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The Reads: Rex Burkhead is a Legend-ary Champion

Coming off a hard fought win against Iowa, newly-christened West Champion Nebraska heads to Indianapolis to take on the depleted East's last man standing, Wisconsin, in a winner-gets-roses rematch this Saturday.

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"What do I do with this?" (PJ Mangieri)
"What do I do with this?" (PJ Mangieri)
Matthew Holst

This morning, I ask whether we're actually ready for a national title determined by a playoff.

Click and comment! I'm actually kind of curious what y'all think. (Thought it got a bit long winded to leave up here.)

We'll let that take the place of my commentary up here. There's plenty below to keep you occupied as well.

B1G Championship

Let's hope there's an even nicer splash page in a week, eh?

Big Ten Game Information

A reminder that Nebraska rushed for over 250 yards in our last meeting. Just like last week, on paper, the numbers favor Nebraska, especially if they can stay even in the turnover margin. But just like last week, paper means jack squat on the field. Never thought I'd be thankful the Big Ten Game is played indoors.

But Ohio State is getting t-shirts and rings and the whole shebang. I hope they have an on-field ceremony too...though I'm not sure they'll get Delaney to show up - he has to go recruit schools from Russia to the Big Ten.

Champions find a way to win every week. Next up: a neutral field, weather controlled rematch against a revitalized Wisconsin offense with a bad taste in its mouth.

Should be a great game on Saturday between two of the Big Ten's better teams. That'll be nice TV on FOX for those who don't want to watch Alabama and Georgia slug it out on CBS.

(This is a failure in scheduling. *facepalm*)

Should be interesting to see if Nebraska can replace Steinkuhler - he's been rather consistent this season. And between Rome, Randle and Williams, none of them have stepped up this fall. I'm sure that was just a lack of need and not a lack of effort, but we'll need them to bring their A-games this week.

I thought NEPHEW PELINI did a fine job filling in on the fly so I'm not as worried about the offensive line. (Imagine that.)

I only wish Pelini had challenged them to win seven.

UNL Football (10-2, B1G 7-1)

West Champions and we're headed to INDIANAPOLIS!

There are very few instances when these words are said with non-mocking excitement.

This program is doing things right, I think.

1922: In the final game at Nebraska Field, the Huskers defeat Notre Dame and the Irish backfield that would become known as the Four Horsemen.

Another reason why I doubt Notre Dame joins the Big Ten - they'd HAVE to play Nebraska on occasion.

Y'all are harsh, like you think Nebraska should expect better of itself or something.

Iowa couldn't capitalize on Taylor's worst outing of the season.

I'm going to miss Eric Martin, probably as much as I'll miss Rex Burkhead. I don't know if there's a younger player like him on the roster or even in-bound.

Good teams find a way to win, no matter what. Does Nebraska win this game five years ago? No.

Nebraska fits in the Big Ten - there's no question.

But for the love of football, CAN WE HIRE A SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR. A real one. Dedicated STC even. If we're going to be Kicker U, we should have a coach to match.

Rex Burkhead, LEGEND (Had to.)

The halftime conversation went something like this:

Bo Pelini: Are you ready to go?

Burkhead: Absolutely. Let’s do this.

I remember a similar story with another popular recent Husker just before the last game of the season. Both players saved Nebraska from a humiliating end-of-season loss. Bo Pelini trusts his players.

That's what you can do on good teams - look at Ohio State and Notre Dame this season for examples.

Rex Burkhead, our own personal college football cheat code.

Hard not to be moved by Rex. Ask those seven Iowa defenders he carried to the first down marker.

Wisconsin (East Division Representative)

A reminder of our last meeting with the Badgers.

Bielema sounds pretty confident about his Badgers' chances. Their last rematch during the season worked out pretty well for them. (Michigan State last season.)

Here's hoping UW doesn't find a way around Nebraska this Saturday.

Congrats to Montee Ball. Needed something of note to salvage this season. Sort of glad he didn't set it against Nebraska. That being said, I hope we keep him from adding any to the list.

Volleyball (Headed to NCAA Tournament)

Volleyball will only benefit from this level of competition in the years to come. (Really, I think baseball is the only Big Ten sport that will really suffer.)

Awesome news! And a great way to say goodbye to the Coliseum!

Ladies closed down the season with a 3-0 sweep of Iowa and a 3-1 defeat of Northwestern. Great job, ladies! Thank you, seniors! Good luck in the NCAA tournament!

UNL Athletics

Well, add that to Kent State's list of good things with BCS love and CWS appearance.

On the other hand, women were able to beat USC. Congrats to the Lady Huskers! (Bad weekend for USC, amirite?)

Sounds like a great pick up for Connie's Lady Huskers. Welcome, Allie!

UNL Academics

I would love to see HOW Iowa and UNL expect this to improve their academics. They keep telling me that the CIC and Big Ten membership will benefit Nebraska academics, but how? Can we get a copy of their projections here? Not knocking our decision to join but if they keep saying things like this, we should be told what to watch for progress.


Michigan State is finally bowl eligible. Purdue too. Maryland and Rutgers lost. STOP LAUGHING AT US ALREADY.

The Big Ten will probably finish with three (POST-SEASON ELIGIBLE) teams in the top 25, something no one would've expected after our non-conference slate.

Thanks to HuskerInLandOLakes for pointing this out. Lincoln and Nebraska's fans once again show off their impressive hosting abilities.

Frankly, O'Brien's work is more impressive this season. The Buckeyes were tragically terrible under Fickell, but that's an indictment of Fickell, not the Buckeyes. Tressel was stacked for title run before being fired. O'Brien's Lions were not expected to win more than four games, if that. All that being said, Meyer will win it because people are stupid.

Appropriate? I don't know. Frankly still trying to figure out who the NCAA punishments were directed at.

The Buckeyes kind of have to hope for a Georgia win in the BCS game for a shot at the AP poll. No way the AP puts Ohio State above Alabama or Notre Dame.

Ferentz: I'm comfortable with everything right now.

I'm not sure you can say that when you're 4-8, Kirk. Even at 6-6 you should be re-assessing. It's kind of downright criminal if Ferentz DOESN'T make some changes.

Iowa fans starting to understand why Greg Davis fell out of favor at Texas - it's not just because Texas has an over-inflated version of itself.

Where Al Borges has had limited success finding parts of his offense that Denard and Gardner could run (LIMITED), Davis had no answers for how to use a pro-style QB like Vandenberg. His offense requires fast players on the edges that can take the quick sideline passes and run up the field. Iowa unfortunately lacks those kinds of playmakers.

Personally, I hope Davis and Kirk stay with the current course. #freefloyd

Don't look at Kirk - he's apparently comfortable with the way things are. Including Greg Davis. (I didn't say his reasoning made sense.)


National Stories

Bowl season is irrelevant. These Big Ten guys have it right. Winning your conference is all that really matters. 13 years is long enough - let's do this, Nebraska. Everything else is gravy.

Comments on bowls:

  1. Poor Northwestern. South Carolina? Yeesh. This might not be the year you notch bowl victory #1. I'll be rooting for you though.
  2. I do think Florida State can win against Northern Illinois. I think. (Kent State? They will totally lose that one. #acc)

If I had a vote, it'd be Johnny Football. Notre Dame isn't terrible without Te'o. Texas A&M is. And his play allowed Texas A&M to upset the so-called "UNSTOPPABLE TEAM" from the "TOUGHEST CONFERENCE", at their home field, at night. Voters holding his age or A&M's performance against him are idiots. (Sorry.)

It is not a career award and it's for college football's MOST IMPORTANT player of THAT season. It is the ultimate MVP award and Johnny is that guy this season.

Robert Griffin III was an excellent choice, if you're wondering what I think a good one is. Eddie George was a terrible pick.

May as well bookmark this one (or find the SB Nation one). Silly season just started and there are more head coaches and assistants to get fired.

(For instance, Monte Kiffin remains employed! I imagine many USC fans wish Lane would join him in retirement after Saturday night.)

Newly Available Golfing Partners:

Clearly the Auburn administration thinks that Cam Newton won the MNC despite Chizik, not because of. Those Iowa State days probably didn't help Chiz either. (He'll get another HC or DC job.)

And I think they'll gauge Pelini's interest but it'll stop there - the boosters at Auburn will be enough to keep any sane coach away. (Pelini is sane, just occasionally very expressive with his emotions.)

Wasn't expecting this one, then again, NC State isn't exactly an exciting program with good visibility.

(No, Pelini won't hear from them.)

This move was long expected after BC hired a new AD in the last year. Perhaps whomever the new coach is will soon be a Big Ten coach (by expansion, not poaching)? Keep an eye on this one!

(No, I don't think they will get the pick for expansion. And no calls to Pelini here, though he is Catholic.)

As expected. This makes next season's slate more difficult as Pelini has struggled against new coaches thus far. (Illinois may also be making a change.) However, Purdue is not near Ohio State or UCLA in talent so it shouldn't go too badly.

(No, Pelini doesn't get a call here - not sure Purdue could pay him enough even if they wanted him...and they don't want him.)

Smith never had a chance.

As we've discussed earlier this season (way back at the bye week when everyone was setting their Nebraska things on fire), expect Bo Pelini to get a call here. Who knows what his interest will be, but a call will be placed.

My only question here is...where's the money coming from?

(Pelini will ge...I'm cannot even finish this joke. No.)

Oh and keep your ears open for news about Missouri's Pinkel on Monday. The Internet is on fire with rumors of a retirement. No, Pelini won't go to Missouri.

Other Things

I'm really sad that I missed the radio call on this. Instead I got to listen to the Raiders radio guys and going on and on about the inadvertent whistle call. (I was driving, and apparently Miami or Cincy are the market team for ESPN Radio in North Carolina/South Carolina.)

Perhaps Cleatus was a herald of the future of football? Could robots replace the players on the field? Would certainly solve the concussion issue.


That's all for today's SUPER PACKED MONDAY EDITION of the Reads. I apologize for the length. This might be one of my more text heavy ones. Might require breakfast, lunch and dinner...

Anyways, comments, rants and cat pictures go below.


- Salt Creek and Stadium