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The College World Series is now over and South Carolina won their first baseball championship in school history (and only their 2nd NCAA title in school history, the other being womens outdoor track). But the over riding story throughout the week was the final CWS at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Looking back on the games, this was a very boring series in term of the action on the field. Weather delayed and put a damper on a good portion of the middle of the tournament. But South Carolina and UCLA provided Rosenblatt with a proper send off.
But my question is, we all know that this is Omaha’s event. But how is this event viewed in Lincoln? Do people get as wrapped up in Lincoln as they do in Omaha? Or is it just another event?
Wednesday will go down as one of the biggest sports days we have seen in quite some time.
In what some people are calling a defining day in US Soccer history, the United States defeated Algeria 1-0 to move onto the Round of 16 in the World Cup. The US, before the game, knew that a win and they were in. A tie and they needed some help in the England/Slovakia match. When England went up 1-0 in their match, and the US still tied at 0-0 with Algeria it looked as if the United States would be sent home neither winning or losing. Time and time again the US attacked and were turned away by either the woodwork, the goalkeeper or just plain missing the net. With only minutes to spare in the match, Landon Donovan, the anointed poster boy of US soccer, cemented his legacy as one of the greatest US players ever as he kicked in a rebound to put the US ahead 1-0 to win the match.
It will be rare to see a tennis write up in this blog (dare I say the last) but 6/23/2010 did not see an ordinary tennis match. In fact, this tennis match was so great it is going to take at least 3 days from beginning to end. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut are playing in the longest tennis match in recorded history. No, its not for charity, no they’re not trying to break a world record…they just can’t finish the damn thing. On Tuesday Isner and Mahut played, what can only be described as, a good 4 sets of tennis that nobody cared about and was postponed until Wednesday because of rain. It was their 5th set, on Wednesday which made headlines around the world. Currently the score sits at 59-59. That’s right. 59 games to 59 games. The two men played 118 games in one day. The 5th set has spanned over 7 hours, which by itself breaks the longest tennis match ever played by 3 1/2 hours. Add on the 3 hours of Tuesday night play and the two have played 10 hours of tennis and have yet to decide on a winner.
The fun may have stopped for the rest of the country but the College World Series provided a night cap for Nebraskans in this amazing sports day. Adopted fan favorite TCU was down 7-3 going into the top of the 8th inning against Florida State, both fighting to stay in the College World Series. Two runs started the rally for the Horned Frogs but a mammoth grand slam that had to have traveled 450 feet over the center field fence, put TCU ahead 9-7. Another 2 run home run in the inning gave the Horned Frogs 8 runs in the 8th inning that gave them the 11-7 winning score. TCU moves on to face UCLA in the bracket championship. TCU must win twice to go to the national championship series, while UCLA needs only one win. In the other bracket, Oklahoma and South Carolina will play Thursday for the right to play Clemson in the other bracket championship.
As a new day dawns, its good to look back at one heck of a sporting day.
So now that Nebraska is in, its time to take a look at how they will fit in. First up, conference alignment. Most likely, the Big 10 will be split into two divisions much like the Big 12 was.
They could do a pretty clear East/West division:
West: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota
East: Michigan, Michigan St. Penn St., Indiana, Ohio St., Purdue
They could also go North/South:
North: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan St., Northwestern, Michigan, Penn St.
South: Ohio St., Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa
(looking at the map, you could switch Iowa and Penn St. but for the sake of Nebraska and Iowa playing in the same division, I put them in the South)
Obviously the North/South scenario, that splits up Ohio State and Michigan. I just don’t know if the Big 10 wants to dispense with that tradition.
The US tied England 1-1 in their World Cup opener in Group C to take 1 point. US got VERY lucky in their goal after they gave up a goal in the 4th minute. Clint Dempsey sent an easy ball towards the England goalkeeper that skipped away at the last minute and found the net in the 40th minute. Going into the World Cup, the US absolutely would have taken a draw in their opening match against a tough England team.
The other two teams in Group C (Slovenia & Algeria) play their first match tomorrow morning. It will be very interesting to see the outcome of that match. Slovenia is the favorite but if either team comes away with a victory, they would take control of group C.
The US plays next against Slovenia on June 18th at 10am
Nebraska is officially a member of the Big 10. Nebraska will join the Big 10 athletically on July 1st, 2011 and academically (I believe) with immediate effect. This is the final year for Nebraska in the Big 12 conference.
Over the coming days I’ll go over what this means for Nebraska athletically and how they fit and will compete in the Big 10.
Nebraska will become a member of the Big 10 conference sometime in the next 48 hours…if we’re to believe multiple reports from several different media outlets. The timetable is this: The NU Board of Regents have a scheduled meeting Friday at 1pm and they added to their agenda a vote on whether or not to support a move to the Big 10. After that, it will either be the Big 10 announcing that they have invited Nebraska to the Big 10 or Nebraska will announce they have accepted a bid to join the Big 10. There have been some thoughts that a Nebraska press conference might not happen until Saturday. After Tom Osborne and Harvey Pearlman address the Board of Regents Friday, we’ll probably know a lot more.
Colorado drew first blood when it comes to conference realignment when they accepted an offer to go to the Pac10/11. This does serious damage to Baylor’s hope to join Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in their rumored invite to the Pac 10/11. There have been numerous other rumors about where other teams are going. I’ve heard Texas and Notre Dame to the Big 10. I’ve heard Texas A&M to the SEC. I’ve heard Oklahoma to the SEC. I’ve also read that Missouri does not have an invite to the Big 10 as of yet and is in serious jeopardy of being left behind just like Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor.
Nebraska’s fate should be decided by this time Saturday night.
Well, no inside info right now, but from what we’re seeing it looks like this long drawn out process could come to an end very soon.
Here’s what you need to know about that: The Big 12 can’t do ANYTHING to force Nebraska to say anything. It was a desperate attempt to find out where Nebraska and Missouri is at, and that’s all.
Well, it now seems that we will get an answer on Nebraska to the Big 10 as the Omaha World Herald is reporting that Nebraska could receive an invite to the Big 10 as early as Friday.
Hopefully this will all be over soon.
So, its a subject that has been talked about adnauseam, but what do we REALLY know? Big 10 wants to expand. That’s about it. We’ve heard a lot of rumors on who they want (Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Texas, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, etc…I could go on forever) We’ve heard timetables (12-18 months) But its been all just that, rumors. The Big 12 recently held their Athletic Directors meeting in Kansas City and A LOT happened down there from what I understand.
Inside I’ll let you know what I’ve heard.
Now that the Haymarket Arena has been passed, lets take a look at what it means for mens and womens basketball, the NU practice facility, Olympic Sports, Wrestling, Volleyball, the Bob Devaney Sports Center and other sports activities.
Unfortunately for the womens basketball team the end probably came too soon. This was a team that was better than the Sweet 16. They probably got very unlucky to draw Kentucky as a #4 seed because this was the one type of team that was going to beat them. The one who pushed back against Nebraska’s pressure. Let’s get one thing straight Kentucky beat Nebraska. Nebraska did not beat Nebraska. Unfortunately it ends a wonderful season that Nebraska basketball fans have never seen around here.
Now we’re onto spring football, baseball and softball.
No this blog is not to debate on if the current Husker women’s basketball team could beat the men’s team. But its about the popularity of each program. I was lucky enough to go to the Husker women’s basketball game on the 17th (60-50 over Iowa State). I decided I needed to see this team live at least once before the end of the year for many of the reasons as I’ve said in previous blogs. This is a team that needs to be seen, because seasons like this don’t just come around very often. I walked up an hour before tip-off and got a GA seat for $5 bucks. I had no trouble finding a seat in the first row of the C section right behind one of the baskets. For the womens games, GA is above row 19 in the C section on the sidelines and all of the C sections in the corners and behind the baskets.
Wednesday’s game drew just a tad over 10k and honestly I was a bit disappointed at the time. After seeing today’s attendance (12747) it seems that it was the result of the weekday. But what prompted this blog was a comment a lady next to me said during pregame. She asked me how big Devaney was, I said 13500-14000. (Actual capacity 13595) But the lady then said something very interesting. She said “You know its sad, this team is 23-0 (at the time) and we can’t get them on TV, but they follow the men’s team down to Manhattan to broadcast a terrible basketball team.” Not really wanting to get into an argument with her I said, “Well its all about money” And then she said something else, “No, because if it was about money we’d have these girls on TV.” I shrugged my shoulders and let it end there.
Had I continued the conversation with her, I would have posed this question to her: “Think about this, if the men’s team was 23 and 0, ranked #3 in the nation and playing the #3 team in the nation…could you have got a general admission ticket to this game?” “Could you have sat in this seat for the mens game?” “Could you have walked up to the ticket window and bought a $5 ticket an hour before the game?” “Would you have been able to get a ticket even a week before this game?” My point would have been, had the mens team been in the situation that the women are in right now, you couldn’t FIND a ticket because this place would be jammed packed. And here we are, and the arena is only three-fourths full. Why is that?
They have faced each other twice on the football field in 1955 and 1956. Ohio State won both matchups but Nebraska could get a chance to even things up. It shouldn’t be news that the Big 10 is looking to expand to 12 teams (They currently have 11) and there have been several schools that have been rumored to be the 12th team. We’ve heard the obvious choice of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Missouri and lately Texas. But what about Nebraska? Dr. Tom had an interview with LJS’ Steve Sipple about the Big 10 expansion and if Nebraska is involved in those talks. Osborne said that Nebraska has had no discussions with the Big 10 about joining the conference. Jim Delaney, commissioner of the Big 10, also has said that he has had no contact with any schools about joining the conference. But what Tom did say is that if the Big 10 came calling, they would listen. The Big 10 adding a team from the Big 12 would create a huge shift in the college football landscape. Losing Texas or Nebraska would be a huge blow to the Big 12 and I wonder if they could recover.
What would that mean for Nebraska sports? Lets take a look. In football Nebraska would immediately fall into that #2 or #3 team in the conference and could compete annually for a Rose Bowl birth. In volleyball, Nebraska’s competition gets considerably harder. Penn State, Minnesota, Ohio State would be an upgrade over the Big 12. In mens basketball, it would probably be hard to get worse than the Big 12 but it does. Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin, are a killer run to go through. Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota are not there right now but are no cupcakes. In womens basketball, Nebraska would certainly be there with the best of the Big 10, the Big 12 is a much better conference. In baseball, Nebraska would absolutely vault to the top of the Big 10 standings. The Big 10 is not great conference for baseball and could compete for Big 10 titles annually. In softball, Nebraska would definitely be in the top 4 in the conference. In wrestling, it would be a push. Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State are just as good as Big 12 competition. Nebraska does not compete in a couple of Big 10 sponsored sports. Hockey being the top sport.
The biggest boost to Nebraska though would be the TV exposure. The Big 12 TV contract is less than to be desired but the Big 10 contract is a great one, including their own network, the Big 10 network. Nebraska instantly would get every single one of their football games televised and more television appearances in every sport. The Big 10 network would also instantly get a ton of more exposure in Nebraska.
Nebraska is probably the most likely candidate from the Big 12 if you ask me. Texas just doesn’t make sense. Not only geographically, but Texas already runs the Big 12 and they would not want to lose their many rivalries they have in the South division. I just don’t see it happening. Missouri just isn’t a big enough name to go to the Big 10. Missouri may want to, but the Big 10 can get a better team. Will it happen? Probably not but like T.O said, they’re willing to listen.
Nebraska was put into a position it had never been this season. Behind. Twice. The last two road game were both a cardiologists dream as both games saw the 23-0 Nebraska women’s basketball team trailing in the late stages of games. With the average margin of victory hovering somewhere around 20 points in their first 21 games, victories of seven and four points respectively caused some tense moments. On the 10th, Nebraska traveled to Kansas and trailed by 5 points with 8 minutes left. Now that might not sound like a lot but I doubt they had trailed by that much at any point in the 2nd half during any of their previous games. Nebraska rallied for a 67-60 win for win number 22. But it was Saturday’s game that proved to be the closest one yet. In Columbia, Missouri, the Huskers trailed by 6 points with only 3 minutes remaining. And only got the lead for good with less than 43 seconds to play and squeaked out a 82-78 victory. This game might be of most concern because Missouri has only one win in the conference (good for last place) and 11 overall this year. But Nebraska moved to 23-0 (which tied a school record for wins in a year) on the year and still one of two teams that are still undefeated late in the college basketball year (Connecticut being the other).
In the latest polls (released the 8th and 9th) Nebraska eeked ahead of Notre Dame in the AP poll good for the #3 spot in that poll and is only two votes shy of #3 Notre Dame in the coaches poll. I’m guessing some of you people are wondering why a undefeated Nebraska is still behind one loss Stanford and Notre Dame. Well, both of Stanford;s and Notre Dame’s losses have come at the hands of the consensus #1 UConn. Notre Dame will still have to play UConn one more time this year in Big East regular season play and also very conceivably in the Big East tournament. And make no mistake about this folks, Connecticut is the lead dog in this race, and there really isn’t a question.
Nebraska’s next opponent will provide another challenge but it is in the friendly confines of the Bob. Iowa State is #17 in the latest rankings and comes to Lincoln on Wednesday. Nebraska defeated the Cyclones 57-49 in their first meeting. Colorado comes to town on the 20th. Again I encourage people to come out and see this great team.
The secret is out apparently about the Nebraska woman’s basketball team. Drawing their THIRD STRAIGHT crowd of over 10,000…they hold off a late charge and down the #10 & 12 Texas A&M Aggies 71-60.
Seriously, when is the last time the mens team drew 10,000+ at 3 straight games?
We’ve all heard the saying that everybody likes a winner, and that holds just as true at Nebraska. We’ve seen it in baseball and early 90’s in basketball around here, the fans come out and come out in droves to watch good teams. If anybody remembers how quickly people came out to watch the baseball team in 99, you’ll know that every Nebraska fan is clamoring for a team to develop into a big thing. I’ll never forget standing behind home plate in 1999 on a late march day watching Nebraska sweep Texas. I was standing behind the plate because there were no seats to be had. And for as much as people rag on Devaney (me included) I’ve heard nothing but great things about the BDSC in Nebraska’s heyday in the early 90’s and how it was such a great place to see a game.
Nebraska has now passed the toughest part of their schedule and halfway through the Big 12 schedule. Of their remaining 8 games, 6 of them come against teams in the bottom half of the league. The two remaining tests on the schedule comes first on Feb. 17th against Iowa State and then Feb 24th @ Oklahoma.
Folks again, I encourage you to get out and watch this basketball teams. A team like this does not come around very often and needs to be appreciated in the moment.
Two more wins since we last talked for the women’s basketball team. A 89-47 drubbing of Texas Tech in Lubbock and a 80-64 win over Colorado in Boulder. The Tech win was a significant one because it was Nebraska’s first victory in Lubbock in 7 tries. Plus, though 6 games in the Big 12 they have won 4 of their 8 scheduled road games. From here on out Nebraska will play 6 home games as opposed to 4 on the road.
Nebraska continues to move up in the polls as they are 6th in the AP poll and an astonishing #4 in the Coaches poll. Nebraska will most likely move up two spots in the AP poll as both Ohio State and Tennessee lost in the previous week (Nebraska was ahead of both in the Coaches poll) A move up in the Coaches poll is not likely this week but possible.
A big two game stretch faces Nebraska at home this week. On Wednesday it is against #17 Oklahoma State. OSU is the #2 team in the Big 12 and Nebraska could really themselves some good by putting some distance between them and 2nd place in the conference. Another huge road block comes to Lincoln when Texas A&M comes calling. And that road blocks name is Danielle Adams. The 6-1, “Barkley-esque” player has already logged a triple double this year and will be a big challenge for the Huskers down low. Nebraska has shown they can win when the inside game and Kelsey Griffin are hampered (Baylor win) , but this will be another test for Connie Yori’s Huskers.
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