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Monday, December 29, 2008

Random Husker Notes

Bowl Week, bitches! It feels good knowing we get to watch the Huskers play on New Year's Day. In fact, I was thinking about the fact that everyone is going to have to get immediately back in the saddle after celebrating on New Year's Eve and realized that the Huskers have played on New Year's Day just twice in the last 10 years. So seasoned pros we are not in this area of taking one for the team the day after New Year's Eve, but I'm guessing we'll soldier on regardless.

(Speaking of New Year's: we're doing the same drill as we did last year. Anyone interested in joining us, e-mail me at gahill87(at)gmail.com.)

Anyway, a few notes:

--Saw this on the "Life in the Red" blog over on the Journal Star's website, coming from badass man-child Ndamukong Suh:

The Pelinis were around the team this morning when players practiced in
Lincoln before leaving for Jacksonville. The coaches are expected to miss
Saturday morning's practice in Florida, but should arrive late tomorrow
afternoon or night.

"It's tough for them to have to deal with that loss," Suh said. "We're
controlling what we can control. We want to go out there and bring some joy to
them -- not that it can take away their loss -- but we want to bring some
That's pretty powerful stuff right there. There are several other comments like that from other players, as well. Isn't it refreshing to have a team that's motivated by those around them and by the head coach rather than their NFL draft position?

The culture change that has occurred in just one year is truly remarkable. Here are some more quotes from senior d-lineman Shukree Barfield, who was rewarded with a Blackshirt this week:

"That's probably one of the reasons I got one (a Blackshirt) -- when I do
get in, I make plays," Barfield said. "I couldn't be a starter this year, but
I'm just happy to be winning, man. I'm just going to do whatever it takes to
help my team win."

Nebraska's success -- the Huskers take an 8-4 record into the Gator Bowl --
has kept Barfield's motor running even when he wasn't playing a lot.

"Any time you win, all of that other stuff, you just block out," he
said. "I feel like as a team, we got closer to each other. My teammates, they've
been motivating and supporting me, just keeping my head up."

And yet more from Larry Asante:

"We love our coaches," Husker junior safety Larry Asante said. "This would
be a great win for them knowing that they just lost their father. We’re doing it
for the seniors, too. We want them to go out with a victory because they're the
guys who got the program changed around."

Asante said he's noticed most guys on the team aren't interested in playing
around outside of the field on this trip.

"Me, personally, I didn’t come out here to have fun. It’s a game. I haven’t
been out the past two nights. Me and Armando Murillo, we stayed in," he said.
"Basically everybody in the secondary except for a couple of scout guys stayed
in and watched film last night. It’s a business trip. We didn’t come out here to
have fun."

Unreal...especially if you choose to believe the rumors of last year's team, who apparently lived by the classic Eddie Murphy/Rick James collaboration "Party All The Time".

I'm feeling pretty good about taking out the Clemson Tigers come Thursday...what say you? Leave your predictions in the comments...

--On the other end of the spectrum, Eric Mangini was fired today by the J-E-T-S. With that news, I assume, that Bill Callahan will be gone as well.

I'm not big on piling on fired coaches too much. Obviously, reading this blog probably wouldn't lead you to believe that. I opined several times about how much Callahan sucked. However, after reading last year's story in the World-Herald by--I think--Mitch Sherman about Callahan's private life and all the things he did for Nebraska charities, I started to feel slightly bad about killing the guy so often. By many accounts, he seems like a stand-up guy.

All that aside: good. The guy gets a huge payout for doing everything in his power to destroy the legacy of Nebraska Football, then lands a great NFL job just a couple of weeks later. Karma came late this year, but it did come.
--In academic news--because I know that you have been anxiously awaiting SAT statistics--it seems that the Husker Football student-athletes are in very good shape. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did an investigative report on SAT scores for football players across the country. The Huskers boast a team average of 962, which would rank them either the 11th or 12th best average in the country (right behind #10 Iowa's 964). Their team GPA of 3.11 is good enough for 7th-best in the country. Not too shabby. The only Big XII team rated higher than that is--and I found this surprising--Colorado, at #9 with a 966 average. (Kansas, K-State, and Baylor's info was not listed)
On the other end of the spectrum--and yes, I realize I used this phrase twice in one post--, the Big XII represented. Of the Bottom 10 schools in all of college football, you'll find Texas A&M (#7) and Texas Tech (#5). But the kings of the dummies are...drum roll please...*gasp* It's a tie! The dummest college football teams--with an AVERAGE SAT of 878--are Oklahoma State and Louisville! This is the most not-surprising news I think I have ever read.

--Lastly, this has nothing to do with Nebraska Football, but our man Pete got his wish: Romeo Crennel was fired today, and Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage was canned yesterday. May a new, not-so-shitty era of Browns football be upon us? Time will tell. (Too bad Bill Cower has already said "no.")

**Photo taken above from the Lincoln Journal-Star, taken by Gwyenth Roberts. Because I knew you thought that someone from Heavy Soul took it.

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Speaking of the newest member of the black shirt family, Shukree Barfield. I ran into him at the 5th street Tavern in Norfolk, NE last Tuesday. What he was doing in Norfolk, I have no idea, but he was with a blonde, so I think that had something to do with it. He was on good behavior, and to say he stuck out a little bit is an understatement.
Awesome post. Keep more information like this coming!
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