Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Big Ten Picks Week 5.

9-1 last week but still kind of a disappointing week because the game I missed (Indiana-Missouri) was one where I went with a hunch instead of my head. Missouri won easy as Indiana is not as good as they'd hoped and thought they would be. In retrospect that was not a tough game to pick and I blew it.

Anywho lite week this week in the B1G as half the teams will be home on the couch this weekend. Still the intra-conference games should be interesting. Ohio State and Wisconsin will be playing for first place in the Leaders ad let's face it...B1G and Iowa and Minnesota, both of whom are probably better than first thought are playing for bowl contention.

Illinois 34 Miami of Ohio 20
Northern Illinois 27 Purdue 17
Iowa 27 Minnesota 24
Ohio State 34 Wisconsin 28

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Final Score

        59                                   20

After a  disastrous first quarter defensively things go pretty smoothly in the final 3 quarters for Nebraska. The back up QB's play very well. The SDSU running back is the real deal. In fact the entire SDSU squad, coaches, program pure class. I think in the end the game was more of a blow out than I would have thought before hand.

Thoughs From the NFL: Week 2

Third Time Isn't the Charm -- The most hyped game of Week 2 was the third match-up between Peyton Manning and his little bro, Eli turned out to be the most disappointing game I'll probably see all season. We've heard the chatter: in the two games both siblings have played, the elder Manning has prevailed, and in convincing fashion. Maybe this would be the year Eli can forge his own path and come on out from under the shadow of the great Peyton (the same Peyton that's won one Super Bowl title and has a magnificent postseason record of 9-11). Unfortunately, he's still the red-headed step-child, wanting to be taken seriously. Guess he'll have to take his argument that he's won two Super Bowl titles, won the game's MVP title twice, both times against Tom Brady and the Patriots, elsewhere. It's hard for me to cheer on the younger Manning brother and his New York Giants when Eli throws one interception after another (four in total), when there's no running game to keep drives going and a surprisingly absent pass rush to put the pressure on Peyton. Much like the lopsided score of 41-23, Denver's 2-0 and rolling, while New York is 0-2, and in trouble, fast. Actually, maybe not, because this brings up the next point......

The NFC (L)east -- This division quickly has all the makings of which team will be the most mediocre to win it. Will it be the Dallas Cowboys, who were leading at halftime, but coughed up the lead with two costly turnovers to lose to Kansas City? Can rookie head coach Chip Kelly and his dynamic, video game offense be enough to come out on top, despite a poor defense? Could New York go on another late-season run to save Tom Coughlin's job for a third time? Or is this division still Robert Griffin III's to lose? You could make a logical argument for each team, and have said argument challenged for the other team. I know it's only Week 2, but the NFC East, much like the AFC West, has a history of being a weak division over the last few years, and given the start the four teams have had, that doesn't look to change anytime soon. Speaking of starts...

Is Phllip Rivers Back? -- If you haven't followed the saga of Chargers football over the last few years, here's a brief synopsis: since their last playoff appearance in 2010, San Diego's gone 24-24, missed three straight appearances in the postseason, lost key pieces in the high powered Chargers arsenal (WR Vincent Jackson, OT's Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman and Louis Vasquez, RB's LaDanian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles) drafted a near bust in Ryan Matthews in the 11th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and Rivers himself has seen his style of play drop almost dramatically; he's thrown as many picks as he has TD's, taken more sacks, coughed up more fumbles (17 fumbles combined in the last three years) and had the lowest yards per game last year with 225.4 (in 2007, he had 197.0). This all resulted in last year the Bolts going 7-9, their first losing season since going 4-12 in the first year of the Marty Schottenheimer era in 2003, and Dean Spanos (finally) firing both Norv Turner and A.J. Smith. Since then, Tom Telesco replaced A.J as the General Manager, and rookie head coach Mike McCoy (formerly the offensive coordinator for Denver) taking Norv's place. In the early weeks of the 2013 campaign , Rivers looks to have turned a corner and returned back to the Philip Rivers of old: he's more comfortable in the pocket, he's got time to find his receivers and get the matchups he likes, and most importantly, he's trusting himself again. He's thrown 7 TD's to 1 INT (the one on Monday Night vs. Texas) and he's done something that I, as a fan, haven't seen him do in years: lead his team back to win the game. Sure, Nick Novak technically won the game last week vs the Eagles with his 41-yard field goal, but Rivers led the final drive to get the kicker into position.Drives are being sustained and Rivers is keeping the ball moving again (and Matthews is finally becoming dependable on carries -- 16 carries for 76 yards), and giving a really poor passing defense a break on the sidelines. Maybe it's early to say that Rivers has his groove back, but under McCoy and new offensive coordinator Ken Wizenhunt (yes, the same Wiz from his head coaching days at Arizona), but it's a great sign to see Rivers being the cocky hot shot that most of the league hates him for.

Steel Curtain Falling -- Let's not beat around the bush with this one: the Pittsburgh Steelers are in serious trouble, and don't expect it to get better anytime soon. Two loses, one vs. Tennessee at home, and a disastrous showing on Monday Night vs the Bengals, have the team and fans in panic mode. A breakdown of their stats can be found here, but here's the brief rundown: 30th in points scored (9.5), second to last in yards per game (236.0), and a run game, the team's bread and butter, is essentially non-existent. To put this into perspective, here's a screen shot of the Steelers when they run the ball.

I din't make that up. That's their line as it stands now.

Add to it, in-fighting between player personnel and offensive coordinator Todd Haley and the team banning younger player from playing ping pong and other recreational activities, and we have a team that's headed towards a nose dive, if they're not there already.

Gameday #4 South Dakota State


Well that was a fun week wasn't it? First UCLA out scores Nebraska 31-0 in the second half, 38-0 going back to the second quarter. Then a former great Nebraska player yet lousy coach ( his record was 3-17) goes off on his twitter account about the coaching. Then some cowardly chickenshit released a 2 year old audio tape that was recorded in private to The TMZ of sports websites. Lowlifes who delight in the pain of others.

About the tape. Not only was I not offended by what Bo had to say I agreed with it and had been saying the same things about Nebraska's fans...and Dirk Chatelain for years. But of course many of the worlds greatest know the Olympic slap your own ass team was offended. Some apparently are going to show Bo by not going to the game today. Because if there is one way to show a coach who calls you out for being fair-weather fans and not supporting the team the thing to do is not show up and don't support the team...that'll show him!

There is a game this week! South Dakota State. How in the blue hell do you hate South Dakota State? First of all I wish I could use the old Brookings is a shithole isn't. It's a very nice town. The fans? My experience from UNO game is they are awesome. In fact most are Nebraska fans when Nebraska isn't playing South Dakota State of course. There should be lots of love in the Stadium this afternoon. Much like the Wyoming game 2 years back. People breaking bread rooting for both teams. + South Dakota State has a roster full of Nebraskan's who are sure to bust butt. They are well coached play extremely hard and extremely well. The only negative vibes that should come from the stadium might come from  the worlds greatest fans hating on their own team. they're really good at that.

Remember 2010? When they came to town to take their ass kicking and their check and then leave town? Well somebody forgot to tell them that. Nebraska won 17-3. But South Dakota State won the event. And guess what? They are a better team this year. And Nebraska sad to say is not as good. This is a South Dakota State team that should have every reason to feel they can win this game. We now know Taylor Martinez is out for the game and a redshirt Freshman Tommy Armstrong will start at Quarterback. And given the kind of week this program has had all they need now is to lose to a FCS team. Oh and in case you haven't seen or heard FCS teams are winning regularly against FBS schools now.

Nebraska had better win or all kinds of spit will hit the fan. And they will win.  But it won't be a total romp. It will be "good enough" A win to get us in to the bye week and  hopefully get us refocused on what's important. Not tearing each other and the program down but winning football games. It's starts today...

Counts Krystal Bawl
Nebraska 42
South Dakota State 17

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big Ten Predictions Week 4

Last Week 9-3 Season 30-6

Nebraska 42 South Dakota State 17
Ohio State 56 Florida A&M 6
Minnesota 31 San Jose State 14
Iowa 34 Western Michigan 14
Notre Dame 20 Michigan State 10
Penn State 38  Kent State 14
Northwestern 49 Maine 13
Wisconsin 42 Purdue 17
Michigan 49 Connecticut 14
Indiana 38 Missouri 31.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Final Score
           41                    21    


Gameday #3

Well You wonder why I always dress in black... It's here and hopefully Nebraska's special limited edition one time only Black uniforms aren't apropos for a funeral. Here is what we know if Nebraska's sports media is to be believed. There is no way Nebraska will win this game because UCLA is just too good. And even though UCLA is so much better than Nebraska should Nebraska lose which they will...the program will be forever scarred for life. HOWEVER should Nebraska win UCLA was never any good in the first place. If you don't quite follow the logic here is what it's called. Having your ass and your narrative covered.

And then of course there is the sports media's new favorite word... relevant. They love to use it a lot but of course thy seem to have no earthly clue what it actually means. "If Nebraska loses they will no longer be relevant" How often have we heard this lately? Funny I keep hearing about being no longer and I keep having to pay more money to go to road games than 98% of other teams in America. Hasn't Minnesota learned we are no longer relevant? Of course what the Media means by relevant today is a team that doesn't lose. It's part of today's "if you're not number one your shit society" and really it's sad. Look at how many people made fun of Notre Dame after losing to Alabama and no longer being relevant. All I kept thinking was wait a minute didn't Notre Dame kick your teams ass? Besides if you watch the nation's leader in sports this week the only 2 relevant teams are Alabama and Texas A&M. And A&M's team really isn't relevant either...just their alcoholic quarterback

Then there is the dreaded signature win. What the fux is a signature win? I'll tell you what it is. It's what a game is before a team wins a game. And what it isn't after said team wins that game. Before his teams beat Clemson, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Michigan State twice, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, ETC these games would be signature wins for Bo Pelini. After he won those games he's still looking for a signature win. Is UCLA a  signature win should his team win the game? No of course not. Read the first paragraph again.

So what do I think will happen tomorrow at 11 AM? Honestly I haven't a clue. There are a lot of things Nebraska has in it's favor. Playing at home and the 11 AM Kickoff. One thing that also might in their favor that oddly enough people seem to think will favor UCLA. UCLA didn't play last week. It's my experience and people much smarter than I like Tom Osborne have often said the same. You do not want a bye week in your second week. You want to keep playing early in the season and have your team build momentum. There is one slight thing in UCLA's favor. They have a talented offense that plays the kind of football that Nebraska's defense hasn't shown the ability to stop in the last 3 years. And we still don't know if this defense is even as good as the past 2 were. But then Nebraska's Offense could scorch UCLA's defense and probably should.

What does it all mean? It means this is a game where any outcome would not surprise me other than either team winning 10-7.  I could see UCLA winning close and by 2+ Touchdowns. I can See Nebraska doing The same. However If Nebraska loses it won't permanently scar the program like some have suggested. Hell it's a non conference game. I hate losing period but losing now is better than losing in October or November. But losing 63-38 would be a tough pill to swallow and difficult for Nebraska's perception to overcome.  Taking the preponderance of the evidence  ( I always wanted to say that) and being a homer I'll give the slight edge to Nebraska in a High Scoring Affair.

Count's Krystal Bawl

Nebraska 42

Thursday, September 12, 2013

B1G Picks Week 3.

10-2 Last Week 21-3 On the season.

Nebraska 42 UCLA 35
Minnesota 45 Western Illinois 14
Michigan 59 Akron 7
Indiana 38 Bowling Green 28
Michigan State 31 Youngstown State 10
Iowa 20 Iowa State 17
Penn State 28 Central Florida 10
Washington 38 Illinois 14
Ohio State 38 California 17
Notre Dame 37 Purdue 10
Northwestern 45 Western Michigan 14
Wisconsin 31 Arizona State 24

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Final Score

              56                                           13       

Gameday #2 Southern Mississippi


Last year after Nebraska beat Southern Miss in the opener I posted Lesley Gore's Sunshine and Lollipops. Last week after the opener with Wyoming I felt like It's My Party (and I'll cry if I want to) Today I'll settle for Judy's Turn To Cry...or hell even You don't own me...

Southern Miss hasn't won a game since 2011. I'll repeat that. Southern Miss hasn't won a game since 2011. And last week they lost to mighty Texas State So Nebraska losing the game is off the table. You'd hope to God. Nebraska losing the game is off the table. The question is will the score be 49-14? 49-24? God forbid 59-42? All I ask is that I am able to get on the internet at 8:30 or so and I am not so pissed off It's best I just log off. If there isn't at least some defense this state might very well commit mass suicide. It can't be as bad as Last week Right? Right? Right?

One last time I am going to try an explain Why this game is in Lincoln. The game was scheduled to be played in Hattisburg, Mississippi but their stadium only seats 35,000 people. Nebraska doesn't like to play in small stadiums. They originally try to get the game moved to New Orleans, Then Kansas City. Those fell through. Then Southern Mississippi fired their coach after one year and owned him 2.1 Million Dollars. Nebraska paid the debt off and got the game moved to Lincoln.

Last Year the score was 49-20 Nebraska. That sounds about right for this year as well...

Count's Krystal Bawl

Nebraska 49
Southern Mississippi 21

Thursday, September 5, 2013

B1G Picks Week 2.

B1G Picks. 11-1 Last week. Now that's always good but the B1G didn't exactly tax themselves. They tax themselves less this week (sans Michigan and possibly Michigan State...

Nebraska 49 Southern Miss 21
Cincinnati 38 Illinois 14
Penn State 42 Eastern Michigan 9
Purdue 31 Indiana State 14
Wisconsin 49 Tennessee Tech 7
Michigan State 38 South Florida 10
Ohio State 49 San Diego State 17
Indiana 45 Navy 24
Northwestern 38 Syracuse 21
Minnesota 42 New Mexico State 20
Michigan 31 Notre Dame 28
Iowa 41 Missouri State 7

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nebraska-Wyoming Review.

There are basically 2 kinds of football fans. sunshine pumpers and realist despite the nae it's often the "realist" who live in a world of what if's. They are the ones that tell you what really happened even though it actually didn't. If you take away this, factor in that, change all of that this is what really would have happened so there for it is what really happened. Confused? Well usually so are they. Another personality quirk most realist share is they are perpetually miserable. These are not glass is half empty people. These are if you take away the fact that the glass is half empty the glass would be completely empty people. I am a sunshine pumper...mostly. I find that the sunshine pumpers though sometimes a little too positive are the actual fans. With the realist you find yourself asking wow if this is how you treat a something you are a fan of how do you treat something you hate? And you also find yourself hoping these people don't have children and feeling the children if they do. But last night after Nebraska's 37-34 victory over Wyoming I was a realist fan! I was the very fan I hate.  Last night about 10:30 I was sure Nebraska was going to struggle to win games. I called the team "shitty" on twitter and of course felt terrible about it afterwords. I did not get on players social sites and call them out. There is a special place in hell for people who do that. But I was about as negative and abusive towards Nebraska football as I get. Thankfully I didn't linger on twitter and facebook last night. I made a few posts and then logged off. I was pissed. Too pissed to hear others just as pissed as me. Nebraska football is like your brother or sister For you see I can say the team is shitty. But you can't. So after 5-10 minutes on social media I logged off ate a cold cut, smoked a cigar, listened to music watched the late games. With in a half hour I was a sunshine pumper again. Sorta. I'm still not sure with that defense how this team wins more than 8 games. But they'll win more than 4. Hey  I must be getting better. Last night I just broke my glasses case in past years I would have broke my glasses.

Offense.  C- Nebraska had 530 yards and 375 yards rushing. 2 backs had 100 yards+ 2 more had more than 80. So it was all good right? right? Uh no. Nebraska's offense in the first half was spotty at best. Minus one 62 yard run the running game did next to nothing. There I am again being a realist. In the second half it appeared Nebraska's issues were solved as they were pounding Wyoming and scoring on every possession. then with Nebraska leading 37-21 and on there way to putting the game away a freshman receiver ran the wrong route  and Taylor Martinez threw and interception. Game on. Score there and it's 40-21 or 44-21 and Wyoming becomes one dimensional. The Wyoming defense which was tired checks out and maybe just maybe Nebraska scores again and today we are all happy. Later in the game Nebraska had 4th and a chihuahua's testicle and got stuffed on a QB sneak. The greatest offensive line in the Bo Pelini era could create enough space to gain an inch.

Defense D-. They won so that saves the F. Watching this defense last night put me in the mood for some Ray Charles "Here we go again" Wyoming was 99th in rushing last year. That makes you feel all warm and fuzzy after seeing them run all over the place on Nebraska last night doesn't it Nebraska fan? And that secondary that's suppose to be the strength of the defense? Oh dear! Wyoming had 603 yards last night. Don't dwell on that it will make your head explode. Wyoming's offense is good. But not that damned good. there's only one place to go from here...up. The fact that this is year 3 of the same old same doesn't fill your heart with much optimism. They're young...they're young. Rinse and repeat. Oh UCLA scored 58 points yesterday...

Special Teams. B-. They fielded the kickoffs! Nebraska's return team was ok. Like I said they fielded the kicks. That's an improvement. The defense against the return was great all night. Sam Fultz is going to be a great punter. The Field goal was shaky but good. And we made all of our PAT's well except one that was shanked it might have been blocked. let's hope it was cause he missed it real bad.

Overall. C-. Nebraska won. 15 years from now when you look the score up it will show a win. The details will fade. They can't fade fast enough. Next week Southern Miss comes to town. They lost yesterday to Texas State 22-15. Nebraska has to win big and has to hold Southern Miss to less than 20 points. HAS TO. If they don't...God help us after that. But keep it in perspective. Nebraska won. Did Kansas State? Did Iowa? McNeese State beat South Florida 53-21. Makes 37-34 over Wyoming sound not so bad.

Last Thought.
Can we please...please start having officiating crews from conferences where neither team is involved? Don't tell me the NCAA cant afford it. This Mountain West crew last night went out of their way to keep Wyoming in the game. And of course B1G crews do the same. All of the officials do. How is there roughing the passer on a play where there was no pass? This wasn't the only head scratching call. All night this Mountain West crew kept Wyoming in the game. With calls and no calls. Poor Vincent Valentine is probably still being held. Amazingly after not calling holding all night When Wyoming could least afford it the officials called Wyoming for a marginal holding penalty. Ask me if I feel bad for them.

On the whole Dave Christianson and his staff had a better night than Bo Pelini and his staff. But their play calling at the end of the first half was baffling. Why not try and get points to end the half when you were moving the ball all half? Why waste 30 seconds at midfield? Why call a timeout with 2 seconds left and kneel down on the ball? It made no sense. And with a final score of 37-34 the way Wyoming played the end of the half may have been the difference in the game.

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