Off-Season Reads - July 19th, 2012

See what happens when the off-season is too long? 44 days to kickoff! (East Stadium Construction; Credit: Salt Creek and Stadium)

A run-down of sporting stories from yesterday covering Nebraska athletics, the Big Ten and around the world.

Taylor Martinez is on the Danny O'Brien Watchlist, FOX Sports explores the science behind drug testing and Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen eats Sbarro. Those stories and more below.

44 days to kickoff!

Football

2012 Davey O’Brien Award Watch List Announced - Davey O'Brien
And Taylor Martinez has made the cut, leading most people to chatter endlessly about how silly watch lists are. (They're right but not just because Martinez made a "Best QB" watchlist.) Congrats to Taylor and I hope you show them all wrong this season. (And next season too.)

Life in the Red's Blog | Nice endorsement for Dobson

"I have the ultimate faith in that whole Nebraska strength staff because I feel like I was in the best shape when I was here," Amukamara said Tuesday in Lincoln. "It's a very selfless staff in letting us (NFL) guys come back and use the facilities and just be a light to the current players."

Column footnote: A few media members were on hand to see Amukamara pass out the goods to Lincoln High players. It should be noted that Amukamara preferred there be no media at all, according to Blake Lawrence, who helped organize the donation. In other words, Prince wasn't seeking publicity.

Nebraska turned out some good eggs in 2009 and 2010.

More Nebraska football and other stories after the jump!

29 yards: A bad movie for Cowboys

The Associated Press writer who did the college football predictions even projected an Oklahoma State upset, something that did not miss the notice of Tom Osborne.

"Where’s Herschel? Is he here?" Osborne asked with a smile in the postgame, trying to locate that AP writer, Herschel Nissenson.

Osborne let the teasing go quick enough.

"I felt the same way as Herschel," Osborne continued. "There was an excellent opportunity to upset us today."

Oh look, Coach Osborne has a sense of humor.

Husker Greats Foundation Helps Former Players in Need | AthlonSports.com

And Nebraska takes care of its own — even long after the cheers have died down.

Big Ten

Debate It: Discussing 9-Game Schedule Idea " Big Ten Network

It's not a debate, actually. Just a rehashing of the two options: adopt or don't adopt. I think the biggest issue is the question of balance. Their example about Nebraska and Iowa is dead on - if you're scheduled to play Indiana, Purdue and Illinois while the other team draws Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State, that's hardly fair, is it?

Big Ten plays strong ground game in Rosemont HQ deal - chicagotribune.com

The Big Ten Conference is moving its headquarters from Park Ridge to a site in Rosemont, two miles away.

The Big Ten Network must be VERY lucrative for the conference to sign off on moving two miles down the road to share a building with a restaurant.

Briefly, some capsules from the Lincoln Journal-Star for the East Division:

Indiana hasn't been posted yet, but I suspect it'll involve tire fires.

Life in the Red's Blog | Camp previews: Purdue

"He is on the cutting edge of the science of defensive football," Hope said upon the hiring. "The Canadian Football League is an offensive league – with 12 players per side on a wider field and three downs to get a first down – and features the zone read game that we are seeing more and more of at the college level. Tim knows how to defend that offense, and I am excited to see him bring his defense to Purdue."

But Danny, we only have 11 guys on the field and four downs. Unless you've heard something from the NCAA that we haven't, your logic may not be perfectly sound.

Life in the Red's Blog | Camp previews: Illinois

I'm kind of excited to see what MACTION can do in the Big Ten.

Life in the Red's Blog | Camp previews: Penn State

Fifth-year senior Matt McGloin won the starting job at quarterback this spring over sophomore Paul Jones.

It'll be interesting to see how well O'Brien coaches up McGloin. And I wasn't aware of how old Penn State's defense was. Wonder if they'll reload.

Life in the Red's Blog | Camp previews: Ohio State

[Urban Meyer's] relatively complicated spread system should be no problem for sophomore Braxton Miller (6-2, 210), who emerged last season as one of the Big Ten's foremost weapons.

I think it's unlikely that Miller will pick up Urban's system that quickly, if it's really that complicated. I expect Urbz to do the sensible thing and work Miller into the playbook. Get the fundamentals down and you can start adding in complexity.

Life in the Red's Blog | Camp previews: Wisconsin

What's new? Bielema is working with six new assistant coaches. His offensive staff is completely revamped. Most notable among the departed is Paul Chryst, who was heralded as UW's offensive coordinator. Now he's the head man at Pittsburgh.

I think this is what will test Wisconsin the second most this season. (The first being their visit to Memorial Stadium, obviously.)

Olympics

Everybody Pees: Olympics Edition - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Linked if only for title. (FOX Sports reports on how drug testing works at the Olympics. Science, everyone!)

Other Stories

Referees Can Help With NFL's Concussion Problem - SBNation.com

I think the same discussion should be had with college football. Could they just hire "medical spotters" for the same purpose?

Bowl eligibility likely to remain at six wins - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Major conferences that have recently expanded, such as the SEC and Big 12, have reservations about changing a rule that would send fewer of its teams bowling.

I would say remember this as fodder for when Big 12 or SEC fans complain about quality of games but then I'm confident this decision was made without focus groups or fan input.

College football's national title game should command at least $200 million per year - NCAA Football - Sporting News

A BCS source told Sporting News on Wednesday that the new stand-alone national championship game will be worth "at least" $200 million a year. To put that in context, the entire BCS package for 2011 paid out $172 million.

Cripes. And $600 million for the whole shebang. Is it really worth that much? No doubts now about why a playoff was adopted.

ESPN Could Land College Football Playoff Rights, According To Report - SBNation.com

And there's who would pay that much for the playoffs. That's some serious cash. Remember, Nebraska doesn't start taking home the full portion until 2017, three years after the playoffs are slated to begin.

NCAA action against Penn State might be limited – USATODAY.com
Sounds like if the NCAA wants to act against Penn State, it'll have to toughen up its ethics rules. Would something like that require some sort of consensus from all member schools?

Dan Mullen, Man Of The Pizza - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

So people got excited over this on Twitter. I think it's okay that our current players have had their Twitter privileges revoked.

Son Of Cris Carter Applies To FAU - SBNation.com

Might work out for Carl. Sounds like trouble to me though.

Scheduled Dennard trial pushed back to December

New England Patriots rookie Alfonzo Dennard on Tuesday waived his right to a speedy trial and was granted a continuance on a charge of assaulting an officer.

NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise aboard the USS Intrepid in pictures | The Verge

Shared just because I think it's cool. And it's a slow news day.

***

That's all for today. Join me every morning for a round-up of the day's stories. Comments, rants and cat pictures are welcome below! (Not a member of CornNation? Join today and take part in the conversation!)

Have a great Thursday!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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