First, if the polls are still open and you haven’t: GET OUT AND VOTE!
Now then: Norman, Oklahoma. I spent a month there one night. One thing I’ve learned in the game of football is that when a cornerback can not only jump your quarterback’s pass but do so in stride perhaps you’ve become too predictable. That pass is Shawn Watson’s Solich moment and reports indicate he hasn’t left the shower since Sunday trying to scrub that stank off. Yes, Nebraska got clobbered and they should’ve and why? Because a team, not just an extraordinarily loaded team, a team executed well. There are other Big XII North teams that have given Oklahoma more of a fight than Nebraska did. Take Kansas State for example.
I was chatting with a good friend of mine who pointed out KSU was tied with Oklahoma at 28-28 during their game at one point. Now the Okies did score four touchdowns in seven minutes to go into half at 55-28. Why is it that Ron Prince, a man that will surely not make it through the rest of the year, can coach a team that can come back from a 21 point deficit with 3:04 left in the first quarter against a team like Oklahoma yet Bo Pelini cannot? As my friend dutifully pointed out talent can be used as an excuse for half of that argument only and he’s right.
You know what I found interesting? There’s a young man by the name of Travis Lewis on Oklahoma’s roster. Travis was down to Nebraska and Oklahoma before deciding to go to OU at the last moment. I see a lot of talented true freshman on Nebraska’s sideline. David Whitmore, Josh Williams, Cameron Meredith, Sean Fisher, Will Compton. None of these young men have played. Travis Lewis is a fantastic talent and indeed, he redshirted, but he could afford to. He plays for Oklahoma in 2008. He led the team in tackles against Nebraska last Saturday. More than half he made himself.
I’m going to preface my following statement with this: I have no reason to dislike any player on the Nebraska roster until I hear a reason to do otherwise and you guys know that I make my dislike unknown. Vast majority of ‘em are probably great guys, I’ve gotten to meet a few really great ones, but you know what? Josh Williams would beat out Pierre Allen. Cameron Meredith would beat out Clayton Sievers. There is an answer to Larry Asante and Matt O’Hanlon and yet it’s not being scribbled down on the test that is athletic competition on Saturdays and I ask why?
If you can tell me, I’d love to know. Oh, of course the coaches play the best players, right, I forgot. So when these same guys who are not on the field beat out the same guys who are playing now next Spring then what? S&C Magic? Here’s a better question: WHEN, not if, WHEN these players beat out their competitors, what happens because they haven’t seen a down of Division 1-A football? I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again until I drop dead: Talent can only cover up so much.
Nebraska plays Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State before travelling to Blacksburg to play the Virginia Tech Hokies and return the favor for this year before coming home to play my lovable losers, the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Be glad. Be VERY glad because next comes Missouri in Columbia and while they may not be as good as 2008, they will be good enough to put a hurting on a team with a new starting QB and a lot of new faces on both sides of the ball.
I think Nebraska beats Kansas, I really do. I think Nebraska goes 3-0 in these final three games, beats a mediocre Big 10 team in a hot place and goes 8-4. Decent record, but there are still many management changes that need to be made both in personnel and staff. 2008 ain’t done yet, but I can still see glaring errors a mile away. Dave Gillespie recruited for Nebraska once. I know trouble when I see it.