Gone in 60 Seconds: Texas Wins Big 12 Over a Gallant Nebraska Team

Bugeatersteve StuchlikCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2009

Apparently, only Texas received the memo from commissioner Dan Beebe's office stating: In the event of a last second upset by Nebraska over Texas in the Big 12 championship game, a review by the officials would provide Texas with a final attempt to win the game.

What other explanation could there be? All of us have seen countless games where, either at the end of the half or game, an incomplete pass falls to the ground as the final couple of seconds tick off the clock for the game to end.

But not in the 2009 Big 12 championship game; not when there was a chance that a Big 12 school would be denied a chance to play in the National Championship.

No, that wasn’t going to happen. Just ask TCU coach Gary Patterson, who for those agonizing 60 seconds, thought he might be heading to Pasadena to face the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Blackshirts, led by undeniably the greatest defensive player in college football this season, Ndamukong Suh, who set the Big 12 championship game record with 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles, seven of which went for losses.

It was his line of scrimmage. This was a game that put the exclamation point on his career.

Years from now, when the Huskers faithful recall great defensive players, Suh’s name will be at the top of that short list.

The Peter brothers, Grant Winstrom, Tomich, Carriker: they were all great players, but none of them had an impact on the line of scrimmage as Suh did this season.

If there is a defensive lineman award given out this season that he doesn’t win, it will be a shock. Suh dominated every game he played, form stats to foiling opponents' game plans, many times being double or triple covered.

I look forward to watching Suh play over the next eight or ten seasons, barring an injury.

Saturday night, the entire country saw what we have seen for the past two seasons and marveled: "You will be missed."  

Let’s hope that Jared Crick can step up his game next season to help fill the void.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what it would have been like to have had this year’s defense to go with the Gantz-led 2008 offense. We might just be playing in Pasadena, but that kind of stuff only happens in video games.

We almost won  Saturday night, in spite of our offense.

After adding 106 yards to the season’s total, our offense dropped to 102nd in the nation in average yards per game (317), the lowest output since I was 12 years old (1968).

The only bright spot is that, basically, there is nowhere to go but up.

The question playing on everyone’s mind now is: What offense will become our identity? Will it be the multiple sets with three and four receivers in the shotgun formation, or will it be the one that cranked out a five-game winning streak to close out the season with two tight ends and a fullback?

Just how good is freshman Cody Green? If Green were better than Zac Lee, don’t you think that Pelini and Watson would have put him into the game? Would his stats be worse than the 6-for-19 that Lee put up?

Or is it just jittery nerves that prevented Green from playing any significant time this season?

However, don’t blame the shoddy quarterback play solely on the personal playing at that position. No, this season's inconsistent offensive line play has been a constant .

When fearing for your life each time you drop back is item 1 or 1A on your mind, it is hard to lay the inconsistent quarterback play on Lee or Green.

Also, the lack of any reliable receiver doesn’t help matters either.

Will we see the coaching staff recruit another quarterback this offseason? So far I have not seen this position on the radar, but that doesn’t mean that the feelers aren’t out there. 

Yet, we still have a lot to be proud of this season. Yes, I know that we could easily have 11 or 12 wins at this point, but that is why they play the games each week.

Think about how bright the future does look at this point, compared to what it looked like after the 2007 season.

We have a final game on December 30th in San Diego against Arizona. We can look forward to seeing Suh do what he does better than anyone in college football one more time in a Huskers uniform and still get that 10 win season.

Good luck to Texas in Pasadena against Alabama. I have a strong feeling that you are going to need it. Keep the faith and GBR!