Will the Huskers shuck the Cyclones
November 14, 1992, the Huskers slip out of Ames, Iowa, with their second loss of the season by losing to an unranked Iowa State team, 19-14. That game causes an outrage in Lincoln, including late night calls to a Husker QB stating that he would never be a good QB for Nebraska. (That statement taken from published news reports and interviews at later dates.) I promptly called my traveling buddy (a nephew) in Orlando, Florida, and asked him if he really wanted to travel to the game in Norman with me to see the Huskers play Oklahoma. You see, I had arrived in East Texas in 1991 from the west, and this was my first opportunity to travel to see the Huskers play upclose and personal at Oklahoma. Little did I know what was ahead in the formation of the fabulous Big XII. I quickly got a dressing down that would have made the best of you on this board proud, told I was a Husker forever, and to get my butt to Norman to support this team.
In the next game, 13 days later, November 27, 1992, I am in the stands in Norman to see those downtrodden Huskers play. The Huskers struggled in the first half, but came out at half time in a new defensive alignment and proceed to light up Oklahoma in a 33-9 waltz. The key play in the second half was an interception by Ed Stewart, with the Husker crowd in the background going wild. A picture of Stewart running down the side line appeared on the front page of the Lincoln Journal the following day, and showed me in the middle of the crowd with my arms stretched to the sky and my mouth wide open in a yell!
On the way out of Norman, I listened to Oklahoma sports talk railing about the Sooners, and praising the Huskers and Texas Aggies. They stated, almost in unison, that the Huskers and Aggies just lined up and ran it at you, daring you to stop them. The radio announcers said everyone knew what was coming, but could not stop it. The announcers said it was simply execution and athletes.
Fast forward 10 years, and here we are today, Huskers limping out of Happy Valleywhere they lost to a good team playing a near perfect night game before 110,000 screaming, hysterical fans. Fourteen days later, the Huskers will take on a good Iowa State Cyclone team in of all places, Ames, Iowa. The Husker fans have again become outraged, and have taken their plight to the Internet so bad that ESPN, the Dallas Morning News and other news sources have picked up on it and made it a part of their news stories in regard to coaching changes, dissension, lack of intensity, and recruiting. You name it, it has been in print. Barbs have been thrown back and forth on the Internet and other media as fast as the source would carry them. Bob Davie, Kevin Steele and Tony Samuel's names have been paraded in front of the frenzied fans. Huskers fathers have spoken out, rightly so. There have been as many takes as there are straws of hay in a hay stack.
I can tolerate most of the criticism and speculation, but it does shake me up. But I do have a major bone of contention. I do not believe any Husker fan should release "in house" information in regard to the Husker program. I believe it is "family" and should be kept there. I truly believe to release any negative information a person may have received could be detrimental to the overall Husker Athletic Program, particularly in recruiting. I have seen some East Texas athletes that could have been a Husker go to other schools on just a whim. I am almost positive the Internet lost one of them to the opposition.
That is my beef. Can it on the inside information. Leave it to the staff. They have been hired to do the job, and better people than me will decide when they need replaced. Plus, the way Mr. Byrne handled the women's basketball program and the men's baseball program got an A+, a five star (*****) rating, in my opinion. Why would it be any different now?
I mentioned the Texas A&M Aggies above for a reason. If you don't want chaos, just look where the Aggies are right now today. Total, utter confusion, with the QB and staff changes. Is that what I want in Lincoln? NO! The stability of the Husker staff has been a main stay for many years. When it comes time to be tweaked, let Mr. Byrne do it.
Okay, enough philosophy. Off of the soap box, and back to more fun and important things in life. Thanks to Keith Whitmire, the Dallas Morning News, and to Saragin's ratings, for giving me the inspiration to rank the Big XII as I see it:
1. Oklahoma - The Sooners were last week's choice. They did not play, and won't drop until they are beat by Texas, or suffer a stunning upset by South Florida, this week's foe. Lee Roy Selmon, Jr., a defensive tackle for South Florida is out of the contest with an injury. His Dad just happens to the AD at Oklahoma. Saragin has Oklahoma No. 2, as does the Dallas Morning News. Brent Rawls, their highly regarded freshman QB backup suffered a concussion when he fell from a pickup truck, and is out indefinitely so Nate Hybel remains their QB hope. Oklahoma won't meet Kansas State, unless it is in the championship game.
2. Texas - The Longhorns won't get caught looking past Tulane and Oklahoma State pending their Red River showdown with Oklahoma. Texas won more than a ball game this week against the Huskers when highly regarded Tim Crowder of Tyler John Tyler committing to the fold. John Tyler has several players at Tulane and 2 or 3 at Texas, so this will be a homecoming week for them as the Longhorns tee off. Also, both Mack Brown and offensive coordinator Greg Davis are former head coaches of Tulane. Texas won't slip this week. They are the Dallas Morning News No. 1 pick of the Big XII.
3. Kansas State - Wow, only No. 3? This team just might have what it takes after handling a good Southern Cal team with the best win yet by a Big XII team. And the look into the eyes of those linebackers on TV, are there any better in the Big XII? They are scary. Saragin's power ratings place them No. 1 in the Big XII. Fast forward to October 19 for the match up at home with Texas, and turn on the TV. The Wildcats won't have any trouble this Saturday (open) and should have little trouble with Colorado and Oklahoma State prior to Texas.
4. Iowa State - The Cyclones have earned it on the field to date. They easily handled Troy State. Remember that team? They are rated No. 4 by both the Dallas Morning News and Saragin. Saragin rates them about .5 better than the Huskers. Their only problem is they have the Huskers up next
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