Time for a Big Red Roundtable, opinions from some Husker bloggers about where the good ol' Big Red is about now. Husker Guy, Husker Mike at his Blasphemy site, Husker Faithful, and Big Red Network have participated so far.
If you're a new Husker blogger, or someone we've missed, please let us know in the comments section on any of these sites.
Without further ado.....
How do you see the Huskers finishing the 2008 season? Final win loss/record?
Blankman: The Nebraska team that I saw play Texas Tech can beat or at least hang with anyone and that includes Oklahoma in Norman. That being said I expect Nebraska to pick up the win this weekend along with wins down the line against everyone sans Oklahoma and a bowl win. More than likely there will be a team (Kansas?) that will pop that bubble, so I'll remain conservative for the time being and say NU gets knocked off a few more times for an 8-5 season.
Corn Blight: I’m copping out on this one. You know the old adage - “one game at a time” - that’s what I’m going with. Win this Saturday, then I’ll worry about the next one. This game tomorrow in Ames is a biggun. Winning it is all that counts right now.
What is the most disappointing aspect of NU's performance in the first half of the season? Lack of a running game? Offensive inconsistency? Penalties? Figured everyone could pick whatever they wanted for this question.
Blankman: I have to go with the penalties here. As I mentioned in a past article they
were the last thing I expected out of a Bo Pelini-coached team. We're on pace to absolutely blow any of Bill Callahan's teams out of the water in terms of penalties and those wins I think will happen can easily turn to losses if we continue to shoot ourselves directly in the foot then move up the thigh.
Corn Blight: Those are all disappointing to be sure. If it’s the football team you're talking about it's the lack of physicality of the offensive line. If you’re talking about all of Corn Nation, though, it’d have to be the fans who are already calling for changes to be made, or even those who think that all we have to do is scream at the players more, “get in their face”, and they’ll somehow respond to that and get better.
I'm sure some of you have seen the sign in some businesses:
The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves.
You know how dumb that sounds, so why do you apply it to the football team?
Success takes time, even with hard work. It’s clear a lot of people don’t understand that because they’ve experienced neither.
Through 6 games, what do you think of the defense coming off of last year's
debacle? Have they improved more or less than you thought they would?
Blankman: They are what they are: Young, inexperienced and with little depth. I think
that Larry Asante's playing out of position and should be at WILL, but the question is who to put in? Pelini seems to be saving as many redshirts as possible.
Corn Blight: We're about where I thought we'd be. We had one experienced linebacker, we had a couple of guys experienced in the secondary. We lost a couple guys off a deep defensive line. A lot of guys are getting experienced which will pay off in the long run.
With the reality that the Big 12 may now be as tough as the SEC, how does that bode for Nebraska's attempt to regain its former status? How long of an uphill climb do we have to re-join the leaders of the conference?
Blankman: We've got the money to rival plenty of SEC schools, so that's a start. I think Nebraska will be fine in the long run. We've had some mediocre and, well, out and out bad years. Right now I see some positive rebuilding and it's going to take a couple seasons maybe even a few to contend for a national title. That said there's a lot of good talent available across the board on and off the field (including those in the offices), so I feel very optimistic over the next five years.
Corn Blight: It may take quite a while, and it requires patience and faith to get there. By quite a while I mean five or six years to get back to the national title level. We have to do this in steps. This year, get a bowl game, next two years win the Big 12 North, after that be on a level where we consistently challenge for the Big 12 title and then after that make the step to national championship.
If someone thinks we’ll be back at the national title level within the next two years, I’d like to hear how you think that will happen in the comments section.
Most disappointing/surprising players for NU thus far?
Surprising: Nate Swift - Everyone thought Swifty (despite his namesake) was much like Todd Peterson. That he was a possession guy with slightly better speed. Not so. He has blown my expectations out of the water and is part of the most consistent unit on the team in my opinion.
Disappointing: Larry Asante - I've expected more from Larry but he continues to blow assignments and whenever someone pulls a Bernard Thomas and claims he's going to break a single-season record. Yeah ,no pressure there. That said, Asante is out of position and I feel bad because he'd kill at WILL.
Surprising: Cody Glenn, leading tackler.
Disappointing: I’ll go with Matt Slauson. It’s not because he’s not playing well, but because I look at him as “the guy” on the o-line that I want to see crush opponents. I want to see him blast someone’s helmet off, take someone apart. Singling out Slauson isn’t fair, but he’s emblematic of the line as a whole. Go kill someone, hoss! You can do it!