Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Business as usual’: Or so Pelini says, as Huskers embark on farewell tour

Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini answers questions during Big 12 media days. Pelini tried to avoid answering questions about the Big Ten on Monday in Irving, Texas.

Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini answers questions during Big 12 media days. Pelini tried to avoid answering questions about the Big Ten on Monday in Irving, Texas.

July 27, 2010

Advertisement

— Baylor, Iowa State and Texas A&M all stayed loyal to the Big 12 Conference during the offseason’s turbulent realignment talks.

First day of Media Days wraps up

The first day of the Big 12 Media Days in Texas came to a close Monday. Nebraska refused to talk about its impending move to the Big 10 Conference. Enlarge video

But it was the Nebraska Cornhuskers and their impending exit to the Big Ten at the end of the 2010-11 season that dominated the talk on Day 1 of this year’s Big 12 media days outside of Dallas on Monday — even if Nebraska coach Bo Pelini didn’t want it that way.

“I understand and respect the job that all of you have to do,” Pelini said in his opening comments. “But I will not be taking any questions in regards to any Big Ten issues. We’re excited about being in the Big 12 this year. We’re excited about the upcoming season, and all our focus is on the Big 12, which is a great conference.”

From there, reporters found ways to circumvent the disclaimer and peppered Pelini anyway. Asked if the school’s future plans were a distraction this summer, Pelini was direct with his response.

“Business as usual,” he said. “We haven’t really talked too much about it. In our program, we talk to our guys about the process and what they have to do on a regular basis to have an opportunity to compete. That hasn’t changed.”

Pushed further, Pelini said he had no idea if life away from Lincoln would be any more hostile than in years past, as the Cornhuskers make their farewell tour through the Big 12 this season, with road games at Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas A&M.

“You don’t really know,” he said. “I don’t anticipate any problems. Throughout the conference, fans in the Big 12 are very classy fans. I don’t anticipate any ramifications as far as that’s concerned.”

While much of this year’s opening day at the Westin Hotel focused on quarterback battles, injuries and preseason hype, things always seemed to come back to the Cornhuskers.

In his first year at ISU, Paul Rhoads led the Cyclones to a bowl game. That surprise season included an improbable and emotional victory against Nebraska. With the return of several starters, Rhoads had plenty to boast about during his meeting with the media. But even he couldn’t stay away from Nebraska.

“To me, it’s sad,” Rhoads said. “I grew up with that game and grew up with that rivalry. It’s a good rivalry because (Iowa and Nebraska) are bordering states. But it’s not a great rivalry because they used to beat our tails all the time.”

The most interesting part about all of the focus on Nebraska’s upcoming departure is the fact the Huskers have what Pelini believes is the best team they’ve had in quite some time. Fresh off of last year’s heartbreaking loss to Texas in the Big 12 Championship game, Nebraska returns several key players on both sides of the ball and appears to be poised for another run at the title this year. Pelini has depth on the offensive line, talent at the skill positions, a healthy competition at quarterback and the preseason co-defensive player of the year in defensive tackle Jared Crick. Even with all that, Pelini knows that his team’s Big 12 swan song won’t mean much without hard work.

“You know, we understand that we’re going to get what we earn,” Pelini said. “And the kids have worked hard through this offseason. We had a good winter, good spring, and we followed it up with a good summer. We’re really looking forward to the season.”

Though most players in attendance Monday said they didn’t think playing Nebraska would provide any extra motivation, the words spoke by some said otherwise.

“If they want to leave, they can leave,” Baylor linebacker Antonio Johnson said. “We welcome all challengers so it really doesn’t matter. If they don’t feel like they’re Big 12 material then they can leave.”

Media days will continue at 9 a.m. today with Missouri kicking off Day 2. The Tigers will be joined by Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Kansas and new head coach Turner Gill will open the third and final day at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Comments

Jeff Cuttell 4 years, 5 months ago

These guys will have a great season. Probably win the whole Big 12 and take the title with them. They will be missed, but I'm glad the have a better situation. I only wish KU could have come with them.

BigAl 4 years, 5 months ago

Let 'em go. They are far from the Nebraska teams of the past and they are completely irrelevant in basketball. Saying that they will "probably win the whole Big 12" is a stretch by any imagination.

Mary Sucha 4 years, 5 months ago

NU is an average to above average offense away from being able to compete for the national championship, the defense and special teams are at NC levels.

NU is irrelevant in basketball, but as you learned this summer, basketball is irrelevant when it comes to conference realignment. Even if you have one of the top five basketball programs in history.

BigAl 4 years, 5 months ago

"NU is an average to above average offense away from being able to compete for the national championship, the defense and special teams are at NC levels"

I just don't see it. I believe NU will win the weak North but will struggle doing it.

Jeff Cuttell 4 years, 5 months ago

I see them having a much improved offense and a defense that is almost as good as last year's top ranked one.

Goldwater is correct in the statement that basketball does not matter when it comes to conferences.

Their schedule plays out pretty well for them also. The teams they need to play at home are in Lincoln this year. Texas has a new QB this year. They don't play the Sooners until possibly the title game. They do have a tough A&M team on the road. I just think we are going to be suprised by them this year. They want to prove something.

victor_E_rojo 4 years, 5 months ago

um, Mr. Tait, why would a Baylor player draw extra motivation this year from a team Baylor doesn't even play?

LogicMan 4 years, 5 months ago

"...Baylor linebacker Antonio Johnson said. “We welcome all challengers so it really doesn’t matter. If they don’t feel like they’re Big 12 material then they can leave.”"

My E.T. FutureScope predicts the 12-2 teams' most popular saying about their opponents this year will be "Save it for Colorado and Nebraska".

Jim Williamson 4 years, 5 months ago

The only negative about Corn going to the Big 10 is that when Bo Pelini finally has the psychotic break that we all know is coming, we may not get to see it live.

Mary Sucha 4 years, 5 months ago

Sure you can, just watch the Big 10 Network. Or will Texas allow their subjects(UT at Larwrence) to tune in to something other than the Bevo Network.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 5 months ago

Whatever makes you feel better, jayhawkwinnebr.

Yes, Nebraska is a mediocre team that KU has beaten only twice in the last 41 years, in 2005 and 2008.

KU is 23-90-3 all time against the Nebraska. The Huskers won 36 consecutive times from 1969-2004.

If NU is mediocre, what does that make KU? Not deserving of inclusion in a BCS conference is what it makes KU.

puddleglum 4 years, 5 months ago

damn, you shut the door on him pretty hard, didn't you nightmare?

heybluekc 4 years, 5 months ago

Nebraska is too good for the big 12. They said it when they made their formal announcement. Good Riddance.

Mary Sucha 4 years, 5 months ago

In 5-10 years Nebraska will be in the Big 10+2 conference and KU will be where? Big East? Mountain West? It won't be the Big 12-2, Texas sent you all that message in June when they wouldn't commit to more than 6-7 more years in the Big 12-2.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.