Monday, September 25, 2006

Some Numbers Lie

As Husker Nation heads into conference play this Saturday night with the upstart Kansas Jayhawks coming to Lincoln, a lot of people are excited about some rather gaudy and misleading numbers. We beg you, as Coach Mark Mangino gets ready to stomp all over the visiting sidelines (seriously, shouldn't all NU backs just run towards him, as eventually they'll all be running downhill - sorry, cheap shot but if Mangino started doing Chris Farley's motivational speech about living in a van down by the river, we wouldn't be a bit surprised), to look closer at some statistics that have some in Husker Nation ready to cue up a rematch with USC next week already:
  • Nebraska is now fourth in the country in total offense, averaging 472.5 yards per game.

Just think how much higher those numbers would be if they would have "tried" against USC, or at least that's what a lot of water cooler talk says. A good chunk of those #'s came against Louisiana Tech, a Nicholls State team that literally just wanted to come up here for a field trip, and a Troy team ranked 100th in the country. Remember the immortal words of Winston Wolfe...

  • The Huskers rank 10th nationally in rushing offense (224.3).

This is encouraging considering where they were rushing wise the past two seasons. Again, a lot of those yards came against the three gimmies, but this is at least something encouraging to build on. The most encouraging signs came from running back Marlon Lucky, who brought back shades of old-time I-back memories with touchdown runs of 34, 45 and 51 yards on Saturday against Troy. If Adrian Peterson wasn't in the league, we might be tempted to start talking about Lucky for All-Conference status, but he's still got two more years in the league to earn those sorts of honors. Still, long runs even against mediocre teams are always encouraging.

  • Quarterback Zac Taylor is now No. 3 nationally in passing efficiency with a 178.25 rating.

We've told you all along Taylor's a pretty damn good quarterback, and if he keeps this up, he's probably a shoe-in for All-Big 12 honors. He's a special player and this is legitimately one great move that Billy C made that so far has worked out better than anyone could have imagined, especially after the way he handled Joe Dailey.

Nebraska's had their way in three games they were supposed to be able to use as scrimmages, then didn't get embarrassed in a game they were all set to get blown away at. By the way, there's still a big part of me that makes be believe that Billy C thinks he's still coaching in the NFL, that a loss isn't the end of the season, and all that matters is getting into the playoffs. Seriously, do you think somebody's had the balls to remind him that there is no playoff system in college? The way he talks about winning the Big XII North, I think he's under some delusion that if they win the conference championship game, they automatically play for the National Championship. Seriously, he talks a little too much about how "winning the Big XII North has always been our goal", as if the USC loss was just another game, just one loss, not anything that was going to ruin their season. I'm not joking about this, I wonder if he understands how this all eventually plays out. The big reason I bring this up is that the Omaha World Herald ran a piece over the weekend about the love-hate relationship Husker Nation has had with Billy C over his almost three years in Nebraska. Number 4 on their "They Love him Not" table was particularly telling:

  • "A regular-season loss to Colorado halted NU's bowl streak at 34 and finished a 5-6 campaign. Callahan, after the game, said 'It was one game today, one season.'"

Until Billy C can get his team at least to the BCS table, those are forever numbers that won't lie.


BSmokedTurkey said...

Now that Mackenzie is listed as a contributor, when will we see his work?

I'm interested to see if the kid can do more than write about cheddarwurst while under the watchful eye of Bob Bair.

Anonymous said...

..don't know how long the blog's been around but surely someone has previously pointed out the two misspelled "their"s in the's "they're"..doesnothing but buttress the belief held by many that the "N" stands for "nawlidge"

Anonymous said...

..don't know how long the blog's been around but surely someone has previously pointed out the two misspelled "their"s in the's "they're"..doesnothing but buttress the belief held by many that the "N" stands for "nawlidge"