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  1. 2011 Dec 28

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Audible Audibles Feat. James Corley of the OU Daily

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    By HuskerLocker

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    Husker Locker's Brandon Cavanaugh sits down with some of the biggest and brightest minds in college football with the site's newest feature: Audible Audibles.

    This week, James Corley, editor of The Oklahoma Daily stops by for some good old-fashioned Husker-Sooner banter.

    Topics include:

    - Corley's take on Nebraska
    - A look at the Huskers' inaugural Big Ten season from the Big 12 perspective
    - Oklahoma's troublesome 2011 season
    - Rex Burkhead for Heisman in 2012
    - Mike Stoops' presence on the Huskers' sideline
    - Travis Lewis Twittergate
    - Why OU's Landry Jones likely isn't headed to the NFL
    - And more!

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



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    Tags: oklahoma, big 12, rex burkhead, mike stoops, travis lewis, landry jones

  2. 2011 Dec 04

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions - Championship Week

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    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - No one should suggest that Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin’s head was in the CUSA Championship Game. Feel kinda bad for Case Keenum if no one else.

    - LSU is the epitome of sportsmanship. What other team spots their opponent two scores before smashing their skulls in?

    - It was impressive how Oklahoma State took down Oklahoma with the subtlety and grace of a Viking raid.

    - If you told someone that the ACC Championship Game would be 10-10 at the half before one team outscores the other 28-0, they’d likely believe you. If you told them it would be Clemson instead of Virginia Tech, you’d likely be 100 dollars richer.

    - Despite the heart-breaking loss to Kansas State, Paul Rhodes is the best thing to happen to Iowa State since the Morrill Act of 1862.

    - Thought Wisconsin would get revenge on Michigan State. Didn’t think the score would be so close.

    - Badgers running back Montee Ball for Heisman

    - Baylor is 9-3? Clearly college football has ripped open time and space allowing the sport to be swallowed by a separate time rift in which Waco demands only the finest of athletic specimen.

    - Seriously, quarterback Robert Griffin III for Heisman (RG3 if you’re nasty)

    - Still lobbying for the MAC to get a BCS berth over the Big East. You know it’s the right thing to do.

    - Final Bowl Prediction of the Week: Outback vs. South Carolina

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    Tags: houston, lsu, oklahoma state, clemson, virginia tech, kansas state, iowa state, paul rhodes, wisconsin, montee ball, heisman, baylor, robert griffin, south carolina

  3. 2011 Dec 02

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Championship Week

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    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brian Towle

    The first Saturday in December begins the end of the college football regular season. This includes conference championship games across the land, regular season finales that decide title appearances and the coaching carousel keeps spinning throughout December. Lets get right to the beef of the games, shall we?

    Marathon MAC Championship – Detroit, Michigan

    Ohio vs Northern Illinois – Friday 6:00 PM, ESPN

    MACtion makes its final regular season curtain call as the fighting Frankies head to Detroit’s Ford Field to take on Northern Illinois. The Huskies, who are ranked No. 8 in FBS rushing offense, bring in dual-threat quarterback Chandler Harnish to face a Bobcat defense that is adequate.

    Ohio is also riding a wave of momentum into this game thanks to a five-game win streak.Surprising sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards. Northern Illinois can score, but they can also be scored upon (with a No. 94 scoring defense). Look for Frank Solich to get a conference title, though this one won't take him to Tempe.

    Winner: Ohio

    Pac-12 Championship - Eugene, Oregon

    UCLA vs. No. 9 Oregon – Friday 7:00 PM, FOX

    The inaugrual Pac-12 title game will be hosted by the folks in Autzen as UCLA, accompanied by their lame duck head coach Rick Neuheisel, try to keep the spread inside 40 against the high-octane Oregon offense.

    The Bruins' defense gives up a lot of points, and the offense doesn't put many on the scoreboard. Here’s hoping Neuheisel has as much grace falling on his sword following this game as he has through the week. Oregon should cruise even without LaMichael James

    Winner: Oregon

    SEC Championship Game – Atlanta, Georgia

    No. 14 Georgia vs No. 1 LSU – 2:00 PM, CBS

    For a game that has had plenty of implications in previous years, this year’s tilt in the Georgia Dome won't factor much into who will make the BCS title game. According to whom you listen to, that is. LSU is the only undefeated BCS team in America, and they will take on a surprising Georgia squad that somehow found themselves atop the SEC East.

    Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and a better-than-most offense has saved Mark Richt’s job (again) and has bought him some time between the hedges. However, these are the LSU Tigers that they are playing. That the game's taking place in Georgia means nothing.

    The Tigers spotted a decent Arkansas team 14 points before running them out of the building by the fourth quarter. This will be close early, but put your money on the horseshoe hiding in Les Miles’ body.

    Winner: LSU

    The Defacto Big 12 Championship Game - Stillwater, Oklahoma

    No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 3 Oklahoma State - 7:00 PM, ABC

    Bedlam has arrived and folks across the country are amped, even without the fanfare and title implications that we were hoping in the middle of October. A very interesting game as Oklahoma State finally has all of the ponies to defeat the Sooners.

    However, Okie State has been known to take the night off during games like this. Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon have shown up all year, but they need one more dynamite night to get Oklahoma State into the BCS with a chance at a title game appearance.

    Oklahoma isn’t the same team on offense without the threat of injured wide receiver Ryan Broyles, whether people admit it or not. The Cowboys need a big win to get into the title game. I don’t think they'll be victorious by a wide margin, but they should finally bring a Big 12 title back home.

    Winner: Oklahoma State

    Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game - Charlotte, North Carolina

    No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 20 Clemson – 7:00 PM, ESPN

    These two teams were picked by many to meet for the conference crown before the season began. Few thought that Clemson would be reeling as they are right now having lost three of their last four games. Virginia Tech is coming into the game looking to avenge their only loss of the year, losing to the Tigers in Lane Stadium 23-3 on October 1.

    Clemson was white hot on offense back then. However, quarterback Tajh Boyd is still throwing the ball pretty well, though the Hokies' defense has only improved. Usually in games like this, you look at what each team has done over the last month and factor that in heavily. That's exactly what makes the pick easy.

    Winner: Virginia Tech

    Inaugural Big 10 Championship – Indianapolis, Indiana

    No. 15 Wisconsin vs No. 13 Michigan State – 7:17 PM, FOX

    Finally, we head to Lucas Oil Stadium for a rematch between two teams who supplied us with of one of the best finishes of the year. When they first played on October 22, a hail mary pass from Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Keith Nichol on the final play of the game stunned everyone as Wisconsin had come down from 14 points to tie the game with less than 2 minutes remaining.

    Both teams haven't changed much since they first met. The one thing that stands out as this game approaches is that Wisconsin’s running game has gotten bigger and better down the stretch, meaning Russell Wilson isn’t as necessary for a win. That alone could mean that the Spartans need to shut down the running game entirely and make Wilson beat them.

    Michigan State's defense isn't too shabby (No. 6 in FBS), so if Cousins can move the ball and get six on the board more often than assisting in setting up three, it should mean good things for the Spartans. That being said, I just can’t see the Badgers playing as poorly in the first half as they did in East Lansing.

    Winner: Wisconsin

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    Tags: big ten, big 12, pac12, mac, acc, sec, wisconsin, michigan state, ucla, oregon, ohio, northern illinois, lsu, georgia, clemson, virginia tech, oklahoma, oklahoma state

  4. 2011 Nov 11

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eleven

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    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brian Towle

    Week 11 has that feeling of a season soon coming to a close. Outside of the proceedings in State College, there are some very good games out there, as well as a few more coaches on the hot seat, not to mention one burned to a full crisp. As always before we look to the future, we must pull a Marty McFly and go back in time. Last week’s ups and downs were as follows -

    Winners:

    Houston: The Cougars has quietly gone undefeated and quarterback Case Keenum has made his case for the Heisman. Look for more attention to come their way if they keep winning.

    Arkansas: The Razorbacks took on South Carolina in a game that was anticipated to be rough and made their way through to set their sights on a hard-hitting matchup with LSU.

    LSU: Went 15-plus rounds in a slugfest with Alabama and came out on top. Sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good. The Tigers were both on Saturday night thanks to the Crimson Tide’s fantastic special teams.

    Oklahoma State: Also a survivor of a surprising belt-to-bell bout. It’s hard to not wonder if they can stay focused enough to get all the way to Bedlam without a loss. If they do, their chances at a national title bid get significantly better.

    UCLA: The Bruins notched an unexpected win against Arizona State. The prize is an outside chance to attend the Pac-12 title game and save Rick Neuheisel’s job.

    Losers:

    Alabama: Defense played very well, but too many blown opportunities doomed the Tide. Now there’s more than likely no chance to go to Atlanta to represent the SEC West.

    Arizona State: Such a bad game played last week. Now the Sun Devils need hope the Pac-12 South title isn’t out of reach. Assuming they don’t keep dropping games, of course.

    Michigan: Had the Legends division by the you-know-what’s, and now... welp...

    Missouri, Arizona State, Pittsburgh:



    On to this week’s festivities! All are times are Central:

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 15 Georgia – (2:30 PM, CBS)

    This week’s nationally-televised afternoon SEC battle has Gene Chizik’s gang heading between the hedges to take on the revitalized Bulldogs who are looking to punch their meal ticket to Atlanta.

    For Auburn, a sloppy passing attack and the inability to win outside Alabama makes this game difficult. Georgia’s offense has been good this year, but their defense has performed surprisingly well, giving up less than 20 points per game.

    Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray has shown the ability to dissect any defense that comes into the Dawgs’ house. Considering how Auburn has played on the road this year on the road, look for the Bulldogs to cruise and set up a game with Kentucky. The game would be a mere formality between Georgia and the SEC West title.

    No. 7 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford - (7:00 PM, ABC)

    "Game of the Week" status hovers over Northern California again, as Chip Kelly’s Ducks fly into Palo Alto to take on the steamrolling Cardinal. While Stanford has gone unblemished, Oregon has been grinding through their schedule ever since the debacle in Arlington against the No. 1 LSU Tigers.

    This game features two of the top five scoring offenses in America, with players on both sidelines that are top-notch. You know about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the Oregon Duck duo of quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James for the Ducks. The Cardinal defensive is only giving up 11 points per game, while Oregon is No. 26 nationally giving up almost 20 per game.

    With the game at home, Stanford looks like the more comfortable team. However, Oregon’s ability to control the tempo of a game so quickly and efficiently, this Pac-12 fight is a tossup. It seems that Stanford has the edge, but with the way that Oregon shut down Stanford last year in the second half, it’s a tough call.

    Other games of note include:

    No. 17 Michigan State at Iowa – If the Spartans wins against the Hawkeyes, it looks like they can punch their ticket to Indianapolis.

    No. 16 Texas at Missouri – A measuring stick for the Longhorns. Texas has looked comfortable lately, but going to Columbia will test that comfort level.

    TCU at No. 5 Boise State – The Broncos’ last true test to pass with flying colors to get into the national title picture.

    Miami at Florida State – Remember when this game appeared to be a treat at the beginning of the season?

    Maryland at Notre Dame – Come for the uniforms, stay to see if the Irish stay on course. Try not to go blind.

    Arizona State at Washington State – A huge game for the Devils’ conference title hopes.

    Now for some of the coaches that have pants which could defrost an iced-over pond:

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Finally! Be gone! Nutt isn’t going to be retained by the university after this year. While there are some who aren’t fans of that, it’s refreshing to see that the Rebels athletic administration finally got sick of Nutt after losing 10 SEC games in a row.

    Houston wants you to think that his oversigning is the true problem and the lack of quarterback maturation isn’t. Someone will trust Nutt with their program. Here’s hoping they realize what they are getting.

    Paul Wulff, Washington State – Had a great start to this year, but the wheels have come off. Beating Arizona State would be help his cause, but parting ways with the Cougars may be a foregone conclusion.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – Held Iowa State to 13, but couldn’t do more than that? Baylor is going to pummel you hardcore at home. Then again, it’s the last home game in Lawrence this year. Hopefully the Jayhawks can finally say “goodbye”.

    Randy Edsall, Maryland – They fired Ralph Friedgen for you? The uniform combinations are what you’re known for at this point.

    Jon Embree, Colorado – The Buffs fired Hawkins for this?

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    Tags: houston, lsu, alabama, arkansas, oklahoma state, arizona state, auburn, georgia, oregon, stanford, houston nutt, paul wulff, turner gill, randy edsall, jon embree michigan, missouri, pittsburgh

  5. 2011 Nov 03

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Ten

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    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brian Towle

    It looks like we have ourselves the biggest week of the century of the season as there is a great No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that we all will watch with inquiring minds. Before we get to this week, let’s review what was. The ecstasy and the agony from last week include -

    Winners:

    Oklahoma: Even though the loss to Texas Tech is still bitter in the Sooners' mouths, they showed up in Manhattan ready to kick butt and prove that Kansas State was in over their heads. The win keeps Oklahoma in the chase for Big 12 title with Bedlam looming in the distance.

    South Carolina: A number of people (myself included) think the Gamecocks are too weak without All-Everything running back Marcus Lattimore and the stumbling, bumbling Stephen Garcia to win the SEC East. They pulled out a good victory in Knoxville against a Tennessee team that’s better than many give them credit for.

    Stanford: A slugfest that went into triple overtime at the Coliseum how you want to make a living every week, but the Cardinal toughed out against Southern California and, most importantly, got the win. Oregon is just down the road. If Stanford defeats the Ducks, they’re in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game.

    West Virginia: The Mountaineers had a big comeback in the snow against Rutgers, but the biggest winner in that game was…

    Eric LeGrand: For the first time back on the sideline since being injured and paralyzed last October, you sure made it dusty in a snowstorm.

    LOSERS:

    Texas A&M: It’s not that the Aggies lost to Mizzou, it’s that they blew a double digit halftime lead…for the third time this year.

    Baylor: A lot of yards, but not a lot of points. This isn’t a good mix.

    Iowa: How did the Hawkeyes con people into thinking you could win the Big Ten this year? The TicketCity Bowl could be head coach Kirk Ferentz’s swan song.

    Kansas: Not a lot of yards, no points, and no one watched.

    Clemson: Everyone sort of knew a letdown was coming, but the Tigers did fight hard. Clemson’s a good team. They just need to keep their eyes on the prize of an ACC Championship and BCS bowl.

    Florida, Ole Miss, Illinois, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt:

    Brady Hoke is going to give you all all of the advice he can muster for your respective teams to turn things around:



    On to the weekly festivities! (All times Central)

    Texas A&M at No. 6 Oklahoma – (2:30 PM, ABC)

    The Aggies, fresh off of another embarrassing loss after blowing a two-score lead, head north to Norman to take on a Sooners team hell-bent on not losing another game this year.

    Bob Stoops had his team ready to go last week as they pasted Kansas State in the Sunflower State, which is better than the previous week as Texas Tech dished out a whooping of their own on the Sooners at Gaylord Family/Memorial Stadium.

    From previous weeks, you know the players to watch on both sides on offense, but do take note of the Sooners’ defense, which has been pretty hot and cold over the last month. The secondary was a liability against Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege and the Red Raiders, which doesn’t bode well going against Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannenhill.

    Considering that the Aggies’ season is on the brink of complete collapse, they will come out swinging and try to get into a track meet with Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

    That’s not a good idea, though. Oklahoma still has national championship dreams and need a quality win to show to the voters that the Texas Tech debacle was a fluke. Look for Oklahoma to flex their muscle and get the win at home.

    No. 9 South Carolina at No. 7 Arkansas – (6:15 PM, ESPN)

    The second biggest game in the country (and in the SEC, for that matter) takes place in Fayetteville, as The Ol’ Ball Coach’s Click-Clack Gang head west to take on Bobby Petrino’s high flying Razorback attack. Both teams gutted out victories on the road last week.

    Some wonder about the ability of the Gamecocks to win out to get to the SEC title game (this author included), however if South Carolina has a good defensive showing as they did last week, they have a shot at SEC glory. Arkansas ranks as one of the top 10 FBS passing attacks, and features a top 20 scoring offense, so something has to give. Since is a home game under the lights, Arkansas has the edge, but don’t be surprised if this game goes down to the wire.

    No. 14 Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma State – (7:00 PM, ABC)

    The Bill Snyder family is licking its wounds due to the whipping that the Sooners laid on them last week. In an effort to rebound, they’ll try to slow the Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium, which is far easier to suggest than do.

    Last week, Oklahoma State took the spurs to a Baylor team that moved the ball but couldn’t score. Kansas State can actually throw the ball well (No. 20 nationally at 210 yards per game), but their passing attack pales in comparison to Brandon Weeden and his merry men with hands of glue.

    It’s hard to see the Wildcats doing very well in this type of game, especially at night where Boone Pickens Stadium is a rough place to play. Look for the Cowboys to keep the pistols firing on the way to the No. 2 ranking Sunday’s polls.

    No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama – (7:00 PM, CBS)

    The game all true college football fans have been waiting for is finally here as the Tigers head into Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide. Shockingly, this is the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular season matchup in SEC history. Both teams come in off of a bye week, so what’s lacking in injury issues is made up for with schemes and game preperation.

    Both teams are all about ball control on offense and stifling defenses. LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee has had a better touchdown-to-interception ratio than Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, however Nick Saban’s defense hasn’t allowed one second half point since September. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in scoring defense, while the Tigers are No. 3.

    This game will be decided by who can run the ball better. LSU doesn’t really shock you with how they do it, but one of Nick Saban’s core defensive ideals is shutting down the run come hell or high water. We all have been told that Jarrett Lee is much better at making decisions, and he will have the biggest spotlight to prove it under.

    The Tigers’ receivers will not find as much open space as they have been. Personally, I feel that no one has brought their best game against LSU all year. The team that came closest was West Virginia, who decided that defense was optional. Everything seems to point to Alabama on this one. The winner will be the nation’s undisputed No. 1, and essentially punches their ticket to New Orleans.

    Games to keep an eye on include:

    Louisville at No. 24 West Virginia – The Cardinals are getting better. Can Dana Holgorsen’s group not fall asleep due to the early kickoff time?

    Texas Tech at No. 21 Texas – With the quarterback issues in Austin, Texas Tech’s Seth Doege could tear this Longhorn team up and cause a riot in Austin. Bonus: People will actually be watching this game.

    No. 4 Stanford at Oregon State – A possible trap game for the Cardinal? The Beavers aren’t good by any stretch, but this is FBS college football. Anything is possible.

    No. 19 Arizona State at UCLA – The Sun Devils have the inside track to the Pac-12 title game through the South division. Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel needs this win to potentially save his job.

    No. 8 Oregon at Washington – *UPSET ALERT* Washington is good enough to give Oregon fits on both sides of the ball. Night games in Seattle cause the oddest things to happen.

    And now, a word from the “Head Coaches Whose Pants Are on Fire” department:

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Same song and dance, coach. A loss to Auburn was seen coming by many. Can you and your incompetent team beat Kentucky?

    Neil Callaway, UAB – I didn’t know how much of a stacked deck UAB had, but after reading this piece by Pre Snap Read, the Blazers job makes the Memphis tilt sexy.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – How was it growing young men who get their asses stomped in Austin? Did that help these guys grow into fine, upstanding people? The Jayhawk boosters need a bake sale to get your butt out of that job.

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA – See above and against USC’s Kiffykins on how to keep your job.

    Mike Sherman, Texas A&M – A new entry this week, Sherman has to be feeling some pressure after his team dismantled themselves again against Missouri. For having such promise coming into the season, things have spiraled quickly. Then again, Sherman can guide his team to the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day vs. Iowa to make them feel better.

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State – Russell Wilson wasn’t needed at all, keep reminding yourself of this.

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    Tags: oklahoma, south carolina, stanford, west virginia, eric legrand, texas a, m, baylor, iowa, kansas, clemson, florida, ole miss, illinois, texas tech, vanderbilt, brady hoke, houston nutt, neil callaway, turner gill, rick neuheisel, mike sherman, tom obrien

  6. 2011 Oct 27

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Nine

    1,451 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brian Towle

    It’s week nine, ya’ll! There are only a few marquee games this week as the push to the finish line kicks into high gear. Last week’s thrills and spills include -

    Winners:

    Texas Tech: An impressive start and great win in Norman, especially after the weather delay. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege had his coming out party and the whole team played fantastically from top to bottom.

    Southern California: A great win in South Bend. Even though the Trojans have nothing to fight for at the end of the year, they’re still showing up week in and out.

    Arkansas: A tremendous comeback from the depths of Hades against Ole Miss to win (Don’t worry, the statement on Houston Nutt is worthwhile this week)

    Syracuse: Coming back from the depths of the Greg Robinson mistake, the Orange impressed a national crowd with a win against West Virginia.

    Michigan State: We called it here last week. Sparty wins conference games that shouldn’t be close with heart-stopping theatrics.

    Losers:

    Oklahoma: What was that, Sooners? A letdown game? There’s no excuse for that.

    Illinois: A few people called it (including our editor-in-chief and newbie James Stevenson). We all got Zooked.

    Missouri: Not only could the Tigers not come close to matching Oklahoma State’s offense, but the Missouri faithful couldn’t sell out a game featuring the No. 4 team in the country.

    Kansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech and SMU:



    On to our Pre-Halloween fun (All times Central):

    Baylor at No. 3 Oklahoma State (2:30 PM ABC Regional)

    The Art Briles Bears head north up I-35 to take on a white-hot Cowboys team. Mike Gundy’s crew is still undefeated, headed towards a possible Big 12 title and national championship bid. For Baylor, it always starts and ends with Robert Griffin III at the helm throwing to wide receiver Kendell Wright.

    Last week, Baylor had a bye week after their pasting from Texas A&M while the Cowboys took care of business in Columbia against Missouri. The defenses will be tested well in this ballgame, with Baylor ranked No. 101 in points allowed.

    Oklahoma State is a more pedestrian No. 65. This is a game that should scare OSU coach Mike Gundy, as RG3 has been slowed down, but never completely stopped.

    However, the Cowboys' money combo of quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon is just too much, especially when in the friendly confines of Boone Pickens Stadium.

    No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas State (2:30 PM, ESPN)

    This becomes a do-or-die game for Bob Stoops against a surprising Kansas State team. Bill Snyder has his team playing hard with a fierce running game and a defense playing far better than expected allowing just less than 20 points per game.

    Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert have rushed for over 600 yards each already, and the defense has been good enough to hold up their end of the bargain. Oklahoma looked lethargic on offense and even less inspired on defense against Texas Tech, especially in the secondary.

    Stoops shut off media access to his team this week. He’s angry, as he well should be. A pissed off Sooners team is not a welcome sight. Look for a close game, but Oklahoma will prevail.

    No. 22 Georgia at Florida (2:30 PM, CBS at EverBank Stadium – Jacksonville, FL)

    Shine up your stirrers! The World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party attendees renew their love in north Florida when the Bulldogs and the Gators meet in their annual tilt. Georgia has become the front runner for the SEC East title after starting their season fighting for Mark Richt’s job. Florida, on the other hand, has played hard but have a three-game losing streak thanks in large part to injuries.

    The Gators have said that John Brantley will start at quarterback, although there are whispers that he’s not ready to get back under center. Regardless, Georgia is the better team right now and can help their case for a division title with a win.

    They are out of the SEC Championship Game for now unless South Carolina loses (a likely prospect). Georgia takes this game as Florida is just not playing well right now, especially on offense.

    No. 6 Stanford at Southern California – (7:00 PM, ABC)

    The final featured game of the week pits Andrew Luck against Matt Barkley and Lane Kiffin’s de facto Pac-12 title game due to postseason ineligibility.

    The Trojans made a statement last week against Notre Dame, while Stanford rolled Washington at home. The defenses are going to be tested like they will be in Stillwater, however there is much more at stake for Stanford than there is for USC.

    If the Cardinal wins this one in Los Angeles, they set up a big game for the North division against Oregon in Palo Alto. That becomes a revenge game for last year’s whooping in Eugene. Coach Kiffykins and his quarterback have their hands full going against a defense that only gives up 12 points per game, No. 5 overall.

    Luck has to live up to his billing over the next few weeks for Stanford being taken seriously in case teams slip and a spot in the national title chase opens up. Expect a good game and for Stanford to squeak by.

    Other games of note across the 48 states of the Union include:

    No. 25 West Virginia at Rutgers – WVU’s Big East title hopes are on life support. They need this win badly.

    Ole Miss at No. 24 Auburn – A regeneration game for Auburn. Let’s see how much they can improve.

    Kansas at No. 24 Texas – This should be a tune-up for Texas. For the 38 of you that can actually watch it, let us know how it goes.

    No. 5 Clemson at Georgia Tech – *MAJOR UPSET ALERT* Georgia Tech is angry, at home, and Clemson is due to have a bad game on the road.

    No. 15 Wisconsin at Ohio State – Wisconsin will play better against the Buckeyes, but expect Ohio State to come out guns blazing.

    Coaches that have a Three Mile Island burn going on the back of their pants include:

    Turner Gill, Kansas: People are now realizing that Turner is in over his head at a school that should have never hired him. Remember when there were rumors that Auburn wanted Gill? Who knew that Gene Chizik would have been the better option?

    At least there will only be (how many people have the Longhorn Network again? Oh, right.) 38 people watching th Jayhawks get stomped.

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: You got stomped by an Arizona team that has been a train wreck all season long. How does that treat you? At least Cal will only beat you at home in front of a third’s capacity.

    Kevin Wilson, Indiana: Mr. Wilson is now included on this list for the simple reason that he’s not very impressive right now. Furthermore, the loss of one of the country's top recruits (quarterback Gunner Kiel) doesn’t help matters. I like Wilson, but he needs to get his team back to basics. Fundamentals win ballgames, kids.

    Jerry Kill, Minnesota: Only this school would give a contract extension with a decent sized buyout to a guy that admits he’s over his head. Bravo. Maybe the FireJerryKill.com guy isn’t so off the mark after all, eh?

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi: I’m saving the final bullet for you.



    This is video of Houston Nutt’s post-game press conference last week when his no talent Rebels gave up 29 unanswered points to Arkansas snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. 30 seconds into this video, he goes after Ole Miss’ Rivals.com writer Neal McCready for his prediction that Ole Miss would lose 49-10 to the Razorbacks.

    Obviously, if you cover the spread, it’s a victory in Houston's eyes. Moral victories don’t count in the win-loss column, Nutt! This is your team, your staff, your fourth year!

    Let me guess, if McCready didn’t write that piece, it wouldn’t be as satisfying to lose by only 12 points in your 10th consecutive conference loss, would it?

    Let’s review your tiresome crusade to justifying over-signing: Throwing others under the bus when you lose such as your offensive coordinator, the NCAA for putting recruiting restrictions in place, and the kids you wanted until you realized during summer conditioning that they weren’t as good as you thought.

    Not to mention the upperclassmen that you dump on the side of the road because you have a freshman that you don’t want to redshirt. It’s all their fault, isn’t it Houston? Anyone but you.

    You are the poster child for everything wrong with college football. When things go wrong, it’s someone else’s issue, except when you win. I despise Bobby Petrino with a passion, but thank goodness that Arkansas hired him and not you.

    I hope you lose out and Pete Boone fires you in the tunnel after Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen embarrasses you. Then, I’d like to see you try to get another FBS job and pull these stunts, because fans across the nation will come after you wherever you may roam.

    There might a spot opening up in Lawrence after this year, so why not be the joke in the Big 12? You’d do a fine job taking the place of Colorado as the conference’s laughing stock.

    Then again, the thought of you being on the field with Gary Pinkel with both of you trying to outwit the other…that’s how black holes are made, isn’t it?

    Rant over.

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    Tags: texas tech, usc, syracuse, michigan state, oklahoma, illinois, missouri, kansas, auburn, georgia tech, smu, oklahoma state, kansas state, florida, stanford, turner gill, rick neuheisel, kevin wilson, jerry kill, houston nutt

  7. 2011 Oct 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eight

    1,268 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week eight has arrived with the Halloween season (and Christmas decorations BAH HUMBUG), and everyone’s conference season is in full tilt. The BCS standings are out, and bowl bids are starting to be sized up. Lets take a look at the ups and downs from last week -

    Winners:

    Michigan State: A nice little upset at home versus the Wolverines. Can’t say that anyone needed to be punched, though.

    Oklahoma State: Did a good job taking care of business against Texas. Keep working towards Bedlam.

    Clemson: What a comeback against Maryland! The Tigers can’t afford to live on luck every game, though.

    Oregon: No LaMichael James and a hurting Darron Thomas? No problem! However, the quicker they can get healthier, the better.

    Losers:

    Indiana: A bad loss to Wisconsin, and just a hint of advice: Don’t kick punts into the butt of your personal protector.

    Michigan: Live by Denard, die by Denard. The defense lived up to expectation, but the offense…meh!

    Georgia Tech: a loss to Virginia? Really?

    Kansas: Congratulations, you covered the spread! A moral victory!

    Texas, Maryland, Iowa State, Arizona State and Florida:



    And now here’s something we think you’ll really like (all times Central):

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 1 LSU – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    The LSU/CBS network carries the Battle in the Bayou between Gene Chizik’s Tigers against Les Miles and his Ragin’ Cajun Tigers. As for Auburn, they earned a well-fought victory against Florida last week, while LSU decapitated Tennessee in Knoxville.

    The main focus of this game is the suspension of three LSU players, most notably starting Safety Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Even with one of their better safeties out, the Bayou Bengals shouldn’t have an issue with the anemic Auburn offense. Look for Les’ group to have the most fun between the two Tiger teams on Saturday afternoon.

    No. 6 Wisconsin at No. 16 Michigan State (7:00 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson and the high octane Badger offense (that’s odd to type, to be honest with you) roll into East Lansing for a primetime night game. They’ll face the best defense on their schedule thus far as Sparty tries to ride a wave of momentum after defeating Michigan.

    This is the first time all season that Wilson will be tested outside the friendly confines of Camp Randall. He has to pass this test to get people to believe in both the Badgers as true national title contenders and himself as a legitimate Heisman contender. Something has to give between the FBS’ highest scoring offense and the No. 4 scoring defense.

    Don’t forget that the team which plays the most complete game usually wins these high-profile affairs. Michigan State can’t score enough points to outdistance Wisconsin, but don’t be surprised if the final score is much closer than you think. Over The last few years, Michigan State has made a living by winning nighttime Big Ten games at home that most think they shouldn’t

    No. 25 Washington at No. 8 Stanford – (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    It’s "Sark Week" in Northern California as the Huskies go down to Napa Valley to take on Andrew Luck and the undefeated Cardinal. Luck has been rolling along this year, while Keith Price has been a pleasant surprise as Jake Locker’s replacement for Washington. The only loss of their season was in Lincoln earlier this year.

    Stanford is the most complete team in the Pac-12 right now with both the offense and defense ranking No. 5th in the FBS, a model of efficiency. Washington has been good on offense, but they give up 28 points per game. That’s not what you to throw at Andrew Luck. Stanford takes this one in a high-scoring bout.

    Other games to keep an eye for this week include:

    No. 4 Oklahoma State at Missouri – A big time upset alert. That said, Mizzou can’t even sell this game out?

    No. 9 Arkansas at Ole Miss – Bobby Petrino’s gang wants more blood and the Rebels are hemorrhaging it.

    No. 22 Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) – The Yellow Jackets were embarrassed by Virginia. They’ll be going against a Miami squad that can fall asleep at times.

    No. 10 Oregon at Colorado – How will the Ducks fair in the altitude minus both LaMichael James and maybe Derron Thomas?

    Tennessee at No. 2 Alabama – The Crimson Tide needs to find consistent some offense before LSU, and if you don’t think so, Saban could give…well, he doesn’t care.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Bob Toledo, Tulane - WHOOPSIE. Apparently when you’re 15-40 over your career with the Green Wave, it’s time to call it a legacy (if you can). It’s hard not to feel for Tulane.

    With the effects of Hurricane Katrina still taking their toll on the school’s athletic department, there’s not much that can be done. Barely getting 10,000 people per game in the Superdome and having LSU/Louisiana-Lafayette winning doesn’t help either.

    Turner Gill, Kansas and Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – We put these two together not because they are joined at any coaching hip, nor do we think that either school will win this week.

    We're putting them together because no matter how many losses Houston or Turner will end up with this year, there is a good possibility that both coaches will not be fired at the end of the year.

    Both have buyouts that are pretty hefty and it will take a lot of money being ponied up to get them to hit the road. For Gill, this saves him for another year. Kansas has shown time and time again they don’t know how to run a football program. However, for Ole Miss, there’s a far better chance that some wealthy booster can put up the money necessary.

    Nutt only has one year left on his deal after this season, though. For the Rebels’ program, it’s simply a question of if they want to pay the penalty as opposed to lose one more season to a guy that has shown he has no clue.

    Jeff Tedford, Cal – Utah is pretty similar to the Golden Bears and has the same record. That does mean Cal can beat them...right?

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA – A two game stretch against Arizona and Cal. Welp, good luck against the Golden Bears.

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State - Good luck against Virginia, a team that should be easier than you thought after the euphoric win over Central Michigan last week.

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    Tags: michigan state, oklahoma state, clemson, oregon, indiana, michigan, georgia tech, kansas, texas, maryland, iowa state, arizona state, florida, auburn, lsu, wisconsin, stanford, bob toledo, turner gill, houston nutt, jeff tedford, rick heuheisel

  8. 2011 Oct 14

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Seven

    2,438 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week seven has arrived in the 2011 season. While some match-ups this week should be entertaining, there’s a plethora of good games down the line. However, we can’t get to the future until we visit the present. Let's examine the week that was -

    Winners:

    Oklahoma – Questions, anyone? The woodshed built on the 50-yard line of the Cotton Bowl should remind you why this team is a legitimate national title contender.

    Virginia Tech – Survived a shootout with Miami in a game that both teams needed to win.

    Arkansas – As much as I dislike Petrino, they showed up and took care of business versus Auburn.

    Baylor – A good bounce back performance after the loss to Kansas State.

    Losers:

    Texas – Mack...sit David Ash. He’s not good.

    Fresno State – The Bulldogs were shelled at home before halftime on national TV. Not good.

    Minnesota – Destroyed...by Purdue? Really?

    Missouri – The Gary Pinkel Effect strikes again.

    Memphis, Arizona, Kansas, Colorado - Everyone hum along!

    On to this week’s meetings! All times Central:

    No. 11 Michigan at No. 23 Michigan State – (11 AM Saturday, ESPN)

    East Lansing is the site for this year's battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy. Last week, Michigan survived a shootout in suburban Chicago vs. Northwestern while the Spartans enjoyed a bye week.

    Michigan State comes into this game with a defense allowing only 10 points per game (No. 3 nationally). They will need to flex every bit of that defensive muscle against Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and this high-octane Wolverine offense.

    As you examine this Michigan team, be sure to note that the Wolverine defense has only allowed 12 points per game (No. 8 nationally). Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver B.J. Cunningham will find ways to put points on the board, but look for "Shoelace" to help outscore the Spartans and beat little brother.

    No. 20 Baylor at No. 21 Texas A&M - (11:00 AM Saturday, FX)

    History suggests favoring the over on points scored (for entertainment purposes only, of course) in College Station this week, as RG3 and the Bears roll down Highway 290 to face the Fightin' Aggies. Both teams put up points last week as Baylor visited Iowa State and Texas A&M tripped to Texas Tech.

    For A&M, quarterback Ryan Tannenhill has to match Robert Griffin drive for drive this week, and he's capable of doing so. However, Texas A&M needs to complete a 60-minute game, and playing Baylor is an affair where A&M can't afford to let up again.

    Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett’s unit has matured well for the Bears, and has a chance to put on a third-straight eye-opening performance. This is a must-win game for Baylor, as the loss to Kansas State allows no room for error in their remaining games. If the Aggies lose, look for the chirping for Mike Sherman’s job to get much louder.

    No. 6 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Texas – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    The Cowboys visit Austin for a second straight year due to the shrinking of the Big 12. The Longhorns host Gundy’s crew following the lancing provided by the Oklahoma Sooners last week just three hours up I-35. Everyone knows about the Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon connection for Oklahoma State.

    For Texas, quarterback Case McCoy should be taking snaps for the Longhorns until death, injury or eligibility do they part. That's not to say David Ash isn’t a good quarterback, but last week's drubbing showed that McCoy is the man. It won’t matter who Texas starts though, because the Cowboys will have their pistols firing against a defense that can't stop the bullets all day long.

    No. 18 Arizona State at No. 9 Oregon - (9:15 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    The final big game of the day takes place at the hostile Autzen Stadium as the Sun Devils and Ducks meet for a major Pac-12 tussle. Last week, Oregon ran California out of the building while losing LaMichael James to a dislocated elbow. Meanwhile, Arizona State barely broke a sweat dismantling Utah.

    For the Sun Devils, quarterback Brock Osweiler has been solid for the offense. The defense has been alright giving up less than 20 points per game. Arizona State's defenders will need to feed off of linebacker Vontaze Burfict as the Ducks's offense has found its rhythm following the debacle in Arlington against LSU.

    Oregon’s offense is averaging a shade over 50 points per game, but will feel the effects of losing James for at least a few games. This will likely be a good game, but the Ducks are almost invincible at home. Look for Oregon to notch another win.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – WHOOPSIE! Looks like the axe finally fell on Stoops. When your only win is against Northern Arizona, and you’ve given up no less than 37 points per game to FBS teams, you're not doing well regardless of schedule strength. Adios, Mike. Maybe one of your brothers has a bunk or guest house to crash at.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – Did the state of Oklahoma get a deal on woodshed materials at Lowe’s last weekend? Oklahoma drags Texas behind one, and the Cowboys do the same with Kansas. The Sooners are coming. Be very afraid.

    Neil Callaway, UAB – Having the No. 120 offense and No. 96 in the FBS isn’t helping. Neither will the upcoming game against Tulsa.

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi – The good news: You didn’t lose last week! Bad news: You’re going to get bombed by Nick Saban and Alabama!

    Jeff Tedford, California – The Bears played well for a half against Oregon, but forgot to show up for the second. Then, Southern Cal topples them for the eighth straight time. Feel the heat.

    Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – All you can muster is a field goal versus Penn State? Your offensive genius got you three points? BAH!

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    Tags: oklahoma, virginia tech, arkansas, baylor, texas, fresno state, minnesota, missouri, memphis, arizona, kansas, colorado, michigan, michigan state, texas a, m, oklahoma state, mike stoops, turner gill, neil callaway, houston nutt, jeff tedford, kirk ferentz

  9. 2011 Oct 06

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Six

    1,125 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week six of the 2011 campaign has arrived. By the first week of October, there’s a pretty clear cut list of contenders and the pretenders. As always, you can’t look forward until you look back. Last week’s highs and low’s include but are not limited to -

    Winners:

    Arkansas - For being down so much, the Hogs showed some great resiliency and came back for their third straight win in Arlington over Texas A&M

    SMU – Headed across the DFW metro, they started fast, and hung on to earn a good program-building win against TCU.

    Kansas State – Played exceptionally well at home taking care of Baylor and officially being put on sleeper watch for the Big 12 title.

    Auburn – Needed the win against South Carolina to keep their fledgling SEC West hopes alive and got it.

    Losers:

    Texas A&M – Two weeks in a row they had a large cushion at halftime, two weeks in a row they lose the game by less than a score. Where’s the Wrecking Crew?

    Mississippi State – Another SEC loss against a team they should have taken care of at home (Georgia). Again, wake us up when the Bulldogs want to play some football.

    Virginia Tech - A field goal at home against Clemson? That is all the Hokies could do?

    Florida – Losing against Alabama wasn’t terrible, however the loss of quarterback John Brantley isn’t what they needed, then or now.

    Minnesota, Kansas, South Carolina, Purdue…welp:


    Now, on to this week’s shows! All times are central.

    No. 3 Oklahoma vs No. 11 Texas – (11:00 AM Saturday, ABC)

    Get your Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, Fried…whatever you want and your sweet tea, kids! Time to head on down to the Texas State Fair and catch up on this year’s version of the Red River Rivalry. For the first time in a while, both teams are ranked fairly high in the polls. You know about Oklahoma and their playmakers on offense (quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles), but many people have not seen Texas on a national level yet.

    Texas has gotten better, primarily by using a two quarterback system with Chase McCoy and David Ash, however McCoy has been the one truly shining lately. With wide receiver Jaxon Shipley catching McCoy’s passes, it reminds Longhorn fans of the glory days they lived a few years back.

    Defensively, Texas has been better with Manny Diaz at the controls, but this will be their biggest test of the year to date. Mack and the Longhorns need this game to prove to the fan base that the program has pulled a 180 from last year’s 5-7 debacle. However, there is just enough of a talent gap that Oklahoma should be able to quiet the Texas offense enough to get the victory.

    No. 17 Florida at No. 1 LSU – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    This game has lost some of the luster that it would have had thanks to Florida quarterback John Brantley’s leg injury. In his place, highly touted freshman Jeff Driskel starts his very first game…at Death Valley in front of a national audience.

    While the Gators played well at times against Alabama last week, the game showed that Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis still have work to do, and this game will show it even more. LSU just keeps plodding along, with Jarrett Lee at the helm of the offense and a defense that hasn’t given up much to anyone other than West Virginia. Look for LSU to win this one, but Florida will give it their all.

    Miami at No. 21 Virginia Tech – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    Al Golden takes a neatly-pressed dress shirt and tie along with his Hurricanes into Blacksburg to face a Hokies squad that is not pleased with their performance against Clemson. Last week, Miami played tee ball against Bethune-Cookman, so they will be looking to gain some momentum against Virginia Tech. As Jacory Harris goes, so goes Miami.

    While Harris wasn’t great against Ohio State, he has played fairly well in the last couple of games. For the Hokies, running back David Wilson has been their rock, but quarterback Logan Thomas still hasn’t shown all that he can do yet. Tech needs him to take his play to another level for the Hokies to avoid a two game losing streak, excuses be damned.

    Miami can’t be trusted on the road, especially in conference play. Furthermore, Frank Beamer has to get his team realizing that a second conference loss in a row could be disaster for a once-promising season. Take the Hokies at home in this one.

    No. 15 Auburn at No. 10 Arkansas – (6 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    Auburn is the road underdog once again this week as they travel to Fayetteville to take on a Razorback team hoping to capitalize on the momentum gained from their come-from-behind win against Texas A&M.

    Last week, Auburn silenced the crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia and took care of a very inconsistent South Carolina team. Auburn is not a squad that scores points easily, and doesn’t shut down the opposition very well either.

    One team that is superior to them in putting up points is these very Arkansas Razorbacks. For some reason, Auburn will stick around in this game until the end because that’s just what they have done this year. Arkansas’ chances are favorable, specifically since it’s a home game. However, do not be shocked if Auburn can keep it close and possibly squeak out a win.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Frank Spazani, Boston College – Things are not good for you right now, sir. Sitting at 1-4 and going to play Clemson doesn’t help. Scoring less than 21 points per game isn’t an encouraging statistic, either.

    Robb Akey, Idaho – You had a chance to shock the world with a defeat of Virginia in overtime last week. Being ranked somewhere in the 90s when it comes to scoring offense and defense doesn’t help. Louisiana Tech comes calling for you this week.

    Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Neil Callaway (UAB) – Both teams are underperforming, so both teams naturally have to beat up on each other. Neither team can afford the loss, either.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – You mange to score 41 against Southern California and it doesn’t matter come the end of the game. Absolutely shocking. You do have a chance for a win, this week, against...

    Mike Riley, Oregon State – Another ball game for the families. This game’s winner isn’t winning much, one would believe.

    Larry Porter, Memphis – The Tigers are currently running through an absolute gauntlet of a schedule with last week’s toughie against Middle Tennesee State and this week’s bout against the monsters known as the Rice Owls.

    Danny Hope, Purdue – What Notre Dame did to you last Saturday was rated “M.” Whether “M” was for mature or moronic, who knows?

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    Tags: arkansas, smu, auburn, texas am, mississippi state, virginia tech, florida, minnesota, kansas, south carolina, purdue, oklahoma, texas, lsu, miami, frank spazani, robb akey, dan mullen, mike stoops, mike riley, neil callaway, larry porter, danny hope

  10. 2011 Sep 28

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Five

    5,489 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    It’s hard to believe that there are football games happening outside of Madison this week (GASP!). This is where you find out what else is going down and where it’s going down at. Last week’s winners and losers include -

    Winners:

    Georgia: Congrats Bulldogs, you kept your heads out of the guillotine just long enough by embarrassing someone else for a change. Then again, considering it was Ole Miss, that wasn’t a difficult project.

    Oklahoma State: You battled back from trailing Texas A&M early on the road to pull out a big win. Take care of everything before December, and you’ll have your opportunity to make the big time.

    LSU: The Tigers took the potential of getting ambushed in Morgantown very well. Les Miles’ offense bailed out the defense for once, and The Hat just keeps on winning.

    Arizona State: Save the Illinois stumble, the Sun Devils have been the biggest surprise out of the Pac-12 so far this year. They had a fine win against Team Kiffykins.

    Losers:

    Pittsburgh: For the second week in a row, the Panthers snared defeat from the jaws of victory. The Big East won’t feel bad for them at all though.

    Toledo: The Rockets were flat out jobbed by an incompetent officiating crew from ref to replay official. What an awful way to lose a game.

    Arkansas: The Razorbacks had their chance, and proved they were in over their heads again. If things don’t improve this week…well, let’s wait on that thought.

    West Virginia: A good performance by quarterback Geno Smith, but the Mountaineers had no answer for LSU’s offense. WVU will get better though, at least if no one is faking injuries.

    Ole Miss, Memphis, NC State: This is fitting:



    Onto this week’s dandies! All time CDT, of course.

    No. 14 Texas A&M vs. No. 18 Arkansas – (11:00 AM Saturday, ESPN)

    Yours truly will be in Jerryworld to watch the first SEC conference game for the Aggies as they take on the fighting Hogs. Both teams lost last week, Texas A&M with a disappointing second half versus Okie State, while Arkansas really wasn’t ever in the game against Alabama. Arkansas quarterback Trevor Wilson was efficient last week, but nothing spectacular. “Efficient” isn’t going to beat Saban’s team.

    While A&M doesn’t have the defense that Nick Saban possesses, the Aggies are stout. Running back Ronnie Wingo, Jr. has to put up better numbers than last week for Arkansas to improve. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was alright last week, but RB Cyrus Gray wasn’t and didn’t help the A&M effort once they started to struggle.

    Don’t think that head coach Mike Sherman didn’t notice the success Alabama had running the ball with Trent Richardson. Arkansas has won the two games against A&M in Arlington so far, but there’s no reason to think that the Aggies won’t take this one. Texas A&M’s defense will be the difference in 2011.

    No. 15 Baylor at Kansas State – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    Who'd have thought that this game would have Big 12 conference championship implications at the beginning of the season? Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has more touchdowns (13) than incompletions (12) this year, and has shown that he’s definitely worthy of Heisman consideration. Baylor rolls into Manhattan, Kansas to play Bill Snyder’s Wildcats, who pulled off a semi-shocking, convincing win against Miami (FL).

    Junior quarterback Collin Kline hasn’t been great for the Wildcats, but he’s going to have to start putting together longer drives to keep RG3 off the field. The Kansas State defense is only giving up 10 points per game, but it was given a stern test against the Canes and the Bears could run roughshod over it.

    Look for Griffin to struggle a touch more than he has, but he will still have a great game and Baylor should win setting up an October with some big games for the Bears to prove they belong in the upper tier of the Big 12.

    No. 13 Clemson at No. 11 Virginia Tech – (5 PM Saturday, ESPN2)

    A potential ACC title game preview goes down in Lane Stadium Saturday evening when Dabo Sweeney takes the surging Tigers to face Frank Beamer’s Hokies. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has played well for the Tigers, who are off to a fantastic start. Running back David Wilson has been the star for the Hokies on offense, but Virginia Tech hasn’t faced a true challenge thus far.

    While Bud Foster’s defense has been great for the Hokies, Virginia Tech has been in much tighter games than expected. Clemson has only played at home during their great start, and this is one of two major road tests for the Tigers.

    With the wave of momentum that Clemson is riding, their chances are better than people think, and it’d be no surprise if they walk out of Blacksburg with a win. If the Hokies do go down, they can’t lick their wounds for long, as the Miami Hurricanes will be visiting next week.

    No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida – (7 PM Saturday, CBS)

    The other Game of the Week takes place in the warmth of The Swamp. Nick Saban goes from one big game to another and Will Muschamp finally gets to be the head man in a big time SEC conference showdown. The Crimson Tide comes off a game where running back Trent Richardson played out of his mind again, and a swarming defense took the wood to a respectable Arkansas offense.

    Florida’s offense has evolved into an unstoppable monster under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are the fastest one-two punch in the SEC, and quarterback John Brantley has taken his game to another level. These two teams have rock solid defenses, so this one will come down to who can win a three-plus hour chess match.

    Saban pulls everything out of his kids in this type of atmosphere. Can Muschamp coach at his level? The game will be low scoring. The winner’s tough to call, but Alabama seems to be the appropriate lean right now. Check the weekly Husker Locker predictions to see who is ultimately chosen.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Mike Locksley, New Mexico: Whoops! The axe finally fell on Mike this weekend after a “recruit” stole a car registered to Locksley and his wife. It didn’t help that this young man was underage and hit the sauce hard. If this was the final straw for Mike, that’s a sad statement from the New Mexico athletic department. Such is life though, and the interstate game vs. New Mexico State is here. For the families, folks, for the families.

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss: In a game where the loser may have gotten fired on the way back to the showers, you no-showed again in the second half. Also, you didn’t even talk to the media after the game. Instead, you send out offensive coordinator David Lee to take the bullet for you. Do you think Fresno State will care if you feel bad and pull punches?

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State: How’s Russell Wilson treating you? Wait, nevermind.

    Mike Riley, Oregon State: A win over Burfict’s boys in the desert? Not likely.

    Danny Hope, Purdue: Beating Notre Dame would save your job for the season. Not beating them would be both terrible and is expected.

    Larry Porter, Memphis: Really? SMU runs you out of your own stadium?

    Mike Stoops, Arizona: In a shocker, the Wildcats were beat down by Oregon and will be beat down by Southern Cal. Why? Because that’s the norm for Arizona football.

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    Tags: georgia, oklahoma state, lsu, arizona state, pittsburgh, toledo, arkansas, west virginia, ole miss, memphis, north carolina state, texas a, m, baylor, kansas state, clemson, virginia tech, alabama, florida, mike locksley, houston nutt, tom obrien, mike riley

  11. 2011 Sep 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Four

    2,051 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    As the season officially turns to fall, time once again to take a look at last week’s winners and losers, and a look forward to this week’s games.

    To start us off again, the biggest gains and losses from last week

    WINNERS:

    Oklahoma – Went into a tough environment against a gritty team and found a way to win. Time to focus on running the Big 12 as it currently exists.

    Notre Dame – They needed a big game versus Michigan State and got it.

    Clemson – Things came together for the Dabo gang versus Auburn. Don’t celebrate too long though Tigers (the ones that won), as things don’t get easier.

    Miami (FL) – Very impressive how the Canes took control of that game against Ohio State.

    LOSERS:

    Arizona – Another big game for the Cats under Mike Stoops, another egg laid. Stanford ran them out of their own house.

    Michigan State - What? Why? Where did you go, D’Antonio?

    Mississippi State - That’s the best the Bulldogs can do on offense? Dan Mullen, you didn’t even give your team a chance. Let us all know when you think you can be relevant without ducking out on the big stage again.

    Ole Miss, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Auburn - May I introduce napalm to erase those bad memories?



    To this week’s watch list! All times Central:

    No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    Another week in the life of head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, another ranked SEC opponent coming into Bryant-Denny Stadium for their enjoyment. The Arkansas Razorbacks come to Tuscaloosa for a afternoon meet and greet. Head coach Bobby Petrino brings in an offense that is ranked No. 8 in the FBS in both passing and points per game. The most surprising stat is that Arkansas ranks No. 17 in points allowed, giving up a hair over 12 per game.

    Granted, their games haven’t been against teams better than Missouri State and Troy, so take those numbers for what they’re worth. The Tide is ranked No. 2 in scoring defense, allowing less than a touchdown per game, so this should be a great matchup for both teams. The fact that Petrino has junior quarterback Tyler Wilson and not All-SEC Ryan Mallet will be the difference here.

    Mallett was adept at making necessary passes, and Wilson won’t have seen a defense this good all year. Saban lives for these high-pressure home games, and Petrino tends to field a team that folds like a cheap tent when away from War Memorial Stadium. This contest shouldn’t be too high scoring, but Alabama will win comfortably. If Arkansas does lose, they can’t hang their heads for long, as a battle with Texas A&M looms the next week.

    No. 7 Oklahoma St. at No. 8 Texas A&M – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC)

    This game will crown the main challenger for Oklahoma’s Big 12 championship bid. The Cowboys had a very late, interesting game against Tulsa last week, while the Aggies wore out Idaho at home. Two of the top three passers in both the conference and FBS will be on display, as Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden goes will be looking for All-American wide out Justin Blackmon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be taking center stage for the Aggies.

    While both offenses are stellar, the Aggies’ defense is doing their part, only giving up 10 points per contest, although they’re just two games into the season. The difference will be a Cowboy defense that looked shaky at times against Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulsa.

    Head coach Mike Gundy’s team doesn’t fear anyone, and they seem to play well with an “us against the world” mentality. This game will be close no matter what, and it’s very tough to call a winner. Regardless, the loser is not out of the conference race, but they’ll need help.

    No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson (2:30 PM Saturday, ESPN, ESPN3, etc.)

    The ACC conference slate kicks off for both teams with a visit to Death Valley for the Seminoles. Last week, Clemson played a very tough game versus Auburn, while Florida State gave Oklahoma all they could handle. FSU Quarterback E.J. Manuel has a bruised shoulder, and is questionable at best. His dual-threat abilities gave the Sooners fits, but if he isn’t ready to go, expect Clint Trickett to air it out, as the Noles proved their running game is far from effective.

    Clemson doesn’t really impress on the stat sheet, but they’ve played very well as a unit. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington have been impressive at times for the Tigers, but in order to win this game and grab a hold of the sit at the head of the ACC Atlantic’s table, Clemson has to prove they can stop the pass. Look for the Tigers to come away with a somewhat ugly, yet convincing win, and for Florida State to go back to the drawing board.

    No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    The final game of the night will be live from Morgantown, when the Bayou Bengals travel to the Smoky Mountains. LSU comes into the game with their #2 ranking, but they haven’t been truly tested by anyone yet. Quarterback Jarrett Lee has managed the offense well enough to let the defense do their thing against teams like Oregon and Mississippi State.

    West Virginia comes into the game with the high-flying Dana Holgorson offense that has been more misses than hits through the season so far. While the Mountaineers’ offense, led by quarterback Geno Smith has been good, but not as great as it can be, the defense has been a tad tepid and that’s being kind. Don’t forget, this is the same team that had Maryland driving for the go ahead score late in the game last week.

    While this should be the biggest test for the LSU defense to date by far, the offense should be able to put points on the board, again without Lee doing much. West Virginia will score, but they won’t be able to be effective enough. LSU should prevail once again, but the score should be closer than people may give the Mountaineers credit for.

    Either way, it will be the most festive in-game atmosphere you may ever see, as the allowance of alcohol sales inside the stadium should bode well for the both Tiger and Mountaineer fans who likes to enjoy the occasional adult beverage…or three.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat

    Turner Gill, Kansas – That was bad, Turner. Georgia Tech just destroyed your charges. Texas Tech arrives in two weeks, and your Jayhawks had better be ready.

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Vanderbilt ran you off the train tracks, sir! That’s right, Vanderbilt! I’d expect to see you bomb this week yet again, but you get to go against..

    Mark Richt, Georgia - Georgia vs. Ole Miss this week in Oxford. At least if Richt loses, he may not be fired in the tunnel going back to the locker room after the game. Houston Nutt on the other hand...

    Rick Neuheisel - UCLA, Mike Riley - Oregon State – UCLA vs. Oregon State. The winner gets to live. For how long, who knows? At least the players’ families will be watching.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – This is getting old, sir. Your team wasn’t prepared and you were outcoached..again. Oregon comes to town this week, so I recommend drafting excuses right now.

    BONUS: Dan Beebe - Big 12 Commissioner (for now) – It was really your fault after all, wasn’t it Dan?

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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    Tags: oklahoma, florida state, miami, ohio state, notre dame, arizona, michigan state, mississippi state, ole miss, kansas, pittsburgh, auburn, arkansas, alabama, oklahoma state, texas a, m, clemson, lsu, west virginia, turner gill, houston nutt, mark richt, mike riley, dan beebe

  12. 2011 Sep 16

    THE OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 9/16: Collaring The Huskies

    1,823 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base.

    - Secondary coaching (Marvin Sanders vs. Corey Raymond)
    - Wisconsin and Nebraska in the Top 10
    - How the BCS title game could play out between Oklahoma, the SEC and the Big Ten
    - Brandon Kinnie
    - Washington predictions

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Brandon: @HuskerLocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Brett: @BigRedinTejas
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:

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    Tags: marvin sanders, corey raymond, wisconsin, bcs, sec, oklahoma, big ten, brandon minnie, podcast, podcasts

  13. 2011 Sep 14

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Three

    1,895 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    That’s right. We both know what time it is. Again, before we look at this week, let’s take a moment to remember last weekend’s winners and losers.

    Winners:

    Michigan – Opening the “new” Big House at night was a rousing success with a comeback win against Notre Dame. The Wolverine defense needs to improve, but overall a great experience.

    Iowa State – A great win to win the paper mache Cy-Hawk trophy. Make sure to use Gorilla Glue while putting that thing back together.

    South Carolina – Congrats on pulling out a tough win in Athens. The Gamecocks now have the upper hand on the SEC East. (CLICK-CLACK)

    Arizona State – A good win on a national stage for their program. Since the Pac-12 crown is somewhat up for grabs, Mizzou was great preparation for the conference schedule.

    Losers:

    Notre Dame – Maybe Brian Kelly is this year’s Gerry Faust. Cursed? Who knows.

    Missouri – Another big game for the Tigers, more questionable decisions by Gary Pinkel.

    North Carolina State – How is Russell Wilson playing fo.... oh, yeah. He was told to pack up and split.

    Georgia, Louisville, Memphis, Iowa - Here’s your sign:



    Now, on with the show! All times CST, of course.

    No. 3 LSU at No. 25 Mississippi State – (7 PM Thursday, ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN 3D, etc.)

    Thursday night SEC football comes at us with Les Miles and the Tigers heading to in Starkville to face Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. Last week, the Tigers took care of business against Northwestern State, while Mississippi State was shafted out of their game thanks to bad officiating at Auburn (Look at the tape). While Jarrett Lee’s stats aren’t very good, he’s been what Miles needs - an efficient game manager that keeps the Tigers out of in-game ruts.

    Mississippi State’s playmakers were discussed last week, and while quarterback Chris Reif put them in some bad situations, Mississippi State running back Vick Ballard is the real deal. Since Les Miles hasn’t had an appendectomy to remove Mr. Ed’s horseshoe out of his spleen, LSU should do well enough to squeak out a win on the road before get a beignet by Friday morning.

    No. 15 Michigan State at Notre Dame (2:30 PM, NBC)

    Notre Dame has very little time to lick their wounds before Mark D’Antonio brings his savvy Spartans into the confines of South Bend. While Michigan State has been alright offensively, the defense has been stout, giving up only six points in two games.

    This is already a make-or-break game for Brian Kelly. Starting 0-3 with a schedule that should probably have resulted in an 2-1 start at worst could spell doom for him in a hurry.

    Sticking with Tommy Rees at quarterback is Notre Dame's best option. Rees made some great throws last week. The defense...well…Kirk Cousins should have his first 300-plus yard passing game of the year. The Spartans will win in South Bend, making the soft howls for Kelly’s job even louder.

    Tennessee at No. 16 Florida (2:30 PM, CBS)

    Derek Dooley marches into The Swamp for an afternoon romp with Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators. Tennessee surprised a lot of people last week with their borderline convincing win at home against a decent Cincinnati team. For Florida, this will be the first test after warm-ups against Florida Atlantic and UAB.

    Muschamp has the defense operating well, while Charlie Wies has done a fine job with John Brantley. Which Tennessee team shows up this week? The Vols are still young, but Dooley makes them grind out tough games, and obviously this is no exception. Florida has enough defensive ability to keep Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and running back Tauren Poole quiet enough for Florida to pull away late.

    No. 17 Ohio State at Miami (7 PM, ESPN)

    Dolphins Stadium gets stunk up and unfilled again for a Miami Hurricanes home game, this time against THE Ohio State University. Jacory Harris and his talented, arm-punting ways make their debut after a one game suspension and Ohio State gets a few players back themselves. Many nicknames are being used for this game, but how about “a rout”?

    Al Golden pulled plenty of effort out of the Canes in Maryland, but Luke Fickell gets more out of his Buckeyes. Ohio State’s Joe Bauserman seems to be the man at quarterback, even with the talented Braxton Miller on the sidelines.

    Miami will be ready to play, but the Buckeye defense should give Harris fits. Jacory is either money or counterfeit, there’s no middle ground. The Bucks should win easily, but if Bauserman struggles, the calls for Miller will get louder.

    No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 5 Florida State (7 PM, ABC)

    The game of the year: this week’s version will come from Tallahassee as Big Game Bob brings his loaded Sooners to take on Jimbo Fischer’s hyped yet virtually untested Seminoles.

    Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles will be ready to test a defense that had what were essentially paid scrimmages from Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern thus far.

    Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel has been stellar so far this year, completing passes at a 66-percent clip. However, the most alarming thing for the Seminoles is their running game, or lack thereof. With only 262 yards total through two games, Florida State will have to do much better on the ground to challenge the Sooners.

    This game comes down to attitude. Oklahoma breathes this type of big game air all the time, while Florida State hasn’t had a reason to feel the nerves yet. Jones should have a good day, and the Sooners should win this one, but a close score won’t truly tell the story.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Brian Kelly, Notre Dame: As mentioned above, sitting at 0-3 would not be a good thing. Yes, you are close to making hay with this team, and you more than likely won’t be getting fired any time soon, but you need this game against MSU.

    Mike Riley, Oregon State: We all knew your team had no chance against Wisconsin. Negative four-yard punts didn’t help, but let’s accept it and move on. You have two weeks to prep for UCLA which may or may not get a skull-kicking by a pissed off Texas team. Get better fast, sir or start looking up moving companies.

    Mark Richt, Georgia: Again, your Bulldogs played pretty well against a better team. However, you again came up short. The Dawgs are playing well, but they just need to put together four quarters of good football. Your game against Coastal Carolina is a paid scrimmage, so use it wisely.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona: That beating you took in Stillwater was harsh, yet was seen a mile away. Don’t breathe easy just yet, because Andrew Luck is coming to town. Lose this one badly, and things could turn ugly.

    Larry Porter, Memphis: This is one of the few jobs in America where you seriously have no chance before your nameplate is put on the door. The school has shown they don’t care about the program and the warnings that Tommy West issued when he was fired haven’t been heard. Few expected you to get clobbered by Arkansas State, though. Is it possible to keep things close against Austin Peay?

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    Tags: michigan, iowa state, south carolina, arizona state, notre dame, missouri, north carolina state, georgia, luisville, memphis, iowa, les miles, dan mullen, lsu, mississippi state, michigan state, tennessee, florida, will muschamp, al golden, miami, ohio state, oklahoma, florida state

  14. 2011 Jun 29

    An Open Letter from Nebraska to the Big 12: The Final Days

    9,093 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Erin Sorensen

    The last year has been a rocky one for both of us. It’s been full of finger-pointing, mud-slinging, snickers and name-calling. It hasn’t been one of the classiest years for either of us. Thankfully, it will all be over come Friday.

    On Friday, Nebraska officially becomes a member of the Big Ten conference. Thanks to being "welcomed to the neighborhood” with an entire weekend of Cornhusker-based Big Ten Network programming, we’re already feeling at home. Friday is a moment that the program has been waiting for: a fresh start. However, getting to this point hasn’t been easy. It also doesn’t mean the transition hasn’t been bittersweet at times.

    It seems that the Big 12 and its’ media members have often assumed that we wanted nothing more than to leave. While we weren’t exactly dragging our feet on the way out, it definitely wasn’t easy. To an extent, Nebraska fans will miss the Big 12. It may be fair to say that they will miss the Big Eight or Big Six more. Cornhusker fans will look back fondly on the 105-year tradition of playing the University of Kansas' football team.

    Moments such as “The Game of the Century” will continue to remind us of our love for the sport's history. There are many things that Nebraska fans will miss which only makes this break-up even harder.

    Nebraska helped create plenty of history in the Big Six, Big Eight and Big 12 conference. The Cornhuskers formed relationships and traditions that must now end. Even trying to schedule an out-of-conference game with Oklahoma, a name that Nebraskans know all too well, has proven difficult. The two schools may not even face off again for nearly ten years. That tradition is being nixed at all is not an easy pill to swallow for anyone involved.



    When the Big Ten rolls out the red carpet on Friday, the Big Red will not look back. The Cornhuskers are ready for this new chapter. New traditions will be made and new rivalries will be forged. It’ll take some getting used to, but we’re ready and so is the Big Ten. The turbulent year since Nebraska decided to leave will be over and we can all breathe again.

    It would be naïve to expect the Big 12 media not to make a big deal out of the departure once the deal is made official. Nebraskans can expect a summer of more snide remarks before it finally trickles off. The difference between now and one year ago is that the Big Ten officially has the Cornhuskers' backs.

    Come kick-off on Saturday, September 3, the Big 12 as we know it will change forever. On that day, Nebraska and its former conference will truly separate. The Big Ten will play its’ first conference title game while the Big 12 will not play one for the first time in years come December. On September 3, things will have changed dramatically. It will be a day to officially move forward for both sides.

    It’s been a long time coming, but it's finally here. To the Big 12:

    Good luck, farewell, and Go Big Red.

    Follow Erin on Twitter: @helloerinmarie
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    Tags: big 12, big ten, oklahoma, kansas

  15. 2010 Dec 03

    BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP: Five OU Players to Watch

    2,594 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Five Oklahoma players to watch in Saturday's Big 12 Championship:

    Defensive end Jeremy Beal:
    The one OU defensive player that Nebraska will really struggle to account for because of his pass-rushing talents. On third down, NU absolutely has to know where he is and have help to block No. 44 if necessary. Beal is necessarily a top-shelf run stopper, but for pure speed off the edge, there are few better in college football.

    Quarterback Landry Jones: Streaky passer who runs hot and cold – sometimes in the same game. Tough, though – and a better leader than some think. Jones can throw an interception and come right back to throw three touchdowns. And vice versa.

    Running back DeMarco Murray: The straw that stirs the Sooners' drink. Because he can run and catch the ball with equal skill, Murray is the cog that makes OU's no-huddle offense really hum. Will a knee injury suffered in the Oklahoma State game hold him back? If so, Oklahoma loses a crucial weapon. He'll play, of course – but how effective will he be? It's always a question with the oft-injured Murray.

    Linebacker Travis Lewis: The emotional and strategic quarterback of OU's defense hasn't had a great year in 2010, but he's still a mean cuss and the kind of athletic talent who can turn it on in a play. Nebraska will run power, and Lewis, the Sooners' best lateral pursuit artist, will be asked to make plays against those counters and sweeps backside with his speed.

    Wide receiver Ryan Broyles: Mr. Move the Chains. Broyles is a technically proficient, tough-as-nails slot receiver who kills a defense with a thousand little cuts, also known as eight catches per game. Terrific in the red zone and elusive after the catch, Broyles will get his touches. Nebraska has to limit what he does after he gets the ball.

    Tags: big 12 championship, oklahoma

  16. 2010 Dec 02

    Husker Heartbeat 12/2: The End of the Affair (OU and Otherwise)

    2,569 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    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.


    Lots of strong (and some misinformed) opinions today. Let's go!

    *OWH's Tom Shatel contends that Oklahoma ended the NU-OU series and, by proxy, put the Huskers on the clock to leave the Big 12:

    Go back to 1995. Conference realignment was on the fast track. The Big Eight and Southwest Conference weren't likely to secure large TV contracts in their existing state. So Oklahoma Athletic Director Donnie Duncan and Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds got together and assembled the Big 12 — the Big Eight plus four SWC schools.

    Where was NU Athletic Director Bill Byrne in this scenario?
    That may have been the first sign of things to come.

    As divisions and schedule rotations were set up, Duncan made a decision that would change history. With OU and NU in separate divisions, he decided that Oklahoma would no longer play the Huskers annually.

    Duncan told this story last May while he attended the historic Big 12 meetings on Kansas City's Plaza. I asked him why he chose to end a meaningful rivalry like NU and OU. His reply:

    “Oklahoma already had a rival in Texas. There was no need to play both Nebraska and Texas every year.''


    To me, it's proof of what I always have believed about the Sooners: Winning, really, is what matters. It's not the tradition. It's not the culture. It's the sheer number of wins and losses. That's why OU's been in seriously hot water with the NCAA two different times (in the mid-1970s and again in the late 1980s)

    *Here's two perfectly average anti-Nebraska columns from Jenni Carlson (who basically rehashes stuff from the Texas and Texas A&M games) and Jennifer Floyd Engel, whose attempt at humor - rooting on Oklahoma to beat Nebraska - falls pretty flat. Two good reasons why newspapers are dying. These pieces don't even rise to the level of dramatic. They're lazy, derivative shrug-worthy columns that will work up only the mouth-breathers among Husker fans.

    *More on the divorce of Nebraska and the Big 12.

    *Bob Stoops is showing his players old clips of Sooner Magic to motivate them for Saturday's game. Somehow I doubt Bo's doing anything of the kind.

    *Here's a dispatch from Husker Dan on the last NU-OU game.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big 12 championship, tom shatel, oklahoma

  17. 2010 Dec 01

    All-Time NU-OU Team

    4,122 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    We decided to be totally, utterly crazy – and try to pick all-time Nebraska-Oklahoma team. That's right – the guys who defined this series with their great play in one of college football's finest rivalry.

    Here's our picks. Feel free to bray out loud and put your own thoughts in the comments section!

    QUARTERBACK: Steve Davis, Oklahoma Surprised? You shouldn't be. Davis went 3-0 vs. Nebraska in 1973, 1974 and 1975, rushing for more than 100 yards in each game as OU outscored the Huskers 90-24 in those three games. OU won national titles in 1974 and 1975, and while Davis isn't necessarily the most celebrated Sooner QB in history – in part because Oklahoma was on probation and never played on TV – he was nails against the Huskers.

    RUNNING BACK: Mike Rozier, Nebraska Never lost to the Sooners, rushing for 105 in 1981, 96 in 1982 and 205 – his masterpiece game – in the 1983 barn-burner. No NU running back ever had Rozier's balance or playmaking ability.

    RUNNING BACK: Billy Sims, Oklahoma Yes, his fumbles cost OU the 1978 game vs. the Huskers, but he more than made up for it with 134 yards and two touchdowns in the 1979 Orange Bowl and 247 yards in the 1979 game.

    TIGHT END: Keith Jackson, Oklahoma Practically beat Nebraska by himself in 1985 and 1986. In 85, Jackson rushed for 136 yards – including a 88-yard reverse for a touchdown, while in 1986 he made three catches for 87 yards – including a touchdown and a key third-down grab (after committing pass interference, of course) to set up OU's game-winning field goal.

    WIDE RECEIVER: Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska His punt return in The Game of the Century is the defining image of the NU-OU series. He also made a clutch third-down grab in that game to keep the Huskers' game-winning drive alive.

    WIDE RECEIVER, Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma: Arguably the best player in both the 2005 game and the 2006 Big 12 Championship, catching 18 passes for 228 yards in the two games, including a 66-yard touchdown in the Big 12 title game.

    OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Jim Weatherall, Oklahoma The first of the great Sooner offensive linemen, he was an All-American in 1950 and 1951, and he won the Outland Trophy. OU won in 1950 and 1951 by scores of 49-35 and 27-0.

    OFFENSIVE GUARD: Duke Robinson, Oklahoma Only played Nebraska once, in 2008, but he was part of the most dominant offense in Sooner history. Two-time All-American who could maul with the best of the linemen.

    CENTER: Dave Rimington, Nebraska Aggressive, fast off the ball, fierce-looking and one of the defining players of the NU-OU series.

    OFFENSIVE GUARD: Dean Steinkuhler, Nebraska Rimington's linemate doesn't get quite as much publicity over the years, but he was as athletic and powerful as any Husker lineman in recent history.

    OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Zach Wiegert, Nebraska Three-year starter from 1992-1994 who was as intimidating on the corner pulling a counter trey.

    DEFENSIVE END: Broderick Thomas, Nebraska It wouldn't be a NU-OU list without the Sandman. A goat of sorts in the 1986 game – Keith Jackson pushed off of him on that crucial catch – he was a hero in helping shut down OU's explosive wishbone offense in a 7-3 win 1988.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma Barry Switzer called him the best player he ever coached, and Selmon never lost to the Huskers, finishing 4-0. He won the Outland and Lombardi Award in 1975 after finishing with 142 tackles and 10 sacks in one year.

    MIDDLE GUARD: Rich Glover, Nebraska His unforgettable performance in The Game of the Century – 22 total tackles – is reason alone for his inclusion on this list.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Tony Casillas, Oklahoma He anchored two of Oklahoma's best defenses in 1984 and 1985 as the Sooners only gave up seven offensive points in two games.

    DEFENSIVE END: Grant Wistrom, Nebraska 4-0 vs. some average-to-awful Sooner teams, culminating in perhaps his finest game, a 10-tackle, 2-sack performance in a 69-7 win in 1997.

    LINEBACKER: Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma The Boz raised the ire of Husker fans like few other Sooner players in 1985 and 1986. But he earned their respect with his play on the field. And that hair.

    LINEBACKER: Marc Munford, Nebraska Never beat Oklahoma in his seasons with the NU varsity (1985, 85, 86), but it didn't take away from his strong play, including 16 tackles in the 1984 game. He had an interception in the 1986 game.

    DEFENSIVE BACK: Jim Pillen, Nebraska A two-time All-Big Eight performer, Pillen recovered two of Billy Sims' fumbles in the famous 1978 game, and finished that day with eight tackles.

    DEFENSIVE BACK: Rickey Dixon, Oklahoma Swagger. The Thorpe winner in 1987 picked off two passes in The Game of the Century II.

    DEFENSIVE BACK: Mike Minter, Nebraska A Lawton, Oklahoma native who never lost to the Sooner in his three games in 1993, 1995 and 1996. He forced a key fumble in the 1993 game and picked off a pass in the 1996 contest. One of the smartest and most versatile Blackshirts ever.

    UTILITY: Tommy McDonald, HB/DB, Oklahoma He did a little of everything – run, pass, defend – on two of OU's finest teams in 1955 and 1956. The Sooners won those games 41-0 and 54-6.

    KICKER: Tim Lashar, Oklahoma Kris Brown and Alex Henery were certainly better kickers, but Lashar nailed the game-winner in the 1986 game and his name resonates in minds of Husker fans as the guy who never graduated.

    Tags: nebraska oklahoma, big 12 championship, mike rozier, grant wistrom, rich glover

  18. 2010 Nov 30

    10 Memorable NU-OU Games

    4,387 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    The best of the best. It's a hard list to narrow down, so feel free to throw in your two cents in the comments section. Here's our ten:

    1959 Nebraska 25 Oklahoma 21: NU snapped a 17-game losing streak to OU – and snapped the Sooners' 75-game conference winning streak, too – by taking advantage of four Oklahoma fumbles. The Huskers threw as many interceptions – two - as they completed passes, but somehow it was enough despite getting outgained by OU 340-161.

    1963 Nebraska 29 Oklahoma 20: Just 24 hours after the assassination of President Kennedy, the Huskers staked a 29-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter and held on. Both teams committed six turnovers in a sloppy game, only played because the Orange Bowl had to determine a Big Eight Champion and so many fans had already traveled to Lincoln. Willie Ross led all rushers with 54 yards.

    1971 Nebraska 35 Oklahoma 31: The Game of the Century, No. 1 NU and No. 2 OU, waged on Thanksgiving. The Huskers and Sooners lived up to their billing in a thrilling, back-and-forth game that wasn't decided until Oklahoma's final deep passes felt incomplete. Johnny Rodgers created his signature play with a 72-yard punt return to score the game's first touchdown, but the Huskers got career performances from Rich Glover (22 tackles) and Jeff Kinney (171 yards rushing) as 55 million watched the Big Red and quarterback Jerry Tagge stage a dramatic fourth-quarter drive for the win.

    1976 Oklahoma 20 Nebraska 17: The origin of “Sooner Magic.” NU led 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter until Elvis Peacock scored on a 50-yard run to cut the lead to 17-13. Then OU won with a drive that included 79 yards in trick plays. The first was a halfback pass for 47 yards. The second was a hook-and-lateral to Peacock for 32 yards down to the Nebraska 2-yard line. Peacock scored on the next play for his third and final touchdown.

    1978 Nebraska 17 Oklahoma 14: NU upset No. 1 OU by recovering six fumbles. The last of them was coughed up by the Sooners' Billy Sims as the Huskers' 3-yard line with 3:27 left. Rick Berns rumbled for 113 yards and Jim Pillen finished with eight tackles and two fumble recoveries.

    1982 Nebraska 28 Oklahoma 24: Arguably the most exciting game in the series aside from The Game of the Century as the teams combined for more than 800 yards. Marcus Dupree flashed his considerable skill, blasting through the NU line for a 86-yard touchdown to start the second half, while Mike Rozier plowed for 96 total yards himself. OU's late comeback was cut short by an interception from walk-on Scott Strasburger, after which Husker fans threw oranges and rushed the field.

    1984 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 7: The Stand. OU, pushed around by the No. 1 Huskers' offense for most of the game, conducted a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to upset NU and set itself up for the Orange Bowl and a shot at the national title. On fourth and one foot, with the Sooners leading 10-7, Tom Osborne chose not to kick the field goal. Instead, he called for a pitch to Jeff Smith, who slipped and was smothered by Oklahoma for a two-yard loss. OU capped the win with a late touchdown.

    1986 Oklahoma 20 Nebraska 17: More Sooner Magic. NU, wearing red jerseys and red pants, again led 17-7 heading into the final quarter. OU kicked a field goal, then had to drive 94 yards with just four minutes left – running a wishbone offense – to tie the game. The Sooners did it, getting help from a Husker facemask penalty on fourth down. OU QB Jamelle Holieway found Keith Jackson for a 17-yard touchdown to tie the game. Nebraska was forced to punt on its following possession. Then Holieway pulled off another miracle, hitting Jackson for 37 yards on third-and-long to set up the game-winning field goal.

    1991 Nebraska 19 Oklahoma 14: Time for some Husker magic, as NU clinched a tie for the Big Eight title by overcoming a 14-3 halftime deficit. Calvin Jones ran for 118 yards and Johnny Mitchell caught seven passes for 137 yards to cement his status as the nation's best tight end.

    2001 Nebraska 20 Oklahoma 10: Black Flash 41 Reverse Pass. Both teams ran it in the game, but only Nebraska had Eric Crouch to execute it right. He handed off to Thunder Collins, who pitched to Mike Stuntz, who threw a perfect pass to Crouch, who was streaking behind the OU defense, for a touchdown. The play cemented Crouch's Heisman candidacy, and gave NU an insurmountable 20-10 lead in what had been a battle of two defenses.

    See also: What's Your Favorite NU-OU Memory?

    Tags: big 12 championship, oklahoma, johnny rodgers, mike rozier, turner gill, calvin jones, eric crouch

  19. 2010 Nov 29

    OU's No Huddle? No Joke.

    2,326 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Until recent years, the no-huddle offense in football wore its “fad” tag proudly, either constrained by the circumstances of the game – the two-minute drill – or relegated to the smartest, most polished quarterbacks in the game - Peyton Manning.

    But certain offensive minds in college football – initially the architects of the run-and-shoot, then “Air Raid” inventors Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, and now Chip Kelly – managed to seamlessly integrate the no-huddle approach with an emphasis on plays run instead of time of possession.

    Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is at the cutting edge. He made the shift before the 2008 season with quarterback Sam Bradford, and produced an offense that averaged 51 points and 547 yards per game and 6.9 yards per play. OU has been running the offense ever since, with varying degrees of success.

    “They use different tempos, they 'check with me' at the line a significant amount and they're well-coached,” NU head coach Bo Pelini said. “They can put stress on you in a hurry in a lot of different ways. They've got good athletes, they get them in space, they get a lot of plays.”

    In 2008, OU's no-huddle overwhelmed the Huskers in a 35-point first quarter. Bradford hit a number of deep passes, and the Sooners' massive offensive line created big holes for DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, who repeatedly gained chunks of yards on simple outside zone plays.

    Without Bradford in 2009, Oklahoma tanked in Lincoln. The Sooners rushed for just 80 yards. Quarterback Landry Jones, hurried by the moment and the Memorial Stadium atmosphere, threw five interceptions. OU ran 87 plays – 30 more than NU that night – but gained just 3.7 yards per play. Nebraska forced five punts.

    The difference? Making plays on third down, Peso Eric Hagg said.

    “There's no way to 'slow it down' – you have to get three and outs or otherwise they just keep picking it up and picking it up,” he said.

    Another key: Red zone defense. Case in point: In their 47-41 win over Oklahoma State, the Sooners scored on all seven trips inside the Cowboys' 20-yard line. In a 33-19 loss to Texas A&M, that ratio dropped to 2 of 6.

    In both of those games, OU ran more than 100 plays – and, even more indicative of how the offense works – more than 25 third-down plays.

    Unlike Leach's old approach, Oklahoma integrates a power running game into its no-huddle attack, which sets the stage for longer, more time-consuming drives. The crucial chess piece is Murray, the oft-injured senior with 1,837 all-purpose yards this year. He's versatile enough to play running back or wide receiver, which means OU doesn't have to substitute him off the field to change formations. If it did, referees would give the opposing defense a chance to “match” personnel. Murray's flexibility equals freedom.

    “They can come out and do basically whatever they want,” Hagg said.

    The result gasses a defense quick.

    “(Conditioning) definitely gets tested,” safety Dejon Gomes said. “You have make sure you stay hydrated on the sidelines.”

    Oklahoma alternately spreads out a defense or forces it to pack in based on the formation, which creates mismatches either in the defensive box – emptied out and thus vulnerable against the run – or on the edges of the field, where Murray and receiver Ryan Broyles are experts at catching quick bubble and tunnel screens and making yards after the grab.

    OU also uses varying speeds dependent on the look of the defense. Jones will sometimes hustle to the line, then look over to the sideline for a different play. Other times, the Sooners will buy rest for their defense by operating a version of the no-huddle that's as slow as Nebraska's typical pace for running plays.

    More than the physical challenge, Gomes said, is what Oklahoma – averaging 37 points and 480 yards this year – does mentally to a defense that constantly has to think fast – and react even faster.

    “That's the biggest challenge,” he said. “Getting lined up and knowing your responsibilities because they're going to be on the ball fast.”

    But if a defense figures out the tempo and alignment, it's Oklahoma that could be at the disadvantage. It clearly rushed Jones into bad throws and decisions in NU's 10-3 win last year. OU's red-zone struggles out of the no-huddle trace back to the 2009 BCS National Championship, when Florida twice stuffed the Sooners inside the 10-yard line.

    Fast, athletic defenses – in case you hadn't noticed, Nebraska has one – is a good antidote to slowing down Oklahoma. So is practicing against it, which is why NU's scout-team is working the no-huddle hard this week.

    “Our guys are in really good shape,” Pelini said. “They do get a lot of snaps, and we anticipate that. This time of year you hope you're in game shape. We're going to need to react well to their tempo.”

    Tags: big 12 championship, oklahoma, eric hagg, dejon gomes

  20. 2010 Nov 27

    Huskers-Sooners, One More Time

    5,604 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    It is as it often was. Nebraska and Oklahoma, the old, friendly rivals, one final time, for the marbles.

    In a game worthy of its “Bedlam” name, OU slipped by Oklahoma State Saturday night 47-41 thanks to two long Landy Jones touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, which sets up the Sooners to emerge victorious in a three-way tie for the Big 12 South crown. So long as Oklahoma finishes two spots higher than Texas A&M in BCS standings released Sunday night, it will face NU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the Big 12 Championship.

    “That'll be pretty amazing,” OU head coach Bob Stoops told ESPN directly after the Sooners outlasted the Cowboys in a 15-round offensive shootout.

    Perfectly put, Bob.

    Oklahoma (10-2 overall, 6-2 in the Big 12) never trailed but also never shook Oklahoma State (10-2, 6-2) until Ryan Broyles recovered an onside kick in the game's final minute. OU grabbed a 14-3 lead; OSU answered with an interception return for a touchdown. The Sooners took a 24-17 halftime lead; the Cowboys tied the game on their first drive of the second half. Oklahoma booted three field goals for a 33-24 lead with 5:53 left in the game; Oklahoma State immediately answered with a touchdown to cut the gap to 33-31.

    Then Jones – who set career highs with 37 completions and 467 yards – threw a perfect third-down pass to OU receiver Cameron Kenney, who caught the ball in stride and raced 86 yards for what appeared to be the door-slamming touchdown. Not quite, as Cowboy kick returner Justin Gilbert returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score. The Sooners led just 40-38.

    That's when Oklahoma Kevin Wilson rolled the dice, calling a playaction pass on second down of his team's ensuing drive. Jones faked to freshman Roy Finch and floated a pass to wide-open James Hanna, who scored a 76-yard touchdown. Oklahoma State put one more field goal on the board, but Broyles clutched the onside kick and took it to the ground. A wild game ended with Jones' knee on the ground, and Stoops hugging OSU coach Mike Gundy at midfield.

    OU must await the BCS standings to know for certain that it lands in the Big 12 title game. Because of league tiebreaker rules, the Sooners – currently No. 13 in the BCS must finish two spots ahead of A&M – ranked No. 17 – because the Aggies beat them 33-19 Nov. 6. A&M's 24-17 win over Texas probably isn't impressive enough to overcome its 30-9 loss to Missouri earlier this year. The Aggies lost by seven to 10-2 Arkansas and by three to Oklahoma State, as well.

    As it turned out, a decision Stoops made to punt the ball late in a 36-27 loss to Mizzou may have paid off. OU trailed by nine and faced a fourth-and-long deep in its own territory. Instead of going for it, Stoops conceded the win to the Tigers, who ran out the clock, rather than tack on a meaningless touchdown in the final minutes.

    See also: Should it be Cody or Taylor to Face OU?

    Tags: big 12 championship, bob stoops, oklahoma

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