Archive for September, 2006


September 30, 2006

Normally on game days I go with Nebraska highlights to get you ready. In the spirit of revenge, however, I thought you should take a look at some lowlights from last year’s implosion in Lawrence. I hope these have been playing on repeat in Nebraska’s locker room all week.

So, yeah…chew on that until game time.

Friday Afternoon Club

September 29, 2006

What better way to kick off the weekend than this gem (Hat Tip to Black Shoe Diaries). Look for our own Dr. Tom belting out “There is No Place Like Nebraska” at the end of the commercial. Now that is old school.

Take the Double Extra Points – #4

September 29, 2006
“Man is a gaming animal. He must always be trying to get the better in something or other”

Last Week: 6-3 ATS

Season: 14-11-1 ATS

I hope you were all on board last weekend for our outstanding outing as we went 6-3, including two outright upset wins courtesy of Jeffie Husker. No doubt we are back on track and after taking a look at this week’s picks, you might want to join my girlfriends and I from ECU and enjoy the ride.

After watching the Thursday night game between Auburn and South Carolina, I decided enough is enough. Let’s get it out there and see a show of hands – who thinks Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews are getting it on? Herbstreit has been married since 1998, has 3 year-old twin boys, and a house just north of Columbus, OH. Week after week, his poor wife must witness the endless flirting on national television. In fact, I almost felt obligated to hop in the car and drive to Columbus to console and maybe sleep with his hot wife when I heard Herbstreit say to Andrews, “Poopsie, you should get back in the tent.” Furthermore, it is no secret Andrews’ pet name for Herbstreit is ‘Herbie,’ but I wonder what his is for her? Let us know if you have any good ones. This is not the last time you will read about this as I plan on highlighting the best Herbstreit to Erin Andrews line from the Thursday night ESPN game on a weekly basis.

One last thing. Check this out. After #17 TCU’s home loss to the BYU Cougars last night, the longest winning streak in the nation was stopped at 13 games. Even more impressive, check out the next 3 longest current winning streaks:

1. Ohio State 11 (this week at Iowa)
2. West Virginia 11 (Oct. 7 at Mississippi State)
3. Purdue 7 (this week at Notre Dame)

Purdue? You have got to be kidding me! Hail, Hail to Old Purdue!


Jeffie Husker

Rutgers (-4) over South Florida: Rutgers is back in the Top 25 this week for the first time since 1976 at #23. Lead by RB Ray Rice’s outstanding 151 rushing yards/game, Rutgers is averaging almost 204 yards a game on the ground while their defense gives up 83 yards rushing/game. South Florida is 3-1 and coming off a heartbreaker at Kansas, where they lost 13-7. However, South Florida beat FIU by one point and UCF by a touchdown. Look for Rutgers to literally run away this one.

Army (-11.5) over Rice: Rice is on its 2nd of 3 consecutive road games here and are up against the Bobby Ross-led Army Black Knights, who are once again a run-oriented team. Rice is 0-4 and has been taken to the woodshed by Florida State and Texas the last two weeks. Army has only been a home favorite 6 times since 1998 and is coming off an impressive 27-20 win at Baylor and a strong showing against Texas A&M. Rice will attempt to use the emotion of the tragic death of Dale Lloyd a la CU and Sal Aunese. But Army will cherish their return home and could roll over the beaten up Owls.

Oregon (+1.5) over Arizona State: As Nebraska fans surely can attest to, playing a night game in Tempe is never easy. Although Oregon is coming off questionable wins against Fresno and Oklahoma, they have had two weeks to prepare. ASU has struggled under the leadership of Rudy Carpenter and his 9 INTs this year. No doubt Sam Keller is smiling somewhere in a bar on “O” Street as we speak. Oregon’s RB Jonathan Stewart is averaging almost 7 yards/carry and Dennis Dixon completing 65% of his passes providing the Dusks with plenty of firepower. The line on this game has bounced a lot late in the week, but I still think Oregon wins it outright.

The ladies love Sam Keller. Sam Keller loves the
ladies. (Picture obviously taken in Tempe)

Dr. D

Penn St. (-18.5) over Northwestern: Northwestern is reeling since the first week when they beat Miami (OH). The Wildcats are averaging only 18 points a game and their freshman QB has 1 TD and 5 INTs. Last week, Penn State was hanging tough with Ohio State before two very costly turnovers in the last few minutes that gave the game a misleading final score of 28-6. Penn State has a top 10 defense and has great offensive talents in QB Anthony Morelli and WR Derrick Williams. Back at Happy Valley; look for Penn St. to throttle Northwestern.

Iowa (+7.5) over Ohio State: Watch the emotions run high here as Kinnick Field is hosting just its 5th night game ever and ESPN’s Gameday is scheduled to hit Iowa City Friday Night. After witnessing how much the rain slowed down the Buckeyes last week the grounds crew may have raised the blades on the mowers a bit this week. Ohio State has the talent edge here, but look for QB Drew Tate and his 62% completion percentage to not only stay within a touchdown, but also possibly pull out the shocker of the season so far.

Indiana (+12) over Wisconsin: A week ago versus Michigan, the Badgers compiled a whopping 12 yards rushing. Their defense, on the other hand, has been solid this year and ranks in the top 20 nationally. The Hoosiers, however, will get a boost from having Coach Hoeppner back on the sidelines this week after his recent brain surgery. In addition, IU gets back future star NFL WR James Hardy from a suspension and QB Blake Powers is now at a 100% for the first time in 2 weeks. What does this all mean? Well, IU is 7-0 ATS when Powers and Hardy play together, and when you sprinkle in the return of a beloved head coach fresh off of brain surgery, it smells like a recipe for an upset.

Sammy Vegas

California (-9.5) over Oregon State: Are you kidding me? Since the week 1 loss to Tennessee, Cal has systematically destroyed everyone that they have come across – including a dominating 28 point win over Arizona State. With possible 1st round NFL players QB Nate Longshore, RB Marshawn Lynch, and WR DeSean Jackson, Cal will once again bring superior talent and a chip on their shoulder into Corvallis. Last time Cal played here, they won 49-7. Oregon State has been very inconsistent and even lost big at Boise earlier this year. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Cal is the best team in the Pac 10 Conference. Cal 100 – OSU 2.

Miami, Fl (-16.5) over Houston: Houston brings in a stout offense lead by QB Kevin Kolb who is averaging almost 300 yards/game with a pass completion of 70%. The D is allowing just over 300 yards a game, and with Miami’s offense struggling, it would be easy to look Houston’s way. However, throw numbers out the window here. Larry Coker’s job is on the line, and with an off week to prepare, look for the very angry Canes’ to take out their frustrations on the Cougars. There is no need to compare talent here – its not even close.

Nebraska (-22) over Kansas: No offense to KU players, fans, and alumni, but last year’s 40-15 loss might have been one of the lowest moments I can remember as a Husker. It not only snapped a 36 consecutive game win streak over KU, but seemed to almost set the Nebraska program back 36 years. Zac Taylor is completing 71% of his passes with 8 TDs and 2 INTs, and KU boasts just the #113 rated pass efficiency defense. Mangyro is only 3-19 SU on the road in his tenure at KU while Nebraska has looked very impressive at home (twice producing almost 600 yards offense). Talent, revenge, and home field advantage (especially at night) spell an easy victory for the Huskers.

Checking in with the Blogosphere

September 28, 2006

Here is the best of what is out there on the college football blogs this week.

·The new BlogPoll is out and Nebraska moves up three spots after the strong showing against Troy. Thanks again for the feedback on my vote as it is always both encouraged and appreciated. In addition, I did move Cal and Nebraska up and FSU down in my final entry for the week.

·This week’s BlogPoll Rountable Round Up summarizes the best of the week’s responses. Maize n Brew went above and beyond with their recap and it makes for an awesome read.

·College Humor counters the pundits with their own Top 25 that is rife with…humor. How fitting.

·KU’s Phog Blog has their preview of the Nebraska game up and it is really good. They were also gracious enough to link to my KU preview, so show them some love.

·This is Terrence Nunn. This is Terrence Nunn’s girlfriend. I now hate Terrence Nunn. Where were the girls like this when I was at UNL?

·Here is more evidence of how tough it is to be a Husker fan behind enemy lines.

· The most recent CFB graduation rates are out and Nebraska is matriculating an impressive 88% of its players.

· The House that Rock Built has a hilarious clip of a Michigan State radio host losing his shit live on air. Give it a listen. Anyone else think he might live in a van down by the river?

· The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers does a weekly recap of ESPN Gameday. Reading these has become more entertaining for me than the show itself.

· The Texas-OU hate-fest has already begun at Burnt Orange Nation. This next week is going to be a bloodbath. Bookmark BON and check back often. As a famous UT fan once told Dr. D and me – “Welcome to OU-Texas”.

· Loser with Socks examines who would win in a fight between Beano Cook and Brent Musburger. The more important question is who would do the play-by-play?

· Lastly, I want to give our readers a chance to speak their minds. Tell us what you like/dislike and what you would like to see more/less of on the site. Hell, use this opportunity to audition for a guest spot on the blog if you want. Leave your feedback and suggestions in the comments

Sammy Vegas – NFL "N"sider #6

September 27, 2006

Last week was an incredible week in the NFL. We saw teams such as Chicago (3-0), Carolina (1-2), and Baltimore (3-0) win in the final minutes of their games. We also saw teams such as Houston, Tennessee, Detroit, Oakland (had a bye which could be considered a victory), and Tampa Bay remain winless. However, most importantly, we saw football return to the Big Easy. It is easy to say that the $85 million dollars to repair and renovate the Superdome could have been spent elsewhere, such as to rebuild communities and restore damaged businesses. But with the NFL bringing in 8 games a year, Tulane playing 6 games a year, the Sugar Bowl, all of the various concerts, conventions, and events a year, it is a crucial investment. For now though, put all of the financial details aside and think about the real reasons why the Superdome had to be renovated: Morale. Hurricanes. Burlesques. Beads. Po’ Boys. Jambalaya. Mardi Gras 2007!

Josh Brown (K): After taking an early 35-3 lead over the NY Giants, the Seattle Seahawks were not in need of any late game heroics from Brown. He ended up hitting 6 of 6 extra points in a 42-30 win in which we saw the Giants make another incredible late game rally. Here’s an idea for the Giants: move your clocks ahead two hours so you are not always starting in the 3rd quarter.

Mike Brown (S): Brown saved the day for the undefeated Chicago Bears. Against the Vikings, the Bears were down 16-12 late in the 4th quarter when Brown forced a fumble that lead to the game-winning touchdown with under 2 minutes to play. The Bears are now 3-0 against the NFC North and appear to be ready for a title run with unusual offensive output.

Ralph Brown (S): In a heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens’, the Browns’ DB recorded only one tackle.

Correll Buckhalter (RB): In a dominating 38-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles’ Correll Buckhalter produced just 16 yards on 5 carries. The Eagles’ other back, Brian Westbrook, had 117 yards rushing, 48 yards receiving, and 3 touchdowns and in case you were wondering, Buckhalter won’t be starting next week.

Daniel Bullocks (S): In another pitiful performance by the Detroit Lions, Bullocks again looked sharp with 4 tackles and 2 assists. Even though they are winless, the Lions players surely can’t complain about the fact they live in one of the most beautiful cities in the country where the sun shines everyday and the downtown area resembles Hiroshima.

Josh Bullocks (S): In case you haven’t heard yet, the New Orleans Saints are undefeated at 3-0 and appear to be legit. On Monday Night Football, the Saints dominated a tough Atlanta Falcons team 23-3. Bullocks had a magnificent blocked field goal and added 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles.

Scott Shanle (LB): Along with Bullocks and the rest of the New Orleans Saints, Shanle shined on MNF. He added 4 tackles and 1 sack and watched his fellow defense hold the run-oriented Falcons to only 117 yards rushing.

Mike Minter (S): The Carolina Panthers narrowly missed going a fate-sealing 0-3 start to this early season by beating Tampa Bay 26-24 on a last second field goal. Minter added just one solo and one assisted tackle.

Mike Rucker (DE): Along with Minter and the rest of the Carolina Panthers, Rucker could breathe a huge sigh of relief last Sunday. Rucker chipped in with one tackle and 2 assists as the 1-2 Panthers edged out Tampa.

Ahman Green (RB): Ahman had a fantastic day for the Packers as they beat the hapless Lions. Green had 63 yards on the ground and 68 yards receiving with one touchdownand now appears to be healthy and ready to contribute for the first time in years.

Chris Kelsey (DE): Kelsey and the Buffalo Bills fell to 1-2 after last week’s embarrassing home loss to the New York Jets. Kelsey had one solo, one assisted tackle, and a sack in the loss.

Kyle Larson (P): I’ll continue to stand by my claim that the Cincinnati Bengals are the best team in the NFL. After systematically destroying the World Champion Steelers despite numerous setbacks throughout the game, the Bengals sit 3-0 and appear to clicking on all cylinders – including punting. Larson had 5 punts for an average of 53.4 yards, including a long of 67 yards.

Sam Koch (P): Down 14-3 in the 4th quarter to the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens won 15-14 on a last second field goal from Matt Stover to remain unbeaten. Koch did his part and had 6 punts for an average of 39.2 yards, including a long of 53 and 3 inside the 20. Have we become “Punter U”?

Barrett Ruud (LB): Ruud is starting to see some significant playing time as the young season moves on. Barrett recorded 8 tackles for the 0-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kyle Vanden Bosch (DE): In a battle of two winless teams, Vanden Bosch and the Tennessee Titans were edged out by the Miami Dolphins 13-10. Kyle recorded 3 solo tackles, one assisted tackle, and one sack and will have the unfortunate task of watching, Kerry Collins once again line up under center next week. What’s that one QB’s name again? Oh yeah, Vincent Young. It has to feel like he is watching Chance Mock play ahead of him all over again.

Fabian Washington (DB):
My Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving the Oakland Raiders a week off. I pray that if you could find it in your heart to give them the rest of the season off, it would give us all a few minutes of our lives back each week by not having to read about them.

Demorrio Williams (LB): Demorrio had another great game for the Falcons on Monday night by contributing 7 tackles and 1 assist against the Saints. However, Williams gameplay was overshadowed by the homecoming of the Saints to the city of New Orleans and to the Superdome.

Dr. D – Good, Bad and the Ugly, Week 4

September 26, 2006

The Good

The game with Troy was the Huskers most complete game in awhile. Both sides of the ball were dominant for 60 minutes. I know the offensive success in particular will do little to quiet the critics who questioned the run-oriented scheme used in L.A. Alas, the USC game is over, and moving forward, NU looks to be hitting on all cylinders heading into the conference games. I can’t wait to exact some revenge on the North. Since 2002, Big Red is a weak 10-10 overall against the North rivals. It would be one thing if we played in the SEC East, but the type of talent that has consistently taken NU behind the woodshed the last 4 years is hardly the caliber of Florida, Tennessee or Georgia. This year, there is no question that Nebraska should win every divisional game in the North. Anything less than 5-0 should be considered a major disappointment. This team is by far our best since 2001 and we start the conference slate with 3 North division games the next three weeks—KU, @Iowa State and @ Josh Freeman. We’re not loaded like USC, but we have athletes at the skill positions unseen in Lincoln since the days of Dr. Tom and should dominate each of the next 3 opponents.

Huskers against the North the last 4 years:

2005: 3-2
2004: 2-3
2003: 3-2
2002: 2-3

The Bad

Which conference should I pile on this week? After 4 games, its pretty clear that no conference was as over-rated in the preseason as the ACC. Both FSU and Miami were considered top 10 in the preseason. With both already posting losses, neither appears top 10 worthy. In fact, we’re not even through September and the only undefeated teams left in the league are Virginia Tech and perennial powerhouse Wake Forest. Looking ahead, it appears that Va. Tech may have the most to gain from the weakened conference. Outside of the showdown at Miami, the Hokies will be favored in every game and, if they can beat the Canes, could create a BCS nightmare scenario by going undefeated. The Hokies would likely have 2-3 losses if they played an SEC, Big 10 or even Big 12 conference slate. However, they may just be the best that the bush league quality ACC has to offer this year. All that being said, I think the Hokies slip along the way.

The Ugly

Michigan State’s collapse. The total meltdown by Sparty on Saturday night was a gift to Notre Dame, leaving the Irish 3-1 with the toughest part of their schedule behind them. The Irish have a loss at USC remaining, but other than that, are probably looking at 10-2 and an obligatory BCS birth. The outlook for State is decidedly worse. MSU has a walkthrough against Illinois this week before tough games @ Michigan and home against Ohio State in back to back weeks. With alumni support for coach John L. Smith waning in the aftermath of yet another crushing, defeat from the jaws of victory implosion, look for things to get ugly in E. Lansing if the Spartans don’t figure out a way to lock it up and post an 8 or 9 win season.

Proof that Pac 10 officials aren’t the only ones to crap their pants on the field…

Joe Paterno was forced to make a speedy exit from the Penn State sidelines on Saturday not once but twice to take care of what was classified a “G.I. issue”. Clearly aware of the potential ramifications of such on the field antics, Pac 10 replay officials were called in to offer a ruling. As soon as they figure out how to turn on their t.v.’s, they are expected to render a decision.

Nothing fires up the coach like solid movement from his ends.

By the Numbers

September 26, 2006

There is no arguing that Nebraska is a much better team through four games than a year ago. A quick glance at the NCAA statistics provides further evidence of this improvement.


Total Offense: #6 with 472.5 yards/game.
Rushing Offense: #10 with 224.25 yards/game
Passing Offense: #26 with 248.3 yards/game
Scoring Offense: #2 behind Louisville at 42.8 points/game. Nebraska leads the nation with 24 touchdowns.


Total Defense: #21 giving up 257.8 yards/game
Rushing Defense: #49 giving up 111.00 yards/game
Passing Defense: #17 giving up 146.8 yards/game
Scoring Defense: #15 giving up 11.8 points/game

Best Individual Numbers – Zac Taylor

QB Rating: #3 nationally at 178.3
Touchdowns: Tied for 15th nationally with 8

Most Surprising Statistics

In the battle of Big 12 sophomore running backs:

Marlon Lucky…….4….51…..365…..7.16…..5……12.75……91.25
Jamaal Charles…..4….55…..334…..6.07…..3……13.75……83.50

And, after leading the nation in sacks with 50 in 2005, the Huskers have managed just 7 sacks in 4 games in 2006.

BlogPoll Ballot – Week 4

September 25, 2006

Ok, have at it. Missouri makes its first appearance along with Boise State and Rutgers. As you can probably see, this was apparently “Separation Saturday” for the bottom fourth of my poll. I’m accepting any and all feedback on this one. My petition to have my girlfriend move her birthday to basketball season was denied. As a result, I watched virtually no college football this weekend.

Rank Team Delta
1 Ohio State
2 Southern Cal
3 Auburn
4 West Virginia
5 Louisville
6 Florida
7 Michigan
8 Texas
9 Georgia
10 Louisiana State
11 Oregon
12 Iowa 1
13 Notre Dame 1
14 Tennessee
15 Virginia Tech
16 TCU
17 Oklahoma 1
18 Cal 1
19 Clemson 2
20 Florida State 2
21 Nebraska 2
22 Missouri 4
23 Boise State 3
24 Rutgers 2
25 Boston College 5

Dropped Out: Arizona State (#17), Alabama (#24), Penn State (#25).

Kansas Preview

September 25, 2006

Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Enrollment: 29,272
Conference: Big 12
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 50,071)
First Year of Football: 1890
All Time Record: 539-532-58

Head Coach:Mark Mangino
Fifth year as head coach at Kansas: Career record 22-30

· Mangino spent 8 seasons as an assistant at Kansas State. He served as recruiting coordinator, running game coordinator and, in 1998, was appointed assistant head coach. The season prior to his arrival in Manhattan, the Wildcats posted a 5-6 record. Over the next eight seasons, K-State went 71-23-1 with six consecutive nine-plus win seasons and played in six straight bowl games.
· In Mangino’s four seasons as coach of Kansas, the Jayhawks have made two bowl appearances.
· Mangino has seen two of his signees named Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year during his short tenure at KU – quarterback Bill Whittemore in 2002 and center Joe Vaughn in 2003.

Team Overview

Last Season: The Jayhawks finished the 2005 season with a 7-5 record. In addition, they defeated the University of Houston in the Fort Worth Bowl 42-13. The 2005 season also saw Kansas post a perfect 6-0 record at home – the team’s first undefeated/untied season at home since 1951.

This Season: Kansas comes into the game with a 3-1 record. Their lone loss was an overtime thriller to Toledo.

On Offense: Offensively the Jayhawks are averaging 363 yards per game in 2006. Kansas may be in the midst of a minor quarterback controversy. Redshirt freshman Kerry Meier started the first three games before injuring his arm against Toledo. Against South Florida senior Adam Barmann got the nod and completed 25 of 35 throws for 273 yards and no interceptions. It is unclear whether Meier will be able to go against the Huskers, but look to perhaps see both quarterbacks on Saturday. At RB KU is led by Jon Cornish. The 205 pound senior is averaging over 100 yards per game this season. Cornish has a nice burst when holes are there and also has the hands to be successful catching passes out of the backfield. Receiver looked to be a weakness going to into 2005, but so far players have stepped up to carry the load. The Jayhawks rely mainly on Brian Murph and Marcus Henry. In addition, sophomore Dexton Fields looks like a star in the making and has two TD catches this year. The KU offensive line might be the best of Mangino’s tenure. Senior guard Bob Whitaker anchors the line and is also the biggest of KU’s linemen. Sophomore tackle Anthony Collins is another of the team’s rising stars.

On Defense: In 2005, the Jayhawks’ defense was central to the team’s success. This far in 2006, the team is ranked 45th nationally against the run and 54th against the pass. The team’s best defensive player is CB Aqib Talib. Talib is a hard-hitting DB who shines in making tackles in the open field. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks Talib was suspended for the first two games in 2005. Talib is joined in the secondary by SS Jerome Kemp who is a ferocious hitter. Kemp is fourth on the team with 21 tackles. The Jayhawks’ leading tackler is sophomore M LB Mike Rivera. Rivera will be key in KU’s efforts to stop Nebraska’s power running game. Joe Mortensen is another talented linebacker who has 6 tackles for loss in 2006. Along the defensive front the Jayhawks are led by defensive end Paul Como. Como is the team’s top pass rusher and leads the team with 3 sacks. Defensive tackle James McClinton is also a future star along KU’s front four.

Special Teams: Kicker Scott Webb is 2-3 on the year after earning honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2005. Considered one of the better punters in the country, Kyle Tucker is struggling in 2006, averaging less than 40 yards per punt. Punt returner Brian Murph is dangerous averaging 21 yards per return, including a 70 yard touchdown.

Random Notes

Series History: This marks the 113th meeting between the two teams. Nebraska leads the all-time series 87-22-3.

I Can’t Believe I Looked It Up Either: Last season the Jayhawks broke a 36 consecutive game losing streak to the Huskers. Prior to last year, Nebraska had not lost to KU since a 23-13 defeat in Lawrence in 1968. The Huskers bounced back from that loss with a 21-17 victory of the Jayhawks in Lincoln in 1969.

Way Cooler than “Husker – Power”: The “Rock Chalk” chant dates to 1866, when it was adopted by the Kansas University Science Club. At first, the cheer was “Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU” repeated three times. Later, an English professor suggested “Rock Chalk,” in place of “Rah, Rah” because it rhymed with Jayhawk and because it was symbolic of the limestone, also known as chalk rock, surrounding Mount Oread, the site of the Lawrence Campus. It became the official cheer of the University in 1897.

Obligatory “Mark Mangino is Fat” Comment: Mark Mangino is so fat, his blood type is Ragu. Mangino reportedly weighs upwards of 420 pounds this season. Coincidentally his career winning percentage is .423. The over-under on his cholesterol level is 520.

Six Degrees of Beano Cook: Beano doesn’t have to work real hard on this one. In 2005 Kansas beat Nebraska 40-15.

Great game, but I didn’t see a play…

September 24, 2006

I apologize for the lack of updates this weekend. I spent the weekend in Galveston and was forced to acquire updates on the Nebraska game via my cell phone. Have I mentioned that I despise the Big 12 television contracts? Stay tuned for another big week of coverage, including analysis of the Troy game, a preview of the Jayhawks and our regularly scheduled programming.