Well, at least it's going to be fun to hear Billy C spin this one. But let's not forget that there's a reason that Bob Stoops is always up for coach of the year. The man is a defensive whiz. Remember what his defense did to Florida State to win his first National Championship for the Sooners? He had a great defense all set for anything and everything tonight, and that should come as no surprise. Plus in the back of my mind, I kept thinking that Billy C and his staff were thinking even before the Texas A&M win that they'd get that rematch with Texas, and having only week to say, "Oh shit, we gotta get ready for those 'Fuckin Hillbillies' again" surely hurt.
No, the one true memory we should all take from tonight's Big 12 Championship game that essentially gave the Corn a berth in the Cotton Bowl on January 1st is that absolutely inexcusable 3rd and 10 back-breaker from Oklahoma's own 1 yard line. The NU Defense almost had the Sooners for a safety on 2nd down, and then somehow (well, we know who to point the fingers at) allowed OU to complete that 3rd and ten, passing from THEIR OWN endzone. It was sick to watch. I could only wish this was "Being Bill Callahan" at that moment, and we could have taken a trip into Billy C's mind to hear him say, "Well, enough of this friendship shit with Kevin Cosgrove. If we're ever going to win big here, I gotta get a real defensive coach who can coach AND recruit." I stared at replays of that 3rd and ten trying to figure out a way to somehow pick my jaw up from off the floor.
A lot of people are (justifiably) point to the Maurice Purify fumble on the first play of the game that set OU up for their first touchdown. Yes, it totally changed the game from the onset. Coming back from that disaster was going to be a chore. Others are pissed at Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Zac Taylor and all of those interceptions. But remember, he was forced to throw even more than usual trying to lead the Corn back, and well this was against a Stoops coached defense. People need to understand how important Purify is to next year's team, how talented a receive he is. And that there's no KC trip without Taylor, interceptions tonight be damned.
All year long, it seemed that Billy C was content just to GET to this game, and whatever happened after that was gravy. I mean seriously, all that was on the line after this was a date in Tempe against Boise State in a BCS game that would be a bigger payday than the Cotton Bowl. He got over 60,000 people to take a trip to cold and snowy Kansas City and take a nice vacation to see the lights down on the Plaza.
Granted, now he's got 60,000 dissecting this damn thing for the next week, but everyone should really point to the big ass pink elephant in the room named one Kevin Cosgrove, and understand that the next move in order to take that all important next step to the next level involves bringing in a defensive minded coordinator who can put together a defense like Stoops does every year. Then a QB like Taylor won't be forced to throw and throw to all of those people not wearing Husker jerseys. Cosgrove has NEVER worked. Texas Tech 70, Nebraska 10 anyone? Remember the Oklahoma State disaster from October? And most importantly, the 3rd and 10 from tonight that signifies all things Cosgrove? I'm not suggesting reaching out to Bo Pellini (God that'd be fun though, he and Billy C would kill one another). But there are brilliant defensive coaches all over the NCAA at all levels, and even the NFL.
Nebraska can probably win the Big 12 North for the next 3 years with the way things are moving now. But they're never going to get anywhere past that unless Cosgrove packs up his shit and gets the hell out of Dodge. He's had three seasons. Everything else seems to be moving according to schedule. The pipeline is filled with great talent coming to Lincoln. ABC color analyst Todd Blackledge made mention that Oklahoma QB Paul Thompson looked awful in warm ups, and that he could have a bad time throwing the ball. Nebraska's defense made Thomspon, who started the season as WIDE RECEIVER, look like Troy Smith or Brady Quinn.
(Before I forget though, and you have to grant me this as nice as I've been to Billy C of late: 4th and less than a yard to go, and you DON'T run Brandon Jackson up the middle but rather try some wild throw to the right side of the field? Just go ahead and say that was Norvell's call Billy.)
Callahan achieved that one goal he kept beating down everyone's throat all season long in winning the Big 12 North. He knows this is no longer enough. The 2007 Huskers are going to be expected to win the conference next year by a lot of experts AND fans. Something tells me that Billy C knows he can't do that with Cosgrove anymore.
On a related note, it's going to be nice to start having some non-Husker football blogs in the upcoming weeks and months. It was never our intention to make this a Husker only blog. I mean, don't look for much in the way about Husker Basketball anytime around here. Mackenzie may want to cast the movie for the new Michael Lewis football book. There are great Michael Richards stories to discuss further. But with Billy C around, I'm sure we'll go to the Husker football well from time to time.