Tag Archives: Big Ten

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: College basketball’s wacky finale, Suh v. McDermott, the birth of Barkley

In our grandfathers’ sports world, teams earned glory over the long haul.

Before 1969, major-league baseball determined each league’s World Series representative by the regular-season standings alone. The league championship series didn’t exist. Most of baseball’s 20 teams were mathematically eliminated by Labor Day.

Before 1974, the final coaches poll in college football was taken before the bowl games. Those were considered exhibitions — rewards for a good season. (This is why bowl games are still a month after the regular season, one of the silliest scheduling quirks in sports.)

Before 1975, only conference champions qualified for the NCAA tournament in college basketball. After No. 3 Maryland (John Lucas and Len Elmore) missed the field in ’74, the tournament expanded to include at-large bids.

Before …

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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: Creighton the 10 seed, a two-game Husker season, Danny Woodhead 10 years later

To most of us, the calendar says March 5. To Creighton basketball, it’s February 33.

The Jays’ latest version of the February folly is in full effect after last night’s loss at Georgetown. The offense is bad, the defense is worse, the Jays look like a 10 seed, not a Final Four contender. It all feels quite familiar.

The Jays lost three in a row in February 2012 before winning seven straight entering the NCAA tournament. They lost three in a row in February 2013, then won five straight entering the Big Dance.

This season, I thought CU could avoid a winter slumber. Nation’s best player + gobs of senior leadership + an improved defense = Consistency. Right?


CU fans have 72 hours to tell …

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Mad Chatter: Are the Huskers laying in a pile of suds? Bo, baseball & bobsleds

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites (a bit abbreviated today). We cover Barry Switzer and Curt Tomasevicz, Bo Pelini working for Mike Leach (?) and a 12-year-old basketball prodigy (??). But first, Nebraska’s position on the bubble.

Are the Huskers sliding off? Are they squarely on? Is their bubble about to burst and get suds all over the floor? (As the parent of a 3-year-old, I have experience with this).

I think most of us can agree that at 20 wins NU is a cinch for the NCAA tournament. At 18, the Huskers don’t have a chance. At 19, they’re gonna be sweating profusely on Selection Sunday.*

* This is a slight deviation from my take 11 days ago. My

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Mad Chatter: Ranking Husker coaches, Tim Miles’ Big 3, reader emails

So much ground to cover today, but let’s start with Tuesday’s Twitter poll, one of my favorites in the illustrious history of Mad Chatter public surveys:

Select and rank the best five head coaches in the Nebraska athletic department.

Tough one, huh. I received close to 100 responses on Twitter and email. And here’s how the points broke down (five points for a first-place vote, four points for second, etc.):

10 — Dan Kendig, women’s gymnastics. 20 points

9 — Bill Straub, women’s bowling. 36 points

8 — Mark Manning, wrestling. 38 points

T-6 — Darin Erstad, baseball. 44 points

T-6 — Bo Pelini, football. 44 points

5 — Rhonda Revelle, softball. 59 points

4 — Gary Pepin, …

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Mad Chatter: How did Nebrasketball pull this off? Creighton v. Wichita in the Dance? Bubble talk

The most pleasant surprise of Nebraska’s rise to the NCAA tournament bubble?

It hasn’t been that hard.

Nebraska basketball fans have been trained the past 15 years to expect heartache and disappointment. And Barry Collier and Doc Sadler (and Husker pessimists) convinced them that cracking the top half of the Big 12 or Big Ten was like trying to thread the intercontinental railroad through the Rockies.

(Unfortunately, you’re hearing that same kind of talk these days from many Husker football fans).

Truth is, it’s NOT that hard. Kansas State and Iowa State, even Colorado, have put ordinary teams in the NCAA tournament multiple times since NU last did it. The field is 68 teams every year. They can’t all be great.

Still, I believed it …

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Mad Chatter: Huskers’ not-so-sunny recruiting in Florida, McDermott’s scoring burden

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Doug McDermott and the mystery Bluejay who needs to help him, Husker basketball dreams and Oregon football’s officiating nightmare, Michael Sam, LeBron James, the Miracle On Ice and more. But first, recruitin’.

We’re putting together a nice project for Sunday’s World-Herald examining Nebraska’s state-by-state recruiting since Bob Devaney, with rankings and trends and (the best part) an all-star lineup from each state. Here’s a preview:

Perception: Nebraska needed speed in the early 90s to supplement its Midwestern brawn, so it went down to Florida.

Reality: Nebraska has relied far more heavily on Texas and California for athletes.

Perception: The Sunshine State has been critical to NU’s success over the …

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Mad Chatter: Bo defends sideline behavior, NCAA vs. Sami Spenner, NBA playoff changes

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. This afternoon I’ll post a special Husker recruiting quiz — don’t miss it! But for now, we cover Husker scheduling and UNO pentathletes, John Calipari’s paranoia and Ralph Kiner’s wit, Signing Day 2013 and Signing Day 2005, Buzz Williams, a Tongan luger and why the NBA should overhaul its postseason.

Let’s start with CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler, who interviewed Bo Pelini this week. Fowler takes a coach-friendly view on the past few months in Husker Nation. Here’s a snippet from Bo himself:

“The way the media wants to portray you, the way they want to exaggerate things — let me tell you, I‘ve been coaching a long time and I’ve been around sports …

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