In 1997, the Huskers needed a miraculous "flea-kicker" with time expiring in regulation to tie at Columbia, Missouri, and then eventually found a way to win 45-38. The Huskers went into Columbia ranked #1 in both polls.
By Monday, they were #3 in each poll. All because they WON on the road, but evidently not in convincing fashion.
So nobody is ever satisfied with just winning, no matter how ugly or lucky the situation. I don't think I've ever been as shocked in the Billy C era -- and yes, this includes the 70-10 Texas Tech debacle -- as when I looked at the TV screen and saw "Ball State, 40" late in the 4th quarter. Seriously, Ball Fucking State put up 40 points in LINCOLN??? But most importantly, how did we not include Ball State in our little executive game?
Style points be gone, the Executive Game is back in play, and it's time to grab that big ass notebook out of Kevin Cosgrove's crotch, shred it to death, and tell him how he can join the club this week:
- Alabama (+3) against Florida State. Nick Saban isn't as great of a football mastermind as he thinks he is. Bobby Bowden isn't as dead as we all really think he is. But Saban's the type of guy who could care less if Bowden up and died in the middle of this game.
- Hawaii (-25) against Idaho. The Rainbows are officially on their roll we've all been expecting to see them on. Face it, Hawaii is this year's Bosie State, this year's Rutgers, the team that will go unbeaten and get screwed out come BCS time. Style points matter for this team. They should win by 50.
- Texas (-15) against Kansas State, at Austin, Texas. Texas did not look the part of a contender during the first 3 weeks of the season, but they seem to have their act together now. This game will epitomize the differences between the Big 12 South and North. The South can play with the big boys while the North is just JV.
- Ohio (+3) over Kent. Frankie Solich is an underdog at home? Which of course begs the question, one I think is very fair in year four of the Billy C era: Would the Huskers be better or worse off had they kept Frankie and his coaching staff around a few more years? If Solich still had Bo Pellini and company among his assistants? Don't you wonder from time to time how a coach could go 9-3 and get fired and find the only good job available was at Ohio? Don't you think Stevie P threw him under the bus in the coaching fraternity in ways we'll never know?
- Wisconsin (-7 1/2) against Michigan State. At Wisconsin. You know, the school where Kevin Cosgrove used to be Defensive Coordinator. One of my favorite memories from October, 2004 was meeting some Wisconsonites on a flight home from Vegas. After we told them we were from Nebraska, they looked at us like they just met Jesus Christ himself. "Thank you, thank you," they pleaded. "Thank you so much for taking Cosgrove away from us. We can't thank you enough....Oh, uhm, good luck to you.
- Mississippi (+15) at Georgia. Here's the craziest stat I heard all week: Georgia has lost something like only 3 road games in past 8 years. They're unbeatable on the road. But it's at home where they have their problems.
- Iowa State (+21) at Nebraska. I'm sorry, but what I saw last week looked like one of those old Jimmy Johnson Miami teams whipping up on a slow Osborne led Husker squads from the '80's. It took TO a few years to learn to recruit speed on defense before he could win titles. If Bosie State can come to your back yard and play touch football, anything's possible. Plus this Iowa State team beat Iowa. I'm thinking Nebraska wins by 17, but there's a home upset in the making sometime this year. It's probably not this Saturday, but it's in the air.