This article will probably rankle a few feathers of my fellow Nebraska football fans but that is fine. First and foremost I am a Nebraska fan at heart through and through. My family has had tickets to home football games for over 40+ years so I will always be a fan.
I remember the days when Nebraska was known for scheduling and playing anyone, at anyplace, at anytime. It was a positive affirmation of Nebraska's willingness to put themselves and the team on the line against the best that college football had to offer.
I remember home non conference games in the 70's and 80's with Alabama, LSU, Penn St, Wisconsin, Auburn, Florida St, UCLA, and other teams with major conference affiliations. It was a treat to get to see some of the better teams from around the country and see some stars when they were young college players.
I remember Deion Sanders coming to Lincoln, and Troy Aikman with his UCLA team. Also, Chuck Long and Bob Stoops with their Iowa team that beat NU in Lincoln. Great win for Iowa.
But, now I look at the future non conference schedule and quite frankly it makes me gag. We are paying good money and giving to the athletic department to get to see teams in 08 like W. Mich, SJSU, and NMSU. The 2009 non conference looks like this; Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Lafayette and Arkansas St! 2010 is even worse! We got W. Kentucky, Idaho and South Dakota State University! South Dakota State! Come on! All Nebraska fans, especially those paying for season tickets need to stand up and say we aren't going to stand for this!
I will lay blame for this right at the feet of one Mr. Steve Pederson. Cant blame T. O or Bo Pelini when he has to line up his teams the next three years agasint these teams. I know they have said recently that they are trying to upgrade the schedule, but it better happen fast.
On the other hand, this hasn't always been Nebraska's fault and there are certainly other teams that should seriously consider the quality of non conference competition they are scheduling.
One of these team's in a certain mid-west conference to the east of Nebraska that seems to be nothing more than it's yearly "state champion" of college football.
Several times in the 90's when Nebraska was dominating the college football landscape several teams dropped out of contracts just 6-8 months before the game. This in turn left Nebraska in a lurch for that 7th home needed since football supports the entire department. So, in a emergency Nebraska would end scheduling the likes of Middle Tenn St or Pacifac or North Texas.
I think a playoff system, and I hope it happens some day, would eliminate this scheduling practice of major conference teams looking for easy non-conference wins. Teams will be able to schedule knowing that one early season loss isn't going to hurt a teams shot for a national championship if they can get into a playoff.
Anyway, Husker fans that is my rant and I hope some of you understand.
Go Big Red!