Nebraska football mailbag: Looking back, was Big Ten move good for Huskers?
Have Nebraska football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Nebraska mailbag to talk all things Huskers. This week, we discuss Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten in hindsight, the Huskers’ defensive backs situation, and more.
8 years ago today Huskers joined the big 10 was this a good deal?
— happyjack (@JohnTiedje) June 11, 2018
It’s hard to believe it’s already been eight years since Nebraska joined the Big Ten. In some ways, it feels like it’s been longer. In others, it feels like yesterday that the Huskers were in the Big 12.
In hindsight, Nebraska’s move may feel a bit lackluster from a football perspective. However, that really can’t be the only way we measure how successful the move was. In my opinion, the finances tell the story. The Omaha World-Herald broke down how big this move was financially for Nebraska last October:
“The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is projected to receive nearly $51 million in payouts from its new conference this year, according to figures obtained by The World-Herald. That’s almost double the $26 million partial Big Ten share it received last year and almost six times its peak haul from its old conference, the Big 12.”
Sure, Nebraska is also paying a little more to travel in the Big Ten, but it’s not that substantial. Not enough to say the move wasn’t worth it, at least.
From my perspective, the move was the right one for Nebraska. Do I miss the Big 12 at times? Of course, but I’ve really started to love the Big Ten and I think the Huskers fit the conference overall. The only missing piece is football, and there’s hope coach Scott Frost will finally make Nebraska a contender in the conference.
Regardless of football, I think most fans still see the move as a good deal. I haven’t seen too many complaints against it, especially eight years later.
Three new bowls added for 2020 any information on this?
— happyjack (@JohnTiedje) June 11, 2018
For those that may have missed it, the NCAA’s competition committee has recommended three new bowl games for the 2020 season.
Of those three, two have reportedly already found their host cities. Chicago (at Wrigley Field) would feature a Big Ten vs. ACC matchup, while Myrtle Beach, S.C., would have conference tie-ins come from Conference USA, the Sun Belt or the Mid-American Conference.
If this pans out, the 2020 bowl season would host a record 43 postseason games and a record 84 teams out of the 130 FBS teams would make it to a bowl game.
If you’re a fan of the bowl season, you’re probably on board with this. If you’re in the camp that already thinks there are too many bowl games, you’re probably not too happy. Either way, bowl games can be money makers and an opportunity for programs to extend their seasons. As long as those things continue to be true and popular, the addition of bowl games will not end here.
Recent recruiting activity seems to suggest Husker coaches don't like our CB situation much at all. 1) Should we be worried. 2) Does this show CB play last year was not all Williams/Diaco's fault?
— James Bengtson (@bigginsbengtson) June 11, 2018
Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher hasn’t been shy about the defensive backs situation at Nebraska. In fact, he spoke Tuesday about the need to add depth in the secondary this offseason.
As Fisher noted, only three of his eight scholarship defensive backs finished spring football healthy. That meant the Huskers had to work quickly to add depth, and that’s what they did.
Freshmen Cam Taylor, Cam’ron Jones, CJ Smith and Braxton Clark have been told they can unseat any of the veterans with hard work.
“They’re not here to wait and they’re not here to sit around and they’re not here to be babysat. They’re here to take over this deal,” Fisher said Tuesday. “They’re expected to play this year. I wanted the older guys to hear that. I also wanted the older guys to hear, ‘It’s not your job to give that spot up.’ Let’s make this deal competitive.”
The Huskers added Deontai Williams from Jones County Junior College for depth at safety and Mesa Community College transfer Will Jackson for immediate help at cornerback.
So, should Nebraska fans be worried? I honestly don’t think so. I believe the talent is there, and Fisher isn’t afraid to play freshmen if they’re the best players on the field. I think that competition will be extremely important for all involved.
And here’s what I’ll say about last year: Bob Diaco’s defense wasn’t the most favorable for Nebraska’s defensive talent as a whole. From the defensive line to the defensive backs, there was also going to be an adjustment from a 4-3 base to a 3-4 base. With that said, his defense also kept the defensive line from pursuing the quarterback and ball carrier. For the defensive backs, his approach kept them pretty far off the line of scrimmage to prevent the big plays but that created other issues as a result (ahem, tackling). In hindsight, I don’t think that set many players up for success.
Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander prides his defense on being player friendly. If that proves true, I think you’ll see some big steps forward this fall. It might not be perfect — nor should we expect it to be — but it honestly can’t get any worse.
Alternate uniform game this year?
— SE 🕤 (@ssaslettocs) June 11, 2018
I would love for it to be the Colorado game, but I’m guessing it will be the Purdue matchup on Sept. 29. That’s homecoming after all, so it would make sense for that to be it.
Although, we know Frost comes from an Oregon background where alternate uniforms rain from the sky. Who’s to say there won’t be multiple alternate uniforms?
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