Just a couple links/thoughts for today, because it's Friday and I'm feeling particularly lethargic. Next week I plan on doing my full season prediction, as well as the national prediction.
- Wanted to link to this article about the Huskers on EA's NCAA 2009 game. I found this particularly interesting, because I'm beginning to wonder if the programmers at EA are Husker fans. This is the third or fourth edition in the row that I've heard of this phenomenon of Nebraska kicking ass whenever you simulate. Last year, just for shits and gigs, I simmed a whole season, and sure enough, we were Big 12 champs and nearly won the whole thing. According to this article, the author had similar results with this year's edition. Hopefully life imitates games in this case.
- Anyone else find it odd that K-State and ISU agreed to play in Arrowhead in 2009 and 2010? I mean, it's one thing to throw Kansas and Mizzou in there, that rivalry has historical implications going back to the Civil War. And holding the Big 12 title game there is a no-brainer due to it's central location that isn't too far from any Big 12 school. But is anyone really going to drive all the way to Kansas City to watch a JUCO-laden pussycat squad take on a perennially rebuilding Cyclone team? I may be wrong, maybe Chizik is going to turn it around and Kansas State will recruit some good kids this year. But I still don't see this as anything more than 2 teams playing in front of a stadium filled to 2/3rds capacity.
-To no surprise but to my disappointment, the NCAA announced that horse-collar tackles, made famous by OU alum Roy Williams, are now banned. Look, I know it's not the right way to tackle. Hell, every football player knows it's not the right way to tackle. Sometimes though, there is just no other way to bring down the ballcarrier. Let's say that it's a footrace down the sidelines to the endzone, and the defender takes the wrong angle by one step. He's now faced with a choice: dive from behind at their legs and hope they can somehow grab on to the offensive player's churning feet, or he can make sure that the guy doesn't go any farther and grab him by the neckline of the shoulder pads. Having had to do this, let me tell you: I've saved a couple of long runs by doing the horse-collar tackle. Am I advocating that it be used for every tackle? No, of course not, it's not fundamental and it risks injury. But football isn't for the meek, and sometimes, when you have to make the play, you do it any way you can.
-Came across this article via Blue-Gray Sky, a Notre Dame blog (don't worry, I only found it because I wanted to find a way to trash Jimmy Clausen). But instead I found an interview with DE Pat Kuntz (pronounced Koo-NTZ), which was pretty damn funny thanks to stuff like this:
II: Your last name, obviously, what's the worst mispronunciation you've had?
PK: "(Laughs uncontrollably) Let's just say people call the house, the telemarketers, and they pronounce it, I don't know if I should say it but people can probably think about it. They are always like 'Mr. Blank.' I'm like 'Nope, none of that here.' And I hang up the phone."So it turns out I don't dislike every guy on ND's roster. Just 104 of them or so. Speaking of the Irish, do they really think it's smart to honor their legendary coaches (one per home game) coming off a 3-9 season? Is Jimmy Clausen flat on his back really what these guys and their families want to see on the night their national titles are celebrated? Also, I thought it was cute that one of the tickets featured the graphic "200th consecutive sellout" on it. I would say good effort, but they'll never catch us (nor will anyone else, for that matter).
Just a reminder, Double Extra Point is starting up their pick 'em again this year, as is Corn Nation, so pick one (or both, if you really like pick 'ems) and get into the spirit of competition with some fellow Huskers.