It’s Friday! That means 10 big stories in 10 little bites. We’re loaded with football. Bo Pelini and the USFL, the Rose Bowl and the Vikings’ new stadium, Bill O’Brien and bowl budgets. Not gonna lie, the chatter is a little madder than usual today. But let’s start with something positive. A little basketball…
Tim Miles spoke at the B’nai B’rith banquet Wednesday night in Omaha. Before he walked off the stage, he said this:
“I don’t know how the hell we’re gonna do it, but we’re gonna win.”
I love that quote. That’s the slogan I’d imagine Don Draper dreaming up as he lays on his office couch.
To get people to really buy in to the program again, you need to persuade them you’re not walking into this blind (like Barry Collier and Doc Sadler). You understand how hard it was to cheer for this program the past 50 years. And you’re not running from the underdog role, you’re embracing it.
Optimism is fine. But determination is better, especially when it’s mixed with self-deprecation. And Miles shows it with that quote.
That’s the slogan. Put it on a billboard.
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>> I understand the excitement for a College Gameday commercial. I understand it’s a way to show school spirit. But Husker fans expended all this time and energy for a perk that schools like LSU and Oregon get for free. Why? Because those programs win big.
When Nebraska gets over the hump — whenever that is — it won’t need a public campaign to get a little love from ESPN.
>> Sporting News released its complete rankings for all 124 FBS coaches. Bo Pelini is No. 37, between distinguished names like Butch Jones, Troy Calhoun, Jim Grobe, David Shaw and Ken Niumatalolo.
I would love to dig into this and debate it. How, for example, is Mike Gundy ahead of Bill Snyder? But aside from the top 10 or 20, which is hard to screw up too badly, the list is pretty random. Hey, it’s a better use of time than ranking the Big Ten’s backup quarterbacks.
The things we writers will do to get through an offseason…
>> Jon Nyatawa examined in today’s World-Herald how Nebraska lost money playing in the Capital One Bowl. Look at this paragraph:
“The Capital One Bowl required that NU purchase 500 tickets at $92 each and 12,000 at $87 each (totaling $1.09 million). But Nebraska sold back 6,594 of those tickets for a loss of $513,832. The Big Ten will cover that loss.”
How many scholarships could the Big Ten fund with that money? How many gymnastics and wrestling programs could it help save with that money? The bowl system’s demise is related to our appetite for a playoff, sure. But it’s also costing schools and conferences a fortune.
>> The USFL may be coming back. And Omaha might be a landing spot for a franchise. Where have I seen this story before? I do think it stands a better chance of success than the UFL, though, because it’s a spring season. Competing with the NFL and college football is a death sentence.
>> Gregg Doyel changed his mind on paying college football players. Why? Junior Seau’s death. Interesting read. Log on to Twitter and you’ll see how intensely my colleague Sam McKewon disagrees with Doyel.
>> Former World-Herald reporter Liz Merrill explores the tragedies of the ’94 Chargers.
>> The Vikings are staying in Minnesota. But the negotiation shined a light on the NFL’s blackout rules.
>> I’ve read a lot of touchy-feely columns over the years about the Rose Bowl. This Wall Street journal writer takes the cake. She says the Pac-12 and Big Ten should say no to a playoff and re-commit to the Rose Bowl, even at the expense of national championships. An excerpt:
“For better or worse, in sickness and health, these two conferences should go back to living as they have for decades. They would play their conference games, determine their champions, who would then meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 (where the Big Ten representative would be ritually humiliated, but that is another story). The Granddaddy of Them All would remain what it is now: one of the greatest spectacles in sports.
“The rest of college football—from the Southeastern Conference, which wins the national title every year anyhow, to the Boise States and TCUs and other arrivistes who have demanded respect—could have their own playoff. The Big Ten and Pac-12, which have huge followings, would force the networks to decide what’s most valuable about college football.”
I disagree with the column. Whole-heartedly. With every fiber of my soul. Read the rest of it, though. If only to understand the triple knot the Rose Bowl has on Big Ten hearts.
>> A Bill O’Brien update at Penn State.
>> Read this column about kids running marathons in Northern Alaska. Very cold — I mean, cool.
>> As I tweeted last night, there’s nothing better than watching an NBA team with three “superstars” get pounded by a team with zero. There’s nothing remotely endearing about the Lakers at this point. The Nuggets, meanwhile, are hard not to admire.
Game 7 is Saturday night in L.A. Will anyone be watching? Tip time is 10:45 EST. Why, why, why so late? The NBA isn’t very smart sometimes.
>> Josh Beckett is in a mess in Boston, because he played golf the day after scratching from a start. Check out this opening paragraph from an outstanding Jeff Passan column:
“They took the beer out of the clubhouse, but nothing changed. They switched the man in the manager’s office, but he’s no better. The rot in the Boston Red Sox organization runs too deep for cosmetic changes, and nobody better personifies it than Josh Beckett, the clueless, defiant egomaniac who’s poisoning another Red Sox season.”
>> Finally, a little golf. How many more years will Tiger Woods lead SportsCenter when he’s 9 shots behind the leader? When he’s 48 and his knees are too bad to walk and he hasn’t won in 5 years, is ESPN still going to track Tiger’s score in the corner of the screen? Just wondering.
>> Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.