H U S K E R    D A N


"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?" she asked.
"I dunno," I replied. "I haven't given it much thought."
"Well, losing to Iowa State has to be a little hard to take, doesn't it?"
"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."
"Movie star?"
"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?"
"Steve Pederson."
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 yards passing?"
"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."

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.

Husker Harlot Denver, CO

Dear Husker Dan:
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?
2.) Did Barney Cotton and Frank Solich call each other over the weekend?
3.) Why is Sandro DeAngelis still kicking field goals for the Huskers?
4.) Why 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 about...
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.)

Husker Dan:
You wanted 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, VERY bright!

Husker Dan:
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:
OU 47
NU 10
Sorry, as much as I love Nebraska, these guys are way better then Texas Tech, Baylor, and Kansas State.
Scott N.
Dear Scott:
And throw in Iowa State...

Husker Dan:
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.
Dear Chad:
What have you been smokin'?

Husker Dan:
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.

Husker Dan:
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

Husker Dan:
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.
Sooners 100
Huskers 0
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 players.

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!
Penny G.
Lincoln, NE

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 huskerdan@cox.net and Husker Dan will post the best ones in his column.


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.

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 Raiders.

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