Typically, we lead the Chatter with something long, then cut to the bites. Today’s we’re jumping straight to bites. The good news? There’s a ton of ‘em.
>> Check out this quote from the end of Jon Nyatawa’s story today on Terry Joseph:
“We were surviving last year. When you watched the film, it was just surviving. Nobody played fast. It was always like we were 75 mph, not 100. So hopefully, Sept. 1, we’ll play like we’re flying around. We’ll see.”
I think Joseph’s observation is dead on, especially in the secondary. Nebraska has a ton of young players, especially at cornerback. If Joseph can get them to play like Marvin Sanders did, the Huskers will make a big jump defensively.
>> Fascinating stat in this Dennis Dodd column: 34 of the 124 FBS head coaches once were full-time SEC assistants.
>> Sports Illustrated’s college football preview comes out this week. Wisconsin is No. 6! Michigan State is No. 8! Is the Big Ten better than we think? Both those rankings seem 5-10 spots too high. Michigan seems a little low at 13th. Ohio State seems way too low at 22nd. Nebraska, at 19th, is about right.
>> Rick Reilly hammers Notre Dame. This is fun.
>> Mike’l Severe and I interviewed BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo on 1620 The Zone Monday. DiNardo made an excellent point. The Big Ten should play marquee non-conference games, especially non-conference primetime games, in September. Why? Because in order to recruit the South — which Big Ten coaches must do — you have to play big games at a time when SEC teams aren’t. For the most part, that’s September.
>> The Sabanization of College Football. Another great read by Andy Staples.
>> Virginia Tech is wearing alternative helmets Sept. 8 against Austin Peay. What does quarterback Logan Thomas think? “Our whiteout helmets are so ugly.” I would agree.
>> Sometimes smart people with good intentions get together and produce bad results. My gut says the new kickoff rules in college football are going to cause more injuries than ever. To review, the kicking team kicks from the 35, not the 30. But a touchback gives the offensive possession at its 25, not the 20. By the end of the year, I think kickoff teams will be pooch kicking most of the time. And I think the potential for heavy collisions will be greater than ever.
>> Bill Belichick sharing knowledge with the media. Great stuff on practice philosophy.
>> Imagine you’re driving north on I-29 after midnight. You’re running very low on gas. All the gas stations are closed. But 10 miles from home, there’s a hotel. It’s a new car and you have no idea how far the needle will drop before the tank is empty. Do you stop 10 miles from home and spend the night at the hotel? Or do you keep driving and take your chances. If you make it, you save yourself $100 and get to sleep in your own bed. If you don’t, you’re walking somewhere at 1 a.m.
That’s the situation the Washington Nationals are in with Stephen Strasburg. They could easily pitch him the rest of the season and have no problems — who knows how much fuel is left in the tank? But if they run out, they’re walking on I-29 at 1 a.m. I think I would keep pitching him through the playoffs. But I don’t have to face the consequences of being wrong.
>> Jim Boeheim says LeBron James may be equal to Michael Jordan, not in terms of achievement, but ability. The past few years, I’ve basically said the same thing. Of course, comparing someone to MJ is akin to suggesting the ’95 Huskers aren’t the best team ever.
>> Sometimes I write something on this blog that interests me, but generates no discussion. And sometimes I write something trivial that stirs the pot. I caught a lot of heat for suggesting Scottie Pippen, among others, would’ve missed the cut had the 1992 and 2012 rosters combined into one Dreamiest Dream Team.
I understand Pippen was great. Versatile. Athletic. Yada, yada, yada. But the man played second fiddle his entire career. And the two years he didn’t — 1994-95 — the Bulls didn’t even make the Eastern Conference Finals. So don’t tell me that Pippen was better than guys like Barkley, Malone and Durant. At that point, 1992, I don’t think he was even better than Dominique Wilkins and Reggie Miller — two wings who didn’t even make the original Dream Team.
>> So Missy Franklin can take money from the USOC and USA Swimming and maintain her amateur status. But she can’t take a dime from corporations? Doesn’t make much sense.
>> SI’s Michael Rosenberg says sports gambling should be regulated, not banned. I agree.
>> Something tells me Bobby Valentine won’t be around next year.
>> Jordan Burroughs on Leno last night. He used his gold medal to get to the front of the line at McDonald’s.
>> Dallas Baptist is close to joining the Missouri Valley Conference for baseball only. It’s a weird fit, but it definitely helps Creighton’s RPI.
>> Finally, Hard Knocks. The end of last night’s episode — Chad Johnson getting cut by coach Joe Philbin — was about as compelling as reality TV can get. I recognize Johnson is a class clown. And head-butting your wife, if true, is inexcusable. But I empathized with Johnson in that moment. I hope he gets another chance.
>> Here’s your question for the day. If you could re-write history and go behind the scenes (Hard Knocks-style) of any Nebraska football team, which would you pick? The two obvious answers, in my opinion, are 1995 and 2007. Imagine the drama of those two seasons. If we’re just talking training camp, you might pick 1999 — with Eric Crouch leaving the team; or 2006, when Harrison Beck left.