Off-Season Reads - August 1st, 2012

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

SBNation ranks Nebraska #23, former USC WR Kyle Prater transfers to Northwestern and the origin story of inflatable mascots and the good that followed. Those stories and more below.

31 days to kickoff!

Nebraska Olympic Events for Today:

Amber Neben, USA, Women's Individual Time Trials, 6:30am CDT

Jordan Larson, USA, Women's Volleyball vs China, 2pm CDT

Chelsea Aubry, Canada, Women's Basketball vs France, 3am CDT

Therese Alshammar, Sweden, Women's 100m Freestyle, 4am and 1:38pm

*Due to her pinched nerve, Alshammar has pulled out of the 100m but she still plans on swimming the 50m on Friday.

Football

From the Mothership's run through the Top 25, Dan Rubenstein reviews #23 Nebraska.

More Nebraska football and other stories after the jump!

CBSSports.com 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten Team - CBSSports.com

Burkhead and Ball. There's a backfield that has NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP written all over it.

CBSSports.com 2012 Preseason College Football All-America Team - NCAA Football - CBSSports.com News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and BCS Rankings

No Nebraska players. Your thoughts? Burkhead not making at least the second team is a little baffling.

2012 Program Preview - Nebraska - Mocking The Draft
Can't disagree with a lack of first round talent on this team. Very young. And Burkhead won't be waiting until the 7th round. Someone will take a shot on him in the fourth.

Big Ten position rankings: DL (units) - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

6. Nebraska: Too low for the Huskers? Perhaps. They do bring back several veterans, like Cam Meredith, Chase Rome and Baker Steinkuhler, while expecting more from Eric Martin. Still, this group did not dominate enough for my taste last season, and seems to lack the one true pass-rushing stud. But Nebraska has the potential to have a very stout line.

A fair assessment. I think I like Nebraska being below the radar for a season. It'll let the team catch its breath without overwhelming expectations.

Quinn Sharp, college football kickers better than ever - Stewart Mandel - SI.com

Not a single mention of the best NCAA kicker ever.

Nebrasketball

2012-2013 Nebraska Cornhuskers college basketball preview - The Sports Bank

A lot of looking ahead to 2013-14...which is pretty much what I would expect.

Softball

Noland Wins ASA National Championship - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Nebraska softball incoming freshman Sammi Noland won a national championship over the weekend, helping the AZ Desert Thunder to a first-place finish at the ASA Gold Nationals in Oklahoma City.

Big Ten

Kyle Prater Eligible to Play for Northwestern in 2012 - Northwestern University Official Athletic Site

Ruh roh. Our secondary better get ready.

Silas Redd Transferring From Penn State To USC - SBNation.com

Whelp. Can't blame Redd but that's going to hurt Penn State.

Top Ten Tuesdays: The Top Ten Sports Events I'd Like to Experience In Person - Off Tackle Empire

OTE explores the Top Ten sporting events they would want to experience.

2012 Outlook: Offense - MICHIGAN STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE

A look at our friends from East Lansing.

Michigan State values emerging, 'intense' rivalry with Wisconsin | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com

Will Nebraska develop a similar rivalry? With who?

Big House To Play Host To Viewing Party For Michigan-Alabama Game - Motown Lowdown - SB Nation Detroit

Would you want to watch a football game on the big screen at Memorial?

Badger football honors rich past with renovation " Big Ten Network

Looks familiar. ANYWAY, congratulations again to Wisconsin on their good luck the last two seasons.

Big Ten's Top 10 Storylines to Watch in Fall Practice | AthlonSports.com

It's going to be a fun season, everyone. I'm really excited.

Olympics

Fab Five: Team USA Wins Gold In Women's Team Gymnastics - SBNation.com

For the first time since 1996 in Atlanta, Team USA has won gold in women's team gymnastics. The "Fab Five," led by Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber, posted a total team score of 183.596, crushing Russia by more than five points, which finished second with a score of 178.530. Romania (176.414) took home bronze.

Wow, congratulations ladies! Way to go! (And China finished a distant fourth.)

Atop Mount Olympics: Michael Phelps Breaks All-Time Medal Record - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Congratulations, Mr. Phelps. I hope the next phase in your life is just as inspirational.

NBC's Tape-Delayed Olympics 'Right' Decision, Says NBC - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Social media is serving as the Wikipedia entry for the Game of Thrones before you read the books.

Results for Nebraska's Olympians yesterday:

Former Huskers Can't Lift Teams Past World Powers - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Both Nigeria and Australia lost yesterday. Nigeria (1-1) takes on Team USA at 2:15pm CDT on Thursday afternoon. Australia faces elimination against China at 5:15am CDT Thursday morning.

Women's Football - Olympic Football | London 2012

Neither Timko nor LeBlanc played in Canada's 2-2 tie with Sweden. Canada takes on Great Britain in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 1:30pm CDT.

Other Stories

Air-Pumped Mascot Costumes Turn Autistic Kids Into Outgoing Entertainers | Playbook | Wired.com

This puts a serious dent in our case against Lil' Red.

Favre Watch 2012: Wouldn't It Be Something? - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

COME BACK, BRETT.

NCAA Releases Complete List Of Central Florida Sanctions - SBNation.com

And the NCAA goes back to work through normal channels. Quite a crackdown on a C-USA team.

***

That's all for today. Join me every morning Monday to Friday 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 Tuesday!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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