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Nebraska Huskers: The May 11th Roundtable

Corn Nation's staff gives their opinions about B1G scheduling, budgets, and Lincoln's economic impact this year over only 2 night games.

Rap game Throw to the Fro.
Rap game Throw to the Fro.
Eric Francis

1. So, Land Grant Holy Land took a look at out of conference scheduling for the Big 10 for the next few years. And while Nebraska, tOSU and Michigan State deserve a lot of credit, Iowa and Illinois’ lack of anything past MACtion brings everyone down. Should the whole conference be working on scheduling, or do you think it’s alright for the lower end teams to be dialing up some puffs to get the win totals better?

Brandon: All football scheduling is not created equal. Take a team like Nebraska. If there’s four games to schedule, get two scrubs, a mid-level and a legitimate threat. If you can’t get the legitimate threat, schedule a couple upper-tier baddies and call it good.

The college football world will cut Nebraska some slack because it’s not like the Huskers aren’t trying to get quality teams. They were all about getting Tennessee, Miami, UCLA, etc. on the schedule a while ago.

Teams like Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota have to be realistic, but at the same time, they can’t allow other schools to look down on them, especially in conference. Take some pride in your team, damnit. No one’s suggesting they take on Texas A&M, but scheduling some upper-level MAC schools and maybe a Vanderbilt or Arizona isn’t going to hurt anyone’s perceptions.

You want respect? You gotta earn it.

Jon: If I’m a coach or athletic director at Minnesota, and you’re going to tell me that I have to schedule tougher opponents to make Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio State happy, I’m going to tell you to shove a stick in your eye.

Better yet, how ‘bout I not become the coach at Minnesota because the conference thinks it needs to dictate how I run my football program.

Mister Mike: While what Brandon and Jon said are true, I think the conference as a whole is stagnant when it comes to football. It’s honestly disappointing. There’s nothing really compelling to get someone say from Florida or Texas or whatever to tune in and watch. Iowa vs Miami (OH)? Illinois vs Indiana? Nebraska vs Northwestern? The conference has a huge black eye in national perception and a great deal of that comes from how they schedule and how the B1G is interested in conducting business from a football standpoint. They say they want to be the best, but they don’t seem interested in trying to do the things to compete on an elite level. I’ve said it before, but tOSU hiring Urban Meyer was one of the best things to happen to the B1G. The conference needs a big kick in the ass to change, or we’re going to keep getting our asses handed to us OOC and in Bowl Games. Like Brandon said, earn the respect.

Husker Mike: A state law in Iowa has forced the Hawkeyes to play Northern Iowa regularly in the past. Not sure if the Big Ten can force the state to change the law, but even so, for the bottom feeders of the conference, the revenue from playing uncompetitive home games helps keep the athletic department afloat.

Brian: This is interesting to me, because where do you go if you’re trying to build a winner and get into a bowl game? Schedule harder and if you win grand? Or make sure you get enough wins knowing you’re going to get slammed when you get in conference play. Then again, Illinois hasn’t done anything with Scheelhaase and such, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Jon’s got a point, I mean as long as I’m not "breaking the rules" WINK WINK DON’T LOOK OVER THERE ELVIS, what the fuck does it matter? I mean, would you rather 5-7 but gosh you went through the gauntlet? Or 7-5 and playing postseason ball, smashing some MACtion team in Detroit and getting yourself that big ass $2.2 million dollar payout? In other words, get off my lawn.

2. USA Today listed all the income, expenses and subsidies of most major NCAA schools this week. Is it a really big deal that Nebraska’s is both self sustaining and not getting any state subsidies? And does anything about that list surprise you, as maybe Minnesota is above Nebraska, or the amount of $$ in these numbers?

Brandon: I think it’s a good statistic and something for the University as a whole to be proud of. Is it a "big deal?" I don’t see it as one, but it’s definitely a plus.

Jon: It is a big deal. As an alum, I’m proud of the fact that my alma mater isn’t sucking funds from students fees and taxpayers to support athletics.

You know why? Because we’re doing things the right way. Because despite all the things you see that talk about how football matters, and how athletics grants access to young kids who might not not otherwise have access - things in which I strongly believe in - none of it means shit if you’re taking money from one place and putting it in another just to make it happen.

Put yourself in the SEC. Pick a school. Be a parent. Now tell me that you’re okay with you paying that rate for college so you can have a winning college football team. (It’s a trap! I know that few of you are going to be all these things together and actually give a shit because CN’s demographics analysis stated the people who read this site are 80% millionaires!!)

Mister Mike: Is it a big deal? I’m not sure. I agree with Jon in that it’s great that the AD is self-funding, but it’s not surprising to me.

Husker Mike: If you pay ANY attention to the politics in this country, anything that requires government funding is controversial. So it is VERY important because that keeps Nebraska athletics away from those same politicians.

Brian: It’s only a big deal if you’re making money as well as being self sufficient. Great, you’re paying your expenses. How much are you saving for a rainy day? How much is in the savings account? I mean, making money is nice but I’d rather not be in debt. Wanna know one of the biggest schools in debt? Alabama. But, no one says much because BCS title t-shirts and full stadiums pay it off well.

3. Nebraska only gets two night games this season, and both are in the first 2 weeks of the season. Aside from the thoughts of recruiting visits and visibility of the team on TV this year, do you think this will have a good or bad effect on local Lincoln business? Hotels, restaurants, shuttles and parking and all that...

Brandon: Obviously, if you have more night games, you’re going to have more people buying merchandise, sticking around later, etc. On the plus side, these are games during (ideally) good weather conditions in Nebraska. I can’t personally speak for those who are hitting up hotels, but I don’t see the restaurants, shuttles or parking getting dinged too majorly.

Going to a Huskers game is an experience for hardcore fans or the casual out-of-towner. Then you take into account the travelling fans who are going to want to experience the downtown flavor and let’s turn a negative into a positive here. If Nebraska loses at home, there’s nothing like the opportunity to stun visitors with Husker hospitality.

No reason to leave early if you’re getting free drinks, eh?

Mister Mike: Football Saturday in Lincoln, NE is Football Saturday, period. It’s an all day experience like Brandon said. I really don’t think businesses will be that affected by it at all. And if we want more night games in the future, then we’ve got to start playing like we deserve to be on Prime Time.

Husker Mike: You’d have to ask the business owners, but I suspect that an afternoon game probably is more profitable for them than a morning or evening kickoff. It gives people a chance to do something before and after the game.

As for last year’s bad losses, they have absolutely nothing to do with the reason why more games are not in prime time. UCLA maybe, but Notre Dame was going to win that battle for a TV timeslot no matter what Nebraska did last year. Every other game that would have been a candidate for prime time is in November, and that’s a whole other issue.

Brian: It’s probably a good thing, considering that the longer tailgates seem to go, the more people don’t seem to take alcohol ingestion very well. Hotels will make a lot of money, so will bars, so will other people that live for 8 Saturdays in a year and seemingly forget the other 358 days of the year sometimes. But, if they can get it, so be it. One group of people that has to be happy, however, is the Lincoln Police Department folks. 11am games are hard to get bombed by kickoff (unless you’re really trying, and then you should probably have someone talk to you about that), and everyone is home and ready for SABADO GIGANTE at 6pm at night. Win-win in my book.

By the way, the UCLA game and all the rage over that not being in prime-time? There is another game that I bet gets the prime time spot next to ND-Purdue. Just the rematch of Manziel vs. Saban as Alabama comes west to play TAMU. Now does 11am or 2:30 sound bad all of a sudden?