Thursday, November 1, 2012
What's the news coming from Nebraska and Minnesota this week?
As I do each Thursday, let’s take a look at the stories coming from the opponents of
Michigan and this week. Michigan State
Pelini has led the Cornhuskers to at least 9 wins every season thus far, but he is lacking in much hardware to show for his efforts. That has not been lost on the local media covering
Sam McKewon, of the Omaha World-Herald, wrote a column this week saying it is time for
Nebraska to close out
the season and win the Big Ten title.
Pelini’s teams have struggled as the front-runners. They battle their way off the wall after an ugly loss, and their backs seem to instinctively seek out the wall again. The Huskers’ maturity should guard against a letdown. Of course, that maturity hasn’t exactly guarded against penalties and turnovers. NU can occasionally play like a team at odds with its self-interest. Like the offense did on those three plays inside
5-yard line. Michigan
But the road to
much clearer or cleaner than this. I know: Four games left, good opposing
defenses, breaks of the game. But let’s not make any of the remaining opponents
out to be something they’re not. Indianapolis
has a significantly better offense than all of them. A better kicker than all
of them. More team speed than all of them. More momentum than all of them. Nebraska
That MSU and
’s offenses would struggle
to pitch coins in a fountain. That Iowa has an immobile
quarterback who played poorly at home vs. the Huskers last year. That Penn
State ’s quarterback
just turned 19. That it’s closing time for Bo and the Blackshirts. Minnesota
The Cornhuskers dropped two of their final three games in 2010 in their final season as part of the Big 12.
Will the trend continue this year for
get the nod over the Cornhuskers, who have had problems winning on the road
consistently? Michigan State
Nebraska sputters in the
final four games, will Pelini start to feel some pressure from the Nebraska fans and
However, the Golden Gophers are lacking in much of a home-field advantage these days.
Phil Miller, of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, talks about
current issues with filling their stadium.
Only 41,062 tickets were sold to the Gophers' game against Purdue last Saturday, already the smallest crowd in TCF Bank Stadium's four-year history, and it looked like there were several thousand no-shows, too. It's a shame that so many Gopher fans missed the most impressive victory of the season so far.
But Jerry Kill said Tuesday he knows who is to blame for such a dispiriting turnout: He is.
Well, sort of. It's not really his fault that the Gophers don't draw well, but it is his responsibility, he said, for making sure that changes.
"If we continue to win, that place will be packed out and we'll have to build on to it," Kill said at his weekly news conference. "If you don't win, that's the way it is. ... It's our job. It's not our fans -- I'm not going to blame anybody. We've got to put a good product out there. That's what I was hired to do a year and a half ago, and that's what we'll do."
TCF Bank Stadium has a listed capacity of 50,805, which isn’t much for a Big Ten program.
The fact that the Gophers are having troubling filling the stadium is somewhat surprising considering
Minnesota is 5-3 this year and just one win
away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.
Perhaps last week’s win over Purdue at home will inspire more Gophers fans to get out to TCF Bank Stadium this week.