Saturday, December 04, 2010

Bay Area Husker ENews 12/2/10

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Isn't "Fate" an interesting thing...whodathunk that after all these years, that our last game in the Big 8/12 Conference would be another match up with our old rivals at Oklahoma. Its truly fitting that this is the way it worked out. It just wouldn't have felt right to play either A&M or OSU again. Hopefully the game will be more about the match-up between two old rivals on the field, and less about the battle building in the press (or internet). I've included some of the internet trash-talking in a USA Today article and the vitriolic diatribe from a Texas writer below, but I've also added a much better article from AP (via the SF Chronicle) near the end of this email about the legacy of this match-up to set the proper stage for this historic battle. Go Huskers...beat the Sooners!

Last Friday's post-Turkey Day contest with Colorado was hyped as a close game, but the Huskers proved that wrong, took care of business and sent the Buffs packing to the Pac 12 with one last taste of Big 12 Whoopass (see Randy York article below about the seniors).

The Big 12 Champs Volleyball Team will be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tourney starting tonight, and I've included some round ball news below for those who might be interested (Ladies team is undefeated). One sad note at the end...former Husker Coach Dan Young passed away last week...sorry to see he lost his battle with cancer. Condolences and best wishes to his family.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


Watch Parties:

Although the Big 12 Championship game on Saturday will be broadcast nationally by ABC, it wouldn't be fittin' for fans to sit at home and watch it come on out to our Bay Area Watch Sites and enjoy the game with fellow Husker Fans! Wear Red, Be Loud and cheer on the Huskers in their last Big 12 match-up against the Sooners. Coverage starts at 5 p.m. our time, so get there early for a good seat, and order up some great pub grub for dinner at half time. To add some extra incentive, Jack's in Fremont will have another of their famous Prime Ribs available...first come first served. See you there!


The Matchup

Nebraska returns to the Big 12 Championship Game for the second consecutive season and for the sixth time in 15 years of Big 12 Conference play. The Huskers will take on Oklahoma on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be televised nationally on ABC with kickoff set for shortly after 5 p.m PT.

The Huskers locked up the North Division crown with a 45-17 victory over Colorado last Friday in Lincoln. The win left Nebraska with a 10-2 overall record and a 6-2 mark in Big 12 play. The 10-win regular season is Nebraska’s first since 2001. Nebraska will enter the Big 12 Championship ranked 13th in the AP and coaches polls and also 13th in the BCS standings.

Oklahoma has identical 10-2 and 6-2 records following a 47-41 victory over Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The win forced a three-way tie in the Big 12 South, and the Sooners advanced to the league title game based on BCS rankings. OU checks in at No. 9 in the BCS, while ranking ninth in the coaches poll and No. 10 according to the Associated Press.

Nebraska’s sixth Big 12 Championship Game appearance is second only to Oklahoma which has made eight appearances, all in the past 11 years. NU and OU are meeting in the title game for the second time, as Oklahoma defeated Nebraska, 21-7, in the 2006 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City. The winner of the Big 12 Championship Game will clinch an appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.

The Series

Oklahoma holds a 44-38-3 edge in the all-time series between two of the nation’s winningest programs. Nebraska’s 10-3 victory last year in Lincoln ended a four-game OU win streak in the series. This marks the 25th all-time meeting in which both teams have been ranked. Oklahoma holds a 3-0-1 edge over Nebraska on neutral fields.

The Coaches

Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, ‘90) owns a 30-10 record in his third season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first three seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich in accomplishing that feat. Pelini has joined Frank Solich and Mack Brown as the only coaches in Big 12 history (since 1996) to win nine games in each of their first three seasons.

Oklahoma: Bob Stoops (Iowa, ‘83) is in his 12th season as Oklahoma’s head coach and owns a 127-31 record with the Sooners. Stoops has guided OU to eight Big 12 title game appearances, posting a 6-1 record in those games.

Nebraska Football

Nebraska is 837-343-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories w Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997). w The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships. - Nebraska’s 46 all-time bowl appearances rank fifth nationally. - Since 1970, Nebraska has 403 wins, 25 more than any other school. - Nebraska’s 99 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation. - The Huskers have had 107 All-Americans in school history.

Series History

Nebraska defeated No. 20 Oklahoma last November in Lincoln, 10-3, marking the Huskers’ first win against OU since 2001...The Sooners defeated NU 21-7 in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium for OU’s third straight series win...the 2005 meeting marked the first time since 1961 that both teams entered the game unranked...both teams finished the 2005 season ranked in the top 25...the Huskers and Sooners went head-to-head for 71 consecutive seasons (since 1927) before the streak was snapped in 1998 with the start of the two-year, North-South rotations in the Big 12...OU’s 2000 win ended NU’s series-long seven-game winning streak...the 1971 game was known as the “Game of the Century,” as No. 1 NU edged No. 2 OU, 35-31, in Norman...since the AP poll began in 1936, the NU-OU game has had at least one ranked team 58 times in 68 contests, with both teams ranked in 24; the series has featured at least one top-10 team in 46 games, two top-10 teams in unranked team has upset a ranked team five times, including in of the two teams has been ranked entering the contest in all but three games since 1948...the winning team has had to come from behind in 26 of the last 37 games...the 1923 game was the first played in NU’s Memorial Stadium.

Huskers, Sooners to Meet for Final Time as Conference Rivals

Nebraska and Oklahoma have had one of the nation’s finest conference rivalries for more than 80 years. The 2010 Big 12 Championship Game is a fitting conclusion to a series that has seen the two schools decide countless conference championships. In the Big 12 Conference era (1996-present), Nebraska and Oklahoma have combined for 14 of a possible 30 conference championship game appearances.

The two schools met for 71 consecutive seasons from 1927 to 1997 before taking breaks in the Big 12’s North-South schedule rotation. Oklahoma holds a 44-38-3 all-time edge between the two schools, including winning four of the past five meetings. OU leads the series 5-4 in the Big 12 era (since 1996).

-Since the AP poll began in 1936, the NU-OU game has featured at least one ranked team in 60 of 70 matchups, and this is the 25th time both teams have been nationally ranked.

-Nebraska and Oklahoma are two of just eight programs all-time with at least 800 victories. Since 1970, Nebraska and Okahoma are first and third, respectively, in total wins.


Lincoln - Rex Burkhead did a little bit of everything in a really big way, leading No. 16 Nebraska to a 45-17 victory over Colorado on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Burkhead's big day, which included 19 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown on the ground and a pair of touchdown passes from his I-back position, powered the Huskers (10-2, 6-2) to the Big 12 North Division crown and a spot in next Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas.

Colorado saw its season and Big 12 Conference affiliation come to an end with a 5-7 overall record and a 2-6 Big 12 mark. The Buffaloes will join the Pac-12 Conference next season.

Burkhead, a sophomore from Plano, Texas, completed both of his first two career attempts for touchdowns. The first one covered 26 yards to Brandon Kinnie down the right sideline after a pitch from Green. The second capped a highlight reel run that started to the right side of the field before ending with a four-yard flip to Kyler Reed in the end zone near the left sideline.

Burkhead's versatile offensive performance, provided an explosive complement to quarterback Cody Green, who also threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score on the afternoon. Burkhead and Green each completed touchdown passes to Kinnie and Reed, as Nebraska produced its best overall offensive effort since defeating Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 51-41, on Oct. 23.

Green, a sophomore from Dayton, Texas, closed an efficient offensive effort by completing 10-of-13 passes for 80 yards with two touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 23 yards.

Kinnie led the Husker receivers with four catches for 48 yards and two scores on the day, while Reed added four catches for 17 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Joe Broekemeier pitched in a career-best three catches for 34 yards on Senior Day at Memorial Stadium.

Roy Helu added a solid performance of his own with 15 carries for 77 yards, while Dontrayevous Robinson added his best rushing effort of the season with 13 carries for 55 yards.

As a team, Nebraska amassed 407 total offense yards, including 262 yards rushing on 59 carries. Green, Burkhead and senior Zac Lee combined to complete 15-of-19 passes for 142 yards.

In addition to the solid offensive performance, the Blackshirts forced three second-half turnovers and set up the offense with short fields to lead to the impressive offensive output. The NU defense held CU to just 262 total yards, including 99 on the ground and 163 through the air.

On the third play of the second half, senior safety DeJon Gomes picked off a Cody Hawkins pass and returned it 12 yards to the CU 43. Five plays later, Green hit Kinnie with a 16-yard touchdown strike to put the Huskers up 24-3 just 3:02 into the second half.

Two plays later, Eric Hagg snagged his fifth interception of the season and returned it 26 yards to the CU 4. Hagg's interception set up Burkhead's touchdown pass to Reed and put the Huskers in complete control of the game with 10:51 left in the third quarter.

However, Colorado kept fighting in a rivalry game with a pair of Big 12 North Division teams playing their final games in the conference before heading to new leagues in 2011.

Cody Hawkins, who became Colorado's career passing yardage leader in the game, connected with Paul Richardson on a 60-yard touchdown pass to pull CU within 31-10 with 8:19 left in the third.

Nebraska answered with Green's one-yard touchdown pass to Reed less than five minutes later, but the Buffs put one more score on the board with Hawkins' 29-yard touchdown pass to Will Jefferson as time expired in the third quarter.

Trailing 38-17 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Buffs held on NU's first possession of the final period and threatened to cut the Husker lead to two scores. But the Blackshirts struck again. Hawkins hit Scotty McKnight on a short pass and Alfonzo Dennard stripped the ball, which was scooped up by Gomes and returned 19 yards to the CU 3. Two plays later, Green cashed in with a one-yard scoring plunge to put the Huskers up 45-17 with 12:55 left.

On the extra point, Nebraska senior place-kicker Alex Henery tied NU's career scoring record with 388 points. Henery, a native of Omaha, tied former Husker place-kicker Kris Brown for Nebraska's all-time mark.

Henery opened the scoring with a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter. While Henery accounted for all the points in the first quarter, both offenses gained momentum in the second period.

Burkhead capped a nine-play, 72-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 13:47 to go in the half to put Nebraska up 10-0. Colorado then mustered a nine-play drive of its own, covering 75 yards in 3:25. CU's march stalled near the NU goal line, and the Buffs settled for Aric Goodman's 22-yard field goal to make it 10-3 with 10:22 left in the half.

Burkhead then set the Huskers to the locker room with a 17-3 edge by connecting with Kinnie on a 26-yard scoring strike with 49 seconds remaining in the half.

Nebraska will face the Big 12 South champion in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game next Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Scoring Summary
Final: #16 Nebraska 45, Colorado 17
Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

First Quarter (NU, 3-0)
NU - 5:13 - Alex Henery 42 field goal - 9 plays, 43 yards, 4:09, NU 3-0

Second Quarter (NU, 17-3)
NU - 13:47 - Rex Burkhead 2 run (Henery kick) - 9 plays, 72 yards, 4:52, NU 10-0
CU - 10:22 - Aric Goodman 22 field goal - 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:25, NU 10-3
NU - 0:49 - Brandon Kinnie 26 pass from Burkhead (Henery kick) - 8 plays, 51 yards, 2:53, NU 17-3

Third Quarter (NU, 38-17)
NU - 11:58 - Kinnie 16 pass from Cody Green (Henery kick) - 5 plays, 43 yards, 2:06, NU 24-3
NU - 10:51 - Kyler Reed 4 pass from Burkhead (Henery kick) - 1 play, 4 yards, 0:09, NU 31-3
CU - 8:19 - Paul Richardson 60 pass from Cody Hawkins (Goodman kick) - 5 plays, 80 yards, 2:34, NU 31-10
NU - 3:38 - Reed 1 pass from Green (Henery kick) - 9 plays, 46 yards, 4:41, NU 38-10
CU - 0:00 - Will Jefferson 29 pass from Hawkins (Goodman kick) - 9 plays, 79 yards, 3:33, 38-17

Fourth Quarter (NU, 45-17)
NU - 12:55 - Green 1 run (Henery kick) - 2 plays, 3 yards, 0:32, NU 45-17

Final: #16 Nebraska 45, Colorado 17
Attendance: 85,646
Time of Game: 3:11


Lincoln - Coach Bo Pelini and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson met with the media on Tuesday at Memorial Stadium to discuss Nebraska's Big 12 Championship Game showdown with Oklahoma on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

The Huskers (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) enter the game ranked 13th nationally as the Big 12 North Division champions. The Sooners (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) are ranked 10th in the country and earned the Big 12 South Division title.

The final battle of the Big Reds as members of the Big 12 will take place at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday at 5 p.m. (Pacific). The Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game will be televised live nationally by ABC.

During the press conference, Pelini discussed the opportunity the Huskers have to accomplish their season-long goal of winning a championship in their final year in the Big 12. He also touched on his long-time friendship with Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops and the historic rivalry between the Huskers and Sooners.


From USA Today 11-29-10

It's fitting, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said, that the Sooners and longtime rival Nebraska will meet one more time in Saturday's Big 12 championship game before the Huskers move on to the Big Ten.

But this has become something other than a sentimental good-bye.

The trophy for winning the Big 12's North Division will be shipped to Nebraska this week after a flood of vulgar and threatening e-mails and voice-mail messages -- described by commissioner Dan Beebe as "very vile, just disgusting stuff" -- prompted league officials to scratch an appearance and presentation in Lincoln following the Huskers' 45-17 win over Colorado last Friday. They remain on alert in the days leading up to the title game in Arlington, Texas, Beebe said.

"We have to pay attention if there are continuing threats and stuff that come in our office," he said. "But I'm planning to go forward, and we'll be happy to hand out the trophy to whichever team wins."

The vitriol stems from what some Nebraskans apparently perceived as unjust treatment of the Huskers in their final season in the Big 12, including a one-game suspension of linebacker Eric Martin for an Oct. 23 hit on Oklahoma State's Eric Hudson and the 16 penalties they were assessed in a Nov. 20 loss at Texas A&M.

Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel called for more reasoned fan behavior in a column Sunday, but nonetheless noted "the Big 12 has seemingly done everything in its power ... to make sure Nebraska didn't get to Arlington, Texas, next week. And then the league has the audacity to not show up and deliver a trophy?"

Nebraska touched off an uneasy year in June with its decision to leave the league for the Big Ten, effective at the end of the school year.

Beebe said the hostile messages to him and his staff last week numbered more than 2,000 and a few carried threats. "One said, 'Are you dead yet? You should be packing a gun,' " he said. "One voice mail was: 'If if see you on the street, I'm going to hit you on the head and stab you.'

"This is, hopefully, only a very, very small number of a really terrific fan base."

The conference has catalogued the messages and turned them over to an individual who works on a contract basis with NFL security, "and he's going to get them to the proper authorities to call on the people or check them out to see if there's legitimate reason to be concerned," Beebe said.

-- Steve Wieberg


The All-Big 12 Conference football teams and individual award winners were announced on Tuesday morning with six Nebraska players being named first-team all-conference selections. Selections are made by the league's 12 head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.

The first-team selections were led by senior cornerback Prince Amukamara, who was chosen as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year Nebraska has captured the defensive award following Ndamukong Suh in 2009. It is also the fourth time in 15 years NU has won the Defensive Player of the Year, after Grant Wistrom won the honor in both 1996 and 1997. Amukamara is only the third defensive back to win the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honor and the first since Terence Newman of Kansas State in 2002.

Amukamara headlined three Huskers who won individual awards from the Big 12. Junior linebacker Lavonte David, the league's second-leading tackler, was selected as Newcomer of the Year, and freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez was chosen as the Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Amukamara is among the national leaders in pass breakups with 13, and is a key to the Blackshirt defense ranking second nationally in both pass efficiency defense and passing yards allowed per game. The 6-1, 205-pound senior was one of five Blackshirts honored as first-team All-Big 12 picks, making the team for the second straight year. The first-team defenders have helped Nebraska lead the Big 12 and rank fifth nationally in total defense.

Nebraska's six first-team All-Big 12 selections were it most since 2000, and the five defensive first-teamers is the most on one side of the ball since NU also had five first-team defenders in 1996, the inaugural season of the Big 12.

Junior defensive tackle Jared Crick was a first-team selection for the second straight season. The 6-6, 285-pound Crick has 60 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and a team-high 7.5 sacks. Defensive end Pierre Allen made the All-Big 12 team for the first time. The Denver native has 51 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, and a team-high 11 quarterback hurries in his senior season.

David was a first-team selection in his first year at Nebraska. The junior linebacker has racked up 128 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups and six sacks. He is the second Husker to be named Newcomer of the Year, joining Scott Frost, who captured Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors as a quarterback in 1996. The final first-team defensive selection was senior defensive back Eric Hagg. The versatility of the Peoria, Ariz., native has been crucial for the Nebraska defense. Hagg has 38 tackles, a team-high five interceptions and four pass breakups.

The Nebraska offense featured one first-team All-Big 12 selection in senior offensive guard Ricky Henry. The play of Henry has helped Nebraska lead the Big 12 and rank eighth nationally in rushing offense at 269.2 yards per game.

In addition to the first-team selections, five Huskers were chosen as second-team All-Big 12 honorees, including Omaha seniors Alex Henery and Niles Paul, who made the second unit at two positions.

The most accurate kicker in NCAA history, Henery was a second-team pick for the third straight season at place-kicker. He has connected on 16-of-17 field goals this season and is perfect on 51 PAT attempts, while tying Kris Brown for the school's all-time scoring record with 388 points. Henery also made the second team as a punter. He averages 43.5 yards per punt and has downed 23 of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

The 6-1, 220-pound Paul made the second team as a receiver and kick returner. Paul has 39 catches for 516 yards and a touchdown this season and is among the top five receivers in school history. Paul also averages 25.2 yards per kickoff return and 11.4 yards on punt returns.

Senior I-back Roy Helu Jr. also made the second-team offense after posting his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. Helu Jr. has 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns and averages 6.7 yards per rush. He racked up four 100-yard rushing games, including a school-record 307 yards against Missouri.

Defensively, sophomore end Cameron Meredith and junior cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were chosen as second-team picks. Meredith has 54 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hurries on the season. Dennard ranks second on the team with four interceptions, and has added 23 tackles and six pass breakups.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez is the first Husker to capture the Offensive Freshman-of-the-Year award. Martinez has rushed for 974 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season, while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. He is second among all Nebraska freshman in rushing yards in a season and his 1,435 passing yards is the most ever by a Nebraska freshman. Martinez is 26 rushing yards shy of becoming the third freshman quarterback in NCAA history to rush and pass for 1,000 yards in a season.

Six Huskers earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors. On offense, the honorees included Martinez, junior center Mike Caputo, senior offensive guard Keith Williams and sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead. On defense, senior defensive back DeJon Gomes and sophomore defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler were honored.


Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara was one of 11 defenders named to the 2010 American Football Coaches Association All-America team, announced on Monday. Amukamara was the only Husker named to the 25-player team, which included four players from the Big 12 Conference.

A native of Glendale, Ariz., Amukamara was one of four defense backs on the team. He was joined by Oklahoma’s Quinton Carter, LSU’s Patrick Peterson and Air Force’s Reggie Rembert. Amukamara ranks third nationally with 13 pass breakups this season, a total that is tied for seventh in NU history.

Amukamara is also one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which will be presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back next month. He has also recorded 50 tackles while allowing only 13 completions in the 43 pass attempts opposing quarterbacks have thrown to the receiver he is covering. Amukamara has helped Nebraska rank second nationally in passing defense and pass efficiency defense.

Amukamara is the 94th Husker to earn first-team All-America honors. When including two-time honorees, Amukamara’s selection gives Nebraska 108 first-team All-Americans in school history.

Randy York's N-Sider

Take it straight from four of Nebraska's 23 seniors who will be honored Friday before their final home game at Memorial Stadium and their team's last Big 12 Conference game ever against the Colorado Buffaloes ... they want to win this game for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is to rally around their head coach, to support him and to honor him.

Bo Pelini would be the last guy to invoke such motivation, but he'll have to forgive DeJon Gomes, Alex Henery, Mike McNeill and Anthony West. Those four and their fellow seniors insist they have Pelini's back and his heart, and nothing is more important than proving just that in a nationally televised game.

"Our seniors - and this entire team - are behind Coach Bo," said Gomes, a defensive back from Hayward, Calif. "I don't see why there's been so much negativity from what he did at A&M. In everything he does, he has this team's best interests at heart.

"We all know that he loves us, and we love him. We all feed off his passion and his fire, and seeing what he's gone through this week just makes us want to play that much harder," Gomes said. "On game day, you can see in his eyes how much he wants to win. He's not a coaches' coach - he's a players' coach. He's in it strictly for the love of the game, and when you understand that, you don't want to give anything less than everything you have."

Henery, a kicker who walked on from Omaha, could become Nebraska's all-time leading scorer Friday. He's as soft-spoken and understated as they come, but not when it comes to his head coach. While the two seem as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, they share a perfection-seeking identity.

"I feel bad for Coach, and I'm going to stick up for him because he has every player's back on this team," Henery said. "I don't know one guy who doesn't like Coach Pelini. I don't know one guy who doesn't respect who he is and how he leads. He's rebuilt the foundation of this program in three years, and it takes the kind of passion he shows every single day to do it. It's a process built on character and accountability. He wants perfection and strives for it. That's just how he is. That's how everybody should be."

For the rest of the article go to


No. 3 Nebraska (27-2, 19-1 Big 12) vs. Sacred Heart (29-6, 14-2 NEC)
Thursday, Dec. 2 • NU Coliseum • 7 p.m.
TV: NET Lincoln - (Time Warner: SD-12/HD-112 DirecTV: 29
DISH: 12) Omaha - (Cox: SD-12/HD-712 DirecTV: 379 DISH: 26)
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KTWI 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Web Video: (Free)
Live Stats:

The No. 3 Nebraska volleyball team (27-2, 19-1 Big 12) will open the NCAA Tournament at home for the seventh straight season on Thursday night when it hosts the Sacred Heart Pioneers (29-6, 14-2 NEC) at the NU Coliseum. The match is set to start at 7 p.m., or 30 minutes after the first match of the day ends between Auburn and Missouri State.

Nebraska, who recently won its 12th Big 12 title, will be making its 29th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers enter the tournament on a eight-match winning streak, including sweeps in all eight matches.

Sacred Heart will be making its first appearance in the national tournament after winning its first Northeast Conference title in program history. The Pioneers are winners of four straight matches and are coming off a sweep of Robert Morris in the NEC Championship match.

Not only will Thursday night's match will be the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Sacred Heart, but it will be the first time the Huskers have ever played a team from the Northeast Conference.

Along with TV coverage by NET, the match will be shown live on for free. Fans can also listen to all of the action with John Baylor and Dianne Mendenhall on the 25-station Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha. Fans outside the network will also be able to catch the live audio feed for free on


Lincoln - The Nebraska volleyball team will spend the opening weekend of the postseason at home for the seventh straight season as the NU Coliseum was chosen as one of 16 sites for NCAA first and second-round play next weekend. The Huskers will be making their 29th NCAA Tournament appearance and they will go in as the No. 2 overall seed among the 64 teams.

Play will start on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. when the Auburn Tigers (20-12) of the Southeastern Conference take on the Missouri State Bears (21-9) of the Missouri Valley Conference. Nebraska (27-2) will then take the court during Thursday's second match and will face the Sacred Heart Pioneers (29-6), who recently won its first ever Northeast Conference title. The Huskers' match will start at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match.

The second round will take place on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., as Friday's winners will compete for the right to move on to the Seattle Regional the following weekend. The winner out of Lincoln will take on Hawaii, Portland State, Washington or Michigan, who will be playing in Seattle, Wash.

The 2010 season marks the 26th time that Lincoln has played host to first and second-round competition. Last season, Nebraska hosted the first and second rounds at the NU Coliseum, where they swept Coastal Carolina and Northern Iowa to move onto the NCAA Midwest Regional in Omaha. The Huskers then swept Iowa State before losing a four-set decision to Texas, the eventual NCAA runner-up.

Nebraska recently won its 12th Big 12 title in its final year in the league and is 80-25 (.762) in 28 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in both wins and winning percentage. The Huskers were one of five Big 12 schools to qualify for the tournament, as No. 9 Texas and Oklahoma will also play at home in the first two rounds while Iowa State and Missouri will be on the road.

NCAA First and Second Round Schedule
First Round - Thursday, Dec. 2
4:30 p.m. Auburn (20-12) vs. Missouri State (21-9)
7 p.m.* Nebraska (27-2) vs. Sacred Heart (29-6)
*- or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 4:30 p.m. match

Second Round - Friday, Dec. 3
7 p.m. First-Round Winners


Lincoln - Nebraska used a 16-0 second-half run and had five players in double figures, as the Huskers cruised to a 76-57 win over Jackson State on Wednesday night at the Devaney Center.

The Huskers, who have won three straight (including a big win against USC last Saturday), improve to 5-2 overall as they head into Sunday's non-conference battle against Creighton.

A pair of guards - Caleb Walker and Eshaunte Jones - led Nebraska with 13 points each, while Drake Beranek, Brandon Ubel and Brandon Richardson added 10 apiece, as Nebraska placed five in double figures for the first time since November of 2009.

Richardson's 10 points all came at a critical time in the second half, as the hot start out of the locker room helped the Huskers build their biggest lead at 52-32 with just over 12 minutes remaining. The Los Angeles native did not score in the first half, but had eight of his 10 points in a two-minute span, as the Huskers turned a four-point lead into a 45-32 with 15 minutes left.

Richardson's spark, which was capped by a steal and lay-up to give NU its 20-point lead, was much needed to escape a hot-shooting Jackson State team that connected on 12-of-22 three-pointers. The Tigers shot 43 percent (18-of-42) for the game, while Nebraska hit 60 percent (30-of-50) of its field goals, its second-best shooting percentage of the season.

The Huskers hit a season-high nine three-pointers on 19 attempts, including three from Jones off the bench. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native hit his third and final trey after JSU's Tyrone Hanson connected from long range to cut NU's lead to 56-43. Jones' response ensured Nebraska control of the game throughout the second half, as the Huskers did not relinquish its double-digit lead. Beranek hit Nebraska's last three-pointer with just over four minutes left to complete his season-high 10-point performance.

The Huskers were slower offensively in the first half, but ended the half on a 6-1 run to take a 28-21 lead into the locker room. Although the Huskers never trailed, NU struggled to separate itself from the Tigers, as JSU hit 5-of-13 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes to keep within striking distance. Jackson State accounted for all 21 first-half points via three-pointers and free-throws, but shot just 29 percent from the field in the opening half.

Walker led all NU scorers in the first half with nine points, including the game's first points on a 3-pointer from the corner. While Walker scored the first five points, the Husker defense held Jackson State to just two points in the first four minutes and only one field goal in the first seven minutes as it shot 2-of-10 from the field.

Beranek and Jones each hit three-pointers in the first half and had five points apiece to hold NU's slim lead. Jones' scored his field goals on back-to-back possessions with five minutes remaining to give Nebraska a 20-15 lead. Jackson State closed the lead to 22-20 on a Hanson trey, one of three three-pointers in the first half, before Walker and Ubel sparked the late run to close the half.

Hanson finished with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from behind the arc, while Jenirro Buch added 14 points with four three-pointers on six attempts.

Nebraska continues its 10-game homestand this Sunday when the Huskers host in-state rival Creighton at 1 p.m. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest.


Lincoln - Freshmen Jordan Hooper and Kellie McCann-Smith combined for 29 points and eight three-pointers to lead the No. 24 Nebraska women's basketball team to a 65-41 win over UNLV on Tuesday.

The big games by the freshmen and Nebraska's best defensive performance of the season, allowed the Huskers to improve to 6-0 on the season while stretching their home winning streak to 25 games. NU also stretched its regular-season winning streak to 37 games. UNLV slipped to 4-2 on the year.

Hooper, a two-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week, scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the first half. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., hit 4-of-5 first-half three-pointers to lead NU to a 31-19 halftime advantage. On her lone basket of the second half, Hooper became the fastest Husker in history to reach 100 points, hitting a long two-pointer from the corner with just under six minutes to play.

McCann-Smith produced a career-high point total for the third straight game, erupting for 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The 5-9 freshman guard from Asotin, Wash., hit two three-pointers on back-to-back possessions in a one-minute span when she entered the game in the first half. Her second three helped NU jump out to a 13-4 lead with 15 minutes left in the half against the Rebels.

She added two more threes in the second half, to eclipse her previous career best of six points, which came in Saturday's win over UNO at the Devaney Center.

Senior guard Dominique Kelley added nine points and five rebounds, while senior center Catheryn Redmon pitched in nine points and six boards for the Huskers against UNLV's stingy defense.

The Huskers managed just 65 points - their second-lowest output of the season - but the Rebels had allowed an average of just 49 points per game through their first five contests.

Playing against a tall, tough and disciplined UNLV defense, the Huskers answered with their best defensive effort of the year, holding UNLV 21 points under its scoring average coming into the game.

NU held the Rebels to just 24 percent (12-50) shooting from the field, including a 2-for-14 showing from beyond the arc. Nebraska's halfcourt pressure defense forced 26 UNLV turnovers, as NU posted a plus-10 turnover margin on the night.

NU's defense was at its best early in both halves, surrendering just four points in the opening five minutes to shoot to a 13-4 lead in the first half, before holding UNLV without a field goal for the first 10:53 of the second half to open up a 27-point lead at 48-21.

In the first 10:53 of the second half, Nebraska forced nine UNLV turnovers while holding the Rebels to 0-of-6 shooting. The only points UNLV managed came on 2-of-4 free throw shooting.

"We've made some strides," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "It was nice to see us get after it on defense tonight. We are going to have to win games in different ways throughout the season, and tonight, for the first time, our defense one the game for us. We are going to need to shore up our rebounding, but we'll keep working on that and hopefully we'll get there."

UNLV did outrebound the Huskers 44-31, including 18 offensive rebounds on the Rebels 38 missed shots. The Rebels outscored NU 12-3 on second-chance points, but the Huskers more than answered that disparity by outscoring UNLV 29-13 in points off turnovers. The Husker bench, led by McCann-Smith's 13, also outscored the UNLV bench, 24-7.

Nebraska returns to road action on Sunday, when the Huskers travel to Indiana to face the Hoosiers in the Big 12-Big Ten Challenge. The game will be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network with an 11 a.m. (central) tip time from Assembly Hall in Bloomington.


Lincoln- Head Coach Chuck Chmelka announced Wednesday that the Nebraska men’s gymnastics team has signed three new talented recruits for the 2011-2012 season.

Included in the class is Josh Ungar, a native of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, who is currently ranked No. 13 nationally among all-arounders in the 16-18-year old age bracket. He trains at Tim Daggett Gold Medal Gymnastics facility.

Grant Perdue, a Missouri City, Texas native, will join the Husker squad next year looking to contribute in all six events. Another all-arounder, Perdue earned a 77.650 at the 2010 VISA Championships, placing him in the top 15 at the elite tournament. Grant will graduate from Lawrence E. Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas this spring.

Rounding out this exceptional recruiting class is all-arounder Gabriel Jolley. Jolley hails from American Forks, Utah and is also expected to make a significant impact next year when he joins the Huskers.

“We are very excited to get three student-athletes of this caliber,” Chmelka said. “They will help our team on all six events but they are excellent students as well.”

With the departure of four seniors after this season, these three future Huskers will assist in the transition to the 2011-12 season.

Randy York's N-Sider

After a memorable day in the last Big 12 Conference game that will ever be played at Memorial Stadium, you try to measure the impact of the most decorated defensive player in college football history.

You try to frame his legacy.

You try to determine why he was what he was and became what he became.

You even try to define the relevance of Ndamukong Suh's return to participate in a halftime celebration to retire his jersey seven months after he announced a $2.6 million gift to his alma mater.

Then it hits you.

It's the one-year anniversary of Suh's legendary performance in the Big 12 Championship Game, and Nebraska is back in the league's last title game, just like No. 93 promised following the Huskers' first shutout in 45 bowl games last January - a 33-0 win over Arizona.

In the midst of watching Suh's legacy continue to grow into an almost certain all-pro season as an NFL rookie, you ask two questions:

1) What was his greatest legacy? and 2) What can Nebraska take from that legacy and apply to Saturday night's final Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma?

You'll like the answers we confirmed with his college defensive coordinator.

First, Suh's greatest legacy, without any stretch of imagination, is an unparalleled work ethic that he learned at Nebraska and continues to hone on a daily basis in Detroit.

Secondly, that work ethic is why a 23-year-old defensive lineman who's already a household name across America believes Nebraska can beat Oklahoma.

Within minutes after the Huskers beat Arizona in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, Suh predicted the Huskers would win the 2010 Big 12 Championship and contend for a national title.

The state of Texas blew up the bigger goal, but Nebraska loves the irony of still having the opportunity to accomplish its primary goal in ... well, the state of Texas.

Wants to a See a Big 12 Title, BCS Bowl Berth

"I came to Nebraska to do the things that everybody else wanted to do - win conference championships and go to BCS bowl games," Suh said. "I didn't get to experience that, but I was able to help build the foundation for the team that can experience that. Look where this program is today. We have another chance, the last chance, to win a Big 12 Championship Game. Win that, and we're in the Fiesta Bowl."

That's incentive plus, and here's the kicker Suh wants everyone to think about and put their arms around: "These guys are 10-2 without me because they have the Nebraska work ethic," he said. "It's the same work ethic I learned under the Pelinis and the same work ethic I see in practice every day in the NFL."

Suh also insists he's still learning from his college coaches, even though he's no longer around them.

"The Pelini brothers molded me into the player that I feel I am now," Suh said. "I mean, every time I come back and get a chance to talk to these guys about schemes and things, it's just a great opportunity. One of the reasons I cried at the Outland Trophy Banquet in Omaha was because I knew how much I would miss Coach Bo and Coach Carl. Having them for my last two years of college meant everything to me. They really touched me, and it hurt that I wasn't going to have them for two more years."

Suh, though, found a way to keep his strong relationship with both mentors. "I know I can call them, and I do," he said. "I know I can text them, and I do. I mean, Nebraska is the best place in America to play defense. I can't say any more about our coaches than what I know is true in my heart - they are the best."

Knowledge + Work Ethic = Confidence

They are the best, Suh said, because they use their combination of knowledge and work ethic to breed what matters most in a championship challenge ... confidence.

Suh personified that in his final season as a Blackshirt. "I would agree that his work ethic is his greatest legacy," Carl Pelini said Monday, recalling how far his defensive tackle came from the year before when he contemplated turning pro after his junior year.

Getting one more year of seasoning from the Pelinis is the greatest decision Suh said he's ever made.

"Halfway through last season, I had a pro scout ask me if I thought Suh would make a good pro," Carl Pelini recalled. "I told him that Ndamukong was already a pro because he approaches the game as a craft. He's like a carpenter who's always looking for a way to get better every day. That's what he did at Nebraska, and that approach hasn't changed at Detroit."

Suh is the celebrity advertisement for a coaching staff making sure that focusing on the process and getting better every day is posted on every meaningful wall in the football complex.

Ask Dominic Raiola, the Hawaii native and Rimington Award winner who flew from Detroit to Lincoln last Friday with Suh, so he could join his Lion teammate and seven other Husker legends that participated in the ceremony.

Raiola: No Name Better than Newest One

"I don't know if there are any bigger names up on that North Stadium wall than Ndamukong Suh's," said Raiola, the Lions' starting center. "Look at what he did for Nebraska football and what he did for college football. No defensive player was ever more decorated. With Suh, it's all about action, not words. He's a superstar, and he's going to be a Pro Bowler as a rookie ... amazing."

Want something more amazing? "He has eight sacks, an interception and a touchdown in his first 11 games in the NFL, and he's getting doubled-teamed, triple-teamed, cut-blocked ... everything," Raiola said. "I mean, I still can't believe my first experience with him in our first preseason game against the Steelers. He was getting double-teamed on the first play ... crazy!"

Suh, of course, got used to the extra attention in the Big 12, so he sees it as a challenge in the NFL.

"It was just a blessing for me to go to Detroit and be able to play with (ex-Huskers) Dom (Raiola) and Kyle (Vanden Bosch," Suh said. "I go against Dom every day in practice, whether it's a walk-through or in full pads. He's taught me all kinds of things on how to beat players I'm going against at his same position. He's a true mentor who's shown me the ropes. He's kicked my butt a couple of times and talked trash to me just like I talk trash to him. It's all fun and games. We've learned a lot from each other, but I've learned more from him than he's learned from me."

Not true. "You know what?" Raiola said. "I get up early and come in to work out about 6 o'clock every morning, and Ndamukong is always there ahead of me. He gets his work done and disappears. It's no wonder he's so good and stays so healthy. We were talking on the flight to Lincoln. He wasn't even tired after playing two complete games in four days. He never wants to come out. You can't describe a guy like him because he never ceases to surprise you. Kyle says he's one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL right now, and he's only played in 11 games."

One Amazing Recruit Will Inspire More

Raiola just shakes his head and laughs in disbelief. "I can't believe the type of success he's had and the type of player he's become," he said. "That speaks volumes for the Nebraska program. I think his success will help Nebraska recruit players just like him. I mean, he's everything they say he is ... and more!"

Suh gives most of the credit to his college coaches. "Every day you spend under the Pelinis and all of our other defensive coaches just makes you that much more confident," Suh said. "They teach you why you have to work so hard every single day."

Again Raiola shakes his head. "With the type of work ethic Ndamukong has," he said, "I can't even imagine the possibilities of how much greater he can be and how fast that might happen."

Raiola wasn't the only one singing Suh's praises. Listen to what seven other Husker legends said about the man whose jersey was retired last weekend:

Tommie Frazier: "He just went out and played the game as hard as he could. He couldn't care less about the accolades. He just straps it up and plays every snap as hard as he can in every game. You don't see too many rookies making the impact he's making in the NFL. He has nothing but great things ahead."

Aaron Graham: "With his accomplishments, Suh's going to be the leader of the pack on that wall. His impact on Nebraska football is something that I don't think even he can comprehend right now. He's a catalyst for recruiting. I don't know why any defensive lineman wouldn't want to come to Nebraska."

Larry Jacobson: "The thing about Ndamukong Suh is he's just so humble. He knows what he needs to do, and he does what he's supposed to do. He doesn't mouth off. He doesn't do anything bad. That's just who he is. It's pretty easy to get excited to see his name up there. He's a great player and a great guy."

Johnny Rodgers: "With Ndamukong's exposure, you see how it can help take Nebraska to the next level. This is the place to come - not just because you're star, but because of the training you will get to be the best you can be, on and off the field. Nebraska has given him great support, and he's given it back."

Will Shields: "What makes this special is seeing your name and number in indelible ink. It's an honorable thing. He performed at a high level in college, and he's proving he deserved to be at the top of the draft pick board. It's up to him to set the stage for what he wants to do next in life."

Dean Steinkuhler: "It's an honor to be on that wall with someone like Ndamukong because of the way he's played over the years and the way he's playing now in the NFL. He is a tremendous player and person ... one of the best, if not the best up there. He's done so much and given so much back."

Zach Wiegert: "Ndamukong is very nice, and that's more important than what he does on the football field any day. Obviously, he was a great college player, and he's already showing he's a great pro, making all the plays against the best in the world. God willing, he'll have a long and great career - on and off the field."

Tom Osborne presented Suh with his retired jersey award. "There's no player who's done more for this university," Nebraska's athletic director said afterwards. "He was great on the field and a great student. Not too many would give the Athletic Department what he gave and endow a full scholarship in Engineering. He's unique. We appreciate everything he stands for, and we're glad we could honor him."

Suh's parents, Michael and Bernadette Suh, and his sister, Ngum, were proud to be part of the ceremony.

"It's wonderful to see him honored like this," Bernadette said. "Everything he's accomplished is the result of his dedication and hard work."

Ngum called the retired jersey ceremony a wonderful moment. "It's always great when his Nebraska family can pat him on the back like we're able to do with our own family," she said. "He's an ambassador and always trying to be the example of what you want your own kids to be."

His father's grin went ear-to-ear before the ceremony even started. "It's incredible," Michael Suh said after watching the big screen and the short presentation. "No. 1, I have to thank Nebraska for embracing him just like a son to them. In some ways, Nebraska is almost taking over my son from me. That makes me happy because there are so many great parents in Nebraska, and I can only say thank God for that."


Nati Harnik / AP

FILE - This Feb 22, 2006, file photo, shows former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, left, and former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, shaking hands in Lincoln, Neb. The upcoming Big 12 championship game between Oklahoma and Nebraska brings back memories of those Thanksgiving weekend battles between the Big Reds of the North and South.

(12-01) 10:46 PST Lincoln, Neb. (AP) --

Something will be lost after Nebraska and Oklahoma square off on the football field Saturday night — something intangible yet dear to the traditionalists who get sentimental about a bygone era when the two teams were titans of the old Big Eight Conference.

To a younger generation of fans and players, the final Big 12 championship game will decide which team goes to the Fiesta Bowl and which goes to the Alamo or Insight Bowl. They don't, and can't, understand what Nebraska-Oklahoma means to older folks, those who remember tear-away jerseys and actually watching Johnny Rodgers and Greg Pruitt play live, not on some grainy video.

Rodgers' punt return in the 1971 Game of the Century? That's so last century.

Billy Sims' fumble at the 3-yard line in 1978? The Orange Bowl rematch a few weeks later that Nebraska fans so loathed? All that Sooner Magic? Stoic Tom Osborne and swashbuckling Barry Switzer?

"Back in the day," Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead said, "I guess it was a big-time game."

Yes, it was. The 45-and-older crowd can remember all the classic moments in the traditional Thanksgiving week games that decided the Big Eight championship all but three seasons between 1970-88. Both programs have had down cycles since. Now they meet one more time, not on a cold afternoon in Lincoln or Norman but indoors at the billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"It's just fitting it's us two here at the end," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.

Nebraska and Oklahoma have been in the same conference every year since 1928, when they and Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri joined to form the Big Six. Colorado came along in 1948 to make it the Big Seven, and Oklahoma State's entry in 1960 created the Big Eight.

Next year, Nebraska leaves the Sooners and the rest behind for the Big Ten. Colorado is going away, too, to join what will be the Pacific-12.

"This is it. This is definitely the parting," said the 59-year-old Rodgers, his "Johnny the Jet" days well behind him. "When the Big Eight was the Big Eight, during our time, it was the toughest conference in the country."

In 1971, the year before Rodgers won the Heisman Trophy, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado finished 1-2-3 in the final Associated Press poll. National championships often were decided in the Orange Bowl, back when the Big Eight had an automatic tie-in with the bowl.

The Big 12 formed in 1996 with the Big Eight and four Southwest Conference members, splitting into North and South divisions. The division alignment more or less ended the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry since they played only two times every four years.

The Big 12 has had its moments, with Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas having won national titles in football. But Switzer said the league hasn't been as powerful as the old Big Eight, in part because of scholarship limitations that led to the dispersal of talent.

"I know this: Without Nebraska in the league, I just don't know how they can sell it anymore," Switzer said. "Losing Nebraska is a hell of a blow."

Switzer said Oklahoma, Texas and possibly Texas A&M are the only drawing cards when commissioner Dan Beebe negotiates what he promises will be a more lucrative television contract in the spring.

"What makes it attractive? All the other schools?" Switzer said. "You're losing the gem of the North."

Osborne, now Nebraska's athletic director, said the Big 12 forced a clash of cultures. From the start, Nebraska believed the Big 12 was too Texas-centric in the way things were run.

Still, Osborne said he never pined for the days of the Big Eight — "Life goes on," he said — but he acknowledges he was more comfortable there.

"It was a pretty high level of competition, and geographically, in terms of culture and attitude, there was a fair amount of similarity," Osborne said. "We were all kind of part of this high plains Midwestern area, so people understood each other pretty well."

Nebraska and Oklahoma dominated, but other teams would throw a scare into them from time to time.

Colorado was no slouch under Eddie Crowder, and Bill McCartney won a share of the 1990 national championships with Eric Bieniemy and Alfred Williams.

Oklahoma State had Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders, Kansas had Gale Sayers and Bobby Douglass, Missouri had James Wilder and Kellen Winslow, Kansas State had Mack Herron and Lynn Dickey, Iowa State had Dexter Green and Troy Davis.

"I'm sounding like an old person reminiscing," said the 73-year-old Osborne, "but it was a good era in college athletics because your level of athletics were certainly rising. Players were bigger and faster and strength training had kicked in, and so had offseason programs."

There was a limit to the number of times a team could appear on television those years. Coaches' salaries weren't outrageous, they knew each other personally and spent time together out of the competitive arena.

"I just don't think the Big 12 ever came close to having the family atmosphere we had in the Big Eight," said Jim Walden, a former Nebraska assistant and Iowa State head coach. "We tended to agree to do things that helped us all."

Nebraska-Oklahoma will fade way, but traditional old-school Big Eight/Big 12 rivalries live on, such as Texas-Oklahoma, Kansas-Missouri, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, Kansas-Kansas State.

As for Nebraska-Oklahoma, Huskers tight end Kyler Reed said the coaching staff has made no reference to the history of the programs this week. What Reed knows about the rivalry — and he admits it's not much — was told to him by his father.

"If you want to look up the history, it's kind of on your own," Reed said. "I'm sure you can find the game somewhere or watch highlights of the old games on YouTube."

Read more:

By Jennifer Floyd Engel

An open letter to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and all of his Sooner players...

Welcome back to Texas, boys. And congrats on kind of, sort of winning The Big 12 South again. Got to love using a screwed-up joke of a system as a way to break deadlocks, or everybody except Texas and Texas A&M do, anyway.

No whine intended.

I actually need a favor from y'all. Beat Nebraska. Actually do not just beat them; beat them handily, because the thought of the Cornhuskers winning the championship of the conference they tried to destroy makes me throw up a little in my mouth. And the thought of Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini winning anything ramps a little up to a lot.

So earn this BcS-ranking-provided berth. And beat Nebraska.

The eyes of Texas are with you.

Hook 'em. Sic 'em. Gig 'em. Get your guns up for 'em.

However, whatever, just beat them. Send Nebraska to the Big Ten, or whatever name E. Gordon Gee decides to slap upon that league, with a big fat reminder that their Big 12 legacy was never all that impressive and they will barely be missed at all.

Remind Nebraska why it was never the bellwether team of this conference and why it will not be in the Big Ten. Show the Huskers what Wisconsin and Ohio State and possibly Michigan (if Jim Harbaugh replaces that slimy little RichRod) will do to them.

Leave no doubt, no room for whine that officials were really to blame, like the usually classy Tom Osborne and Pelini, in typical histrionic fashion, claimed after The Big 12 Championship a year ago. And then again in College Station a couple of weeks ago.

Apparently, Nebraska only loses when officials do them wrong, which is giggle-worthy because I seem to remember a certain illegal kicked ball helping them beat Mizzou, and nobody at Nebraska handed that "W" back.

But we are talking about Nebraska, where they do things "the right way," or so I am told by the 14 folks in Omaha with Internet who love to send e-mails that rarely clear the S-T naughty-word filter about how classy they are.

Admittedly, I will miss wacky Cornhusker Nation and those 14 TV sets when they are gone. Nobody, and I mean nobody, was as touchy as they were about their football, except maybe BYU. And the Children of the Corn love to e-mail, about how Dan Beebe always favored Texas, how the South got all the love and how the league singlehandedly killed their long rivalry with OU.

They are kind of right, as you already know, Bob.

Beebe did favor Texas. And the South did get most of the love. Still does. The fine folks at the Cotton Bowl chose A&M ahead of a Mizzou team with more Ws and a W at College Station this season. Total screw job, of course, and I wish nothing but fail on them. Them being The Cotton, not the Aggies.

Full disclosure, Bob: As you probably already noticed, my love and money went to Mizzou.

What you may want to whisper to Bo and Dr. Tom is "Welcome to big-time college athletics." Money determines almost everything. And winning determines who has more money and, thereby, who gets more. All Nebraska had to do was win the way it had before it was exposed by the South, and Beebe would have loved it, too.

Of course, I would never say any of this to Bo Pelini's face. Both he and his brother scare me. I prefer to watch Bo's crazy rantings on YouTube with the safety of distance that provides. And I like you, Bob, so be careful when gigging him.

He unleashes expletives like an episode of The Wire.

Just keep Sooner types away from his brother and defensive coordinator Carl Pelini afterward, if y'all win. We do not want to see any Sooners hurt.

So once again, congrats on being here. It is not easy kind of, sort of winning the South. No whine intended, really. Because we are all with you. We are all Sooners this week.

Sooners or traitors?

It was an easy choice even for those of us like myself who have PTSD from hearing Boomer Sooner so often during my days at Mizzou, or those of us who bleed Burnt Orange, or blame y'all for Barry Switzer's Cowboys time or just plain do not like anything that comes from Oklahoma. We need you on this.

The last thing anybody outside Lincoln wants this weekend is to see Pelini dressed like a high school gym coach, chewing his gum, carrying his laminated play sheet, strutting around JerryWorld believing he showed us as he walks off to the numerically incorrect Big Ten.

And do not get too touchy, Cornhuskers; nobody calls Colorado traitors because nobody even noticed it was leaving.

Not to downplay, Bob, but how hard can this be, really?

Texas beat them. In Lincoln. With Greg Davis as OC. And probably Mack Brown's worst team ever.

Iowa State had them beat but blew it.

The Aggies beat them. In College Station. OK, so they did that to y'all, too, but you get the point.

Now the onus is on you, Bob, to do what is right and good and holy. And to save Beebe from the most awkward trophy hand-off since Switzer and Jerry Jones fought for the Lombardi.

So for one day, Boomer Sooner.

Jen Engel

Missouri, Class of back when we stunk

Jennifer Floyd Engel

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Former Nebraska assistant football coach Dan Young died late Wednesday night at his Lincoln home after a five-month battle with cancer. He was 69. Diagnosed with a form of brain cancer last July, Young was told that he had an inoperable tumor. He died surrounded by his family.

The Nebraska Athletic Department announced that Young would be honored with a moment of silence during Friday's nationally televised Nebraska-Colorado football game.

An assistant offensive line coach and kicking coach for three national championship teams (1994, '95, '97), Young retired from coaching in 2002 after spending 20 years on the Husker staff.

A native of Primrose, Neb., Young spent 17 of his 20 years on the staff as co-offensive line coach with Milt Tenopir. During that time, the Huskers won 10 NCAA rushing titles asTenopir directed the run blocking and Young handled pass protection responsibilities.

In the 17 years that Young and Tenopir coached together, Nebraska never finished lower than sixth in the NCAA rushing statistics. During their joint tenure, three Nebraska offensive linemen won Outland Trophies, 11 became All-Americans and 10 became Academic All-Americans.

Tenopir, a close friend, praised Young's role both as an offensive line coach and his ability to develop such placekickers as Kris Brown and Josh Brown and punters Kyle Larson and Dan Hadenfeldt.

In addition to coaching record-breaking placekickers, Young's punting teams consistently ranked among the nation's best.

Young joined Tenopir as an offensive line coach when Cletus Fischer retired after the 1985 season. Before that, Young had spent the 1983, '84 and '85 seasons as the Huskers' head freshman/junior varsity coach, leading those teams to a 14-1 record.

During Young's two decades on the Nebraska staff, the Huskers posted a 208-41-1 record.

Young came to Nebraska after six highly successful seasons as Omaha Westside's head coach. His Westside teams won back-to-back state championships in 1981 and '82. Before moving to Omaha, Young was head coach at two smaller Nebraska high schools - Barneston and St. Paul.

Young was a 1962 graduate of Kearney State College.

He is survived by fiance Cathy Grotveck; two grown children, Jeff and Kris; and five grandchildren.

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors. Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

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