What Could Have Been
The biggest thought going through my head during the game, aside from the excitement of watching Nebraska put the BEATDOWN on Arizona, was a curiosity of what could have been. Nebraska was much much better than what their year end record showed. You have to look not only at the closeness of the losses this year, but the circumstances that surrounded them. O'Hanlon falls asleep and allows an 80 yard pass with under a minute left vs. Virginia Tech. They lose to Iowa St in the most Ndominant loss I've ever seen. Finally, they somehow lose to Texas after leading with no time left in the game. Texas Tech is the only game of the season that the Huskers had no business winning, and I'd still take Nebraska in that game 7 times out of 10. Obviously, this isn't how games get recorded though, so where does blame find itself?
Bo Pelini- I would say that when you lose games you should be winning, you blame coaching. Bo Pelini may have some short-term concerns, but looking at the big picture I am extremely impressed. Not only did he turn one of the worst defenses in the country(2007) into THE best(right now), but you can see dramatic improvements from them throughout the year. The Blackshirts went from a below mediocre defense to a pretty good defense in 2008. In 2009, they started out as a pretty good defense and ended as the most Ndominant in the country. The defense is so good right now that I want to line up the best offenses in the country and give them one drive to try and score a touchdown, similar to a Madden mini game. Aside from the Top 5 coaches in the country (Stoops-dropping, Saban-afraid of commitment, Meyer-afraid of life after Tebow, Carroll-overrated, Tressel-underrated), I cannot think of anyone that I'd replace Pelini with if given the opportunity.
2010- Everyone talks about how the defense next year could be even better than this year. I won't go that far, especially at the beginning of the year, but they will still be a top 20 defense in the country, even without the Man-boy named Suh. Suh even nominated the next version of himself in sophomore Jared Crick. Pair him with 5-star recruit Baker Steinkuhler and the middle of the defense is already set. Find some safeties to play and the defense looks stacked. The offense will return 10 starters and only loses center Jacob Hickman. You have to stick with the Wildman at quarterback and hope that he improves dramatically. Cody Green just hasn't shown enough to be handed the job right now. The offense should have earned back some of the trust in the bowl game that it had lost following the Iowa St game this year, and with playmakers Roy Helu, Rex Burkhead, Niles Paul, and Mike McNeill all returning, it will be much more dynamic and allowed more opportunities to score points. With a schedule where every game is very winnable, I hate to say it, but here it goes, keep an eye on Nebraska running the table next year and earning the honor of getting whooped by the best SEC team in the National Championship.
I just noticed I went the whole post without even really talking about the game that just occurred against Arizona. That was one of the most thorough beatdowns I've seen amongst two supposedly even-matched teams. Their quarterback was from Austin and received texts from his friends all week warning him about Ndamukong Suh, and I think it worked. I've never seen a quarterback so scared going into a game. Thanks Matt Jones' coked out friends. There's not much else to say except that I'd like a shot at a BCS team to see what we could do. I'll just have to take solace in the beating Colt McCoy is about to take in T-minus 5 days.