Fans have always said that the media has an agenda. They say that the media will take the best moments and make it sound bad or worse than it is. Well, after the Oklahoma State game, nobody had to do anything to make it seem worse than it was. That's about as bad as it gets.
The only bright side to the Oklahoma State loss was that the Nebraska defense didn't give up over 600 yards as they did against Ball State and Missouri
They gave up 551
Yep, a colossal improvement for a defense which needed one.
Sarcasm should be noted
Actually, the sarcasm doesn't exist solely in the pens of disgusted authors. You can count the Husker faithful amongst those doing or saying things rather tongue in cheek.
For example: All five of Nebraska's first downs in the first half were met with standing ovations, because that was all there was to cheer about for those in attendance of Nebraska's latest debacle.
It didn't stop there as Nebraska was down 38-7 late in the game and Husker fans were actually doing the wave.
Oh, and then there was the individual selling tickets outside the stadium wearing a bag over his head, ala the New Orleans Saints of the early 80s, and written on the face of it was the following:
"Save NU, Bag Callahan"
The fans haven't as amidst the crowd of disbelieving on-lookers was a group which had a little banner of their own:
"Surrender Steve Pederson"
That was perhaps topped by an elderly fan, deciding to leave at halftime, walking back to his car which was parked at the Champion's Club. The hapless Husker fan said on his way out, and I'll leave out the "colorful" parts, he'd return to the stadium when Nebraska had a different coach and a different team.
Then there was another elderly person, a woman sitting on the back of one of the golf carts used to drive people around to locations during a game. There was nothing wrong other than the look on her face, which was a mix of angry-bitter-disappointed and from her comments, mostly confused.
She wondered aloud how things got like this. Talking about games she saw even before Bob Devaney arrived and wins were about as common then as the "option" is now, she said that even those times weren't as bad as the one she was experiencing this day
Let's throw in the players, of course, because certain things you saw during this game obviously had to perplex some and I am sure, incense others:
The unbelievable show of emotion from the defense, where players were celebrating with each other and padding one another on the back for a good play.
Of course, this came in the second half, only after Nebraska had already given up 38 points in the first half, and I don't recall seeing any emotion like that other than from sophomore safety Rickey Thenarse, after he leveled a player who was attempting to return a punt.
Thenarse got a personal foul, but as a matter of interjecting my own opinion on this, at least it was something which spoke of at least one person on the team having a pulse.
It got so bad that the balloons which fans buy before the game, meant to be released after the first score by Nebraska – I saw a number of them released after Oklahoma State failed to convert on a third down.
Want some more salt in the open wound?
Former college football coach Lou Holtz, talking about the Husker woes on College Football Final, aired on ESPN, actually compared Bill Callahan's situation to that of former Enron President, Kenneth Lay.
Yeah, I know, this is too ridiculous to believe, even from Holtz, eh?
The main host of the show, Reece Davis, laid it on even thicker as the trio of co-hosts of this show were handing out their helmet stickers, commemorating performances they thought deserved special recognition from the day in college football.
Davis ' pick? James Starks, a running back who totaled an impressive 231 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns against Toledo in the victory for Buffalo, coached by former Husker coach and current Husker legend, Turner Gill.
And yeah, there was this other issue that this giant egg Nebraska laid against the Cowboys came on "Homecoming" and in front of the '97 National Championship team, the University celebrating the 10th anniversary of Tom Osborne's final season and Nebraska 's last national crown in football.
Maybe most times, you could say some writer with an agenda might make this up, but the game and what went on during the game, that was more than enough. This all came from fans either inside or outside the stadium. Columnists didn't put those signs together, analysts didn't twist words to make things seem worse than they were and play-by-play personalities just called what they saw on the field.
I'll give the fans credit for their discipline, though, especially following this game. As the players were walking off the field and through the north tunnel, they were greeted by applause from those standing above, watching the players go by.
Then came Bill Callahan
The applause turned into something else, almost all of which is unrepeatable. But as soon as he had entered the tunnel and was out of sight and it was just players again, jeers and "colorful" remarks were once again replaced by applause.
Then came Kevin Cosgrove
You get the idea.
It was the worst home loss in over 40 years. It was the first home loss to Oklahoma State in about that amount of time as well. Two out of the last three home losses by 18 or more points over the last 45 years, have come this season.
And it's not over yet.
Texas A&M comes calling, and with a smashmouth running game which is sure to give this beleaguered defensive line some issues. The next home game will come against Colorado , who unlike Nebraska. has beaten a top 10 team in the last four years.
A road trip to Austin is looking horrific at this point and how about the jaunt down to Lawrence, Kansas to faced the DIVISION LEADING (yeah, you read that right) Kansas Jayhawks.
I know that fans take issue with the media at times, citing agendas, grudges or whatever as the motivation for what they perceive as unwarranted vitriol and unqualified criticism.
Well, you can't say they are making it up now. Heck, most of the stuff you have read and will read over this next week, probably came inspired by something some fan did or said.
What perhaps makes this all seem even worse than anyone could ever possibly imagine, actually is an interpretation of my own, which I think illustrates just how ironic and depressing this all is, simultaneously. And it comes compliments of the aforementioned former head coach of Notre Dame.
As Holtz is wont to do, he uttered words of "wisdom", this time specific to the Huskers. He talked about what he thought needed to be done simply to get this train on the right track. Take into account that this is a coach, who has curiously frequent ties to probation of schools after he's departed them.
South Carolina ?
Anyway, this is what the venerable Holtz said:
"It's getting everybody to accept responsibility, and decisions have ramifications and hold people accountable, that's all" he said on College Football Final. "Hold people accountable and move forward."
Does "sublime to ridiculous" fit anywhere in here? I think it must.
But other than the last statements which border more on the comical side than they do the absurd, how much of it is wrong? How much of it isn't true? How much of it can be said to be something other than what it actually is or something contrived in order to make a statement?
Unfortunately, not much.
That's the bad news
The good news?
I'm going to have to get back to you on that.