Redemption at the Capital One Bowl

Gregory Shamus

So lately, I've been all about the humor stories. They're fun. If you understand where I’m going, you probably get a chuckle out of them. At least that's my goal. I don't like a 100% serious blog because people tend to get too anal about things in the comments and discussion sections. We need to make sure we lighten up and have fun here.

Today, I need to be a bit more serious, though. You see, after the Big Ten championship game, I just completely lost interest in the football team. We were this close to a conference title and we effed it up. Royally. I haven't really cared about the bowl game or keeping up on the latest events during bowl preparations because I've been focusing on other things in life. Nebraska Football hasn't been anywhere near my top priority since December 1st.

I'm not getting off the bus. This is our team and we need to support them. Yes, they got their you-know-whats handed to them against Wisconsin. I watched the whole game even though I knew that it was over at half time. Why? Because watching the Huskers is one of my favorite things to do and I would hate to live in a world where that didn't exist.

Losses happen. Blowouts have happened more lately than I would like to see, but it's time to move on and get excited about the future. Good coaches and players learn and get better. Hopefully this team will learn more about themselves from this loss than they have learned from all ten of their wins this year.

Ten games. That's how many they've won so far this year. That's a good thing. No, it's a great thing. Yea, they might finish 10-4 if they lose to Georgia, but they might also beat the Bulldogs and end the season at 11-3. They haven't won eleven since 2001. That record would look pretty good after some bad losses this year. Not too many teams will have eleven wins when the book closes on the 2012 campaign.

The bowl game should be a big event for this team. It's a chance at redemption. Nebraska hasn't made it back to elite status yet, but it is an opportunity to beat a Top 5 team. Winning this game won't make them elite and no one expects them to come out on top. However, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain on January 1st. It's a good position to be in.

I liked that Tom Osborne and Bo Pelini pushed for this game. Maybe it signals a change in scheduling philosophy. If they want to play the big time schools on the big stages, maybe we will see more of that during the regular season non-conference schedule. And why would they want to play a powerhouse SEC team unless they think they have a shot at beating them.

Georgia got smoked by South Carolina this year. They can be beat. When a team throws a few wrinkles at them, they get confused and give up big plays. There's nothing fancy about what they do. Just like Bo, they like to line up and execute plays. Letter the better team win.

Keep supporting your team. Don't be the jackass that calls into the radio show and says, "Bo Pelini is stooopid." He is our last link to the Tom Osborne era. TO has been a mentor to Bo the past few years. He has helped Bo restart the walk on program and given him advice about how things work at Nebraska and fan expectations. That will never happen again. No future Nebraska football coach will have Tom Osborne to learn from. The next guy will be from outside of the Nebraska program. We all know the results the last time that happened. Be careful what you wish for. Bo Pelini is a coach that consistently wins 9-10 games a year. He graduates a lot of players and his team keeps out of trouble. The only thing you should expect more from your football team is to play as well as they can every week and the occasional special season. Given time, as long as Bo keeps learning and adapting, he will give us those years where our team will push for greatness. We will never win if we become one of those schools that hires/fires coaches every few years. Ahem, CoLOLrado.

If you are on the fence about going to Orlando, just go. It will be a fun trip regardless. It's freaking Florida in December after all. Heck, we should invite Georgia Tech and Florida State to the Big Ten just for this reason. If you are not going to Orlando, watch the game; the whole game. If you're in Lincoln, show up for the team when they arrive home from the bowl to support them. Give those seniors one last send off the way Nebraska football players should receive. Teach your kids about adversity and that sometimes life sucks, but you have to get up off your feet and work to make things better. How you handle life’s trials helps shape the person you become.

(pauses)

Of course all of this really means nothing. I just wasted an hour of my life writing this because the world is going to end in a few days. Our last bowl game will probably be the Beef O' Brady's Bowl. Go Ball State. Kick the crap outta UCF. I guess. At least we'll never have to play Maryland. Those bastards think they can get more $$$ from the Big Ten because they are special. You'll still be in debt when the world ends MaryLOLand. Take that to the bank. GBR.

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