October 21, 2006

A Dynasty was Built to Crumble

Today in Lincoln, one of the most dominant powers in college football will take the field. They'll come to the stadium with tradition, national championships, and a swagger that resembles John Wayne in Hondo. College football analysts will comment on their poise, their conditioning and their abundant skill.

And Nebraska will be there too.

Omaha World Herald columnist, registered traitor and full-fledged Husker homer talks in this morning's paper about Nebraska's status as a national power. (here) Mr. Shatel states that although Nebraska is fighting back through respectability, Steve Pederson has set the bar high enough, that basically the Huskers have no choice but to regain their status as one of college football's premier programs.

If you say so Tom.

Here's the way I look at it. College football, unlike any other spectator sport, supports dynasties better than anywhere else. Because of the large numbers of scholarships, the differences between athletic budgets and the facilities arms race that is carried out by mega-donors of all types, it is nearly impossible to crack college football's top echelon. At the same time, it's nearly impossible to destroy a great program, although there are signs of that all around. In his article, Mr. Shatel brings up that USC, Oklahoma and others have come back from the dead to take their rightful place on the throne. (All because Husker fans are so great..which I'll get to in a second.)

Aren't there some teams missing from that list? How about Alabama? How about Notre Dame? How about Army? How about BYU? Didn't they win a national title? When was the last time Florida State did anything? Big powers, little powers...they all have their problems. What the Texas writer in the article was trying to say was simple, and of course Tom missed it.

You'll never be Nebraska again.

This is what the Hick nation doesn't, and will never understand. They didn't understand the WAY the Huskers used to beat teams. The very system that Steve Pederson dismissed as "out of date" was the same system that literally choked the life out of opposing teams. Even with mediocre talent and pasty Nebraska farm boys (who for some reason are no longer a pipeline to major college football teams for some reason) used to run people over and literally push their way toward the end zone.

I don't think a majority of Husker fans..and definitely Homer Tom will understand that. You can change your style. You can change your philosophy. You can put 10 more signs on your stadium that say just how great you are...but you will NEVER get that swagger back. You will NEVER intimidate teams and fans they way you once did. I'm not sure why this is so hard for you to understand. College football dynasties, as difficult as they are to destroy, are not kept alive just because your fans all wear the same color.

Steve Pederson has made sure that the old way...the Nebraska way of winning with clock control, ground productivity and players who beat women, will never be seen again. Sure, you may have some magical season where you go 10-2. Hell, you may do that in the next year or two. But you will never ever ever reach the level of domination you have running through your head.

Maybe you should have enjoyed it more when it happened.

Order Restored?

Ask Army.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mizzou run d sucks.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few thoughts on today's action
1) Your website has completed me. All I could think about all game long as I watched the NU/TU game was what the meltdown would be on your site. What you were thinking as you watched MU struggle and pull away for a grudge fuck win against KSU. All I can think about is you when I see NU even though I hate them plenty on my own.
2) As I watched the stands and the pained Husker faces after they fumbled that pass (hey cally there have been 8 fumbles today why not throw it and try to exorcise the James Brown play from ten years ago great idea in that weather) is how funny it is to watch pained fans
3) I cannot BELIEVE someone didnt prematurely talk smack to you on this site and get busted but then i realized that every Husker fan was probably at the game so there were none left to post
4) Someone needs to get Coach Cally some Ritilin (sp?) He has some bad nervous mouth twitching going on
5) Wow, Cody really crumbled under the pressure of the greatest crowd in America........NOT
6) Anyways, im a buff fan and we still suck so Im grasping at straws, congrats on your breaking the streak AJ and cant wait for your next post on the most heartbreaking loss since all the bullshit wins NU pulled out against CU teams in the late 90s. They have been on the other side of so many games like that it was nice to see them lose one. Glorious actually.


10:17 PM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

Oh believe me... I enjoyed it.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Dr. Buffenstien said...

One missing piece of the perfect Tri-fecta weekend. The Corn loss, the Tigers win, and CU has to go screw it alll up with a loss.

Oh well, at least my house wasn't vandalized again.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that makes a LOT of sense. Nebraska won the championship 10 years ago, Army was last good a long time ago...clearly direct comparisons apply. Oklahoma didn't change their style or anything, going from the wishbone to whatever they do now. They've just kept their swagger every year by always doing the same thing.

Nebraska historically is definitely more aligned with BYU and Army than with Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Man, AJ is brilliant.


10:21 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Running late.

1) Mizzou's run D was fine. 7 points were on a fumble return. the last 2 td's were against 2nd stringers.

2) Texas had a freshman QB, missed 2 FG's and a PAT, AND it was snowing. All that against them and NU still choked.

3) The Army reference was to prove a point. You think of yourselves as the greatest program ever..yet you're like 3rd in your own conference..and that's only because the Big 8 SUCKED from 1969-1996. (only 2 good teams at one time.) Iowa State, KSU, KU, Mizzou, OSU, all cupcakes on any "dynasty's" program

4) More to come.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fine, but you knew the weather forecast and that they had a freshman QB and still didn't see any way Nebraska could win. There was certainly a way. In fact it took 5 fumbles to ALL be recovered by Texas for the Longhorns to pull it out. I won't argue that NU choked. But, "choking away a win" against Texas still says quite a lot.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Tee-dub said...

I've been a Nebraska fan my whole life, and AJ has a point.

The dominant run of the 1990s was amazing, to be sure, but it will never happen again. IT will NEVER happen again.

One of the reasons Tom Osborne ran that outdated option offense was precisely BECAUSE he didn't want to try to compete with the likes of UCLA and Michigan for recruits. A good idea, Tom, because there are only so many Reggie Bushes and Rocket Ismails out there, and they probably won't be wowed driving past snowdrifts in January in Lincoln.

The 'dominance' of the run in the 1990s was a confluence of (a) Nebraska's ability to recruit criminals and the academically challenged, (b) the fact that Oklahoma was down, (c) the southwest conference being shitty, and (d) Nebraska's old fashioned offense.

In the old days, NU could recruit short run-blocking tackles that other teams didn't want, and running QBs other teams would move to WR. More importantly, NU could also load up its roster with academic non-qualifiers or academic partial qualifiers that Michigan and Notre Dame weren't allowed to sign. I read that something like half of the two-deep defensive roster on the 1995 team were academic non-qualifiers or partial qualifiers. Stay with me here, because this is important: Nebraska isn't allowed to sign players like that any more.

Nebraska's run of dominance came to an end when the Big 12 was formed, for many reasons. First, Texas insisited on the conference having some academic requirements, and the Big 12 limited the number of academic partial qualifiers or nonqualifiers a team could sign. Osborne complained, of course: This crippled Nebraska, which is located in a sparsely populated farm state in the middle of fucking nowhere and can't recruit the likes of Matt Leinart to come to Lincoln. Osborne always knew this; too many fans don't.

The formation of the Big 12 also signaled the resurgence of the Texas schools, which were suddenly big-conference teams again. That means that (a) Nebraska can't recruit illiterate academic cases, and (b) can't get as many eligible recruits out of Texas anymore.

With its good facilities and brand name, Nebraska will always have some recruiting cache, enough to make a bowl game most years. But those juggernauts of the 90s will never be back again.

Anyone who thinks that Ryan Perilloux or Reggie Bush should be tripping over himself for the chance to look at snowdrifts in Lincoln for four years: You're dreaming. The last blue-chipper managed one It will never happen.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The formation of these super conferences is seeing a lot of those 90s dynasties go by the wayside. It was easy for Miami to build up a juggernaut of speed in the Big East, same with Florida State in the old ACC. These bigger tougher conferences are giving teams less leeway in their schedule, less confidence when they lose early in the year (which they never used to do), more competition in recruiting, etc. The dynasty programs have such a fine line that when they lose just one game many times the teams unravel and things start to slide down hill when, in reality, the teams themselves aren't much worse then they were in the past. While Miami and FSU certainly aren't as loaded as they were 5-10 years ago they can no longer roll out of bed with nine blowout wins and get fat on confidence like they could.


6:58 PM  

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