Nebraska Husker News and Notes for Feb. 13, 2009

Jeff WilliamsAnalyst IFebruary 13, 2009

Husker News and Notes

Journal-Star profile on ex-Husker Garth Glissman.

As a result of moving the Nebraska-Missouri game to Thursday night, Missouri will get extra exposure on ESPN:

In exchange for playing the teams’ Big 12 opener Oct. 8—five days later than originally scheduled—Mizzou will get two more games televised nationally by ESPN in the first five games, Pinkel said.

Missouri expects its game Sept. 26 at Nevada to be moved to a Friday night slot, and the Sept. 5 opener against Illinois is also set to be televised, Pinkel said at a recruiting function in St. Louis.


Question on Rivals:

From Ernie in Arlington, Texas: While this is only the second year under coach Bo Pelini, do you see Nebraska winning the Big 12 North? I know the North has nowhere near the talent of the top South teams, but other than maybe Kansas and Colorado, who else has a shot?

The ‘Huskers made impressive strides in their first season under Pelini. They improved from five victories in ‘07 to nine in ‘08, including a Gator Bowl win over Clemson. They also had close losses to Virginia Tech and Texas Tech, so optimism is understandably high in Lincoln.

In this decade alone, we’ve seen the giant steps that programs can make in a coach’s second year. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, and Florida’s Urban Meyer won national championships in their second seasons.  Alabama improved by five victories, to 12-2, in its second year under Nick Saban.

Rice posted a school-record 10 victories this past season—its second under David Bailiff. UCF posted eight wins in its second season under George O'Leary, after going winless in his first season. North Carolina doubled its victory total, from four to eight, in Butch Davis' second year. In '07, Minnesota managed one victory in Tim Brewster's first season; this past season, the Gophers won seven.

Nebraska made significant improvement on defense last season. That will continue as Pelini gets more players to fit his system. But the ‘Huskers need to replace starting quarterback Joe Ganz, and their top two receivers from last season. A new quarterback and unproven receivers is not a recipe for success in the offense-oriented Big 12.

Nebraska will be a factor in the Big 12 North. The 'Huskers may finish as high as second. But Kansas has returning quarterback Todd Reesing and receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who is one of the most explosive players in the nation, so I have to go with the Jayhawks.


Andy Staples on Bo Pelini’s 2009 recruiting class:

As you learned from reading’s State of Recruiting project, geography might be the toughest recruiting challenge facing Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini and his staff. The state of Nebraska doesn’t produce a ton of players, and that’s why 14 of Nebraska’s 20 signees come from Texas and California.

One of those, Plano, Texas back Rex Burkhead, chose the Huskers over Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Fellow Texan Cody Green—a quarterback from Dayton—had offers from those schools and from Oklahoma State, but committed to Nebraska in September and enrolled in January.