The Nebraska rifle team competes in the Great American Rifle Conference, not the Big Ten. It’s an all-women’s team fortunate to have an on-campus range. The NCAA championships are in late-March, but the Huskers’ next competition is in January in Mississippi.
I learned all that from Tuesday’s Athletic Director Hour on “Sports Nightly.”
The monthly Shawn Eichorst show featured a few questions from Greg Sharpe about football, but no phone calls — remember when NU ADs used to take those? By 7:30, Eichorst was gone, turning the show over to the rifle team. Seriously. Poor Sharpe spent the remainder of the hour interviewing the rifle coach and, in the next segment, senior shooter Sunny Russell.
Talk about a misfire.
Frustrated Husker football fans (Pelini supporters and Pelini critics alike) are seeking answers on a number of issues: No. 1, if Bo really wasn’t in hot water, then why didn’t Eichorst give the coach some private assurance, even if he kept it quiet publicly? No. 2, what effect do you think Pelini’s sideline behavior has on Nebraska’s national image? Meanwhile, the AD is ceding his time to the rifle coach? Three days after putting out a weak statement on Pelini’s future?
I know Eichorst doesn’t like taking the spotlight from his coaches, but isn’t communicating his thoughts and answering questions on key issues an important part of the job? This is Nebraska. It should be.
>> I hear all this talk about parity in college football and how it’s a main reason for Nebraska’s struggles the past 15 years. There’s some truth to that. But if it’s easier to rise up and have a breakout season, shouldn’t it also be easier for Nebraska, too?
If Baylor or Missouri or Auburn can have a landmark season, why can’t NU? You can’t have it both ways. Is it easier to win? Or harder? Because either way, the Huskers should occasionally benefit.
>> Nebraska, you have a new rival! (so says this Hawkeye).
>> Urban Meyer is “everything that is wrong with college athletics,” writes John Feinstein. Ouch.
>> Will Big Ten citizens be rooting for Ohio State Saturday night? I’m torn on this one. If the Buckeyes get blown out by Florida State, hindsight will say they would’ve been better off in the Rose Bowl.
>> The Big Ten badly needs somebody to stand up against the country alongside Ohio State. Why not Michigan State, Matt Brown writes:
“The Big Ten’s dream scenario, for now: Ohio State beats Michigan State in a well-played, competitive game (it can’t duplicate it, but think last year’s SEC title game in which both Alabama and Georgia left with universal respect) and advances to the BCS title game against a heralded Florida State team. Michigan State heads to the Rose Bowl against Stanford or Arizona State. Both win, giving the Big Ten its first national champion since Ohio State 11 years ago, and a Rose Bowl win by the No. 2 team in the league over the Pac-12 champion. That’s the dream, although most argue it’s more likely that Ohio State gets blown out by Florida State and Michigan State gets shut out by Stanford.”
>> David Jones gets to the heart of the Ohio State/Auburn debate. He’s sick of the SEC.
>> Check out the New York Times’ new project on fourth downs. Should coaches go for it? Fascinating and surprising data. For instance, on fourth-and-3 from your own 9, the robot says GO FOR IT!
>> Marcus Mariota is coming back to school. Merry Christmas, Scott Frost.
>> Grantland profiles USHL hockey in Kearney. Cool stuff.
>> How can you not love the Golden State Warriors?
>> The baseball hot stove is scorching. How the heck is Jacoby Ellsbury worth $20 million a year?
>> This is an excellent column by Geoff Ogilvy on the Tiger Woods vs. Brandel Chamblee spat and the value of straight shooters in the media. It applies to golf (where the media cheerleads more than any other sport), but it’s just as relevant to other sports.
>> Jason Sobel with a long examination of our fascination with Tiger vs. Jack.
>> Back to Eichorst, who mentioned improving the gameday experience at Memorial Stadium. I would change several things, but one of the biggest financial investments would be improving the sound above the South Stadium. The volume discrepancy between North and South is significant. If you’re in the North, your ears hurt. If you’re in the South, it’s not loud enough.
>> Finally, it’s sort of fitting that Miami comes to town for Nebraska’s first relatively big game at Pinnacle Bank Arena. For two schools that have nothing in common (except Eichorst), it’s fascinating how often they’ve tangled.
You know about the Orange Bowls, but remember the ’05 Super Regional at Haymarket Park? Alex Gordon vs. Ryan Braun? With NU and UM meeting in football the next two years, the two sides might as well exchange Christmas cards.
Better yet, let’s exchange winter homes for a week.