Shatel: Resuming NU-OU feather in T.O.’s cap - Omaha.com
Published Monday, November 5, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:39 am
First downs and Second Guesses
Shatel: Resuming NU-OU feather in T.O.’s cap

Man, woman and child, that’s going to be some anniversary party in 2021.

Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne said on Monday that NU has agreed “in principle” to play Oklahoma in a home-and-home series. The contracts aren’t signed, but that’s expected to be a formality, as both sides want it to happen, Osborne said.

Sources at NU say the first game likely will be played in Norman, Okla., in 2021 — the 50th anniversary of the 1971 “Game of the Century,” also played at Owen Field. Then it’s back to Lincoln in 2022.

Osborne, who steps down as A.D. on Jan. 1, 2013, said this was something he wanted to have done before he left. What a perfect capper to his stint as athletic director.

Other future football games are expected to be announced soon. Sources say NU has spoken with Colorado officials about a series, but no word if anything was finalized.

>> Speaking of old times, there’s a lot of buzz out there about Oklahoma-Nebraska or Notre Dame-Nebraska in the Rose Bowl. Nice idea. Don’t count on it. If Alabama makes the BCS championship game, the Sugar Bowl gets first pick to replace Bama and would certainly take the Irish. OU would likely end up in the Orange or Fiesta bowls, depending on what happens to K-State. If Oregon makes the BCS game, the Rose Bowl would likely pick another Pac-12 team, such as Oregon State or Stanford, to face the Big Ten champ. Whoever that might be.

>> Absolutely agree with the decision to redshirt Deverell Biggs this season. Not that Biggs, a junior-college All-American, won’t have an impact at NU eventually; he will. But this season, there are virtually zero expectations for first-year coach Tim Miles. Why not let Biggs grow a year in the system and figure out what Big Ten hoops is all about? Biggs could impact this team, but is he going to be the difference in NU making a postseason tourney? Likely not.

>> It’s been a groundbreaking season for Creighton volleyball and we’re not through the regular season yet. The Jays, off to a program-best 22-3 start, broke into the top 25 (at 25) for the first time on Monday. Another first: Creighton has bid on hosting the first round of the NCAA tourney at Sokol Arena, where the Jays average more than 1,100 per game. CU’s RPI is 33 so that might be a long shot. If the Jays have to travel the first weekend in the NCAAs, let’s hope it’s not to Lincoln. The Huskers typically host the first week and often get a Missouri Valley team. The CenturyLink Center is one of four regional sites on Dec. 7 and 8 en route to the NCAA final four in Louisville. I’d like to see Creighton and Nebraska in that Omaha regional.

>> Braylon Heard conspiracy theorists, relax. NU running backs coach Ron Brown bristled on Monday when asked if he had considered playing Heard or Imani Cross rather than go strictly with Ameer Abdullah in Saturday’s meat grinder at Michigan State.

“I read that after the game and I couldn’t believe it,” Brown said. “I’m playing a guy (Abdullah) who has run for over 100 yards in five games. And Ameer is a stretch and puncture guy. He can go (outside) and puncture the defense, whereas Braylon and Imani are guys who are going to pound it inside. Our plan was not to run the ball up the middle against them. Ameer is a guy who is playing great and can handle it. I mean, why wouldn’t you go with him?

“To make a big deal about that after a big win like that, are you kidding me?’’

Yes, Coach. I was just kidding.

>> Ran into several Husker fans at the Detroit airport on Sunday who gave rave reviews to Spartan Stadium and said they were treated like royalty by Michigan State fans. There wasn’t as much red as I expected in the stands on Saturday; I suppose a lot of Husker fans spent their budget on Los Angeles, Columbus and Chicago. I predict NU fans will want to make this trip in the future. It’s only 90 miles from Detroit, it’s a classic campus with ample tailgating and MSU fans seemed eager to part with tickets.

If that game was any indication of how this series is going to be played, I propose a Nebraska-Michigan State trophy in the shape of a roll of gauze.

>> I heard this idea after last year’s Nebraska-Penn State game and received it again last week via email: start a tradition with Nebraska and Penn State players shaking hands at midfield before every each game of this series. I like that a lot. I’m just not sure that Penn State folks want to be reminded of last year’s game, and the circumstances for the handshake and prayer, each season.

>> My wife won’t let me gamble, but I’m going to pay close attention to how Las Vegas perceives the Kansas State-TCU game this week, particularly with the mystery surrounding K-State quarterback Collin Klein’s status. They say Vegas always finds out about injuries. Bill Snyder usually has another idea.

>> So, who do you like for NFL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning?

>> There is no truth to the rumor that Alabama is trying to schedule a home-and-home with the Kansas City Chiefs.

>> One more and I’m outta here: In honor of the Devaney Center Farewell Tour, which begins this week, send me your favorite games or moments from the Devaney, which opened in 1976.

Two of my candidates are the 1992 Nebraska-Kansas game — the “Jamar Johnson Game” — which I remember more for Bruce Chubick’s block of Alonzo Jamison at the buzzer. Another favorite: NU’s upset over eventual national champ KU in 1988, when Beau Reid hit the game-winner at the buzzer. I was standing on the baseline watching the shot go in.

I’ll compile the favorite moments from fans, and poll several former Huskers, and have fun with a column somewhere down the line.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1025, tom.shatel@owh.com, twitter.com/tomshatelOWH

Contact the writer: Tom Shatel

tom.shatel@owh.com    |   402-444-1025    |  

Tom Shatel is a sports columnist who covers the city, regional and state scene.

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