This was the whimsical semi-rhetorical question coming out of my radio as I listened to KOZN’s afternoon Husker slobber hour last week. Apparently a big Husker victory over a team that is 10th or worse in the conference in every single offensive and defensive category is enough to get you jumping half-way out of your overalls. Or perhaps it was the big moral victory/choke job against the nation’s most overrated top 10 team the week before that caused such a spike in Husker pride?
Regardless, most of you are feeling pretty damn good about yourselves. And don’t get me wrong…I don’t really blame you. Oh sure, you haven’t beaten a top 20 team in nearly 7 seasons. (You and...Duke? was it?) Oh sure, you still are two wins away from being bowl eligible…but damnit…why not answer the question anyway?
Hell yes you are back!
Oh sure you used to fight for conference titles every single year and AVERAGED 9 wins a season for like 30 years; but you beat Iowa State! ON THE ROAD!!! How could you not get good vibrations rolling up and down your spine after such a dominating performance? Damnit, this isn't a win over some nobody...the Clones DESTROYED South Dakota State earlier this year.
I for one could not be happier for you. You’ve been through hell and people like me have made you feel inferior, helpless and pathetic. But perhaps before you take to the streets of Shreveport later this year and proclaim your throne back on top of the college football world...you should take a little longer look around to confirm exactly what restored order you are indeed celebrating. After a home game with Baylor (which last time I checked…was always a gimme back when you were winning…but not now), you are still looking at two ranked teams the following two weekends to smack you upside the head with a big 'ol reality club. Only then, will you be looking at 5-5…ready to make or break your season with two huge games to end your year. (Assuming you do beat Baylor at home…)
I've said it before, and I"ll say it again: The biggest games of the year for the Huskers are the two at the end. Kansas and Missouri have (or will) distance themselves from the rest of the pack. Iowa State has solidified their place as divisional bottom-feeder. It is the trifecta of KSU, Colorado and Nebraska that will make up the last few bowl spots out of the Big 12. And lucky for us...both of those two programs hate your guts almost as much as I do.
So are the Huskers “back”? as some are starting to think?
If you think a two week sample size…one of which was a crushing choke in OT..then sure.
If you think those losses to Va Tech and Missouri were flukes..then sure.
If you think you have a gimmie at K-State and at home vs. CU...then sure.
Most importantly, if you’ve completely and totally forgotten how your program used to be (which I find interesting, considering 5,000 former players walk your sidelines every week)…then sure. Hell yes you are back. You are right back into the thick of the 3rd tier bowl race, where ½ filled stadiums, cold temps, Pam Hall and a 3:45pm start time on a Thursday awaits. Nevermind that anything less than 9 wins used to be not only considered a failure..but an impossibility. You have now restored a new order, where mediocrity is celebrated, and crushing home losses (Worst defeat in 50+ years by the way) are completely and totally forgotten.
You are indeed back.
It’s good to see you again.
Did I just see the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series? What the hell….
Part of me is glad the whole class-system in baseball has been destroyed. Granted, the Rays will probably be forced to deal away their entire franchise in the next year or two…but hey. At least they got to enjoy a World Series once before dropping back into the toilet? And if anything, this goes to show that instead of a bad economic system keeping down the Royals…us longtime fans now can conclude that it was just shitty management that has destroyed a once proud franchise. Thanks again David Glass.
Sorry about the delay this week, but the posts are going to be a bit thin this week. I’ll pick it back up on Monday with a full report from my adventures in Columbia. Buff fans, stop on by and say hi. The Ribs and Sam Adams are on me.
1) Missouri (5-2, 1-2) vs. Colorado – Mizzou’s National title hopes have gone out the window, but the North is still in complete control…barring some sort of screw up in the next four games. Media reports this week are hinting that Mizzou is a jumbled mess of disappointment, bad leadership and pouting. Lose to the Buffs here…or hell, even struggle…and the whole thing could unravel. Bigger game than most realize coming up on Saturday.
2) Kansas (5-2, 2-1) vs. Texas Tech – Who is the bigger fraud? KU and Tech…to me seem somewhat similar to each other. Both have plenty of weapons…but not nearly enough to vault themselves into the upper echelon of the conference. KU is riding high after a moral victory against Oklahoma…which could serve them well. Can they find a running game? Can the fat man out coach slimeball Leach? As much as it kills me, I think the Squaks could finally see a home win over a "top 10" (chuckle) team. We shall see.
3) Colorado (4-3, 1-2) at Missouri – CU clings to a bowl game opportunity with an decent shot at smacking Mizzou on homecoming in Columbia. Oh sure, they don’t have a quarterback and can hardly move the ball, but the Buff defense has been playing rather well of late. Not that I think Colorado wins this game…but the longer they stay in it, the more frustrated Mizzou will become. This game is decided truly in the first 2 possessions. If it goes late...look out.
4) Kansas State (4-3, 1-2) vs. Oklahoma – KSU almost always upsets somebody they have no business playing with. Last year it was Texas. This weekend, is it the Cat's turn to come out of nowhere and shock the world? Ummmm…no, but it's a nice thought.
5) Nebraska (4-3, 1-2) vs. Baylor – Now that order is restored, the Huskers will pretend it’s the mid 90’s all over again and shoot for a big win over Baylor. Oh sure in the old days that would mean a 60 point thumping…but these days, you’ll take what you can get. Could this be the last Husker win of the season? Hmmmmm. King Bo's defense NEVER plays well against mobile QB's.
6) Iowa State (2-5, 0-3) vs. Texas A&M – How do you only score 7 points against Nebraska? At home? Seriously, that takes some skill. This weekend’s matchup of toilet dwellers will decide who becomes the first Big 12 team to be mathematically eliminated from bowl contention. Why this shootout isn’t on TV, I’ll never know.
1) Texas (7-0, 3-0) vs. Oklahoma State – OK, I’m a believer now. UT’s front four are as nasty as they come. Hell, who needs linebackers when you can just bypass lineman and get to the QB. Okie State is about all that lies between UT and a date with most likely Mizzou on the frozen tundra of Arrowhead later this season. After last week, I’m guessing that doesn’t exactly strike fear into the heart of Mack Brown’s players. UT rolls in this one. Consider it my lock of the weekend.
2) Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) at Kansas State – I had no idea OU’s defense sucked as bad as it has the past few weeks. Granted, UT has a pretty decent signal caller, and Todd Reesing played pretty well last week, Josh Freeman is going to need a once-in-a-lifetime effort to pull this one out. OU, like Texas has taken weeks off in the past and been upended. This one may be closer than people think, but KSU simply doesn’t have the horses offensively.
3) Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0) at Texas – The undefeated run comes to an end in Austin as Cowboy dreams go down the toilet faster than Boone Pickens' fortune. Mike Gundy has a nice little outfit that will be pretty good for the next few years. But after watching both teams up close the past couple weeks, I’d be shocked to see the Cowboys in the game at halftime.
4) Texas Tech (7-0, 3-0) at Kansas – I never thought I’d say this…but the North might get one over on the south Saturday in Lawrence. KU found their vertical game against the Sooners, but Tech still is giving up lots of points. Throw in a horrible road record over the past few years, and all signs are pointing to a Redleg victory. (Ugh, that hurt to type)
5) Baylor (3-4, 1-2) at Nebraska – The Huskers…for some reason…are feeling awfully good this week. The normal apathy is still in the air, but talk is now of winning the Big 12 North. (Yes, they actually think they can win the North.) Can a team like Nebraska overlook Baylor of all teams? It’s possible. But then again, Robert Griffin right now is a one man team, and I’m not sure Baylor has ever won a Big 12 road game. The Bears could make a major statement over a bad team if they pull out a victory. Don’t snicker Husker fans…it’s possible.
6) Texas A&M (2-5, 0-3) at Iowa State - A&M is starting to score a few points. That’s the good news. The bad news is, they’ve given up 43 points or more in each of their past three games. Iowa State hasn’t scored 43 points all year (Ok, they have..but looked brutal last week against the Hicks.) Who shows more life to stay out of the basement? Who cares. Is this game even on the radio?
(Photo Thanks - Lincoln Journal Star and MLB)