huskers.

The amount of calls from the refs were frustrating some fans so much that a group of us in the front row looked up the names of each of the refs so we could personally thank them for the wonderful job they were doing.

As fans filed out with the clock ticking down at the end of the game, a chorus of booing echoed through the arena as Michigan forward Duncan Robinson sank a three-pointer as the Wolverines were already up by 10 points.

The Huskers fell to the Wolverines 81-68. While fans may be disappointed in the loss, I’m sure there will still be some students lined up waiting to watch their Huskers take on the Maryland Terrapins next Wednesday, February 3rd. Personally, I have some unfinished business heckling Melo Trimble, so you’ll know where to find me.

Hayley Archer is a senior Broadcasting major at UNL. Follow her on Twitter at @Harchinator.

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Bye Week: Basking in the Doom and Gloom of Other Fans

You know what’s awesome?

I just did a Google Image search for sad Michigan State fans and the Google machine spit back of a treasure trove of sad Michigan fans. Apparently, sad Michigan State fans are nowhere to be found on the internet.

This photo though is priceless.

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Was this poor Wolverine’s left eye already bloody or has the pepper spray caused him to cry tears of blood?

With the Huskers enjoying an unprecedented second bye week, today is a great day to sit back, relax and enjoy watching other fans’ seasons come to a screeching and catastrophic halt.

With  our local Husker watch site also being home to an Ohio State alumni group, I’m very tempted to go watch their big showdown with the Spartans just so I can watch a dear Ohio friend possibly have a meltdown. I know it’s not exactly “classy,” but you can rest easy knowing she’d do the same for me.

While Los Angeles is far, far away from being a college football town, all of us idiots who moved here have helped turn every sports bar into a United Nations of college football. Walk into any place on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll see groups of fans from at least a dozen different schools huddled around their respective TVs. It really makes for a great scene.

And like Survivor, unexpected allegiances will form.

When Michigan lost their season opener Appalachian State at home way back in 2007, everyone in the bar who wasn’t maize and blue stopped what they were doing to watch Michigan’s last second field goal attempt get blocked.

Never has there been such joy in the anguish of others.

Then again, 2007 was such a dark time for Husker Nation that fans actually stopped watching games in public. On that day against Nevada, there were exactly four of us in red squinting at a 12 inch TV bolted to the ceiling at an bad angle. When your team is Bill Callahan bad, you get banished to the little TV.

By 2009, our in-public attendance had improved but we were still dwarfed by the highly organized LA chapter of the Texas Exes during the Mack wants another second put back on the clock game. Our numbers were bolstered late in the game by Alabama fans who stayed around after their game ended just to help root against fucking Texas.

The all-time best though was the Huskers’ comeback against Wisconsin in 2012. Early in the second half, a dozen or so Ohio State fans sauntered upstairs to our “private” room at our watch site. Without even acknowledging the odd looks they were getting, they grabbed seats wherever they could. A trio sat down at our table and promptly ordered shots of Fireball Whiskey for the table.

“Hi, we’re here to cheer for you guys just so you’ll be ranked higher when we beat you next week. ”

And that was that. For the rest of the game, they cheered on Huskers and marveled at the “Go Big Red” chant.

To their drunken ears, it sounded like Sloth yelling “Heeeey Yooouuu Guuuys” which is exactly what they shouted when a Go Big Red faded out.

Gotta love college football.

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Big Ten Power Rankings – Week 4

What a difference a couple of weeks can make.  The second Saturday of the 2014 college football season looked so dismal for the Big Ten that I was forced to eschew my normal conference power ranking in favor of this dubious list of impotence rankings.

Take, for example, this clip from a match two weeks ago.

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To the untrained eye, this might look like Illinois’ 42-34 win over Western Kentucky. But, believe it or not, it is a completely unrelated fight between two jack rabbits.

But now, in week four, things look a little different. The Big Ten posted a 12-1 record for the day while the mighty SEC went 7-4. Now, granted, three of the SEC losses were to other SEC teams. But that doesn’t change the fact that the only Big Ten/SEC match-up for the day resulted in a 31-27 Indiana win over defending SEC EAST Champions, Missouri.

So the Big Ten enjoyed a nice round of redemption in week 4. Enough to earn its first POWER ranking on this blog. But, while there was much to like out of the conference on Saturday, in terms of Big Ten hopes for a playoff berth, I turn to the famous words of Winston the Wolf:

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WEEK 4 BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS

#1 Nebraska (4-0)

Now, you might think that defending Big Ten Champs Michigan State would come in at #1 what with its domination of one FCS school and one 1-3 MAC team and one well-fought loss out in Eugene. But, when it comes to picking the cream of the conference so far this year, it’s simple arithmetic.

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At Nebraska, the tandem of 4s and number 8 have the Cornhuskers looking like the most complete team in the Big Ten. Say what you will about the last minute heroics against McNeese State, the Cornhuskers are a) undefeated and b) dominating their opposition like no one else in the Big Ten.

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For now, the Huskers are the top dogs.

#2 Penn State (4-0)

Now, you might think the defending Big Ten champs would come in at #2. After all , the Spartans just slobber-knocked Eastern Michigan by a 59-point margin. But look, the Nittany Lions are also undefeated — unlike the Spartans — and things have looked quite happy in Happy Valley with the news of PSU’s bowl eligibility reinstated.

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Penn State has used a crushing defense (ranked 6th in the country) to roll out to a 4-0 start. But the offense is a little worrisome, mustering just 21 points against Akron and 13 against Rutgers. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg gets a lot of national love. But the dude runs hot and cold.

I get the feeling that once conference play gets into the thick of it, PSU fans are going to see some shit that will turn them white.

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#3 Maryland (3-1)

Now, you might think Michigan State would at least get the third spot in the power rankings. Everyone from here on out has at least one loss, just like the Spartans. But the Terps have rolled in their three wins so far this year and they went to the wire in a three point loss to a West Virginia team that has shown a knack for hanging with the big boys (Alabama and Oklahoma).

#4  Illinois (3-1)

Now, you might think that surely, SURELY Michigan State ought to be ranked higher than fucking Illinois. I mean, look at these jack-ass Illini fans for fuck sake.

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But Illinois owns one more win than MSU and an equal number of losses. Granted Illinois’ 3-1 record is tenuous at best.  For now they should enjoy the view from the top third of the conference because, starting Saturday with a trip to Lincoln, the hot streak is likely about to come crashing down.

#5 Rutgers (3-1)

Now, you might think Sparty ought to at least be Top 5. Right? Not if you ask this guy.

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People understandably hate transitive comparisons in college football. Each match-up is uniquely good or bad based on team strengths and weaknesses. BUT, take a look at the Rutgers/Washington State/Oregon/Michigan State equation.  The Scarlet Knight’s three point win didn’t look so hot in week one against a program that has averaged three wins per season for the last decade. But did you see the Cougars give Oregon everything it could handle last Saturday? Sure WSU is off to another rough start with a 1-3 record, but Rutgers’ opening week win is looking a little better after Saturday, while MSU’s loss is looking slightly worse.

#6 Minnesota (3-1)

Now, you might think this power ranking has officially jumped the shark. Six teams – and no East Lansing brawlers? The same team that devastated Eastern Michigan to the tune of 49-0 in the first half. The same team that, for a brief moment, made Oregon think they wouldn’t hit their 46 points per game average.

But Minnesota just beat a Spartan team by 17 last week. Coincidence? Probably.

Now, you might think that any ranking that doesn’t have Michigan State at least in the top half of the conference is nothing but garbage.  And you’d be right. That’s why, rounding out the top half of Big Red Fury’s Big Ten power rankings is:

#7 Michigan State (2-1)

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Michigan State’s one game season (with two scrimmages) is all about one hell of 2nd quarter out in Eugene. If the Spartans can bottle that offensive magic for conference play, then a repeat trip to Indianapolis by season’s end ought to be a forgone conclusion.

#8 Wisconsin (2-1)

The Badgers have hammered a pair of cupcakes in the wake of their epic meltdown versus LSU (something that Mississippi State managed to avoid, by the way). Wisconsin has a fairly easy road ahead all the way to November 15 when Nebraska comes to Madison.

#9 Iowa (3-1)

Nice rebound against a previously unbeaten Pittsburgh. But still, the first three weeks of the Hawkeye season were atrocious.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have made progress in their eternal quest to win some kind of pig trophy.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have made progress in their eternal quest to win some kind of pig trophy.

#10 Indiana (2-1)

Indiana had the win of the week for the Big 10 on a Saturday that saw a full dozen conference victories. Can the Hoosiers ride their upset of Missouri on into a successful league run?  History doubts it.

#11 Michigan (2-2)

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First, Utah rained down on Michigan with special teams play and forced turnovers en route to a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter. Then the sky rained down on the field with torrential storms and lightning. Then Michigan fans rained down on the parking lot leaving Utah fans free reign to move about the Big House once the two hour delay was over.

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Not a good showing for the Wolverines (the only Big Ten team to lose last week). Still, Michigan can take heart that the defense looked stout against an emerging PAC-10 program. And were it not for turnovers, Michigan’s offense (which out-gained the Utes) likely would have had the Wolverines in the game until the end.

#12 Ohio State (2-1)

That Virginia Tech loss is looking worse and worse by the week.

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#13 Purdue (2-2)

Southern Illinois may be the last victory the Boilermakers see this season. Unless Northwestern still stinks in late November.

#14 Northwestern (1-2)

The Wildcats got their first win of the season by hosting the FCS Western Illinois Leathernecks. They’ve got another one lined up in the middle of conference play on October 25. Along with Purdue, those may be the only remaining wins Nortwestern sees this year. Unless Pat Fitzgerald can pull an epic coaching job out of his rear.  Which he has shown to do from time to time.

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