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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dr. D - Good, Bad and the Ugly, Week 4

The Good

The game with Troy was the Huskers most complete game in awhile. Both sides of the ball were dominant for 60 minutes. I know the offensive success in particular will do little to quiet the critics who questioned the run-oriented scheme used in L.A. Alas, the USC game is over, and moving forward, NU looks to be hitting on all cylinders heading into the conference games. I can’t wait to exact some revenge on the North. Since 2002, Big Red is a weak 10-10 overall against the North rivals. It would be one thing if we played in the SEC East, but the type of talent that has consistently taken NU behind the woodshed the last 4 years is hardly the caliber of Florida, Tennessee or Georgia. This year, there is no question that Nebraska should win every divisional game in the North. Anything less than 5-0 should be considered a major disappointment. This team is by far our best since 2001 and we start the conference slate with 3 North division games the next three weeks—KU, @Iowa State and @ Josh Freeman. We’re not loaded like USC, but we have athletes at the skill positions unseen in Lincoln since the days of Dr. Tom and should dominate each of the next 3 opponents.

Huskers against the North the last 4 years:
2005: 3-2
2004: 2-3
2003: 3-2
2002: 2-3

The Bad

Which conference should I pile on this week? After 4 games, its pretty clear that no conference was as over-rated in the preseason as the ACC. Both FSU and Miami were considered top 10 in the preseason. With both already posting losses, neither appears top 10 worthy. In fact, we’re not even through September and the only undefeated teams left in the league are Virginia Tech and perennial powerhouse Wake Forest. Looking ahead, it appears that Va. Tech may have the most to gain from the weakened conference. Outside of the showdown at Miami, the Hokies will be favored in every game and, if they can beat the Canes, could create a BCS nightmare scenario by going undefeated. The Hokies would likely have 2-3 losses if they played an SEC, Big 10 or even Big 12 conference slate. However, they may just be the best that the bush league quality ACC has to offer this year. All that being said, I think the Hokies slip along the way.

The Ugly

Michigan State’s collapse. The total meltdown by Sparty on Saturday night was a gift to Notre Dame, leaving the Irish 3-1 with the toughest part of their schedule behind them. The Irish have a loss at USC remaining, but other than that, are probably looking at 10-2 and an obligatory BCS birth. The outlook for State is decidedly worse. MSU has a walkthrough against Illinois this week before tough games @ Michigan and home against Ohio State in back to back weeks. With alumni support for coach John L. Smith waning in the aftermath of yet another crushing, defeat from the jaws of victory implosion, look for things to get ugly in E. Lansing if the Spartans don’t figure out a way to lock it up and post an 8 or 9 win season.

Proof that Pac 10 officials aren’t the only ones to crap their pants on the field...

Joe Paterno was forced to make a speedy exit from the Penn State sidelines on Saturday not once but twice to take care of what was classified a “G.I. issue”. Clearly aware of the potential ramifications of such on the field antics, Pac 10 replay officials were called in to offer a ruling. As soon as they figure out how to turn on their t.v.’s, they are expected to render a decision.

Nothing fires up the coach like solid movement from his ends.