By now, most Husker fans have seen the video in which Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins says at a recent Buffy pep rally: "The worst day as a Buffalo fan is better than the best day as a Husker fan." The video then goes on to show highlights of the past 45 years of Husker football with 5 national championships, a bazillion conference championships, Heisman, Lombardi, Outland and Unitas trophy winners, another bazillion academic All-American honors and 281 consecutive Cornhusker home sellouts-you get the picture.
I attended a Big Red dinner recently in which Husker defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove spoke. He was asked if he'd heard of the video. He said, dryly, that yes he and the rest of the players and coaches were aware of it. His comment received much laughter.
DRESSED TO THE NINES
Okay, so maybe Dan-o's comments won't be a factor in this Friday's "showdown" with the Colorado Buffaloes. The Huskers, in my view, don't need any more motivation. The Huskers know a win Friday will mean they will have won more games (9) than any other Callahan coached Nebraska team. Period.
To be sure, 9-3 would be awfully sweet. (I know I'll hear from Solich fans who will quickly remind me that Frank's last team was 9-3 (10-3 if you count the Bo Pelini coached Alamo Bowl win that year).
62 AND COUNTING
Since 1996, the Huskers have gone 6-3 (3-2 in Lincoln and of 3-1 at Boulder). Through the nine games, the average score has been Colorado 27.8 and the Huskers 25.2 with a margin of only 2.6 points per game. (The scoring is somewhat distorted due to the 62 points the Buffies laid on the Men of Corn in '01 in "The Bloodbath in Boulder".
What the past nine games means going into this game is anybody's guess. I'm inclined to think that this year the Huskers are going to want to come out strong and not let up for the entire game-okay, so it's probably more of wishful thinking on my part, but what the heck, I'm entitled to a little fantasy once in awhile, ain't I?
It's been since the year 2000 that the Huskers have beat the Buffies in Lincoln. Do you think Callahan, his assistants and players are aware of this? Is Rosie O'Donnell obnoxious?
Look for the Huskers to play a very intense game-one with few turnovers and mistakes on their part. Nebraska still hasn't returned a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown. Will that happen this Friday? Will the Huskers intercept a pass for a TD?
Will Joe Ganz see some playing time? Will Matt Herian catch another TD pass? I'm thinking that one or more of these questions will have a positive answer by game's end Friday.
THE COUNT SAID IT
Come Friday afternoon, the Husker seniors will get one last chance to perform in front of 85,000 rabid Big Red fans. One more time to take it all in. One more Tunnel Walk, one more once, as Count Basie used to say. Huskers will look impressive, be able to rest some regulars and look forward to their trip to Kansas City. The Huskers don't need this game, but they do need this game. Still fresh in their minds is the agony of this year's losses to Texas and Oklahoma State. Nine and three has a nice ring to it, especially in November.