login / sign up / content filter is: on

Home > Blogs > Official Husker Locker Blog > Search

Official Husker Locker Blog

Blog (1 – 7 of 7)

  1. 2012 Feb 28

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Raymond's Departure Leaves Fissure in Husker Program


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    There aren’t very many members of the Corey Raymond Fan Club across Husker Nation anymore, and understandably so. When an assistant coach calls your program the “Harvard of football,” fans likely assume he’s in it for the long haul.

    72 hours after saying this and claiming that he would not be taking the defensive backs coaching gig at LSU, Raymond is now a Tiger and Nebraska is left handicapped.

    His decision is understandable. He’ll be closer to family, coaching for his alma mater, won’t have to make nearly as many recruiting trips across the country and will be on the staff of a now-perennial national championship contender.

    Most Nebraska fans could usually appreciate that scenario. It would be like Alex Henery returning to Lincoln to help coach kickers. Unfortunately, statements made only a few days prior by Raymond causes his decision to leave a bitter taste in Husker Nation’s collective mouths.

    While many will be angry with Raymond for quite some time, it’s necessary to look to the immediate future. If Bo Pelini doesn’t fill the void in his coaching staff soon, it throws off Nebraska’s entire dynamic of the Husker secondary. This goes far beyond the likely flip of current Nebraska commit Tre'vell Dixon to LSU if and when he’s offered by the Tigers.

    Pelini not only has to find someone whose style fits his scheme, but who also must begin bonding with his new charges, and have his recruiting assignments determined to name a few initial chores.

    The importance of hiring someone who can make an immediate impact becomes even clearer when taking into account that spring practice is mere weeks away.

    The eventual hiring also gives Pelini an opportunity to display a long-term commitment to Nebraska football. Yes, it would be easy to simply promote a graduate assistant or intern and shuffle the staff around.

    Why take the easy route when one that may take slightly longer to travel could pay off handsomely? Another internal hire is duct tape over a rather substantial crack in Nebraska's foundation.

    Some suggestions for new hires that sprung up almost immediately following official word from Raymond were Mike Minter, Eric Warfield and a hodgepodge of shifting among the current staff.

    Minter’s an interesting suggestion. He currently serves as the special teams coach with fellow former Husker Turner Gill at Liberty University. However, he falls under the category of current Huskers defensive coordinator John Papuchis and former linebackers coach Mike Ekeler - plenty of potential, but lacking in experience.

    While Minter had a stellar NFL career, he’d be cutting his teeth at an FBS school with rather large expectations, ones which might grow with a Husker great teaching his former position group.

    Warfield is currently a student assistant at Nebraska, and while he enjoyed a longer NFL career than many, personal troubles plagued him during the mid-2000s.

    Recruiting against an inexperienced coach with recently-battled demons would be a welcomed challenge by any of Nebraska’s opposition for every recruit they covet.

    Another possibility is shifting linebackers coach Ross Els to defensive backs duty while promoting graduate assistant and former Husker linebacker T.J. Hollowell to take over Els’ current charges. Again, Pelini would run into a severe lack of experience with this decision.

    One of the best options, and one that would be a true fix rather than a stopgap, would be hiring a free agent coach such as former Illinois head man Ron Zook whose name surfaced when Pelini was searching for a new defensive coordinator.

    After losing Raymond’s recruiting acumen and connections, someone with a knack for the job like Zook could step in and likely pick up right where Raymond left off.

    He spent his collegiate career at Miami (OH) as a defensive back and coached the positions on five separate occasions at Murray State, Tennessee, Ohio State, Florida, and with the Kansas City Chiefs.

    slap a Co-Defensive Coordinator title on Zook, add his already significant knowledge of the Big Ten recruiting trail, and Pelini makes a bold statement to the Huskers’ new conference and the nation - He’s in Lincoln to stay and build a program that will dish out punishment.

    While speculation will run rampant until a new coach is named, every day that passes without a defensive backs coach does more damage to the Nebraska football program.

    The Dean of Raymond’s alleged “Harvard of football” must choose carefully, but swiftly. The future of his secondary’s progress, and perhaps the 2012 season, depends heavily on his choice.

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: corey raymond, mike minter, eric warfield, ron zook

  2. 2011 Dec 11

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Sunday Husker Conversation


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    Neil Raus: Who is going to replace Carl (Pelini)?

    BC: That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? The three names everyone has been tossing around are Mike Stoops, Ron Zook and John Papuchis. I think you can pretty well cross Papuchis off of that list as promoting another coach to learn a high-level position on the job isn’t a good move by Pelini.

    Peter Bruno: Who’s the next quarterback after Martinez?

    BC: Rex Burkhead. Seriously. With the lack of playing time that you saw Brion Carnes get, it’s pretty obvious who the No. 1 guy is, but let’s say Martinez went down. I think you’d see something similar to 2010 when Burkhead stepped in as a Wildcat quarterback.

    Kaleb Henry: How many conference championships will be won this year and which sport will be the first to win a national championship in the Big Ten era?

    BC: Well, the volleyballers already notched one. I could see some track and field titles, maybe softball and even baseball if some luck graces Darin Erstad’s first year. When it comes to national titles, I’d give the volleyball team the inside track.

    Lance Badousek: If we don't win a conference championship next year how much longer will Bo have a job?

    BC: That depends on how bad any losses are and if Nebraska looks just plain out of it like they did against Northwestern this season. That kind of performance will get you a loss in the Big Ten nearly every time. It seems like Pelini’s teams are good for a few surprising wins and a few shocking losses. 2012’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, either.

    Patrick Farrell: When will we find out about the new defensive coordinator?

    BC: I’m honestly surprised we haven’t already.

    Beverly Kay: What's next for Turner Gill?

    BC: At this point, I think a trip back to the mid-majors would do Turner well. It’s a shame he didn’t snag the UAB job as he’d do well there. If he can coach Buffalo up, I’d trust him with about any mid-major. I know what you’re thinking and I severely doubt he’ll be back at Nebraska as long as Bo is head coach.

    Shane McKinney: When we get to our usual 17 points against South Carolina, will we once again shut down the offense?

    BC: It’s possible. Watch for a heavy dose of Burkhead as Carolina’s strength is defending the pass. They’re a little more susceptible to a powerful running game. Alfonzo Dennard is going up against one of the best receivers in the country in Alshon Jeffery, but Jeffery’s playing with a busted finger. Dennard still needs to treat him like he’s 100 percent. The lack of South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore really evens the playing field.

    Caleb Gorham: Can we have another Tom Osborne?

    BC: Another T.O. will never come along. Not for Nebraska or anyone else. Coach Osborne’s a special guy on a number of levels. There will be new coaching masterminds, but only one Tom Osborne.

    Follow Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: taylor martinez, rex burkhead, mike stoops, ron zook, john papuchis, carl pelini, brion carnes, darin erstad, turner gill, south carolina, alshon jeffery, alfonzo dennard, tom osborne

  3. 2011 Dec 10

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Bowl Season Thoughts


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    The Husker Locker staff will be presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of each week in the world of college football all season long.

    This week:

    Three names seem to be at the top of the list to replace Carl Pelini as defensive coordinator: Mike Stoops, Ron Zook and John Papuchis. Who’s your pick and why?

    James: I'm torn between Ron Zook and Mike Stoops. I think Mike is probably the better defensive coach, but Zook might be the stronger recruiter. Then again, was Zook's recruiting success due to his former recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley?

    I think the doubt about Zook's true recruiting prowess leads me to Stoops. Ultimately though, this is Bo Pelini's defense, the real key to me is bringing in a guy who is killer at coaching a position, can take some of the film breakdown and basic gameplanning off of Bo's plate, and will recruit like crazy.

    Erin: Luke Fickell.

    Just kidding. I can dream though, right? I'd take Mike Stoops, even though I'm fairly positive one ref would go deaf every game from being yelled at by the Pelini/Stoops combo. The two of them are so similar, so maybe Ron Zook is the better option?

    Moral of the story: Not John Papuchis.

    Brandon: I’m high on Zook and have been since I heard his name was a possibility. He can walk into Lincoln and make an immediate impact as a recruiter which is something the program desperately needs. His connections throughout the Big Ten won’t totally nullify Urban Meyer’s advances, but Zook’s been around the block and knows how to play ball.

    He’s got experience with the secondary, so I could see him helping Corey Raymond continue to grow and he’d be able to handle a number of the duties that Bo simply doesn’t care for. It seems like a win-win to me.

    What are your thoughts on the Capital One Bowl matchup with South Carolina?

    James: It's not as bad of a match-up as it initially appears. South Carolina has a nasty and stout pass defense, but is soft against the power running game. Big opportunity there, especially with a healthy offensive line and rested Rex Burkhead.

    Bo Pelini, with a month to gameplan and install said gameplan, should wring out a great game from the Blackshirts. I think Nebraska's in for a physical brawl down in Orlando. The team should be jacked for this game against a good SEC team, unlike last year's Holiday Bowl.

    Erin: Another Big Ten-SEC matchup and this one should be interesting. South Carolina has a great defense and will definitely give our offense a tough time. Hopefully Taylor Martinez can replicate how he played in the second half of Ohio State here. If he can, it should make for a win. It'll be close, but a good game.

    Brandon: Couldn't love it more. I spoke to some Capital One Bowl representatives earlier in the season and mentioned the possibility of this matchup when asked who I’d like to see Nebraska face if they went to Orlando.

    The storylines are plentiful: Spurrier-Nebraska, Alshon Jeffery-Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska’s offense versus South Carolina’s defense (the gamecocks are No. 2 in pass defense and No 13 in scoring defense). No matter how you slice it, this game’s awesome. I wish Marcus Lattimore would be suiting up for the Gamecocks, though.

    How do you feel about the BCS’ selection of LSU-Alabama for the national championship?

    James: From a pure perspective of the BCS existing to ensure the top two teams play for the national championship, this is the correct decision. From a "fairness" and "watchable" perspective, it's a bit of a bummer. I would've loved to have seen Oklahoma State get a chance to play in this game.

    The fact that LSU already beat Alabama (at home), means the Crimson Tide doesn't really deserve another shot at this game. On the other hand, it's going to be fun to watch these teams go at each other with a whole 5-plus weeks to prepare for this game. How sick must you be if you're Boise State's kicker though? If they beat TCU, I think the Broncos might've played for the title.

    Erin: Well, I know it's not ideal. Most people wanted Oklahoma State to face LSU. Unfortunately, Okie State held up their ticket to the National Championship and let Iowa State snatch it from their grasp, then burn it. It was one loss, but it was a defining loss. Alabama lost to the No. 1 team in the country. OSU lost to Iowa State. So like it or not, the BCS says this is what is.

    But if you want to talk playoffs...

    Brandon: The BCS is what it is. It technically did its job. The problem with computers is that there will still be human input (See: garbage in, garbage out). Alabama and Oklahoma State can (and probably will) argue over their rightful place in the BCS National Championship Game, but honestly I can’t say Team X should be in without noting the case for Team Y.

    I was happy to hear that the Plus-One model is being looked at seriously and while I don’t think it’ll be implemented immediately, I’d like to see it as a part college football’s post-season ASAP.

    Which players do you feel have the most to gain/lose in terms of draft stock against USC?

    James: I don't think anyone can change their position too much at this point. Brandon Kinnie could potentially elevate his worth a bit. Lavonte is probably late first/early second and if he plays really well in this game, he might help secure a first round spot. I think Dennard is pretty locked in where he's going to be. I don't see this as make or break for most of the players, though maybe some of the fringe seniors could make a statement for a late round draft choice with a big game.

    Erin: Alfonzo Dennard. I think Lavonte David has more than sealed up his fate in the NFL, but Dennard needs another strong game. He'll be drafted, but this game will determine how high he goes.

    Also, Brandon Kinnie will need a big game. It's been a rough season for the senior wide receiver, but he's proven that he has the strength and speed to play his position. If he can make one more big outing, it could create some buzz that he desperately needs.

    Brandon: Right now, I think things are pretty well set. A loss to Nebraska, no matter the size, isn’t going to hurt an SEC player. Guys like Alfonzo Dennard and Lavonte David have nowhere to go but up as they’ve been scouted all season long, made highlight reels, heck David is a first-team All-American during his second year of FBS football.

    It’s a shame that Crick isn’t able to step in, but he’ll have his opportunities down the line and will still likely make a good chunk of change on Sundays.

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    James: @jamesstevenson

    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: capital one bowl, ron zook, john papuchis, mike stoops, alfonzo dennard, lavonte david, brandon kinnie, taylor martinez, jared crick

  4. 2011 Dec 09

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Three Names Top New Nebraska Defensive Coordinator List


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By James Stevenson

    Carl Pelini is preparing to ride off to the sunny Floridian peninsula to become the head coach of Florida Atlantic and the Huskers now look to fill the vacancy he leaves behind. Bo Pelini is certainly the principal architect behind the defense, and will look for someone who can accent his scheme.

    The hire should tell us a lot about what Bo values most importantly heading into next season. Will he look for a defensive guru to complement his scheme, help with game-planning and play-calling?

    What position will the defensive coordinator coach? Perhaps the new guy is an ace recruiting coach who can bolster one of the staff’s biggest weaknesses or maybe a “big name” and possibly one from outside the Pelini circle will take over. Will Pelini stick with loyal and trusted lieutenants, even if they may not be the best available choice?

    Here are the three main names that stick out as legitimate candidates for the defensive coordinator position at Nebraska:

    Mike Stoops - Perhaps the most coveted defensive coordinator on the market right now, Mike Stoops is freshly removed as head coach of the Arizona Wildcats.

    Prior to that, he served on his brother Bob Stoops’s staff at Oklahoma as defensive coordinator. This is almost a trifecta for Nebraska, an excellent defensive coach, a good recruiter and someone very familiar with Bo Pelini and his family.

    The challenge in making this hire is that he’s a hot commodity. Ohio State and Oklahoma have both been rumored to offer him the position, though in both cases he’d be co-defensive coordinator.

    There are also many mid-major head coaching jobs available which might take a chance on a BCS-level head coach despite his efforts with the Wildcats.Stoops is probably undervalued right now due to a brutal stretch of 10 games in Arizona against exceptionally high caliber opposition.

    Ron Zook - Bo Pelini’s position coach at Ohio State, Zook brings some immediate name recognition and credibility to any school he joins. The former head coach of Florida and Illinois, Zook is well-known for his unorthodox style.

    His Gator recruiting classes helped set up Urban Meyer’s national championship runs, and he’s generally regarded as an excellent recruiter. Some would argue then-recruiting coordinator and now former New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley deserves the credit for Meyer's stacked cupboard, though.

    Zook is an interesting possibility for Nebraska. He'd bring in expertise in coaching safeties and defensive backs, and could certainly handle some defensive responsibilities for Pelini. Bo knows him well with their relationship dating back to his own playing days, adding a level of comfort. Zook could very well ignite a spark to help Nebraska bring in a few more top-rated recruits each year, too.

    John Papuchis: Nebraska’s current defensive line/special teams coach and recruiting coordinator is widely regarded as a rising star in the coaching world. Will Muschamp tried to lure him to Florida to reportedly become the defensive coordinator, but “JP” stayed in Lincoln. Given that, you might wonder if Pelini feels indebted to offer the defensive coordinator title to Papuchis.

    It’s unclear whether he’s is capable of handling the role, especially at a school like Nebraska. He has done a reasonably good job with both special teams and in his recruiting role. The issues with Nebraska’s recruiting appear to come from the top, rather than Papuchis himself.

    This would also fit the Bo Pelini model that resulted in Tim Beck’s promotion to offensive coordinator, rather than going outside the program for a candidate like Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

    If Bo does go with the loyal an trusted internal candidate, he’ll need to then need to make a second hire, while also reassigning the other coordinator responsibilities. In theory, the new position coach brought in would need to be able to take on a large share of the recruiting duties. That new coach could also take on a special teams role or those responsibilities could be reassigned to an existing coach.

    Regardless of if one of these three names is brought on, it’s clear that three roles need to be filled. First, the Huskers need someone who can handle some of the defensive game-planning and organization on behalf of Bo in order to allow him to continue to tackle the CEO role.

    Secondly, this staff desperately needs more recruiting expertise and follow-through when locking up prospects during the regular season. Finally, the new staff member needs to be someone who can be trusted by Bo Pelini to a point that they can do their job effectively.

    All three (pending the hire to replace Papuchis) could do this. But who will Bo offer to the position to? Furthermore, would a candidate like Mike Stoops accept? Stay tuned.

    Follow James on Twitter: @jamesstevenson
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: mike stoops, ron zook, john papuchis

  5. 2011 Jun 24

    Big Ten Coaches on the Hot Seat - Leaders Division


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    It’s time once again to examine the hottest seats of today’s college football coaches and today we’re concentrating on the Big Ten. The heat of the seats is determined by a combination of tenure time, career & school records, recruiting, attitude of the fans, salary and upcoming schedule.

    The “hotness” is measured on a scale of 1-10 with a “1” meaning “completely safe” and “10” meaning “don’t sit down for fear of immediate third-degree burns.” Having a realtor and moving company on speed dial is strongly advised.

    Joe Paterno, Penn State: 1

    JoePa isn’t going to leave until he’s darn well ready to. Amazingly, he doesn't have a large salary (barely over $1.5 million per year) and has shown time and time again that he can coach the Nittany Lions back from poor performances.

    A few voices have popped up as of late following underachieving seasons calling for him to retire. Unless Penn State freefalls and has a four or five-win season, the squawks will be dismissed. Of course, Paterno isn't getting any younger. However, if you can use Skype with a computer monitor that’s larger than some third world countries’ GNP to identify with kids at age 84, you’ll get some good ones to come to Penn State!

    Bret Bielema, Wisconsin: 2

    Bielema is another coach that isn't going anywhere soon. Wisky is fresh off a Rose Bowl berth and has a chance to land coveted one-year wonder quarterback Russell Wilson. If this happens, Russell will add more spice to a offense that lives on ball control. Bielema’s young (40) and makes a fair $1.6 million per season.

    He would have to rack up a string of seasons producing only six wins or so to be in trouble. That seems to be a stretch considering he has a record of 49-16. It also helps that the man he succeeded is his Athletic Director (Barry Alvarez).

    Kevin Wilson, Indiana: 2

    Because of his recruiting acumen, the staff that he’s acquired and the team that he inherited, Wilson’s ranking's going to start off low. He showed that he can run an offense at Oklahoma as he helped Sam Bradford carry the Heisman Trophy back to Norman.

    Wilson's offense has bounced between a pro set and a spread through the years. He’s recruited well and has a great staff especially on defense. Indiana wasn't too far away from being a successful team last year and there is a good chance the Hoosiers can start the year 4-0.

    Their toughest game during the non-conference stretch is a tussle at night versus Virginia. Wilson is starting low on the pay scale ($1.1 million) and will definitely reap further rewards if he can get Indiana to a bowl game this fall.

    Danny Hope, Purdue: 5

    The seat is a little hotter in West Lafayette as Danny Hope heads into his third year with impatience growing in the fan base. Going just 9-15 at Purdue will do that after the successes of Joe Tiller.

    Hope doesn’t make much ($900K per season), but has had success before as he went 35-22 at Eastern Kentucky before coming to Purdue. Injuries ravaged the Boilermakers last year especially at running back. There is some hope for Hope and if Purdue can better last year’s results then there’s little doubt that he’ll return for 2012.

    Luke Fickell, Ohio State: 7

    Fickell is being thrown into a white hot Pennsylvania steel mill fire in 2011 following the firing of Jim Tressel and the loss of talented yet troubled Quarterback Terrell Pryor. Fickell was considered the Head Coach-in-Waiting once Tressel retired, but was forced into the job more quickly than he was probably comfortable with.

    2011 is one big job interview for Fickell to see if he can right the ship and help Ohio State weather the storm. He may not even have a chance to keep his job beyond this season considering athletic director Geno Smith will more than likely be gone by the end of the year. Ficknell is going to be compensated well ($1.5 million) and could be a bargain if he performs well enough to bring some overall respect back to Columbus.

    Ron Zook, Illinois: 9.9

    The one seat that is being fueled by an exclusive line connected to a propane tank is Zook's at Illinois. He has underachieved in Champagne just as much as he did in Gainesville. Having a career record of 51-59, his Illinois record of 28-45 and collecting a yearly salary of $1.6 million per season for those results isn't a good return on a school's investment.

    What saved him last year was the improvements that his team made through the season with Nathan Scheelhaase and others. That being said, there is no depth behind Scheelhaase and every Nebraska fan knows what it like to have your all-everything quarterback go down without much depth behind them.

    Zook must get the same performance out of his running backs that he got from Mikel Leshoure last year. If he can’t improve on last year's record and return to a bowl, his will be one of the first pink slips handed out this year.

    Legends Division

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: joe paterno, bret bielema, kevin wilson, danny hope, ron zook, luke fickell

  6. 2011 Jun 05

    Big Ten Preseason Rankings – Leaders Division: Part One


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Erin Sorensen

    In 2010, the Big Ten was one of the most competitive conferences in the nation. By season’s end there was a three-way tie for the Big Ten championship between Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

    Due to all three being in the final BCS poll's top ten, the Big Ten had the most teams represented of any conference. When the season ended, many expected that 2011 would be more of the same especially with the addition of Nebraska. Since then, much has changed allowing the Big Ten to be far more interesting this season.

    It may be June, but it’s never too early to begin predicting the final Big Ten rankings. Beginning with the Leaders Division, this will be a four-part series that takes a look at where all teams will fall come December along with each school's odds of winning the conference crown.

    6. Indiana: The Hoosiers find themselves in a unique position. With both a new head coach in former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and a new quarterback thanks to Ben Chappell’s graduation, Indiana will be struggling to find its identity. The 2011 recruiting class was ranked ninth in the conference by Scout and tenth by Rivals.

    That may not seem outstanding to most, but by Indiana’s standards, it’s a good start. Wilson will do his best to revamp the offense, but it will not be an overnight revamp. 2011 will be a rocky season for the Hoosiers because of this. It would be a stretch to expect much out of this team right away, but it could be a fundamental rebuilding year. If Wilson can manage to get into a few less arguments with the refs than previous head coach Bill Lynch, that alone would be a positive for Indiana.

    Odds of winning the Big Ten Championship: 100/1

    5. Purdue: Purdue had a rough 2010 season with a large number of freak injuries. On that list was starting quarterback Rob Henry who did manage to come back strong by the end of the season. Having shown a large amount of potential last season, Henry is Purdue’s true bright spot. The Boilermakers have something to look forward to on offense due to Henry’s dual-threat capabilities, but the rosy outlook mostly ends there.

    Much like Indiana, it won’t be an easy season for Purdue. The Boilermakers didn’t make a bowl game in 2010 as they won only four out of the necessary six games to be eligible. However, it’s important to note that some of the losses that could have given Purdue the nudge into a bowl game were lost by a small margin. What does this mean for 2011?

    If Purdue can keep the injuries to a minimum while taking full advantage of all returning talent, they could find themselves headed to a bowl game. It will be a trying season for Danny Hope who is now 9-15 as the Boilermakers' head coach, but if Purdue can overcome its last two unlucky seasons, 2011 could be the spark that the program needs to excel in the future.

    Odds of winning the Big Ten Championship: 75/1

    4. Illinois: Nebraska offered Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase but Cody Green beat him to the punch. The Cornhuskers’ loss became the Fighting Illini’s greatest gain as Scheelhaase remains a strong quarterback. Last season, Illinois barely made a bowl game, but 2011 looks to be more promising. The defense will need to step up as they fill vacated spots and players such as running back Jason Ford will need to shine.

    Most importantly, 2011 will be a telling season for head coach Ron Zook who was hired in 2005. It has been three seasons since Zook coached the Illini into a Rose Bowl berth and it’s been a rough road since then. He was nearly fired in 2009 but managed to keep his job by not only getting Illinois to a bowl game, but by coaching them to a bowl victory for the first time since 1999. This season will be less about winning the Leaders Division for Illinois and more about determining the future of Ron Zook.

    Odds of winning the Big Ten Championship: 30/1

    Leaders 1-3, Legends 4-6

    Follow Erin on Twitter: @helloerinmarie
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: indiana, purdue, illinois, kevin wilson, ben chappell, hoosiers, bill lynch, boilermakers, danny hope, nathan scheelhaase, jason ford, ron zook

  7. 2010 Aug 04

    Husker Heartbeat 8/4: Big Ten, Bo, Texas and Kevin Cosgrove


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    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.

    More from Big Ten Media Days: The fun with fans. What the LJS learned. Shatel sets the scene. Lee B talks to Ron Zook, who once coached Bo Pelini and rubbed shoulders with Steve Pederson.

    *Nebraska still recruiting Texas with [url]gusto[/url]. We’ll see if that continues with any consistency after this year.

    *HI’s Sean Callahan talks to Minnesota’s head coach about current Minny DC Kevin Cosgrove. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

    *In the long run, Nebraska was wise that Houston Nutt didn’t get on that plane, says SI’s Stew Mandy.

    Tags: kevin cosgrove, big ten, bo pelini, ron zook, tom shatel, lee b, sean callahan, big ten media days

Click here for our FREE daily podcast.


Great Husker Merchandise and Video. Best of Big Red. Osborne Family Enterprises
Husker Locker - Blogged Paperblog Web Directory

Home > Blogs > Official Husker Locker Blog > Search