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  1. 2012 Jan 16

    Husker Heartbeat 1/16: Solich to be Honored?, Plus-One Player Penalty and Turnovers Rob Bo


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Tom Osborne feels it's finally time to officially honor former player and head coach Frank Solich

    - Osborne also warns that players could take a hit with a Plus-One system

    - A Top 25 ballot for the offseason

    - Turnovers have been a big part of why Pelini's gained losses and not wins

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    Tags: frank solich, tom osborne, bo pelini

  2. 2011 Dec 18

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions - First Day of Bowl Season Edition


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Ranking yesterday’s bowls in order of awesomeness: 1.) New Orleans Bowl (ULL vs. SDSU), 2.) Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Ohio vs. Utah State), 3.) New Mexico Bowl (Temple vs. Wyoming).

    - They were all true college football and each better than the last.

    - The situation with Mike Caputo’s alleged DUI seems sketchy. Expecting him to play the Capital One Bowl.

    - Eric Martin and Colin McDermott are questionable. McDermott hasn’t ever seen the field and he’s a junior, though.
    - The longer a defensive coordinator is not named, the sickness gets worse.

    - Here’s hoping Andrew Rodriguez is able to suit up for the Capital One Bowl. Nebraska’s going to need depth to smash heads with a very talented defensive line to open up holes for Burkhead.

    - Unfortunately, Nebraska quarterback commit Tommy Armstrong didn’t win the state championship. A couple of mischievous squirrels decided to steal the show, though: http://yfrog.com/n9xjysz.

    - For those who watched and are wondering, the fan wearing a Miami Hurricanes cap was holding up a 1965 copy of Sports Illustrated with Frank Solich on the cover behind the victorious coach. Why it had nothing to do with the 2001 Rose Bowl, I have no idea.

    - Louisiana-Lafayette’s strength coach got his head busted open, but remained on the sidelines and chilled. Is it any wonder why I enjoy Ragin’ Cajun football?

    - Seriously, if you can catch a replay of the New Orleans or Potato Bowl, do so.

    Follow Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces
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    Tags: mike caputo, capital one bowl, eric martin, colin mcdermott, andrew rodriguez, tommy armstrong, frank solich

  3. 2011 Oct 10

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Buckeye Win Doesn't Have Bo's Signature On It


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    So many things went right and wrong last Saturday night in Lincoln. Enough that it makes you wonder how the tale of 2011 Nebraska football is going to finish both on and off the field.

    The first half was essentially the moment this team had their backs against the wall. Tim Beck was calling the game that fans had begged for all week. More Rex Burkhead, controlled passes by Taylor Martinez, all of that. The defense was supposed to suffocate and stop the Ohio State offense, a goal that was never really accomplished. The booing of the arm-punt by Martinez that Bo Pelini waived off, the dejected looks on each and every player and coach’s face, it told the story of the entire prior week-plus.

    The second half was one of the most memorable that anyone will likely see. From Lavonte David’s strip to “Rex and the O-Line's Greatest Hits" being belted out among the raindrops to a formation that saw Burkhead, Ameer Abdullah, and Aaron Green on the field at the same time. As an aside, as you look at Quincy Enunwa’s touchdown catch in the third quarter, watch for Aaron Green down the field. You could have fit the new addition to Memorial Stadium between him and the two Buckeyes on Enunwa.

    Adding to the good and yet baffling moments was one wide receiver-turned-cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste. If you had him in the pool as the best-looking cornerback opposite Dennard come the end of the game, you’re likely eating well for a while.

    A disclaimer: I’m not a guy to crush the good vibes, because a happy bunch is a good one to hang around. However, when you start flinging around statements like “Bo Pelini’s signature win”, I am going to have to ask you to put the fruit punch down, because it wasn’t.

    Come from behind wins are good, but they don’t necessarily make for signature wins. A game in which you beat a 3-2 football team lacking a number of key players thanks to NCAA suspension doesn’t equate to a coach’s defining moment. Was it a great win? Absolutely.

    Those of you that disagree, please consider the following: What do you consider Frank Solich’s signature victory? Most would likely say 2001 Oklahoma, of course. Not many people will come back with 2002 Texas A&M as an answer. The story of that game against the Aggies was the same as this past Saturday’s: Nebraska played a good, but not great team close while performing horribly in the first half and fantastically in the second.

    Ohio State needed this win badly, but the Buckeyes also realize that this season may be shot. This isn’t fair to them at all, but at least the Buckeye fan base realizes what may come from a downward spiral. With a loss on October 8, Nebraska would have had mutiny on its hands. The rain wouldn’t have been the only thing that dampened Cornhuskers’ spirits as they left the stadium.

    Braxton Miller’s fumble and the ensuing Taylor Martinez touchdown was the keg being planted on the Ohio State sideline, and Miller’s injury was the fuse being lit. Fate was rather cruel to the Ohio State true freshman as he did a great job against the Nebraska defense.

    If you think he was a handful, picture Northwestern’s Dan Persa and Michigan’s Denard Robinson. There’s no need to do that yet as there is a Minnesota Golden Gophers team that Nebraska should blow out of the water standing just over the horizon. “Should” and “will” are two different things, however.

    Should fans consider everything grand and think this year will be fine now? Not at all. There are six more games on the regular season schedule, a fight for the conference title, and there are still issues to be addressed. Taylor, while consistent and efficient last Saturday, must still improve. Bo’s back and forth with the media, whichever side you’re on or if you even care, is still an issue. The secondary still needs players to step up.

    Thank goodness for the bye week as everyone needs a break and despite the uncertainty, hair-pulling and hand-wringing, things aren’t bad as they could’ve been if the largest comeback in Nebraska history hadn’t happened.

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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    Tags: rex burkhead, taylor martinez, lavonte david, bo pelini, aaron green, ameer abdullah, quincy enunwa, stanley jeanbaptiste, frank solich, braxton miller, dan persa, denard robinson

  4. 2011 Sep 29

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Fear and Rushing in Madison


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brett Baker

    "No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear." - Edmund Burke

    Fear. Scanning the Nebraska football message boards this week, posters are wallowing in it. This seems strange since the team, their team, is undefeated, ranked in the top ten and led by a man that an entire state lobbied for not once, but twice. Yet fear has taken hold of Husker Nation in advance of Nebraska's first ever conference game as a member of the Big Ten, but why?

    To explore this question, I reached out to a handful of friends, die hard Husker fans all, to take their figurative temperature about Saturday's contest against Wisconsin. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of them admitted to having some concerns.

    "The last couple of nights, my usual 3 AM bout of 'what are you doing with your life?' sleeplessness has been preempted by nightmares set inside Camp Randall." says Todd Munson.

    His dread appears to be strictly a nocturnal affair. "By the time the sun starts to come up, my confidence begins to rise and when I finally stumble out of bed, I walk with a bit of swagger knowing that it's one day closer to the day the Badgers have to play Nebraska."

    This seems to be the norm with the men in my very unscientific survey. "(Last) Saturday, I was pretty much on the boat with the idea the game in Madison could be ugly. Then the week started. For some inexplicable reason, over the past couple of days, I have developed hope." Rory Zutavern says.

    One interviewee who asked to remain anonymous had a similar reaction. "After Wyoming, I was at first like, “Wow! We are not going to be ready,” but after I really thought about it, I think we are going to be ready."

    The ladies, on the other hand, have yet to get on board the hope float. "Nervous as hell, my friend. We're on shaky ground." Mikeena Thompson offers. Her concerns were echoed by Tricia Van Diest. "I'm cautiously optimistic. I haven't given up all hope, as it seems others have, but my prediction is a loss for my beloved Huskers."

    "Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." - Yoda, The Phantom Menace

    The little green Jedi master was onto something. Remember what it was like to be a Husker fan in the 1990's? Every weekend was a name your score affair for the Big Red. They feared no team and the fan base adopted the same swagger.

    Then Tom Osborne retired. This clearly affected the psyche of most fans. He left for Washington D.C. and took that aura of invincibility with him. What confidence remained after Frank Solich's tenure was completely destroyed by the coach who shall not be named.

    This is where Yoda's words of wisdom come into play. While “fear” may not be the right word to describe fans’ feelings about the coach who shall not be named, it does speak to how they felt about what was happening to their storied program. Naturally, when their suspicions were proven over time, this fear did turn to anger.

    I won't belabor the point but there was plenty of hate and suffering in our great state in the fall of 2007. Since that time, the Huskers’ fortunes have changed. They are back among the nation’s best. They have regained much of what was lost, but even with all of the recent success, there is doubt. After all, 2007 wasn't that long ago. What's most evident this week isn't a fear of Wisconsin, but the fear of not measuring up, the fear of losing what has been gained and what is at stake.

    "While this game isn't necessarily on par with a championship game, it definitely has tones to be a historic game. First Big Ten game ever. First time at Camp Randall." says Aaron Palmer. Those things matter because fans recognize the significance. They also recognize what could happen to the team's reputation if the opportunity isn't seized.

    "Fear is the enemy of logic." - Frank Sinatra

    Ultimately, much of the worry may be overblown. "A lot of the dread heading into Madison has been media and message board driven. The players definitely aren't intimidated," says Munson. It's a thought shared by Stephen Brindley. "Pretty much everyone doubts the Huskers chances. I think that the Blackshirts will have a huge statement this weekend and shut down Russell Wilson."

    They aren't the only ones that are dismissive of the doom and gloom types. "In the Pelinis I trust! When you think Nebraska should have no shot, Bo and Carl dial up a defensive game plan that keeps the game close. If they do that again, I truly believe we have a shot in Badger land." says Steve Spriester.

    Maybe the worry and woe garner our attention because they are fairly out of place in the Big Red Nation. When pressed, most fans, like Derek Hernandez, can see a way to victory. "I think (Brett) Maher and our special teams will be the difference and we win a wild one 33-30. Then we'll have this conversation again two months later."

    Two months later?

    Oh yeah, the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis. Suddenly I'm worried again.

    Follow Brett on Twitter: @BigRedinTejas
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    Tags: bo pelini, carl pelini, wisconsin, frank solich, tom osborne, russell wilson, brett maher

  5. 2011 Jan 02

    Sins of the Father


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    I want to tell you about the time Frank Solich almost saved his job at Nebraska – but didn't quite, for reasons set in motion before he almost saved it.

    It was 2002, and NU had just finished its worst regular season in more than 30 years with a 7-6 record. It was headed toward a thoroughly mediocre loss to Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl. Good teams had battered the Blackshirts blue, and the one-dimensional offense committed too many turnovers – a deuce per game - to keep up.

    In early December, Solich fired his defensive coordinator Craig Bohl and several defensive assistants. He didn't have much choice. Not a horrible strategist, Bohl had nevertheless wasted NFL talent – Chris Kelsay, Barrett Ruud, Fabian Washington, Demorrio Williams, Josh and Daniel Bullocks – with a scheme that repeatedly left the Huskers exposed to speedy runners and vulnerable to the simplest passing routes. Remember the night Texas' Roy Williams seemingly caught 237 passes against NU's pillow-soft coverage?

    With a prickly new athletic director soon to breathe down his neck, Solich couldn't just hit a single with his new defensive coordinator hire. He had to transform the attitude of the entire unit. Complete overhaul.

    So he called Monte Kiffin. Who called Pete Carroll. Who had a name. The same one Kiffin did.

    But there was another guy Solich also had in mind. A more “proven” commodity: Georgia Tech's Jon Tenuta. And, of course, Solich had former Huskers he could consider, too. Make his pick from a Big Red Connection.

    In the end, Solich spurned safer routes and made the bold choice. He didn't pick a man so much as a mind.

    Frank hired Bo Pelini, who immediately began crafting a creative, conceptual defense based on ideas Bo learned from Carroll and shaped into his own. How 11 worked together as one. How effort created better pursuit angles for all. How forcing college quarterbacks to think and pause was the most surefire way to rattle them into the ultimate ego-bruising mistake: An interception.

    The effect? Immediate. Husker players bloomed under Bo. They embraced his aggressive mentality that the ball belonged to them, not the offense. He could motivate, teach and shift on the fly. He could change defenses on a dime in a tight spot, calling a timeout to rework the chess pieces right there on the sideline.

    Adaptation – the lynchpin in evolution. Bo had it cold. And his schemes and steaming personality delivered Solich a 9-3 season. A chance to survive the almost-certain ax from Steve Pederson.

    But he didn't. You can argue it should have. The argument has broken up friendships and dinner clubs. It's been the conversation on the patios and decks of Huskers fans for, well, seven years now.

    But Bo couldn't save Frank. And fundamentally, there's a reason. Well, two.

    *Solich waited too long to change.

    *He stayed stubborn about something he should have changed, but didn't.

    In Bohl's first year at defensive coordinator – 2000 – Husker fans could see the chinks. How passing teams – Missouri and Oklahoma – carved up the Blackshirts defense. How Kansas State staged a comeback with a game-winning drive in a snowstorm because of NU couldn't stop the shallow crossing pattern. How 3-8 Colorado's true freshman quarterback – coached by a guy named Shawn Watson - dropped 451 yards and 32 points on Nebraska in the regular-season finale.

    With a considerably weaker schedule in 2001, NU's defense improved. Even shined in a 20-10 win over undefeated Oklahoma. But the Day After Thanksgiving Massacre – the 62-36 pummeling at Colorado – reopened all the old wounds. A 37-14 loss to Miami in the Rose Bowl – in which the Hurricanes toyed with NU for a half, then packed it in out of respect for Solich – tore those wounds wide open.

    Frank knew. He had to know. It came to bear, one year later.

    He waited too long.

    And he stayed stubborn about player development and recruiting.

    The defense was stocked with talent. The offense wasn't. Solich mismanaged his roster. At one point, he had 11 scholarship running backs – and four of them were fullbacks. He couldn't find a quarterback to replace Eric Crouch. He settled on Jammal Lord, who played high school football on a field with construction cones on it and would have been a terrific free safety. While Tom Osborne had a knack for finding athletic wingbacks and tight ends who could do a little of everything, Solich landed gems like Shaun McGann, Larry Henderson, DeWayne Long, Randy “Alvin” Marshall, Clifford Brye, Antwon Guidry and Ronnie Smith.

    Bo's arrival – and masterful one-year rebuilding project – masked over some of these weaknesses. So did some of NU's excellent defensive talent. Frank's defenders – I suppose I am one – argued that he needed one more year to succeed or fail. To see his ingenuity in hiring Bo won out over his apathy and stubbornness to change his recruiting style.

    Considering Pederson's subsequent coaching search – and the result of his recent, disastrous search at Pittsburgh – mercy prevails. Just barely. And only because Frank hired Bo.

    Now – let's consider Bo for a second. Right now. Days after one of the poorest showings of his tenure at NU.

    You know where he is? Solich after the 2000 season. Maybe Solich after the 2001 season. No kidding. The record looks good. Everybody's still on board. There's some negativity, but it'll burn off, replaced with optimism for 2011 and the start of a Big Ten era.

    But the writing's on the wall for Nebraska's offense. The chinks are there. Bo can rework this thing with Watson or he can promote from within, but the football gods won't be giving him the “loyal coach” discount. Nor will he get a “jack of all trades” discount for trying to call the defense and manage the offense at the same time. The 2011 schedule is brutal by Big Ten design. I expect no competitive breaks from Jim Delany's bunch. Not from the referees, opposing coaches, or the league office.

    And Bo's still stubborn in some ways, although not about player development and recruiting. He's pretty good there. Better than Solich ever was.

    No, he's bullheaded about the press. He needlessly courts friction with guys who just want a sound byte. And his apparent comfort with quarterback Taylor Martinez's media silence is misguided. As rumors swirled, fans' perception of Martinez - who refused to publicly come to his own defense out of apparent shyness – declined. Judging by my email inbox, the approval rating of Martinez's rumored behavior is quite low. It didn't have to be that way.

    I said this the morning after the Holiday Bowl. Bo has freedom. Choices. Which can a blessing or a curse. Sometimes, necessity – brokenness – is the mother of change. Frank had no choice in 2002. There were no piecemeal solutions. So he gambled and won big. Because he had to, you see, so he did. That's how it can work, although the very best adapt before they're looking into the abyss. That's what keeps them out of it.

    Bo still enjoys a bully pulpit. Husker fans will line up behind him.

    The same could have been said of Solich a decade ago. He wasn't “Tom,” but he was “Frank,” and that still meant a hell of a lot in these parts.

    As much as the “Bo” means now.

    But that can change.

    Tags: bo pelini, frank solich, taylor martinez, tom osborne, steve pederson

  6. 2010 Jul 14

    Ranking NU Teams Since 1980: No. 19


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    In July, we’ll be ranking all 30 of Nebraska teams since 1980, worst to first. Be sure to keep track and argue along the way. Remember, too, to visit our 30 best games and 30 best players series since 1980, as well. Enjoy!

    1998 Nebraska

    Overall Record (Big 8/12): 9-4 (5-3)
    Titles won: None
    All-Americans: None

    Summary: It was Frank Solich’s first year, and he didn’t get a ton of breaks. After naming Bobby Newcombe his starting quarterback in spring, Newcombe went down in the first game with a knee injury that some argue he never fully recovered from. Newcombe would return and split time with Eric Crouch and Monte Christo in a long, difficult season filled with injuries and close losses to very good teams.

    Nebraska started 5-0, blowing out then No. 9 Washington 55-7 in Lincoln. The Huskies weren’t nearly that good, mind you, which became more evident one week later, when NU needed an inspired goal-line stand to stuff back Oklahoma State 24-17 in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

    Texas A&M delivered Nebraska its first loss in 19 games with a 28-21 win in College Station. NU trailed 28-7, staged a fairly dramatic comeback behind Newcombe’s arm, but fell short on its final drive when Newcombe and wide receiver Billy Haafke miscommunicated on a route. Newcombe was captured in a photo bawling out Haafke. He played fairly well in games vs. Kansas and Missouri, both wins - but something was missing. After the Mizzou game, Newcombe went on the shelf for the rest of the year.

    On came Christo, who started the Texas game in Lincoln, but was replaced by Crouch. UT delivered Nebraska its first home loss since 1991 with a 20-16 shocker, engineered by redshirt freshman quarterback Major Applewhite and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams.

    Two weeks later, NU headed to Kansas State, where the Wildcats were ranked No. 2 and poised to beat the Huskers for the first time in 30 years. They did, 40-30, although Nebraska and Crouch played their hearts out, taking Bill Snyder’s best team to the wire. KSU got away with two egregious face mask penalties in that game - Crouch’s entire head got twisted around on both - to seal the victory.

    The season ended with a narrow 16-14 win over Colorado in Lincoln and a 23-20 loss to Arizona in the Holiday Bowl.

    It was a tough year for injuries; Nebraska played five ranked teams and lost to four of them. The defense played well at times, and gave up huge chunks of yards in other moments. Solich, for his part, got a rude awakening of sorts to being a head coach in college football. NU was a juggernaut, on TV nearly every week, and fans and analysts alike scrutinized his decision-making and playcalling abilities. By the end of the year, this was a tired, frustrated team bent on making things right in 1999, which it did.

    Highlight: The Kansas State game. Even though a loss, Nebraska played exceedingly well and was robbed of a chance at victory. The goal line stand to beat Oklahoma State was also memorable.

    Lowlight: NU didn’t play well for the first three quarters at Texas A&M, and it cost the Huskers. Nebraska was better than the Aggies.

    Check out the rest of the list!

    No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20

    Tags: 30 best teams since 1980, frank solich, eric crouch

  7. 2010 Jul 08

    Ranking NU Teams Since 1980: No. 25


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    In July, we’ll be ranking all 30 of Nebraska teams since 1980, worst to first. Be sure to keep track and argue along the way. Remember, too, to visit our 30 best games and 30 best players series since 1980, as well. Enjoy!

    2003 Nebraska

    Overall Record (Big 8/12): 10-3/5-3
    Titles won: Alamo Bowl title
    All-Americans: Safety Josh Bullocks and punter Kyle Larson, 1st-team All-American

    Summary: While again it may appear that a ten-win has to be ranked higher than this - especially one that led the nation in takeaways - the quality of opponents that Nebraska beat on the way to its ten wins - and the way it lost its three games - shouldn’t be cast aside. The Huskers spent most of the season inside the top 25, and, after Frank Solich’s firing, went on to win the Alamo Bowl under Bo Pelini.

    But the offense had serious flaws - it’s debatable whether Solich would have resolved them, although we argue that he earned the chance to try - papered over by Pelini’s smart, opportunistic defense. When Nebraska faced a high-octane offense that Pelini’s troops struggled to stop, the offense failed to compensate. In average yards per game, NU only outgained its opponents 345-296 and only averaged one more first down. It gives you a sense of just how important 47 takeaways and a +23 turnover margin can be.

    NU opened the season with its best victory, a 17-7 triumph over Oklahoma State, moved for television purposes. The Huskers nudged past Penn State 18-10 and scored a 38-14 win at Southern Mississippi thanks to five Golden Eagle turnovers. Nebraska rolled into Missouri ranked tenth, holding a 24-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

    The defense collapsed, giving up 27 points en route to a 41-24 loss. Nebraska ran 11 plays and lost 48 yards on them, as quarterback Jammal Lord lost a fumble and threw an interception. After the game, reserve Kellen Houston clocked some celebrating Missouri fan cold, an act caught on camera.

    After two easy wins over Texas A&M and Iowa State, Nebraska headed to Texas for its third road game of the year. NU was not competitive, losing 31-7 and getting outgained 484-175. Two weeks later, Kansas State broke open a 7-7 halftime tie to thump the Huskers 38-9, running up the score near the end, as KSU coach Bill Snyder had done the year before. The Huskers were outgained 561-293 in that contest. It was also the game that, in then-athletic director Steve Pederson’s eyes, got Solich fired.

    Nebraska rebounded with season-ending a 31-22 win over an average Colorado team going through its own troubles. One day later, Pederson summoned Solich to campus, fired him, and handed the interim job to Pelini.

    In hindsight, Pederson screwed up his own plot; by naming Pelini the interim coach, he gave Husker players and fans the impression that the newly-hired defensive coordinator would be given a shot at the head coaching job. Pelini interviewed for it, but Pederson had eyes for a “splash hire;” he had to settle for Bill Callahan, who was anything but.

    Pelini rallied the troops for an inspiring 17-3 win over Michigan State. It was not a pretty game, nor as close as the final score; Nebraska’s defense had far too much for the Spartans, which were in a tailspin entering the game anyway.

    Highlight: Pelini’s defense. It was a sign of things to come - five years later.

    Lowlight: The way Pederson fired Solich, and his absurd coaching search after that. He could give a clinic on how not to handle a situation.

    Check out the rest of the list!

    No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26

    Tags: 30 best teams since 1980, frank solich, bo pelini

  8. 2010 Jul 06

    Ranking NU Teams Since 1980: No. 28


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    In July, we’ll be ranking all 30 of Nebraska teams since 1980, worst to first. Be sure to keep track and argue along the way. Remember, too, to visit our 30 best games and 30 best players series since 1980, as well. Enjoy!

    2002 Nebraska

    Overall Record (Big 8/12): 7-7 (3-5)
    Titles won: None
    All-Americans: KR/PR DeJuan Groce (2nd team) and Richie Incognito (1st team Freshman All-American)

    Summary: It was a long, strange, difficult year for head coach Frank Solich and Nebraska, which suffered its first non-winning season since 1968. NU started 3-0, but ran into a wild night crowd and a hot quarterback in a 40-7 loss to Penn State. It didn’t get much better the following week, when Iowa State stunned the Huskers with a 36-14 defeat. NU blew tight games to Oklahoma State and Texas, then suffered its low of the season, a 49-13 smackdown at Kansas State that left Husker fans whispering about Solich’s job security less than year after Nebraska had played for the national title.

    What happened? Eric Crouch graduated, the Huskers’ recruiting pipeline began to dry up and the defense stopped responding to defensive coordinator Craig Bohl, who was fired, along with several other coaches, at the end of the year. Jammal Lord was a spectacular running quarterback - one of Nebraska’s best - combining for 2,774 total yards in 2002. But he was an inconsistent passer whom Solich attempted to replace after the ISU game, offering the job to true freshman Curt Dukes, who stunningly declined. Lord took the job back and did the best he could, serving as Nebraska’s best - and sometimes only- offensive weapon.

    The Huskers had their moments, rallying from a 31-14 deficit at Texas A&M, and hanging with Texas for four quarters in a 27-24 loss. But Solich’s decision to throw one pass to the end zone vs. UT instead of kicking the game-tying field goal is one he never quite escaped. Asking Lord to throw a fade route to the corner is a bit like asking Zac Taylor to run the option.

    Nebraska’s defense was soft against the pass for most of the year until KSU (415 yards) and Colorado (253) jammed it down the Big Red’s throat at the end of the year.

    The season ended with a 27-23 loss to Eli Manning and Mississippi in the Independence Bowl. Manning threw for 313 yards.

    Highlight: A 38-31 win at Texas A&M, with Lord and freshman running back David Horne leading the way. Nebraska rushed for 381 yards. A season-opening 48-10 win over Arizona State was pretty sweet, too, considering the Sun Devils finished that season in the Holiday Bowl

    Lowlight: The Kansas State loss. Bill Snyder kept his starters in the game and piled on Nebraska for reasons he refused to explain after the game.

    Check out the rest of the list!

    No. 30, No. 29

    Tags: 30 best teams since 1980, frank solich, jammal lord

  9. 2010 Apr 12

    Husker Heartbeat 4/12: Wats, Fearless Frankie, The Hawk, Tabloids and Sweatshops in Honduras


    By HuskerLocker

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *Shawn Watson potpourri: Why he’s about to look a lot smarter, and why Sipple thinks he’s playing the offense close to his vest.

    *Is Isiah Norton the next Nebraska commit?

    *Austin Cassidy - Man with Something to Prove.

    *CN defends Mike Anderson. Why? Find out.

    *Alabama loses a key member of its defensive secondary to a NCAA violation.

    *Colorado held a fireworks-laden, entertaining spring game. Plenty of offense. File that away for next fall. CU will be able to score points next season.

    *Fearless Frankie supports Ron Zook.

    *Wisconsin ends its Nike relationship over sweatshops in Honduras.

    *Baylor had a spring game, too. And you know what? Robert Griffin is going to have a hard time keeping Nick Florence off the field for the next three years.

    *At Tennessee, media was charged $50 per head to watch a scrimmage. What are we now - the National Enquirer?

    Tags: husker heartbeat, frank solich, shawn watson, dan hawkins, nick florence, austin cassidy, baseball, mike anderson, recruiting

  10. 2010 Jan 02

    Commentary: The Pressure of Being "Back"


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    “Nebraska is back and we’re here to stay.”

    -Bo Pelini, after NU’s 33-0 win in the Holiday Bowl

    Just in case you presume he hasn’t been listening to the media during the last two years. Just in case you think his offhand, almost dismissive air regarding questions of the Cornhuskers’ place in college football was an accurate inventory of his actual thoughts.

    Bo Pelini was paying attention all along. He didn’t have an ear to the ground. He didn’t have a finger in the air. But he was listening. And waiting.

    He just didn’t want to address it until his team had earned it. The Holiday Bowl, with NU’s muscular, thorough thumping of a lean, brittle and careless Arizona team, merely confirmed what Pelini sensed weeks before: The Huskers, at least on defense - where it counts most - had figured it out. Like a chess shark in Central Park - or Robert Downey’s character in “Sherlock Holmes” - Bo, Carl and crew had predicted the moves in advance, swamping the Wildcats with an unusual approach - max pressure coverage with a occasionally (just slightly) delayed four-man rush - until Arizona tipped over its king onto the board.

    Really, Nebraska was “back,” in terms of notoriety, somewhere in the first quarter of Big 12 Championship, when the Blackshirts slugged Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for a couple picks and a couple sacks.

    When the burnt orange blushed red, and UT’s haughty fans assembled in the gaudy palace of Cowboys Stadium squirmed in their seats and delayed that trip to the concession stands.

    When America - its sportswriters, punditocracy and casual fans on a Saturday night - settled into their couches and decided they had to see this, a team with one arm tied behind its back, whaling away at an armored truck of talent - and winning!

    Cincy WKRP, that close to a trip to Pasadena!

    Until a combination of bonehead errors and controversial calls - so reminiscent of the 1994 Orange Bowl that I half expected Bobby Bowden had taken Mack Brown’s place as UT coach - sunk NU’s chance at victory.

    But not its confidence. Clearly not.

    Pelini spent the last two weeks chuffed and fired up like one of Flannery O’Connor’s characters set for the inevitable fall - it seems ill-timed at best, doomed to punchline at worst - only Nebraska fulfilled his words and more. It’s fun to be wrong when 33-0 is the result.

    When a coach has that kind of read on his team, when they’re that positively in sync - that’s a scary thing. I recalled Florida’s unusual certitude before the 2007 BCS title game, USC’s certitude before just about any bowl game, and Nebraska’s certitude after the 1994 Orange Bowl for, oh, the next six years or so. Like Alexander’s army before they hit India.

    Is there an India out there for NU in 2010? I suppose, after 33-0, we chew on a modified version of that question for eight months now:

    Can Nebraska, with all the variables happily lining up next year, pull off a natty champ in Bo’s third year? Damn straight.

    One cannot help but look forward. In the Big 12, Texas takes a step back. Has to, right? Oklahoma State does, too. Oklahoma must replenish a big chunk of that defense. Texas Tech looked like a foil until Mike Leach let his ego get him fired. Missouri visits Lincoln with a spread offense that can’t score inside the 20-yard line. The biggest road games - Washington, Texas A&M, Kansas State - seem eminently manageable.

    Nationally, Alabama will be there. Florida won’t. USC has an offensive line to rebuild. Oregon is a myth. Ohio State is probably the truth, with Terrelle Pryor finally beginning to tap the deepest veins of his remarkable talent. Boise could be preseason top 5. TCU will put in its two cents. Virginia Tech again. Watch for Clemson, even without C.J. Spiller.

    But all of it lines up right, you know? That 2010 will not be 2008 or 2004, when there were four or five teams worthy of the national title. Winning the Big 12 crown, of course, remains at the top of the list. But, as new Kansas coach Turner Gill so sagely pointed out a few weeks ago: You win the Big 12, and you’re usually right there for the national title hunt. In 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 that was true. Had Missouri beaten Oklahoma in the 2007 Big 12 Championship, it would have been true there, as well. In 2006, OU was a ripoff loss to Oregon away from supplanting Florida in the 2007 BCS title game.

    Even if NU loses in Seattle, the real game is afoot in October and November. Shoot the moon there, and every significant goal is intact for Dallas 2010.

    What we’ll examine over the next couple days: How the Huskers get there, and what questions need to be answered - first in the offseason, then in spring ball - to achieve it.

    Because there’s the pressure of expectation now. That’s what 33-0 does. The problem with playing your best football - or close to it - is that fans, pundits, coaches and players have now seen what it looks like to execute at an elite standard. Anything below it elicits tougher questions, more fingers, harder decisions, and even more pressure.

    Bo knows so much - and he must also know that, now, in declaring “Nebraska’s back” on the podium in San Diego, he’s marked his words, not unlike Steve Pederson did when he fired Frank Solich.

    But Husker fans know what “back” looks like. They lived the 1990s.

    “Back” is dominating the Big 12 and playing in the BCS. It’s been 10 years since NU won a league crown. Eight since it played in the BCS.

    “Back” is winning big non-conference games on the road. How long has it been? Pittsburgh in 2004? Notre Dame in 2000?

    “Back” is maintaining the defensive excellence Pelini developed over two years.

    “Back” is having an enviable offense that punishes and challenges most defenses.

    “Back” is having top-flight kicker and punter (Consider that done.)

    “Back” is recruiting the six states surrounding Nebraska like a fiend, with a supplement of big-timne talent from Texas, California and elsewhere, as needed.

    “Back” is signing the quarterback you want - not the quarterback you’re left with.

    NU’s commander-in-chief has completed most of the major combat operations in restructuring the Huskers to his brand of attitude, work ethic and athleticism.

    Now it’s time to stomp out the fires in Fallujah. Beat Texas. Win the Big 12. Storm the doors in Scottsdale.

    The 2009 Holiday Bowl wasn’t the end of anything. It’s only the beginning of one dramatic season - for good or ill - to come.

    Tags: holiday bowl, bo pelini, commentary, frank solich, football

  11. 2009 Dec 26

    DECADE IN REVIEW: A Tumultuous Ten Years in Huskerville


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    This decade of Nebraska football came closer than you think to traveling full circle.

    It began with a Fiesta Bowl win over Tennessee that seemed to validate the Frank Solich era, and position the Cornhuskers as a prime national title contender in 2000.

    It ended with Nebraska coming within one second of earning another trip to Arizona and setting up a run at the national title in 2010.

    In between those bookends, the seams of the program came apart not once – but twice.

    You know the story. It's plenty juicy, painful and unforgettable.

    When mediocrity, struggle and frustration finally knocked on NU's door – as it has with every college football program in the last 30 years – it rocked most fans, who'd grown to love the bucolic, never-changing nature of the Cornhuskers - nine wins, option football, red balloons, stoic head coaches – without understanding the brilliance, timing, effort and sheer good fortune that went into that incredible run from Bob Devaney's hiring, really until the end of 2001, when Colorado smashed the Huskers in the Day-After-Thanksgiving Massacre, triggering whispers that only continued in a blowout Rose Bowl loss, and a subsequently disappointing 2002 campaign.

    We learned what most major programs already knew: Money, influence and image overshadows the mission of educating and coaching 18-to-22-year-old men. We learned that TV dollars and coverage matter more than it should. We learned that winning is put at such a premium that most programs are willing to lard up their non-conference schedules with fattened lambs so as to ensure that bowl game that's apparently so precious to student-athletes.

    We learned that a great running backs coach doesn't necessarily translate into an inspiring head coach. That the best-laid plans of the Ozfather when awry, to some extent, because he handed over leadership to Frank Solich, but not complete ownership. We'll never know how Solich might have fared if he'd courted a staff solely of his choosing. If Tom Osborne hadn't offered the seemingly wise, but ultimately imperfect advice of retaining the entire staff. Solich might have soared higher. Or he might have flamed out sooner.

    But Solich never got his man at quarterback – and no, I don't think Joe Dailey was that guy, either – and the program slowly lost momentum. In 2002, it was a team still flush with athletes, but not much levity. Solich looked beleaguered for much of that season – a confused on-field visage was one of Solich's unintended, but real nonetheless, weaknesses – the offense hinging, primarily, on whether Jammal Lord could whittle and plow his way through the defense. The innovation, inspiration and pluck were on empty.

    Leaks on the just-then-burgeoning Internet message boards abounded. Practice scuffles. Coach squabbles. Pointless debates over Solich and his recruiting coordinator, Dave Gillespie. Boosters took these boards like street walkers to crack, and, to some extent, the man was a casualty of that technology. Recruiting discussions, fueled by the emerging market of exclusive (and intrusive) recruiting coverage, became the belle du jour. Solich was a casualty of the media in general. The Husker nightly radio program, far from the weak, perfunctory broth it is today, did, as well. The papers tread gently at first, but started asking harder questions, in louder word choices, after the Day-After-Thanksgiving Massacre.

    By the end of 2002, after a loss to thoroughly average Mississippi in the thoroughly average Independence Bowl, Nebraska was, let's face it, a fading light.

    And then Solich hired Bo Pelini.

    There was no way to measure Bo's impact before he marshaled Nebraska's defense into a lethal force. If then-Athletic Director Steve Pederson made a mistake of hubris, it wasn't necessarily firing Solich – we could debate that all day - but believing Solich was incapable of making a top-shelf decision.

    Except Frank did: He got Bo. And that was damn smart for Nebraska.

    And inconvenient for Pederson.

    Had Solich stuck with Craig Bohl, or hired 90 percent of the perfectly-functional defensive coordinators in the football world, NU finishes 5-7 in 2003 and Pederson gets his pick of the coaching litter. We never know Bill Callahan. Pederson probably never considers Houston Nutt, for that matter.

    But Pelini was a wild card. The game-changer. A tactician and motivator. His defensive success, as we've seen, wasn't lightning in a bottle. It wasn't apocryphal. It was the real thing. And his players loved him for it. In the eyes of many fans, he even saved Solich's job.

    I wonder if fans appreciated that when they clamored for Solich to get one more year, who they were really applauding was - Pelini. The offense in 2003 was sluggish and one-dimensional. Even more than 2002. Almost as bad as 2009. And there was no real guarantee it was getting any better. Aside from making one brilliant hire, Solich's attachment to the defense was negligible. And yet Pelini produced the bulk of a 10-3 season, and made an incredible splash, the kind that earned him, frankly, a shot at the head coaching job.

    Much like Ndamukong Suh earned the Heisman - but fell short because of sheer, ingrained politics and shoddy thinking – Pederson, a modern-businessman-acting-as-AD, rejected Pelini for a lack of flash, and experience. While Pelini flourished elsewhere, Pederson embarked on what turned out to be an intensely personal odyssey over the next four years – an era that turned out to be as much about him as it was Bill Callahan.

    The events, controversies, triumphs and tumbles of that time you already know well. I think Pederson's imprint – especially in the way Husker fans view recruiting – is deeper than some think. Pederson's strange methodology was criticized; his brazen greed for winning, for putting his stamp of restraint on the school (which he has with that blockish, monolithic font that's used for everything Husker) is not unlike most in the business world. Indeed, Pederson, and the boosters that supported him, introduced Husker fans to the uncomfortable “efficiency model” of college athletics. It's groupthink, multiplied. A place where individualism was reserved, primarily, for the coaches – not the department employees.

    I won't lie – the corporate business model does little for me. Never has. It's put college sports, and America, in a reasonably phony place that eyes the “popular” and “marketable” more than it does the “sustainable.” I recall reading Callahan's comments before his first season, about how “geeked up” he was to coach NU. Huh? This, the son of a Chicago cop.

    Pederson, who I think liked being hip. So many of visual, stylistic choices around campus – especially the donor wall recalling (somewhat inappropriately) the Vietnam Memorial - suggested the spare, modern look of suburban office buildings, which architects fancy as commercial art in a landscape of interstate and topiary mazes. He never could appreciate the decided uncool of a guy like Pelini, who pairs a sweatshirt with khakis, tucking a play card into his pants. The man is subtle like an Italian hoagie.

    Tom Osborne could, though, and when he returned to NU – after his stint in Congress, defeat in the gubernatorial race and a bewildering, self-imposed semi-exile from the Huskers – he immediately filled all that spare wall space Pederson adored with trophies, plaques, pictures and various memorabilia. He commissioned a giant, gaudy (and, it must be said, striking in a colorful, pretty way) mural to be placed in the front hall of the North Stadium building named after him. And he hired Pelini, who, in turn, thanked Frank Solich in the opening statement after his hiring.

    Some of the old critics have walked back through the door. It stands to reason they would. But to peer inside Nebraska 2009 is not to see NU 2002, or even NU 2003. Although Shawn Watson weathers some significant shots across his bow, and the offensive staff is, to some extent, in the middle of locating an identity, there is a sense of purpose, fused with high energy, that permeates North Stadium. Pelini, whatever his faults, combines an old-school will with new-school schemes, a dynamic coupling that will eventually reshape the offense, for better or worse, into a similar mold.

    See also: NU's All-Decade Team, 10 Best Moments, 10 Worst Moments and A Decade of Upheaval - And Healing

    Tags: football, bo pelini, frank solich, bill callahan, steve pederson, eric crouch, jammal lord

  12. 2009 Aug 26

    Wednesday Comment: A Last, Distant Rumble of Thunder


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    “I always feel like, being a Husker at Nebraska, there’s a double standard. We have our ups and downs. We get away with a lot of things. Sometimes we get hit harder with things. In this case right here? My name convicted me. If I was any other Joe Blow, I feel I would have beat this case.”

    Thunder Collins, a fool and convicted murderer, still putting that Husker stamp on his life. Not less than a minute into his rambling jailhouse interview after being found guilty of first-degree murder and assault charges, he summed up the identity of his adult life. His Husker name opened some doors. Slammed this one in his kisser.

    Do I believe that? Not for a twelfth of a second. But I don’t doubt Thunder believes it. Guilty men harbor such delusions, for one. But Thunder – you see how natural it is to use his first name, the only name he ever really went by at NU, the only name that probably ever rolled off the tongue of 99 percent of Husker fans – embodied the identity of the troubled Husker as well as anyone.

    Gifted. Given too much too quick. Lacking some necessary skills. Lost in a parkland town where, with its leisurely pace, forgiving folks and police force constantly chipping away at minor crimes, it can be easy to get and be lost for a long, long time.

    Before he ever arrived at Nebraska, the halls of glory were greased for him by the media, and even head coach Frank Solich, who tried some, but not too much, to temper expectations. Thunder was the offensive side of a coin that had a similar rags-to-riches tale, Demorrio Williams, on the defensive side. The name “Demorrio” – see how easy that name is, too? – still bounces around Memorial Stadium walls in admiration.

    “Oh, Bo talked about Demorrio all the time,” defensive ends coach John Papuchis told reporters last spring.

    Pelini coached Williams for one brilliant year in 2003, and helped transform him into a viable NFL prospect. He remains in the League today, with his name painfully connected to the financial troubles of Michael Vick. It was Williams’ financial advisor who allegedly used a Ponzi scheme to bilk Vick of large sums of cash while Vick was in jail. She was the financial advisor of Josh and Daniel Bullocks, too. Mary Wong, indicted Monday, worked out of Omaha, same place where Thunder was convicted for his role in a drug deal bloodbath.

    There are no connections, really, besides that Husker connection. Otherwise, ships passing in the night. And yet we, as Husker fans, follow these boys through all the pratfalls and triumphs of their lives, don’t we? When Turner Gill delivers his “speechless, man, speechless” line on ESPN in some MAC Championship game, we’re there tearing up with him. When mercurial Marlon Lucky was cut by Cincinnati, there was, we’re sure, one last debate in a thousand living rooms about whether he really panned out at Nebraska.

    We can’t help ourselves. This is the fabric of our lives. On nights cold and empty, driving alone, we remember some random fact about 1994, 1995, or where we were the night Jammal Lord threw that stupid interception against Texas. The girl we kissed during 2001 Oklahoma. That great road trip down to Columbia for Frazier’s first start. That cold-as-hell game in Boulder or Ames. The time after the 1997 Kansas game, driving back in an ice storm, trees bending and breaking, as if in mourning to the soon-to-be-dead fall harvest. That weekend in New York for the Kickoff Classic in 1994, the only time thousands of Nebraskans had ever been to the Big Apple. We remember.

    And the names. Thunder Collins may have left our consciousness for years at a time, but when you’d see the name, you’d remember the whole story. His hard-luck life in East LA. His arrival at NU. How he wore LP’s No. 1, a foreshadowing, as it turns out, of the worst kind. How he never remotely panned out. How he was suspended by NCAA for taking gifts, reinstated, and later had to quit, with just a few games left in the season, to supposedly take care of his younger brother. He even typed a statement in ALL CAPS, signed it, and granted one exclusive interview to a radio reporter to explain his departure. I talked to that reporter Tuesday. His recollection of that interview? That it was cold, in November, and Thunder didn’t have any heat in his house. That’s why he remembers the cold.

    The reporter took that typed statement and got it laminated.

    And finally, we recall how he bounced in and out of jail - due to what Thunder calls his “M.O.” , domestic violence and bar fights (He used that as an explanation, mind you, for why he wasn’t guilty of murder: Felonies weren’t his M.O. Just misdemeanor bar fights and domestic disputes. Lovely.) – before this current, unholy mess.

    Now and again, you’d hear stories about Thunder, or you’d see him out at the casino, or at a nightspot. He attracted a crowd. He was mercurial. He could be bright and funny. He could be morose and evasive, too. He promoted some, worked hard when necessary. The few times I encountered him, there was always somebody around saying the word “Husker.” I suspect Thunder would have liked to escape that word. I suspect, like he says, it opened doors – but ones he ultimately would have preferred stayed close. I suspect Thunder fell in with folks who, like many fans, could remember a run of his, or a certain game in 2001, or something he said on the TV. I suspect that, after a truckload of hard times, being a Husker felt alternatively good and bad.

    I think back to his unveiling at Nebraska.

    Thunder’s arrival in early 2000 was an age of great excess in Nebraska athletics. Then-athletic director Bill Byrne seemingly had a cast of thousands over in South Stadium working for him. NU was preseason No. 1 heading in 2000. Oklahoma was regarded as a pimple before the season. Texas had just been slain in the 1999 Big 12 Championship. Almost every team was on the national map. Athletes on campus were stars – more so then than today. Volleyball players, soccer players. They were beautiful, highly recruited, magnetic. Sweden’s sexiest woman was on the swim team. The baseball team was loading up with Shane Komine and Ken Harvey and dropping 50 runs on Chicago State at old Buck Beltzer, young fans suddenly surrounding the old ones who had sat through all those worthless doubleheaders with Peru State and Kearney State in the John Sanders days. The men’s basketball team stunk, but it was rich with colorful stories – the talented center who lived out of an Econo Lodge before NU, the guy who quit the team because he just didn’t want to run five more miles for Barry Collier.

    Y2K for Nebraska athletics was a lush, vibrant bouquet of scarlet roses.

    It was into this arena Thunder stepped.

    Newspapers were flush with dough all over America – they were, and that’s part of why it all fell apart seven years later, you see, the massive overspending on useless projects, the absurd profit expectations - and the second golden age of sports journalism – in print, on radio, on TV – was booming. Booming! The Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald were busting out 50-inch portraits on all kinds of Huskers. Eric Crouch’s mom, for goodness sakes, got the Sunday takeout treatment. The national media frequently breezed in and out of town.

    It was an era of drunkenness on the booze of optimism. The Dow Jones would forever stay above 10,000. The Yankees would never lose another World Series. Nor the Lakers another NBA title. Home runs would be thumped into the night. Marion Jones would conquer the world. Tiger Woods would do it first. And Husker football would kick tail and leave tire marks of 50 speed options run right off the hip pad of the defensive end.

    Well, at least Tiger conquered golf, if not the world.

    A guy like Thunder Collins? He’d just cruise on the sea of life, making his mark as a Husker, being known around town as a running back, a cool dude, a guy for whom you’d want to buy four drinks.

    Right until his arrest and subsequent incarceration on the murder charges, that Thunder name – and the Husker football program it represented – got him in some doors. It might even have been that name that brought him to a house, day after day, in midtown Omaha. And it might have been that name that stuck out like a Big Red Thumb in the police investigation.

    Thunder sees himself as a “fall guy” in all this. Not so sure. But a fallen guy? Absolutely. And, as Husker fans, what can we say, when the media pokes fun at his troubles? He is, regrettably, ours. Just like LP, who so often, strangely comes up in message board lists of great Nebraska running backs like a ghost – he was so good/really the best/a shame it is really/all of the rest - is ours. And just like all the award winners with spotless records are ours. Tom Osborne is ours. And Bill Jennings, the man cast out of Bud Wilkinson’s inner circle into a nearly a decade of mediocrity at NU, is ours. To be a fan of any team is live with these conflicts in triumph and defeat, on and off the field.

    Thunder Collins, the man who was after just a little bit of money in this life, is Nebraska football’s Sonny Liston. There is no pleasure in it, just as there is no pleasure in knowing when Bruce Springsteen and countless other musicians made their way to Lincoln through, they wanted to make one odd, morbid stop at the gravestone of Charlie Starkweather.

    And yet we know, 12 years after the last national championship, the great success comes with some price. That it’s not all ice cream cones and pigtails. Bo Pelini strikes me as a man who understands this to some extent and yet won’t be satisfied with bargaining. Well, we shall see, if the games changes him, or he changes the game, or nothing changes, and he just doesn’t win enough.

    It’s Division I football, as Dan Hawkins might squeal. It’s the Big 12. Heroes are made instantly. Villains sometimes take a little longer. Both of them bang around in our memories, dueling for attention.

    Tags: locker pass, special comment, thunder collins, bill byrne, bo pelini, dan hawkins, lawrence phillips, demorrio williams, frank solich, marlon lucky, turner gill, bill jennings, tom osborne

  13. 2009 Aug 07

    Podcast 8/7: On Bo's Recruiting


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.

    Join Husker Locker today - it's free!

    Join the recruiting discussion here!

    Tags: bo pelini, bill callahan, steve pederson, frank solich, recruiting

  14. 2009 Jun 23

    Phil Steele, Part 4: Finally for Frank?


    By HuskerLocker

    Phil Steele has a interesting prediction for Frank Solich's Ohio Bobcats team in 2009. Curious? Try out out 60-day free trial of the Husker Locker Pass!

    Tags: frank solich, phil steele, locker pass, podcasts, husker locker summer series

  15. 2008 Oct 14

    Curse You, Carl Crawford, Curse You!


    By SMcKewon

    Blog post image

    Tampa Bay Rays leftfielder Carl Crawford (the guy on the left) went 5-for-5 Tuesday night as the Rays crushed the Boston Red Sox 13-4 to take a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series. Crawford batting .500 for the series.

    In related news, Frank Solich continues to look for a quarterback to replace the now-graduated Eric Crouch.

    (No, I don't care about the Red Sox. Deepest apologies to those of you who in the Red Sox Nation shed a small tear tonight. Your team? Yeah, it's going down)

    Like what you see? Join now - it's free.

    Tags: red sox, curse of carl crawford, frank solich

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