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Live from BugahaWest: Do you smell that? Yep, it's the smell of football on the horizon

Dear Fellow Husker fans,

I know it has been a very long time since I last posted a blog and there is a good reason, summer break. I told you all about my previous perfect storm, well. this perfect storm combines change in local on my job, change of shift, and my kids' summer break. I no longer make the 90 minute drive every day to work, it's now down to 45 minutes. I also was shifted to graves and believe me when I say I have spent most of the summer getting used to graves. And the kids were on summer break until this past Wednesday, so I spent my free time with them, taking them to movies, going camping, and taking a day trip up to the mountain only to have a black bear scare us out of the mountain (I'll get to that story later).

Well, before I start in on the football I want to share a story with you that only a dad (or mom) can cherish. I was having a particular rough week a couple weeks back, it seemed like the nights went forever and sleeping during the day wasn't a piece of cake either. Anyways, my youngest CJ and I were playing around on the internet watching some videos and happened upon a football video. Well, he looks at me and says, "Daddy, can I tell you something." I said, "Sure son, what is it." His repky was, "Well Daddy, I have decided I want to play football for Braska ((side note, he has a bit of trouble still getting the Ne in Nebraska)) but you and mommy have to move to Braska with me." I told him, "No problem son, you become a great football player and daddy and mommy will follow you to Nebraska, just one other thing you have to do." His reply, "What's that Daddy." I said, "Easy, you have to help daddy get a job." His comeback was priceless, "You can work for Braska like me." Absolutely priceless, I'm not sure if it has the same meaning typing it, maybe one of those things that you had to be there for it, but I damn near started crying.

On to the first tidbit of football and I think of no place better to start than Tebowgate. My one thought is who cares that he didn't get the vote, I am shocked anybody working at any other school in SEC country knew a starting QB besides his own not named Tebow. What is truly scary about this and it is brought to light is the fact that many coaches work such long and hard hours that they can't take 10 minutes out of their day to fill in a meaningless pre-season all conference team. What else are they not filling in, maybe their coaches poll ballot? I really wasn't shocked that the vote came out of SC and Steve Spurrior, I was talking to my wife about it and I was saying I put money on Spurrier or Kiffen. I was right.

Back to the kids and summer break a bit. The wife and I did something that we never done before, took the kids to the midnight opening showing of a movie. Transformers isn't a half bad movie, jive talking robots and all. I enjoyed it actually. On a sidebar, we took the kids to get their school supplies and my oldest Jay, got the normal goodies for a high school freshmen (look out Lincoln, I might be there sooner.) Its getting bad when we are about havign to shop at the Big and Tall for the 6 foot 195 pound of muscle. The height has to be from his biological dad's side, it sure isn't his moms. Anyways, the youngest is looking for a backpack and he picks up two, a Optimus Prime one and Bumblebee one. Now Daddy here is a big time camaro fan and I was trying to help him in the right direction. What does he do, he gets the Prime backpack and grabs a nearby folder with a 2010 camaro on it. His words, "Here's the camaro daddy." Kids these days I swear.

Second football tidbit is I want to talk a bit about NU being ranked 22nd in the country. It actually scares me when people talk this up and what not. My whole thing is what is this based off of, the offensive line and hope that they can plow holes for Castille and Helu a la the Pipeline in the 90s? Or is it the defense with what some have said maybe the best d-line this side of Norman, Ok. I am pretty sure it can't be the hype of Cody Green at QB, who some have said would be better to redshirt, and I know it isn't the fact that Zac Lee is preaching like Tim Tebow, so what is it coming from? I am just saying that from where I am sitting it seems high and then again, it is a preseason poll, so it doesn't really matter.

To which I go with my third tidbit, let's take a shot at predicting how NU will do this year.
Fla Atlantic: Ah yes, the great thing about this game is that it is another shot at Howard Schellenberger. I think he has made a career out of getting one stop shots against Nebraska, what next for him, South Dakota St? Oh, as for the game, do you realize this is the first time NU has faced a Florida opponent at home since Daunte Culpepper and Central Florida made an appearance during the 1997 campaign. Ah, just a warm-up for when Miami sucks it up, grows some guts, and comes for a trip in a few years. NU Wins.

Arkansas St.: This is the first time ASU has made a trip to Lincoln and we can't really overlook them. They know how to play Big 12 teams (see Texas A&M last year, Texas in 2007) and I am not sure if they will be overly intimidated by the NU crowd. Best bet is to jump on em early, pound the football down there throat and win time of possession. NU wins.

@Virginia Tech: As many of you remember, last year I was back and forth on this game since day 1. Beyond just Operation Blackout and the week off prior to the matchup I really didn't know how to react to this game and even after the dust settled I didn't know how to feel, it wasn't a moral victory, but something came out of it besides the loss, what I still don't know. This year we make a visit to Blacksburg and if there was ever a road game I want to go to for atmosphere this is it. We have all seen the vids on youtube of the Tech entrance, and we have seen them play on ESPN many a time, that place is down right deafening. The scenerio is almost like last year, a new starting QB (well Joe wasn't exactly a grizzled vet) and plenty of hype. ESPN.com marked this game as a must see non-conference game. Ok, I have you at the edge of your seat so I will peer into my crystal ball, oops, I dropped it and it broke, I say.... Nebraska wins in a thriller.

La-Lafayette: NU finishes their run at being Sunbelt conference champs with a home game vs LL and a little bit of a sidenote, it's the 300th consecutive sellout. To put this thing in perspective, it has been going on since 1962, way before computers, the internet, and just about the time tvs switched from black and white to color. JFK was still living large in the White House, Vietnam wasn't polluting the airwaves yet. Every game played in Lincoln that if you are under 45 has been a sellout, unbelievable. Oh yeah, NU wins this one to. Second side note, I love the throwback jerseys for the game, it will add a touch of style.

@Missouri: This is the game I have been going back and forth on. If you look at who Mizzou lost this off-season you would be hard pressed to pick them to make a repeat performance of last year. One thing for sure is that this one wont be as ugly from our standpoint (and for that matter, neither will OU, but I digress). Look at who they lost, Daniels, his back up Patton, Maclin, Coffman, and others. The only named sure replacement that we know of is Blaine Gabbert. and you think on the field they are in trouble, Pinkel's offensive coordinator and his defensive coordinator jumped ship for bigger gigs. Just from that news alone, if they get to 10 wins, I nominate Pinkel Coach of the Year, for the nation. Now, how does this thing play out, a defensive slugfest like the olden days in the 80s and early 90s or is it a shoot out not unlike the classic in 97. I don't know which and if by this point Zac Lee has ansered to the hype with a resounding yes, then things will look even better. Ok. I flipped the coin and it says... Nebraska wins.

Texas Tech: Wasn't last year in Lubbock a ton of fun. Ok, Nu was in the midst of a losing streak and they didn't quite pull this one out, but look at it this way, they did not roll over and play dead. They fought for every yard, controlled the clock and were one errant throw away from winning this thing. Oh yeah, another note, a missed INT would have won it in regulation. Turnovers guys, need them big time this year like they were in 2003. If the Blackshirts cause enough of them, they will definitely add to the NU good fortunes (side note, Suh was tied for the lead in INTs last year, is there any spot he can't play). As for this one, no Harrell and no Crabtree means juist a reload for Tech. It is in Lincoln, a shining moment. NU wins.

Iowa State: Trivia bit, Iowa St is one of only 3 schools to beat Nebraska when touchdown Tommie Frazier was QB (side note, he said in a recent interview he still hasn't seen a replay of the run). ISU is that one school in the Big 12 that I feel will constantly be in rebuild mode. Its like they get close 1 or 2 times a decade and then the wheels fall off for the remaining 8 years. You almost have to feel for em, almost. NU wins.

@Baylor: NU has 5 road games this year. 5 chances to prove themselves against quality opponents at their home stage. If I told you one of those times would be like walking through tall grasses with a few dozen sidewinders in it, which one would you say it is? Well, I don't think its CU, I think its this one vs Baylor. Can you imagine if Robert Griffen were to trade places with say, Tyrod Taylor or Tim Tebow? With that kind of talent around him and mind you he is only a sophomore the sky is the limit. I am not saying they are up there with OU and Texas, but I will be absolutely shocked if they finish below 4th in the Big 12 South. This team is scary and it is because of Griffen. Defensively we will have to tighten on the edges, play good, solid, assignment defense and make sure if he beats us, it is with his arm and not his feet, he is that dangerous as a runner. Is he a Vick clone, no, but he does resemble some of the big fast athletes that play the role of QB in the Wildcat offense of the NFL. Offensviley we should be able to click on all cylindars and score points, will it be enough to beat Griffen and the Bears, yep. NU wins.

Oklahoma: Last year, OU admin decided to remember the 1971 classic between these old rivals. This year Osborne and company are going to invite all the trophy winners to a party. Wouldn't that make a group picture, Billy Simms, Johnny the Jet Rogers, Eric Crouch, Mike Rozier, Steve Owens, Dean Steinkuler, Dave Rimington, Rocky Calmus, Brian Bosworth, etc. The picture is worth the price of admission. We are not on OUs level and this game will not be like last year where it was basically over in 15 minutes. It will be closer, but not much, I think OU talent alone puts them 10 points up on us. It will be a hard fought
game, but we're still a year or two away from competing with OU. NU loses a heartbreaker.

@Kansas: Isn't it strange that since KU won the basketball crown, KU football is acting like they to are BMOC. They have been close, but not quite there. Yeah, they one a BCS bowl game and all, but they are KU right. They will fall back to earth right. They will get beat by Baylor right. But alas, they are KU, a enigma in college football, a program that as of late you are not sure if this year is reload or rebuild. Well, they still have the Mighty Mite Tom Reesing at QB (hasn't he been there like 6-7 years now?). DO they have a line to protect him though is the question. Well, maybe, but not for this game. NU wins.

Kansas St: Remember way back when to a SI article naming KSU the worst college football program ever. I think at that time in their history they only went to 1 or 2 bowl games and had fewer winning seasons than Nebraska had losing seasons. I think the year was 1991 or 1992. I do know Bill Snyder was there and just starting the turnaround. Well like the moie "Poltergeist 2" he's back. They dusted off the moth balls and brought back the old guy. Time to renew the fight between Pelini and Snyder (I take Pelini by KO). Seriously though, if Snyder was say 10 years younger, I beleive he could make the turnaround again, but alas, about a year or two into his gig he will probably head back upstairs to the AD office and say I am in charge. NU wins.

@ Colorado: Are they a rival? Will Hawk do there what he did at Boise? Will CU fans ever grow up? All three answers are no. I will say this for Hawk, he does stand by his kid even if he isn't the best choice at QB. Seriously though, where were you for last years fun? I was at work, but I have seen highlights of the last 2 minutes of the game with different calls. And right there we all have to learn something about Colorado, we may not ever view them as a rival, but in their eyes and the eyes of their coaches, Nebraska will always be there red letter big game. From the days of Coach Mac to Rashaan Salaam "The Red is Dead" in 94 to Neuheisal and now to Hawk, I believe CU as a whole is firmly set on the notion that worst case scenerio they can go 1-11 as long as that one win is against NU. This game is in Boulder so Alex should be able to kick another 57 yard FG, but lets hope it doesn't come to that because you never know what the weather will be like. Anyways, it'll be fun, wont be a instant classic and it will end in a Nebraska win.

Big 12 Title game: This game will be against one of three teams, either an undefeated OU, undefeated Texas, or a 1 loss Texas Tech (dang that three way tie rule) If its OU or Texas, sorry guys, that one will be like 2001. If its Tech, maybe we can have a repeat performance and another win.

Bowl game: A win. I have us at 12-1 for the regular season for 2009. As for the bowl game, as wicked and wild as college football is, I think 2 or 3 teams will go undefeated. Florida is just too loaded and probably could run with a NFL team or two for a half. USC will be breaking in a new QB, but if they get by Ohio St. you never know. Ohio St might finally have learned how to get some team speed and might make a run. Everybody's darling from last preseason, Georgia, ok, maybe not. Then there are your Alabama's, UCLA's, ASU's, and FSU's of the world, you just never know and that is the beauty of college football. Heck, we wont even get that much clearer of a pciture until mid October, so for now the only thing I will say about the NU projected bowl game is that if all things hold like I said above, it will be a BCS game and it will be a win.

Well, I can't think of much else to say right now. I hope you all had a fun and glorious summer with your families and friends. I know I did but now it is time to return to my hobby and my labor of love. BugahaWest is back and ready for a great year of college football.

Thank you all for reading my posts and for your comments. Thank you also for waiting opatiently while I spent the summer with my lovely wife and kids, they have and always will come first. This year I will be once again posting during the week, more than likely on Monday after I take the kids to school. God bless and Go Big Red.

Chris

"We are Nebraska"

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Comment by NeFan4Life on August 12, 2009 at 3:19pm
Absolutely amazing post Chris! I too am busy enjoying the summer and the beautiful weather, as well as spending time with family and friends. Your predictions are so well thought out and detailed! I'm not quite as optimistic as you, but I do think that we will only lose two to three games max. The virginia tech game will be a good barometer on where we stand as a developing power house..... I can't wait for it to play out. Great post again Chris and I can't wait to read your future blogs!!!!

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