First downs and second guesses:
This is probably the wrong time to mention Nebraska football and long-term coaching contracts...
Hope Trev Alberts has noticed a trend in recent weeks about what he faces in the Big Ten — and the difference between the Big Ten and SEC.
What Lincoln Riley did Sunday said a lot more about the SEC.
The good folks at Oklahoma claim Riley was scared to coach in the SEC. There’s another word for that: Smart.
As soon as the Sooners join the SEC — and they probably are not in a big hurry for that — they’re going to find the days of soft Big 12 defenses are over.
They’re going to face big-time talent — physical and fast — most every week.
In the last 20 years, Oklahoma had only four single-digit win seasons. The rest were double-digit win seasons.
Let’s assume OU is headed for years of 8-4 or 9-3 and not playing for the SEC championship. It’s a logical assumption. The SEC’s not bad.
How do you think OU’s administration and fan base will take that adjustment? Particularly when they start hanging around schools that fire coaches two years after winning a national title.
My hunch is, Riley had a hunch.
Riley made a savvy move, going to a national brand in a market surrounded by great talent and in a lightweight conference. If all goes well, he can be in the NFL within five years, if that’s where he’s going.
Now let’s say Riley is running away from the SEC. What should that tell the league that just means more?
It means they should also take note that few proven coaches are running to the SEC.
The SEC isn’t for everyone. It’s a league of big money and big expectations. It’s about what have you won lately. It’s about being the best. Or else.
But guess what? Coaches like money and winning and job security. And more of them have it where they're currently at, without throwing themselves into the frying pan.
As long as Nick Saban is around, the SEC is not a long-term destination.
Right now the SEC is laughing at Lincoln Riley. It spit out another coach before he could even join.
Meanwhile, has LSU hired a coach yet? Reports say it'll be Notre Dame's Brian Kelly.
It’s not Mel Tucker or James Franklin.
Tucker, the hot name for LSU for several weeks, signed a 10-year, $95 million contract to stay in East Lansing — where he might win the East division once or twice in 10 years.
Penn State took Franklin off the market with a 10-year extension. Same for Minnesota and P.J. Fleck with a seven-year extension.
That’s the Big Ten Way. Find a coach you like, a culture and image you like. Pay him. Stay with him through thick or thin.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh got an extension through 2025 last offseason with a big pay cut, but Harbaugh figures to get some of that back now.
Look around the Big Ten. It’s loaded with guys who are lifers at their schools.
It’s loaded with guys who can coach. And develop. And get time to do it.
This is where Nebraska lives now. I know Trev Alberts appreciates that philosophy.
After years of changing head coaches every four years or so, I expect Alberts to join the Big Ten’s trend toward long-term development and sanity.
Well, as soon as he settles on his head coach.
» As UNO men’s basketball opens its home season at Baxter Arena on Tuesday night, some eyes will be on attendance.
In UNO Athletic Director Adrian Dowell’s five-year, $255,000 contract, most notable are the basketball bonuses.
Dowell will receive a $10,000 bonus if the men’s basketball team averages 4,500 paid attendance per game over an entire season.
In the six seasons at Baxter Arena, the highest season average for UNO is 2,393.
Meanwhile, Dowell will get the same bonus if the women’s team averages 2,500 over a season.
Dowell will receive bonuses if the men’s team ($10,000) or women’s team ($5,000) make the NCAA tournament.
He’ll receive $5,000 if the hockey team makes the NCAA Frozen Four and $10,000 if the Mavs win the national championship. There’s also a $5,000 bonus if the volleyball team makes the NCAA tournament.
Dowell’s first day on the job is Wednesday.
» I love Nate Rohr, who does a first-class job as public address announcer for Nebraska football games. But late this season Rohr went over the top with some calls, especially on third downs.
I know it’s 2021 and college football is in the business of entertainment and trying to keep fans interested. But I’ve heard fans say it seemed forced and gimmicky and not what Nebraska football should be about.
I have to agree. But what say you? Do you like the new approach?
» Husker Hoops hits the road this week, to Tobacco Road and then Assembly Hall in Indiana. Be sure to pack lots of made baskets.
» Congrats to Nate Colgrove of Springfield, Nebraska, for taking Terry Bradshaw’s money.
Colgrove won the Fox Bet “Super 6” contest jackpot of $100,000, which is billed as “Terry Bradshaw’s money.” The former Pittsburgh Steeler legend is a Fox NFL analyst.
Colgrove had to pick six NFL winners and the margin of victory in each game correct last week. The Chicago Bears fan was rooting for the Chiefs, whose victory over Dallas clinched the win for Colgrove.
The NFL this year is crazier than usual. Well done, Nate.
» One more and I’m outta here: One of the three Outland Trophy finalists is Ikem Ekwonu, an offensive tackle from N.C. State. Ekwonu is coached by former Nebraska center and offensive line coach John Garrison.
Hey, doesn’t Nebraska need an O-Line coach?