Tag Archives: USC

Nebraska Will Most Likely Win the 2015 National Championship

cfpchampWarning: This editorial may include sunshine pumping.

After carefully evaluating the upcoming college football season, the most likely outcome I see for Mike Riley’s maiden voyage out on the high Husker seas — is a National Friggin’ Title.

Burdensome expectations for the newly minted captain of Memorial Stadium, you say? A reckless forecast sure to undermine the confidence of a Corvallis crew all too used to Pac-12 participation trophies?

Yeah, well. Whatever.

If you want to rhetorically hold Riley and company’s hands through the tunnel walk on Saturday, start your own damn blog.

Big Red Fury expects Mike Riley to take the helm like the second-coming of Bob Devaney who saw a 200% increase in wins his first year at Nebraska over the previous season.

Granted, for Mike Riley to do the same, he will need to win 27 games in 2015 — a mathematical impossibility, unfortunately. But he can go another route to match the phenomenal improvement Devaney brought with him in 1962. The BobFather produced four fewer losses in his first season than Bill Jennings produced in his last.

As luck would have it, Bo Pelini left Mike with the exact number of losses he would need to match Bob’s improvement. Only this time, should Coach Riley strike the same lightning, it will mean a 15-0 record.

And a National Damn Title.

But, but, but — I can hear the carping now. Bob Devaney didn’t win a National Title in his first year at Nebraska. Bo Pelini didn’t put the ball on a tee with a 3-6-1 out-going record. And the atmosphere is just plain different now. College football of 2015 is a lifetime removed from college football of 1962.

Ix-nay on the ucking-fay excuses-ay. That’s right, I’m bringing Pig Latin to this here itchbe.

So maybe you wonder when was the last time a Division 1 college football team actually went 15-0? After all, the Buckeyes didn’t even do it when they picked up their 14-1 Championship last year.

The answer is Penn University in 1897.

Oh, some teams have come agonizingly close with 14 wins and no losses. Florida State in 2013. Auburn in 2010. Alabama and Boise State in 2009. Ohio State in 2002.

But come four and a half months from now — unless my crystal ball is in need of some Windex — Nebraska will stand shoulder to shoulder with the mighty 1897 Penn Quakers as the only 15-0 Division 1 football teams in the entire history of the sport.

Tall order? Sure. If you say so.

But what if Mike and his Corvallis mechanics stumble up somewhere while pimping out this Big Red Lamborghini they’ve been bestowed?

Like — and I know this is going to sound ridiculous — what if Michigan State comes to town and pulls out an inspired performance, while SIMULTANEOUSLY Nebraska plays a little bit flat?

It’s conceivable then, yeah sure, Sparty might actually sneak out a win while in Lincoln. Crazier things have happened, right?

So then Nebraska gets back on track, blows out Rutgers and Iowa and heads off to Indianapolis 11-1 to face, probably a 12-0 Ohio State.

No worries. We’re in like Flynn.

Nebraska then manhandles the Buckeyes. While Coach Riley goes to waggle Urban Frank Meyer III’s humiliated little grip at midfield, Mark Banker takes Meyer from behind, chucks him to the ground and puts his boot on his trachea.

Just to let him know the new pecking order.

Nebraska then goes on to the playoffs, tosses off some SEC champ like a gamy bit of ground squirrel, then pounds the hapless PAC-12 champ like a Sharknado slamming into the Santa Monica pier. VOILA! 14-1 National Champs, just like those tallywackers from Columbus last year.

Okay. So let’s say Nebraska bowls through its regular season 12-0 (or, at worst 11-1) and then loses (I’m just asking you to humor me here) to Ohio State and is then LEFT OUT of the playoff. Would that then derail Nebraska’s 2015 National Title run?

Absolutely not. And that’s one of the things I love about college football. Titles are subjective. It’s the only sport that has a long history of letting multiple champs stand together on the same gold medal podium in the same year.

Quick — who won the 1970 National Title? Depends on who you ask. A Nebraska fan will say, “Nebraska, of course.” And out the corner of their mouths, they’ll add, “And Texas, I guess.” If you ask a Texas fan the same question, they’ll say, “Texas! And some other team. Nebraska, maybe? Did we even play them that year?”

And the truth is they’re BOTH right. But ask an Ohio State fan, who won the 1970 National Title, they’ll say, “Buckeyes.”

What? The same Ohio State team that went 9-1 and lost 27-17 to Stanford in the Rose Bowl? National Champs over 11-0-1 Nebraska? And 10-1 Texas?

Indeed. Turns out a little organization called the National Football Foundation got all hair-triggered and awarded Ohio State college football’s 1970 crown in the afterglow of the Buckeye’s 20-9 win over 4th ranked Michigan, without bothering to see how things played out in Pasadena.

Nebraska 1970 National Co-Champs Ohio State, Nebraska, and Texas were all somebody’s National Champion in 1970.

What’s remarkable is that this Championship sits just fine with historically attuned Buckeye fans who unabashedly count that year as a notch in their title belt. Likewise, Texas fans are equally cool with their 1970 Title despite that the Longhorns also lost their bowl game (handily by 13 points to Notre Dame). The Coaches Poll was also prone to premature National Title ejaculation back then.

In fact, college football is so over-run with multiple national champions, there are actually 356 claimed titles despite there having only been 146 total seasons. Other sports aren’t quite so communistic. There have been 110 World Series and 110 Major League champions. There have been 94 NFL seasons. 94 NFL Champions. 76 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball seasons. 76 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Champions. 64 NBA seasons. 64 NBA Champions.

You see where this is headed?

So “open-to-interpretation” are college football title claims, some programs have declared themselves champions of particular seasons decades after the fact. Alabama, Notre Dame, and USC are especially adept at retroactive trophy collecting. And some of their hardware requires assertions so outlandish, they’d make Baron Munchausen stand up and scream — LIAR!

So, back to our 2015 scenario. Nebraska beats everybody on the regular season slate. But then they go to Indianapolis and get beat by the Urbhio State Buckmeyers and the playoff selection committee does not ring up Mike Riley’s phone.

Shit out of luck?

No sir!

We simply need to refer to anything after the regular season as an “exhibition game.” As long as Nebraska survives the regular season with no more than 1 loss, what happens in the exhibition portion of the year is irrelevant. Per college football history.

Outside of the 5 seasons in which Nebraska was declared National Champions, my favorite year of college football was 1960. For no other reason than the leeway its sheer lunacy provides in allowing titles to be doled out to just anybody.

As some of you may already know, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were at one time college football juggernaut. This reputation stems largely from Minnesota’s four AP National Titles — including the very first Associated Press Title handed out in 1936.

AP titles are the longest running order of fully recognized “legit” championships and it is a pretty big deal to be awarded one. Even when you include the results of the 1960 football season.

As it turns out, the Associated Press changed their voting system in 1960 as a response to the embarrassment of the previous season in which 200 AP voters split their first place votes among SEVEN different schools. Syracuse was the overall winner in 1959, but Mississippi, LSU, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin and Alabama all had enough merit to garner at least one media cheerleader in their corner for the final assessment of the season.

By the way, look how showered the SEC was with media love even back in 1959.

Now, to avoid such future logjams of varying opinions, the Associated Press trimmed their voting block down to the ballots of just 48 sports writers for 1960. And it was the first year in which they implemented the weighted vote of 20 points for first place, 19 points for second place, 18 points for third and so on. But still, the final vote would happen at the end of the regular season.

The result was, balls out, the most ridiculous AP champion of all time. The 8-2 Minnesota Gophers.

Minnesota’s AP trophy came after beating just one team with a better than 5-4 record — Iowa, who ended the year 8-1 and ranked #3 but did not compete in any a bowl game because of a Big 10 rule in which conference teams could only play in the Rose Bowl. And, as head-to-head winners, that trip belonged to Minnesota.

After beating Iowa, Minnesota subsequently lost to 4-4-1 Purdue by 9 points. They then beat a sub .500 Wisconsin, standing at 8-1, they picked up their AP National Title trophy and then headed to Pasadena where they were nearly skunked by PAC-8 Champion, Washington, to the tune of 17-7.

When all “exhibition” games were finished for 1960, these following teams all had better records than the Gophers: 11-0 Missouri (finished #5), 11-0 New Mexico State (finished #17), 10-0-1 Mississippi (finished #2), 10-1 Washington (finished #6), 8-1 Iowa (finished #3), 8-1 Rutgers (finished unranked) 9-2 Florida (finished #18), 9-2 Navy (finished #4) and 9-2 Utah State (finished the year unranked).

If the votes were cast after the Bowl games, it would be hard to see ranking Minnesota better than 4th or 5th for that year. The title would have probably gone to either Washington, Missouri or Mississippi.

And yet, the record book still says “Minnesota: 1960 College Football National Champions.”

This is the kind of racket Nebraska can get in on in 2015.

All we need is for Mike Riley to kick off his baptismal Husker season with an 11-1 or 12-0 run. And then have an organization declare a 2015 champion before the conference championship games.

That’s where Big Red Fury comes in.

I propose a new college football award organization. The Big Red Fury Collegiate Gridiron Association or: BRFCGA. This organization will be a panel of any such people willing to vote in a college football champion at the conclusion of the regular season — and unwilling to consider any team for the top spot not named Nebraska.

The panel will consist of the three members of Big Red Fury plus Jason Peter, Tommy Lee and Larry the Cable Guy.

Peter Lee Cable GuyThe greatest power trio Nebraska has ever known.

Jason and Larry will, no doubt, be in the tank for the Huskers. Heck, we may even get a #1 vote from Larry with three losses. Who knows? Tommy may take some cajoling to avoid throwing his vote away on somebody like San Jose State or Wake Forest. We just need to remind him that Dear Old Nebraska U is his alma mater for the three-week stint he had in Lincoln back in 2005. It’s quite possible that he doesn’t remember that far back, but showing him pictures of himself decked out in drumline gear ought to trigger some kind of cogitation.

As for the three Big Red Fury voters, at least one of us will be on board from the opening kick-off. The rest is up to Mike Riley’s orchestration.

So, sit back. Enjoy Nebraska’s 2015 National Championship run and give a little toast to the 1960 Gophers. Thanks to their precedent, we’ve got this thing in the bag.

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HACKED! Never Trust a USC Fan to Feed Your Cats

The next time USC and the Huskers square off, you can make darn sure Husker Nation will get its revenge, both on the field and in the cyberspace.

Much like Pelini getting caught on tape not once but twice, we made a pair of fatal errors in the days leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

1. We entrusted our dear neighbor, who happens to be a longtime USC season ticket holder, with the care and feeding of our cats which means he had a key to our house.

2. The iPad we thought was in our carry-on bag was left behind on the dining room table and said iPad had no sort of security code enabled.

CONRAD BANE
Human pun machine, devious prankster. Our dear neighbor as Conrad Bane on Halloween.

Knowing  how our dear neighbor operates, he probably discovered that iPad was ripe for the pillaging on day one but like Lane Kiffin patiently awaiting his next firing, he laid like a Pete Carroll in the grass for the perfect time to strike.

Which for him, was the hours leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

Clearly, he didn’t remember the time we sat next to him at the Coliseum and acted as his rock and shoulder to cry on when Notre Dame dismantled and demoralized his sacred Trojans in 2012 during their run to BCS Championship Game.

Then again, maybe he remembered we still owe him for the ticket.

Then again, we still haven’t forgotten about the bushel of carrots and gallon of dip he ate when we had him over for the 2007 edition of USC vs Nebraska.

Here’s how it all went down…

Gotta give our dear neighbor credit. He nailed USC’s winning score on his opening tweet.

Let the record show, this is the first time in history the word fine has preceded the phrase Ohio tail.

We have no idea what the symbolism is supposed to be here.

 Worst part of getting an HJ from Rosie Perez? She’d still be able to talk.

While our dear neighbor claims to have never visited Nebraska, he clearly shows an intimate knowledge of East Campus Greek life.

But was $3 million enough to ensure victory for the Hanckensack Bulls of Los Angeles?

Hickory dickory dock, Shawn Eichorst was sucking Harvey Perlman’s…

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Holiday Bowl Recap: The Pelini Era Goes Down To The Wire

It was only fitting that the seven years of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska remained a thrill ride down to the last damn second.

In a Holiday Bowl match up against USC that very few pundits gave the Huskers any chance of winning, the Big Red showed up ready to play and ready to honor their departed and beloved coach.

There would be no Hail Mary magic this time around but the stage was set for amazing irony when Holiday Bowl officials put a final second back on the clock after a review proved Kenny Bell scrambled out of bounds with a tick to spare on the penultimate play.

While the record books will say the Huskers came up three points short, those guys played their hearts out and Pelini’s remaining staff proved their mettle on the sidelines. Every single one of them gave a reason for Husker Nation to stay proud.

Nebraska USC Stat Line
Nebraska handled USC except for where it mattered the most.

The result of their efforts was arguably the most Pelini like game of the past seven years and it was the only one that had Bo watching from parts unknown.

Explosive plays, mind boggling miscues, clutch defensive stops, a momentary sideline meltdown thanks to Coach Kaz, and a never say die attitude- all the signature elements of a Pelini lead team were present and accounted for.

Kenny Bell Touchdown
Kenny Bell added one more touchdown reception to his record-setting Husker career.

Three out of the Huskers’ four losses this season ended with Nebraska still in position to win at the very end. While the near-miss 19 point 4th quarter rally against Michigan State will be hard to ever top, Nebraska didn’t flinch when down 45 – 27 with 2:24 left to play in the 3rd quarter.

Instead, the Red Storm responded with a big score of their own, a 65 yard #TommyBomb to Jordan Westerkamp barely a minute later. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck never strayed from his playbook or his quarterback.

Tommy Armstrong vs Cody KesslerThanks unwavering confidence and the stone hands of the USC secondary, Tommy Armstrong ended the night with a better stat line than Cody Kessler. As Mike Purrriley pointed out, the Blackshirts held a 70% career passer to under 60%.

As the game transitioned from shoot out to  heavyweight slug fest in the 4th quarter, we did our best to just sit back and enjoy the final twists and turns of the Pelini roller coaster. The Huskers had nothing and everything at stake in their final 15 minutes of their season and, for some, their careers at Nebraska. Playing for just for the sake of playing is when any sport is at its most pure.

While the 4th and 3 that came up short and effectively ended the Huskers’ chances at winning will go down as one final boneheaded move by Tim Beck in the eyes of many arm chair coordinators, we have to say the call was sound, if not for the logic but for the symbolism.

With USC no doubt keying in on Abdullah (save for that defender locked in on DPE like a heat seeking missile), giving the ball to anyone but Ameer wasn’t bad entirely bad thinking. Instead of being furious that Ameer was lead blocker on the play, think of it as a Husker legend paving the way for a future Husker legend.

And if it makes you feel any better, USC did the same thing in the 2006 BCS Championship against Texas. Facing a critical 4th and 2 with 1:49 remaining, temporary Heisman winner Reggie Bush stood on the sidelines as LenDale White (who fumbled on the previous play) was stuffed by the Longhorn defense.

The Huskers may have closed out the Pelini era with a loss but the future is bright.

Just wait ’til next year.

Go Big Red.

NOTES:

Like everyone else, we were pretty far off base with our prediction.

“Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.

We are so dumb.

Apparently Mike Riley left after the third quarter with a tuckered out grandson on his shoulder. Even by flaky Dodger fan standards, that’s leaving awfully early.

Someone please tell him that in Nebraska it’s still socially acceptable to leave your grandchild locked in the car as long as you leave the radio on and crack the window.

If the 2 point conversion to Kenny Bell looked familiar, it’s because you saw Nebraska win at Michigan State in 2012 with the exact same play.

Finally, does anyone know this guy?

Drunk Nebraska Fan

Kudos to him for keeping it classy and making sure Nebraska stays relevant to Deadspin now that Pelini is gone.

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Song Girls vs Scarlets: Your Holiday Bowl Preview

It’s fitting that the epilogue to the crashed and burned Bo Pelini era at Nebraska will be written on the same field as his career’s finest moment- the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

Pacific+Life+Holiday+Bowl+Nebraska+v+Arizona+Bo+Pelinil
Things would only be downhill from here for Bo Pelini.

What followed that 33 – 0 victory over the Arizona Wildcats was the most hopeful time of Pelini’s seven seasons at Nebraska. It was the perfect salve to the one more second debacle against Texas and had Husker fans licking their chops at a run for a National Championship in 2010.

That season began with the Huskers ranked #8 in the polls and unknown redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez lined up in the shotgun at quarterback. His jaw dropping speed lead the Huskers to a 5 and 0 start and a national coming out party for Martinez in a Thursday night match up against Kansas State on ESPN.

Nine days later, the wheels would fall off the Big Red Express when the unranked and hated Texas Longhorns  came to Lincoln and left with a 20 – 13 victory. In that game, the Huskers’ offense was absolutely stuffed with the lone touchdown coming off a 95 yard return of a pooch punt late in the game by Eric Haag. Martinez was benched as senior and 2009 starter Zac Lee entered the game for a rare appearance.

In retrospect, all the the negative aspects that would be a hallmark of Pelini’s tenure bloomed on that day.
Texas Commentary
(Screengrab via Huskermax.)

A month later, Pelini’s temper would take the national stage as he gave Martinez the ass-reaming of his life against Texas A&M. By Sunday night Martinez was already enrolled at UCLA (if message boards were to be believed).

A month after that, Martinez and the Huskers limped through a 19 – 7 loss against Washington in the Holiday Bowl- the same Huskies team that Nebraska destroyed 56 – 21 back in September.

Fast forward four years. Taylor Martinez is a mobile game developer and budding real estate agent (thanks for the hook up, Uncle Warren) and Bo Pelini has packed up for the gloomy pastures of his native Youngstown, Ohio.

At the helm for the Huskers in Saturday’s Holiday Bowl is the much maligned Barney Cotton. After the game, he’ll leave the Huskers (for a second time) for his new gig as UNLV’s Offensive Coordinator. With the exception of John Garrison and Charlton Warren, the futures for the rest of Pelini’s staff are up in air. The seniors have one final game together and the underclassmen will likely finish their careers as Mike Riley’s players.

About the only thing left for the Huskers to play for is pride. Pride for their team. Pride for their teammates. Pride for their coaches who deemed them worthy of playing for Nebraska.

Pride can be a dangerous weapon, especially with a healthy Husker squad and an offensive coordinator off his leash.

Scouting Report: USC started the 2014 season with a 52 – 13 win over Fresno State. Two weeks later, the Huskers muzzled the Bulldogs 55 – 19 while USC lost on the road to Boston College 37 – 31. The Trojans’ three other losses came at the hand of Arizona State, Utah, and UCLA. Their crosstown showdown was the only game the Trojans lost by more than a touchdown, falling to the Bruins 38 – 20, a game in which the USC defense got flustered and all but gave up in the second half.

The Trojans’ most notable wins of the season came against Stanford, Arizona on the road, and a 49 – 14 punch out of the Fighting Irish at home. In case you’re wondering, they did beat Mike Riley’s Beavers 35 – 10 in LA. Like the Huskers, the Trojans have the potential to run with anyone- if they can harness it.

The Trojan offense is lead by junior Quarterback Cody Kessler. He can sling the ball but he isn’t exactly fleet of foot having “rushed” 52 times for -149 yards. On the season, he’s been sacked 30 times.

An immobile quarterback has to have Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis licking his chops, right?

John Papuchis
Confidence is high for Papuchis.

USC may have the better team on paper but the reality is there is truly only one edge the Trojans have on the Huskers heading into the Holiday Bowl.

Song Girls vs Scarlets
Sorry, Scarletts. All the glitter in the world is no match for the simple white sweaters that are a trademark of the USC Song Girls.

And that’s about all the “serious” preview you’ll get from us.

In our defense,  we did reach out to our friend Mick, an LAPD Sergeant and quite possibly the Trojans biggest fan. Seriously, he’s “The Dude” of USC football right down to his tattoo of Tommy Trojan holding the severed head of Notre Dame’s mascot whilst standing on the beaten pulp of UCLA’s Bruin.

This is the entire transcript of our chat.

Hey Mick-

What is your prediction for the Holiday Bowl and who are the USC players the Huskers need to watch out for?

Let me know and I’ll quote you in my preview for my site www.bigredfury.com

Mick- We ARE.. SC! Beat the Huskers!

Before we even had a chance to even think of being offended by such an epic brush off, we realized Mick had to already be in San Diego making his tailgate preparations and had no such time for silly questions. We’ve been his guest at USC games a few times over the years and aren’t kidding when we say he’ll show up at 6am to stake out his tailgate spot for a game that doesn’t start until 7pm.

MICK_TODD
Mick and your humble author at the 2006 edition of USC vs Nebraska.

Ideal Scenario: The Huskers close out the Bo Pelini era with a bold exclamation point with a fun and dominating performances on both sides of the ball reminiscent of the 2000 Alamo Bowl- arguably the Big Red’s most fun bowl game of the 21st century. A Kenny Bell to Ameer Abdullah touchdown pass would be absolute gravy.

Look for Tim Beck to empty his playbook with enough #TommyBombs to reenact Operation Linebacker I and II. That is of course when Ameer isn’t running wild on the Trojan defense.

On the other side of the ball, Randy Gregory and Jack “The Beastmaster” Gangwish will pin their ears back and give Cody Kessler a late Christmas gift of a world of pain. USC may get a couple of deep balls early but don’t be surprised when Papuchis stays calm under pressure and readjusts once he realizes no one is going to scream at him on the sideline.

Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 — ESPN will surely start the game with a montage of Bo’s “finest” moments.

Question That Needs an Answer: Will Barney Cotton finish his Cornhusker head coaching career undefeated?

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EXCLUSIVE: USC Staffer Hopes Trojans Beat Huskers

Greetings from the Waffle House clogged bowels of SEC country!

While we’re traveling cross-country on Christmas Eve, we stumbled across an incredible scoop. A scoop that none of the mainstream media was even close to sniffing out because: A) it was 8am and B) none of them were posted up at LAX.

Are you ready for it? Make sure you’re sitting down before you read any further because this scoop is bulldozer sized:

On our flight from LAX –> ATL were staff members from USC and Alabama.

Here’s how it played out in real-time two days ago:

In LA, you’d never see anyone dressed head to toe in team gear all the way down to embroidered roller bags unless they were affiliated with said team. Gotta give ‘Bama guy bonus points for going Southern Preppy with a cardigan over this Crimson Tide t-shirt. Outside of the South, Southern Preppy = metro sexual and is a bold choice.

Neither our pals Dirk or Sean offered any tips.

Here’s Tee and Marques along with a stonewashed Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning Tee Martin Marques Tuiasasopo
If you recall, both Tee and Marques know what it’s like to get shellacked by the Cornhuskers.

Note how intently USC guy is reading his new Sports Illustrated with cover boy Marcus Mariota.

Here’s the transcript of our chat:
BRF: You guys feeling good about the Holiday Bowl?
USC GUY: Yeah.
BRF: Think you can beat Nebraska?
USC GUY: Hope so!
BRF: Good luck!

Also, it’s cute that USC guy and ‘Bama guy got to sit together. While it may seem odd, if you’ve ever seen college coaches in airports, they tend to roam in packs.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more exclusives and other semi-witty banter and observations.

RANDOM CHRISTMAS DINNER OBSERVATIONS: With in-laws from Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia at the dinner table, the consensus was that Nebraska was crazy to a consistent nine win coach even with his history of “transgressions.”

On the flip side, they all thought it was hilarious that Barney Cotton was given the reins for the Holiday Bowl. Of course the hilariousness only kicked in after we explained Barney’s status among the Husker fan base.

They really got a kick out of this video:

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

RANDY GREGORY'S CHRISTMAS CARD
Randy Gregory’s Christmas card.

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Nebraska vs USC – A Holiday Bowl First Look

Fun Fact #1: From the front door of Memorial Stadium to the Holiday Bowl, the total driving distance is 1,554 miles. (Drive time: 22 hours 44 minutes.)

Fun Fact #2: From the front door of Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum to the Holiday Bowl, the total driving driving distance is 122 miles. (Drive time: 2 hours 15 minutes or 7 hours 25 minutes depending on traffic.)

Fun Fact #3: Despite the geographical disadvantage, Husker fans will still outnumber USC fans 2 to 1.

Fun Fact  #4: There will be at least 10 stories leading up to the game sharing the same theme- two fallen college football blue bloods slumming it in the Holiday Bowl.

Fun Fact #5: Who cares? It’s a chance for the Big Red to whoop up on USC.

Tommy Tojan Herbie Husker

We must admit, we were really pulling for the Huskers to end up in the Music City Bowl. The fact that we’ll be in Tennessee during the holidays was a rather major factor. Still, San Diego is a mighty fine destination even if Qualcomm Stadium, home of the Holiday Bowl, is a dump long overdue for a major overhaul.

And besides, it might be a win-win for us. Looks like the watch site of the Nashville Huskers features $12 all-you-can-eat wings on game day. Score.

In all seriousness though, Nebraska vs USC is a very intriguing match up. The game could easily be a blowout victory for either team or it could be a dogfight. It will all hinge on which squad has more pride in themselves and their program. Will the Huskers rally around interim head coach Barney Cotton and end the Bo Pelini era how it started with a victory in a meaningless bowl game? Or will USC continue its early 21st Century dominance over the Huskers?

Even with an NCAA sanction depleted roster, USC has the strength to bump off top ten teams (see Arizona) yet is flaky enough to lose to Boston College. In their crosstown rivalry match up with UCLA, the Trojans played a good first half before unraveling in the final 30 minutes. It wasn’t a Pelini-esque bed shitting but a flat out quitting on both sides of the ball marred by a series of cheap shots and personal fouls, a signature move of the Trojan defense.

Which storied program will emerge as the classiest in San Diego?

We’re going to go out on a limb and say it will be the Huskers winning 38 – 17 thanks to seniors who want to finish strong and underclassmen who realize they’re auditioning for a new coaching staff.

We’ll have much more to come.

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What games to watch on a Husker-free weekend

The Huskers will be enjoying a weekend off (aka Nebraska’s fall wedding weekend) so that means there’s an absolutely golden opportunity to revel in the misery of others without the risk of having to join all the other losers in to the cesspool of defeat.

Before you spend an entire Saturday on the couch watching strange teams easily making all the plays the Huskers can never seem to make, we can’t stress enough the need to make an appearance with wife and kids (if applicable) and make a noticeable dent (no matter how small) in household duties that have gone neglected since August 30th.

Pick a game or two and enjoy a stress free-weekend.

Georgia at Missouri
11am (all times listed at Runza Time)
CBS

more-missouri-butthurt-9-8-12

After their Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley was suspended due to being ratted out by a jilted autograph dealer, the Bulldogs turn to true freshman Nick Chubb (best name for an unproven backup ever) to lead the ground attack. And Missouri has… wait… who really cares about anything Missouri does? Root for Georgia in this one.

Texas vs Oklahoma
11am
ABC/ESPN3

Beat-Texas

The Sooners travel to Dallas for their annual Red River Rivalry showdown with Texas. The game has always been a little off-putting in the sense that it’s like your favorite cousin going to a big invite only blow out party with the half of his family you’re not related to. Once you get over the FOMO, sit back, relax and watch that favorite cousin do the Lord’s work by kicking the crap out of the Longhorns.

Oregon at UCLA
2:30pm
FOX

A61EMDhCYAAd-Pc

OK. This one hurts. It’s like being back in time eight weeks before the events in Sixteen Candles take place. You’re Samantha sitting at the geek table in the cafeteria watching a hunky blond version of Jake Ryan having a sweet and playful tickle fight with his longtime girlfriend Caroline (bet you didn’t know that was her name). For some sects of Husker Nation, the day Oregon goes Ice Princess on Scott Frost can’t come soon enough for Nebraska would welcome him back with open and loving arms. Then again, that’s what was promised for Bo Pelini. And if we remember correctly, Husker Nation didn’t react to kindly to a guy who originally chose Stanford over Nebraska’s finest land grant institution. Even without factoring in what UCLA did to Nebraska the last two seasons, you want Oregon to win this game just to keep Michigan State’s strength of schedule up. All the better if they can do it with Marcus Mariota having a sub par day. And on a final note, any college that plays 25 miles (a two hour drive in LA) off-campus can suck it.

Alabama at Arkansas
5:00pm
ESPN

Alabama-Fan-Tattoo

The only attractive part of this game is Bret Bielema’s wife and she’s bat shit crazy. Cheer for neither team but hope Alabama loses in a gruesome manner so that everyone is happy and little angels get their wings.

Mississippi at Texas A&M
8pm
ESPN

FLAG

You want Ole’ Miss to lose to ensure playoff chaos and I want them to lose because I’m still bitter about wasting two hours of my life watching The Blindside. Note to aspiring actresses: If you ever want to win an Oscar, simply do your best Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich impression. It worked for Sandy. Just don’t invite your cheating-with-a-white-supremacist-stripper biker husband to the ceremony. And seriously, fuck any team that can make Texas A&M’s militarized fraternity scene look almost sane and rational.

USC at Arizona
9pm
ESPN2

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The Wildcats are enjoying their best season since 1994 when they were named Sports Illustrated’s preseason number one and a U of A sweater warmed the terrified shoulders of Sandra Bullock in Speed. Cheer for Arizona in this one. For another Wildcats win will add to the suffering of Michigan fans and add to the dysfunctional chaos that is USC’s football program. And not to worry, Zona will have plenty more chances to derail their so far perfect run.

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