SPORTS
Mad Chatter: SEC cheating, Tim Miles’ new assistant, Creighton hoops fan

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover an emotional Tom Izzo and a snarky Jon Stewart, Webb Simpson’s caddy and Tim Miles’ new assistant, World Cup soccer and NBA playoffs and, of course, another quarrel between Creighton basketball fan and yours truly.

But first, the hottest sports story of the week: The Bag Men of the SEC.

“I look at this as an investment. When you ask me why I do this … let me ask you something. Who’s your favorite sports team? Most favorite. Who do you live and die with? What if I told you that if you gave me $10,000 right now I could guarantee you they’d be better? That if they were usually bad that they’d …

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Mad Chatter: Husker high hopes, Creighton’s depressing TV ratings, Rutgers vs. UConn

Way, way, way-too-early preseason men’s basketball Top 25s are coming out and a very unusual name is appearing: Nebraska.

The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre ranks NU 18th, behind Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten.

C.J. Moore of Bleacher Report pegs the Huskers 17th overall and third in the Big Ten, ahead of Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has NU 17th but second in the Big Ten.

Not all national analysts agree on the Huskers. ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan leaves them unranked, behind Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa.

The national optimism is nice, but people shouldn’t forget how much went right for NU in the last two months of the season — it resembled Nebraska football’s remarkable six-game …

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Mad Chatter: McDermott un-unanimous, SEC football schedules, Final Four

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Darin Erstad and Yordano Ventura, Danny Manning and Charlie Strong, SEC football schedules and overpaid MLB sluggers. But first, Doug McDermott vs. Russ Smith.

In defending his player of the year vote for Smith – not McDermott — Louisville columnist Rick Bozich comes the closest we’ve seen any writer all year to criticizing McDermott. This section had some spice:

“Let’s be honest. The 2014 player of the year race was over in February. Maybe January. I’m not sure what the tipping point was, but the national chatter was all McDermott, McDermott, McDermott.

Considering McDermott plays at Creighton and many of the Bluejays’ games were not carried on national TV, my guess is that

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Mad Chatter: 5 sports holidays; Mac vs. Wojo; Tiger, DeSean, Doug and Nebrasketball

Mad Chatter has been taking more days off than Jim Rome, Jon Stewart & all of France in August.

OK, it was really only two days, but I apologize. Between a Doug McDermott special section project (coming out Sunday) that required me to watch and chart all 1,141 of his career field goals (go ahead, quiz me) and this Tim Miles/Dave Van Horn column, I missed blogging last Wednesday and this Monday, one of the hottest sports days of the year.

Of course, if it were up to baseball fans, Opening Day would be a national holiday. I don’t buy it. Let’s start today with five weekdays better reserved for replacing Presidents Day on the government calendar:

1. Day one of the NCAA tournament

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Mad Chatter: Rasmussen’s frustrating Sunday, B1G hoops, Miguel Cabrera

It’s Friday. That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Miguel Cabrera and Gene Smith, Tim Miles and Tom Osborne, Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery. But first, Creighton’s loss to Baylor.

From the beginning, the one constant has been Bruce Rasmussen. He hired Dana Altman. He shepherded Creighton basketball into a new arena. He hired Greg McDermott. He helped transform the Bluejays into a national program.

If anyone deserved to be in San Antonio last weekend for the end of an era, it was Rasmussen. He couldn’t, of course, because he’s on the NCAA basketball committee and had duties in Buffalo. He almost made it to the Alamo anyway.

But in Detroit, Rasmussen missed his San Antonio connection by about 10 …

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Mad Chatter: The BCS champions playoff, Petrino to Louisville, what to take from Michigan State’s run

You are looking live at the first (and last) BCS championship playoff selection show. BCS? Playoff? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Perhaps. But before we move on to a new, glorious era of college football, let’s merge past and future. Today we present the BCS champions bracket, complete with all 16 national champs since the BCS inception in 1998.

You the fans are invited to email me your full-bracket picks (dirk.chatelain@owh.com). I’ll post the results in Friday’s Mad Chatter.

CORSO REGION

No. 1. Miami 2001 vs. No. 4 LSU 2007: Widely considered the most talented team in BCS history, Miami draws the only two-loss champion. Can Bo Pelini’s Tigers fare better against the ‘Canes than Craig Bohl’s Blackshirts?

No. 2 Alabama 2012 vs. No.

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Mad Chatter: Is Nebraska slipping off the national stage? Lavonte and playoff talk

It’s Friday! That means in Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We hit Lavonte David and Danny Woodhead, RG3 and Phil Rivers, European soccer and American golf, the trouble with Jacksonville and college football playoff talk. But first, should Nebraska be worried about its national image?

First national columnists, most notably Pat Forde, blitz NU for retaining Bo Pelini.

Then the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl chooses 7-5 Michigan over 8-4 Nebraska (even though NU won at the Big House and has a massive following in Phoenix). I’m still stunned by that decision.

Now local travel agents are saying Nebraskans’ interest in the bowl game is at record-low levels.

This comes on the heels of a season in which NU generated few headlines nationally (a …

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Mad Chatter: Something missing from Creighton-Nebraska rivalry, Petersen to UW & Korver’s streak

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Chris Petersen and the Big Ten/SEC bowl challenge, Kyle Korver and Charles Barkley, Jameis Winston and Robinson Cano and, of course, Bo Pelini. But first, in-state hoops.

Nebraska and Creighton will meet Sunday at CenturyLink. NU-CU has the making of a nice little rivalry the next few years. They should embrace it. But they should also enlarge the tent.

Play UNO.

Derrin Hansen’s team is off to a great start, nearly beating Iowa and UNLV on the road. The Mavs have earned the right to play Nebraska and Creighton. Every year. It’s a joke that they don’t already.

South Carolina State played at Nebraska on Nov. 17, losing 83-57. Two nights later, …

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Mad Chatter: Eichorst should shoot straight, B1G title talk and Tiger Woods

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 …

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Mad Chatter: What Eichorst should expect from Husker football, Creighton hoops & Black Friday

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover freshman QBs and aging tennis greats, the (misguided?) Royals GM and the (dishonest?) Rutgers AD, the Big Ten’s riveting rivalries and the Big East’s rough start, even a little soccer.

But first, charting a course for Nebraska football’s future.

I‘m not sure the national media understands what Husker fans expect these days. Over and over, I hear the same comments — “It’s not the 90s anymore, Nebraska!”

People here are undoubtedly obsessed with that era. But it doesn’t mean they expect its return. No, Husker fans crave national relevance, not national dominance.

But what’s a fair standard for Husker football? How do you strike a balance between high expectations (which are critical …

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