Nobody asked me, but….
1. The Gator Bowl feels like a letdown. But what’s worse: getting passed over by the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or being upset about it?
2. A trip to the desert would have been nice, as would an old Big Eight rematch. But let’s put this in perspective. If Husker fans are upset about being dissed by the BWW bowl, then you are in a place you don’t want to be. Perhaps you should be upset that NU was in that position to begin with. Don’t lose to Iowa or Minnesota. Do what Michigan State did. No reason why Nebraska should not be able to do what MSU did this year.
3. What happened? I think it was this simple: the BWW folks are losing the Big Ten after this year, and haven’t had Michigan since 1985. Agree or not, the Michigan name still carries some weight. The big attraction with Nebraska was the fan support going to Phoenix. I believe that was a dilemma for the BWW/Fiesta folks, especially considering the Baylor-UCF Fiesta Bowl won’t exactly be a fan draw. Anyway, when K-State entered the picture, the BWW had a team whose fans will travel. As much as Husker fans? Debatable. But the BWW no longer needed Nebraska to draw. K-State fans will show up to play Michigan. So you have your fan support and your Michigan name. In the minds of the bowl folks, any Michigan game is a big TV draw; KSU-NU, that seems less certain. The game starts at 10 p.m. Detroit time, but that’s my theory. Some will say the Husker circus at the last home game didn’t help, but I think this was a case of chance to get Michigan, and K-State provided the out with its fan base.
4. Speaking of Michigan, the report in the Ann Arbor News Sunday night went like this: “For just the seventh time in program history, Michigan will be playing a bowl in the month of December.” In other words, the folks up north are not exactly thrilled. And while Husker fans would be intrigued by the sight of Bill Snyder and the purple people, the folks in Michigan are less than intrigued. They’re saying, “What are we doing here?”
And you can bet their friends in Columbus, Ohio, are rubbing it in as well.
5. Speaking of Ohio State, some Buckeyes are upset about going to the Orange Bowl. Trade places with them, wouldn’t you?
6. Creighton was terrific tonight. What a great night at the CenturyLink Center. New mascot, new unis, Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman in the house and the new Big East banners were unveiled, too.
7. I didn’t think the Jays were extraordinary or over-the-top good. They made their shots early. They feed off that energy. But what I thought was telling was the purpose that Creighton played with. That’s a mature team, a senior team, that felt the urgency of the moment. The Jays played like a senior team that won’t play their rival again and made it count. They’ll never forget this one. Nor should they.
8. Doug McDermott probably won’t admit it, but I thought he took some deep, NBA-type 3s, perhaps for the benefit of all the NBA scouts in the building. I like what Doug does under the rim. I think not having Gregory Echenique around this year is going to make No. 3 a more well-rounded player. You know, for the guys in the stands he wasn’t trying to impress.
9. As good as Creighton was, Nebraska was that bad early. The Huskers appeared flat, and maybe that’s what CU does when they’re rolling. It took a while for Shavon Shields to say enough was enough and drive to the hoop. NU clawed back in the second half, and they kept CU’s starters in until the end, but that was no consolation. This one was not as close as the final score indicated. Perhaps this is a good lesson for Tim Miles’ team to take before hitting the Big Ten road starting on Dec. 31. There won’t be any mercy in those gyms, either.
10. We can talk Husker bowl, Craig Bohl, Creighton hoops or anything else that’s on your mind tomorrow in my weekly chat, 12:30 p.m., at Omaha.com. See you then.