PELINI, "MAN OF THE OUR"
When LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini's LSU Tigers took the field the night of January 7th to meet the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship of college football, the Tigers had an extra 1.7 million Husker fans rooting for them. Pelini technically was the new head football coach at Nebraska, but Athletic Director Tom Osborne had given Bo permission to coach the Tiger defense one last time.
And Bo didn't disappoint. His defense, after some early Buckeye success, adjusted and ended up putting a strangle hold on the Ohio State offense. LSU won convincingly 38-24, giving Tiger head coach, Les Miles, his first national championship at LSU.
Husker fans were no doubt rooting for LSU because Pelini had just been hired as the new Husker head football coach, but their love for him actually began in '03, the only year he served as Nebraska's defensive coordinator. By the end of that year, he had taken a defense that was ranked 50th the previous year and took them to a number 11 ranking. And when Bo didn't get the head coaching job after Frank Solich was fired, many Husker fans continued to follow Bo's career, cheering for his defenses at Oklahoma ('04) and LSU from '05 to '07.
RESTORE THE BORDER
What Husker fans expect (and are praying for) is a return to smash mouth football. When opposing teams come across the border to play at Memorial Stadium, they want them to leave, knowing they've just suffered through four quarters of pure Husker hell. And most Husker fans believe that Bo is the guy to take the them there.
Husker fans know that Mark "Bo" Pelini is our head coach now. He's not at LSU, Oklahoma, the '49'ers, Packers or Patriots. He's at Nebraska. Most Husker fans believe he's our link to respectability-the link to future greatness. In short, they believe Bo's our football savior. They believe he will return the Husker football program to the great traditions that were established by Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. And for those reasons, Bo is our "Man of the Our".
THIS AND THAT
Neither Georgia nor Missouri will win the national champion in college football this year.
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel will win the Heisman.
This is my 6th season writing for Huskerpedia and the 11th year for my Husker Dan column. Because of you readers, the time has sailed by much too quickly. Thanks to all of you who have written me through the years. You readers are the BEST!
Remember, you heard it here first: Second string quarterback Patrick Witt will come off the bench this year to either save a game or the season for the Huskers.
And speaking of quarterbacks, it's great that Allan Evridge is getting a chance to be the starting quarterback at Wisconsin. Allan is a great kid who comes from a strong family. Most Husker fans wish he would have come to Nebraska instead of going to K-State where he was railroaded by Wildcat head coach, Ron Prince.
"HERO OF THE UNDERGROUND"
I will soon be posting an interview I had with Jason Peter about his new book, "Hero Of The Underground".
SAM, I AM
Recently, I had an opportunity to visit with Sam McKewon, the very gifted sportswriter whose columns appear in the Nebraska State Paper. You can read the ex-Millard North Mustang's columns on line at www.nebraska.statepaper.com as well as on Huskerpedia.com. If you are a true Husker fan, you won't want to miss any of his columns.
We've all seen the T-shirts that say "Bo Big Red, "Bo Knows", "Got Bo?", "My Bo Friend's Back" etc. They've been selling like hotcakes. But here are some not so famous ones that have yet to catch on:
Bo goes to Kolache Days in Verdigre.
Visits Napa Valley
Gets a face lift
Gets a schnoz job
Goes to China
Opens an Asian restaurant
Roots for Curt Schilling
"I've Got You Babe"
GROW WITH BO
Becomes a stock broker
LITTLE BO BLEEP
Runs into Bill Snyder again
LITTLE BO DEEP
Studies molecular physics
LITTLE BO JEEP
Does a car commercial (groan)
FROM THE EMAIL BAG
HUSKER DAN'S ARMY & "HUSKER FANS' SALUTE TO THE TROOPS"
Dear Husker Dan
First, I wanted to thank you for everything you are doing for the troops out here in Iraq. It means a lot to get donations from people back in the States, and it's especially great what you and Husker fans across the nation are doing for Husker Fans overseas. I first read about Husker Dan's Army a few months ago, while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. HDA truly shows why Husker Fans are the greatest fans in the country. Nowhere else in the world do you come across people as selfless as those donating to and supporting the troops. The few soldiers (non-Husker fans) I have spoken with about HDA have been in awe of what you have put together. It's a little lonely for me here, as I'm the only Husker fan in my unit. It would be great to get DVDs of Husker games and maybe a few posters to decorate my walls. Thank you so much for supporting the troops out here in Iraq and Afghanistan. Your generosity is truly an inspiration to me and I will never forget what you've done for us.
Thank you, God Bless and Go Big Red!
SPC Charles Martinez IV
HHC, 5th EN Bn
APO AE 09391
Dear Charles: Fist of all, thank you for serving your country. You and the rest of the men and women who are serving in the armed services are the real heroes. We can never thank you enough for all you do. We are proud of you and your mission. We've added your name to our HDA list and you will be receiving game day DVDs as soon as the season begins. God speed and GO HUSKERS!
NOTE: If you are a veteran of any war, you won't want to miss "The Husker Fans' Salute To The Troops" celebration that will take place at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln the weekend of November 1st and 2nd. We have 100 rooms reserved for troopers and their families. There will be a Husker Football Watch Party at the Cornhusker Hotel on Saturday, a tour of the Husker athletic facilities and a Tunnel Walk experience for all the troopers and their families. We've invited ex-Husker football players and coaches to attend as well. There will also be an award ceremony and brunch on Sunday. Reservations are limited, so you must act as soon as possible to make your reservations. For more information about how to register for the event and how you can donate to the cause, go to www.huskersalute.org.
Dear Husker Dan:
Could you promote a forum that offers Husker fans a place to engage in discussions about their favorite team? As a moderator of the forum, we don't permit any personal attacks to be posted. The web site is: www.ourhuskers.com.
Craig From Connecticut
Consider it done.
Dear Husker Dan:
I meant to shoot you this note the other day, but it completely slipped my mind. Thanks so much for including Mike'l and I on your Danno awards this year. We appreciate knowing that someone enjoys the show, because we certainly enjoy doing it!
I was excited to see the letter in your mailbag from my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Eurich. I have extremely fond memories of my time in his class, and I'm happy to see that he's still keeping an eye on me from afar!
Thanks again for the kind words about the show, and we're going for our second straight Danno award next year!
Note: As most of you know, Kevin Kugler is a very busy guy. During the football season, he co-hosts a weekly television show on ETV called "Big Red Wrap Up" and does play-by-play nationally for college football games each week for Westwood One Broadcasting. He also co-hosts "Unsportsmanlike Conduct", a sports talk show heard weekdays in Omaha on 1620 The Zone. He also did a brilliant job calling the Final Four basketball games this spring. And each year, he's the PBP guy for the College World Series. He just returned this week from China where he covered the Olympics. And to top it off, he celebrated his 36th birthday August 26th. Happy birthday, Kevin!
HEAR THE BAND A-PLAYIN'
Dear Husker Dan:
On behalf of the Cornhusker Marching Band, thanks for the nice piece you posted about us on Huskerpedia.com. The students work very hard and above all LOVE their Huskers! It's always gratifying to see their efforts appreciated. Next time we march in, I hope you'll come up and introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you.
Take care and GO BIG RED!
Director, Cornhusker Marching Band
PS. I was a drummer in my playing days as well!
Note: Mrs. Husker Dan and I recently had a chance see the CMB perform at Memorial Stadium in one of the band's first rehearsals of the season. Tony and Doug Bush, Assistant Director of Bands, couldn't have been nicer to us. I will be doing a special feature on the CMB next month.
Dear Husker Dan:
We're doing a feature on the first seasons for Devaney and Osborne and each week we're running a game recap. I'm trying to locate programs (cover photos only) for road games for the 1962 and 1973 seasons. I'm sure there are people who have extensive collections of programs and would be willing to help us out, in exchange for a comp subscription if they have a lot of what we need.
Also, we're initiating a small feature in each issue, focusing on collectors who are willing to have their picture included and a brief summary of what they collect and how they got started. Anybody you could recommend would be appreciated. Thanks.
Note: Mike is a long time sportswriter for the Lincoln Journal newspaper and Huskers Illustrated magazine. HI is the bible of Husker football. If you'd like to respond to Mike's request, you may email him at: MBABCOCK1@neb.rr.com
THE GAME (Western Michigan)
All Husker fans need to know about this week's opponent, is to remember Appalachian State at Ann Arbor last year. The Broncos of Western Michigan are not going to be intimidated coming into Lincoln this Saturday. Look for a close game at first with the Huskers finding a way to win. Bo goes 2-0 as the Husker head coach.
PELINI, "MAN OF THE OUR"