- "So it would seem we've still got a long, long way to go. I've seen all I want to see today."
--Phil Collins, "Long Long Way To Go", No Jacket Required
And here's something else I never thought I'd say, or at least didn't after spending an entire week licking my chops and coming up with new ways to totally diss the guy: You really can't blame what happened at the coliseum last night entirely on Billy C. Oh how I was waiting for this, I might have even considered just running the old "Billy C Might Not Be For Me" blog. We still get our digs in at the guy though. Does he really have to wear those fake glasses that Stallone used to wear back in the late '80's to look smarter?
He made two great decisions that made me think for a minute that somebody else was coaching:
- The fake punt that worked brilliantly (Something that you almost have to do if you're a big underdog; Osborne was big on this too, especially in bowl games when the Corn would be heavy dogs).
- The bootlog on 4th and 2 that went for a touchdown. Everyone in the world was worried about a run up the middle that the Trojans would have absolutely stuffed to smithereens or one of those WCO passes that USC also knows too well. The bootleg was the only way, and you gotta give Billy C credit on this one.
The bottom line is that the Corn are nowhere near being considered among the elite anytime soon. Oh, they're probably good enough to win the Big XII North, which in these days is akin to winning the National League Wild Card, but it's gonna be enough to buy Billy C and his crew at least another year until they can find a way to get invited back to the elite table. Right now, they're like that poor sap Robert Patrick played back during season 2 of the The Sopranos, standing outside the "Executive Game" while Frank Sinatra Jr and the boys played big time cards for big time bucks. And like the character Patrick played, NU in the Executive Game right now would lead to disasters of epic proportions. The first weight Billy C has to get off his back is Nebraska's 0-7 road record against ranked teams since 2001. Now I know a lot of those losses are on Solich's bill (in fact, 5 of them are his), but for the Corn to even get a sniff at that executive game, they gotta kill this stat quick, and might get the chance on October 28th, if Oklahoma State runs the table and somehow finds themselves in the Top 25 (Have you seen Okie State's schedule? This is a possibility!).
And while today I see no reason to sharpen the knives for Callahan, Husker Nation of course is ALL over him, saying he played the game way to close to the belt and that he should have opened things up more. Hello? This is exactly where I give Billy C and his staff credit for growing. Try running against the Trojans in a shootout, and it's the 70-10 Texas Tech debacle all over again. I think in their time to prepare and at halftime the Corn Staff knew that the only way to keep things relatively close would be to try to do some sort of running game while effectively executing the WCO. Problem is, anyone on that Trojan sideline -- including that nutty Pete Carroll, who just seems born for this job, why he'd ever consider the NFL again is beyond me -- knows the WCO like the back of their hands.
Meanwhile, back home, as everyone was waiting for some storm to erupt from the coliseum in LA, there really was one coming through Omaha. We all kept looking out the windows for scenes from the actual movie Twister, including the cows flying around and maybe even a Helen Hunt sighting. Finally at halftime, the local ABC affiliate, KETV, had no choice. They went to their local newsroom for halftime, confirming Tornado sightings and therefore tornado warnings in all of the nearby counties. But they couldn't leave, so we got the infamous split screen for the entire 3rd quarter. It was like watching More American Graffiti, the movie where they decided that a sequel to a classic movie would work if they did it split screen for almost the entire film. It's probably one of the top 10 worst movies ever made, so really don't look for an endorsement here. OR from what KETV pulled. Seriously, in this day and age, isn't it enough to just run a crawl during the game mentioning all of this, tell people to take cover or shelter immediately and if they really need more info, direct them to your website or the Weather Channel. I mean, this is now ESPN sports on ABC, and if this game were actually ON ESPN we wouldn't have had the split screen interruption for most of the second half. Thankfully, next week's game (against Troy, who's hungry for a big road win) is on pay per view and nobody's gonna mess that baby up by trying to chime in with some weather.
Enough with weather for a tornado that never hit, in Nebraska or California. Still early, but it looks like USC with an even better defense from last season is all but set to play for another national championship, and Nebraska will get a return trip to California via the Holiday Bowl in late December. They'll probably play somebody like a California, and by then Billy C and the crew won't have anything to lose in opening up the wild WCO. I also just realized something and should have my head examined for not realizing this earlier. If NU wins the Big XII North and then obviously gets the bowl game, they'll have played 14 games, and could realistically finish the season with an 11-3 record. So relax a bit Husker Nation, 11-3 actually looks pretty good on paper, doesn't it?
And another thing, you certainly should fell better about things than Notre Dame fans can. Charlie Weis sure went from glorified savior to Rick Majerus trying to coach football in an awfully big hurry, and Brady Quinn looks more like the second coming of Ron Powlus than he does a Heisman hopeful or an NFL QB. I can't even imagine how sick Beano Cook is about this today. This is the guy who went on about how much we'd enjoy watching Powlus "play on Sundays" for the next 15 years after his Irish career ended. Eight (8) ranked teams lost yesterday. But really, nobody lost more than the Irish.