LOSE "COTTON" BOWL, 34-27 '
BIG WED WAP-UP
"You look a little dejected this morning," Mrs. Husker Dan
said as she watched me pouring over the local newspaper's account
of another Husker defeat.
"What's Husker Dan going to write in his column this week?"
"I dunno," I replied. "I haven't given it much thought."
"Well, losing to Iowa State has to be a little hard to take,
"If you ask me, I think they've carried this West Coast thing
a little too far."
Before I go any farther, you need to understand that this is the same
lady who once asked me how long it took a halfback to become a fullback.
"How so?" I queried.
"They got rid of Solich last year, who was 8-3 and brought in
this new guy Hannifin, right?" she asked.
"His name's Callahan."
"Whatever. Anyway, as I said, Callahan got a little carried away
when he added that movie star to be on his coaching staff."
"Yes. Kevin Costner. The guy should've stayed in Hollywood making
movies, if you ask me."
"It isn't Kevin Costner, is Kevin Cosgrove.
And he isn't from Hollywood, he's from Wisconsin."
"Whatever. And they should've kept that Bee-Bop Palooni guy.
He knew how to coach defense."
"You mean Bo Pelini?"
"Right. And where did he go?"
"And who are the Huskers playing this week?"
"And didn't Iowa State have an ex-Husker coach on their team
this weekend, Barney something-or-other?"
"Cotton, Barney Cotton, their offensive coordinator."
"See? Now how dumb was that? Never get rid of a coach who can
come back later to beat you. That's the problem. If these ex-coaches
were so bad, why are their new teams beating us?"
"It's been only one, so far."
"It'll be two after this weekend. Bo's going to want some revenge,
don't you think?"
"It won't be pretty."
"Look, I get your point, so what are we supposed to do-fire all
the existing coaches and re-hire the former ones?"
"Who caused these coaches to be fired?"
"I guess that would be Callahan."
"And who hired Callahan?"
And who hired Pederson?"
"Chancellor Harvey Perlman."
"Right. So why not put Perlman in at quarterback for a game or
two and have him get sacked about 10 times and intercepted about 20
times, or have him play defense and get burned for a couple hundred
"What good would that do? He'd get killed."
"That's my point. You know what he'd do then?"
"Call Frank Solich?"
"Better than that. He'd call an ambulance."
FROM THE EMAIL BAG
Dear Husker Dan:
The Case Against Cos
As 2004 winds down and 1.4 million people take stock of our first
year transition to Air Express by Callahan, there are a number of
truths to hold self-evident:
1. Our talent
on offense is not a match for the West Coast. Dailey and our receivers
can deliver at times but are not a good fit. Dailey shows a live arm
but doesn't appear to read well. He is at his worst throwing intermediate
to deep patterns. We have some speed at receiver, but not nearly enough
size and catching ability. The line has done tolerably well, Cory
Ross is gritty and tricky, and Messrs. Jackson and Green show promise.
None of this should shock us, and we should trust Callahan to recruit
the right athletes.
2. It is on defense
that we mystify everyone. Kevin Cosgrove inherited eight starters
off a top ten defense from last year. Our line contains two vastly
experienced down people (Adams and Smith), both highly regarded. Our
rush ends are also touted, with one two-year starter (Thomas) and
three good young players (Carriker, Moore, Muhammad). While our linebackers
may not be the best group ever, we have one All American (Ruud), two
three-year part-time starters (Sievers and Cooper) and a highly regarded
sophomore (Bradley). Our secondary has at least two players who will
play on Sundays (Washington, Bullocks) and some excellent youngsters
(Grixby, DeFrand, Brothers). Sporting News called them the best group
in the country in preseason.
We have never
looked worse on defense since before Bob Devaney matriculated from
Wyoming 42 years ago. We get little pressure on passers, and have
made a number of mediocre quarterbacks resemble John Elway this year.
Baylor (Baylor??), Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, only one
of whom has a good passing game, have all lit us up for big yardage
and long touchdowns. As we head toward Saturdays' scrum with Oklahoma,
we are a 30-point underdog, another "worst" in half a century.
Much has been
written about adapting to a series of defensive coordinators, or the
team's ability to comprehend Cosgrove's system. Baloney. This is an
issue to be laid squarely on the shoulders of the coordinator. The
one given in September, a veteran, able defense, has become Nebraska's
largest vulnerability. Can Coz, call McBride, clean up Pelini; do
something? Let Kevin return to the Big Ten, where a pass is something
that gets you a free seat at a Penn State-Iowa game.
I'm sorry to inform you that I am turning in my Big Red membership
card for this year. While I understood the changes being imposed this
season and accepted them on conditions of gradual progress leading
to limited success, it is now clear that those conditions have been
breached. I can no longer defend or explain the systematic undoing
of every historic record and memorable reflection related to Big Red,
dating beyond my 46 years.
It occurred to
me as I reached for the off switch on my transistor, some minutes
prior to the end of the first half, that I had finally discovered
the reason for my Big Red discontent. Years ago, I had a favorite
sweatshirt. Every Saturday morning I would throw on that old shirt
and savor everything about it. I smiled as I pulled it over my head
and caught a whiff of the fresh, clean cotton. It felt perfect and
hung just right. The faded logo announced that this was a well-worn
item and I knew that every minute it had been mine. There were stains
that made me remember certain games I'd played and friends who had
been there. A few holes in the elbow reminded me of a fence that was
a little taller than I had expected and the stretched, frayed collar
was just fine, too.
Every week, as
I trotted out in that favorite shirt, somebody would mention it. "Hey
buddy, don't you think that shirt has seen better days"? "Little
guy, when will you see the light and buy something new to wear?"
"Nice shirt, T, couldn't you find anything newer to put on?"
Then one Saturday morning I woke up and went to find that old shirt
and it wasn't there. My mother had cleaned out some things and she
had pitched that old favorite right out the door. I was devastated.
I cried and carried on and she couldn't understand the problem. The
next day, mom brought a new sweatshirt in and put it on my bed. I
put it on and it was fine. No great smell, really kind of stinky new.
It was a little tight from the newness and scratchy too. But I wore
it out to play. Oh, the guys thought it was great. They loved the
new color, and the fact that it wasn't the same old thing. For awhile,
that helped. I took in their compliments and promises of how much
it would grow on me. But it never did. That new shirt was never the
same. The memories and the feel and the smell and the flavor and everything
that made that old shirt great were gone forever and I new it.
Just like my favorite old shirt, Big Red will never be the same again
and now I know it.
Tracy H. Omaha, NE
1.) Will Frank
Solich will be on the sidelines this week in Norman?
Barney Cotton and Frank Solich call each other over the weekend?
is Sandro DeAngelis still kicking field goals for the Huskers?
didn't we utilize Cory Ross (10 yards per carry average) instead of
tossing the ball by a QB who can't throw with any kind of consistency?
5.) Will there be a coaching change in Missouri this year?
6.) If so, would Frank Solich be a candidate? He could bring back
a lot of the ex-Husker assistants to join him. Something to think
7.) Why didn't we switch to more zone coverage so that their 6'5"
receiver couldn't run wild on us?
8.) Some first year records of D-I head coaches:
Pete Carroll-USC, 6-6
Barry Alvarez-Wisconsin, 1-10
Bob Devaney-Wyoming 4-3-3
Bill Snyder-K-State, 1-10
Bob Stoops-OU, 7-5
Lou Holtz-Notre Dame, 5-6
Duffy Daugherty-Michigan State, 3-6
(9.) What do these teams have in common with Nebraska?
BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Clemson, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia
Tech, Kansas State, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern,
Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rice, Stanford,
UCLA, Washington and Washington State.
ANS: None has more wins than the Huskers do so far this season.
10.) Will the Huskers keep their bowl steak alive?
11.) Will the Colorado game be for the BTN, a trip to the BT championship
game in Kansas City and a bowl berth?
(Note: All these predictions were written prior to the Huskers'
loss to Iowa State.)
some opinions about the Husker vs Sooner game coming up on the 13th
of November. I said before the season that the Huskers would finish
their schedule at 7-4 (looking very good). I took it one step further
and made a prediction that the Huskers would beat somebody this year
that they probably shouldn't. I don't think they have done that yet.
That leaves only the Sooners doesn't it?
I think this is
my favorite scenario: We beat Iowa State, go on the road and get beat
by Oklahoma, and then return home to beat Colorado.......hey, there
is my 7-4 prediction. We will then end up in the Championship game,
probably playing Oklahoma and then we put it to them. BIG WIN, BIG
WIN. We end up winning the Conference and playing in a nice BCS bowl
and once again (as Tom Osborne predicted) the championship game does
more harm then good. We all spend a very happy Winter, Spring and
Summer thinking about the future of Husker football, which looks VERY,
If Joe Dailey is 20 - 25, and C Ross runs for 100+
AND we can do something no one else could so far....STOP Peterson
Then we can win...my prediction:
Sorry, as much as I love Nebraska, these guys are way better then
Texas Tech, Baylor, and Kansas State.
And throw in Iowa State...
Did anyone actually believe that Southern Miss would come into Lincoln
and win this year? You should know by now that this team is very inconsistent
this year. I mean we let Allen Webb run wild. Who cares if we beat
the Sooners? I look at it this way: 1. If they can win over the Cyclones
and Buffaloes and lose to the Sooners who cares it would be a practice
game anyways. 2. I say we play all the number 2 players against Oklahoma
and give the starters a rest to insure they are fresh for the Colorado
game. Run the same offense with the number 2 guys so we can study
up on how they will play us then in the Big 12 title game we'll shock
the football world knocking off the number one team in the nation.
Chad S., Baldwin City, KS.
What have you been smokin'?
I'm from Omaha Nebraska. Even if NU loses 2 out of the next 3 games
and slips into the B12 title game, loses there and then loses their
bowl game, I will still be a Nebraska fan.
With a quarterback that's worse then Jammal Lord, we won't have a
prayer against OU. I'll predict a score of 56-0.
Dan C. Omaha, NE
I don't know what your point is with asking for predictions on the
Sooner game, but here's my vote: Until we get a team that is capable
of making more than 8 first downs in a game, we're going to get wasted
by a team like the Boomers. Petersen will run through, around and
over us and Bo's defense (with better players that he had here) will
put a choke hold on the Big Red and Jason White will rip our pathetic,
porous secondary apart.
Jack Z. Phoenix, AZ
I guess it's time I wrote and told you how much I enjoy your articles.
It's great to find another "true" Husker fan, regardless
of whether we're national champs or struggling in a transitional year.
You make me laugh, you make me cry (doesn't that make it art?) and
I seldom disagree with you. My husband and I have been going to all
the games, home and away, for the last thirteen seasons. Prior to
that we lived in Scottsbluff and came to all the home games (and Colorado,
of course, when it was in Boulder). Prior to the last changing of
the guard, I had a practice pass and got to know many of the players
very well as they came in as recruits and matured into great football
We had our tickets
to the Rose Bowl, but we were in Omaha on 12/29 and my husband suffered
a heart attack and his heart stopped. Fortunately we were in the ER
at Methodist when it happened and they were able to get it going again.
Needless to say, we didn't make it to the Rose Bowl, but we gave our
tickets to the nurse who literally saved his life. We're back to going
to all the games. We usually drive as we can't afford to fly because
of the number of games we attend. We even drove through hurricane
Ivan to get to Pittsburgh. That was a fun game. The stadium and atmosphere
there is almost as memorable as at Memorial. Most places don't come
anywhere near matching the magnificence or class of the stadium and
fans at Nebraska. Having been to every Big 12 stadium, and so many
others as well, I can honestly say, "There is No Place Like Nebraska!"
Thanks for your insight and your humor. You do a great job!
Readers: All of
you have a Husker memory or story you need to share with Husker Pride
Worldwide. Your story might be about the first Husker game you ever
saw; it could be about the last Husker game you shared with a loved
one, or maybe it's a story of what you had to do in order to get Husker
tickets. It could be a funny story or just a memorable one. Whatever
memory you have, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
and Husker Dan will post the best ones in his column.
HUSKER DAN SEZ
You wonder if Iowa State could lay 34 points on the Anemic Red defense,
what the *&%!will the number 2 ranked Sooners do? In "Revenge
Bowl #2", Bo Pelini will have his players staring at life-size
pictures of Steve Pederson, Harvey Perlman and Bill Callahan and no
doubt will be telling them about the big, bad, cruel Big Red of the
North and about how sweet it would be to trash the Huskers.
CLOSE YOUR EYES
This game will not be pretty. Hide the women, grab the kids, the pets,
the goldfish, cover the indoor plants, unplug your appliances, turn
down the volume on your TV set AND your radio. Head for the hills.
It'll be a Halloween repeat, without treats for the Huskers-just the
tricks. It'll be a horror movie, one so bad it can't even be rated.
To make matters worse, you know plastered on the OU bulletin board
will be the following scores:
1994 Huskers 33-OU 9
1995 Huskers 37-OU 0
1996 Huskers 73-OU 21
1997 Huskers 69-OU 7
Forget what this game used to mean-Big 8 championships, Orange Bowl
appearances, and chances to play for national championships. This
game used to be played every year and was usually the last regular
season game for both teams. It was a great rivalry.
This year's game could be the game of the year, too, but for entirely
different reasons. This game may make last month's "Trainwreck
at T-Tech" look like a cliffhanger. I wish I had better news,
Husker fans, but I don't. If this game is even close for a half, it
will be somewhat of a miracle. Coach C and his assistants (save Turner
Gill) don't know the real history of this rivalry. Oklahoma is a fast
locomotive bearing down on the Big Red who has been tied to the traintracks.
The whistle is getting louder. The train is getting closer........
(Close your eyes, Husker fans, this one will be brutal). It will be
so bad, Husker Dan is not going to predict a score. With no offense,
no defense, inconsistent special teams, inept defensive and offensive
game plans, with talent level nowhere near that of Oklahoma's, the
outcome will not be in doubt, just the Sooner margin of victory. I
just hope we don't suffer another 60 point loss, but it's very possible
that the score could be worse than the 70 run up on us by the Red