Purple Positive #21: The Nebraska night game

Fitz post Neb win smile with Weak

As Northwestern fans we’re a bit self-conscious of other fan’s opinions. Forever the perennial underrated underdog, we long for respect among college football’s elite, even though we’ve only established ourselves as a very respectable program during the Pat Fitzgerald era. If you want to look for brand advocates of Northwestern outside of the NU family talk to a Cornhusker fan.

Northwestern’s three game history with Nebraska in the Big Ten Conference has been nothing short of breathtaking. In 2011 an NU team whose season was on the ropes went in to Lincoln and upset the then #8 Huskers with an incredible game-winning TD drive that featured 11 straight running plays to seal the deal.  In 2012, Northwestern hosted the Sea of Red and saw a 21-10 third quarter lead evaporate and Jeff Budzien missed a 53-yard FG attempt in the final minute – by inches – as Nebraska escaped Ryan Field. Then of course there was last year. The ‘Cats had seemingly ended their nightmarish 0-4 B1G start as Nebraska was down 24-21 with a few ticks left when one of the most painful finishes in Northwestern history occurred (and that is saying quite a bit). I don’t need to describe the Westerkamp Hail Mary catch because it is seared in all of our minds. The Huskers are 2-1 against NU in the brief but brilliant three game B1G history, but even the most biased UNL (yes that will be done intentionally all year long) fan will admit to you they are lucky they’re not 0-3 against us.

A photo that needs no description.

A photo that needs no description.

That brings us to Saturday, October 18 at Ryan Field. What could possibly happen for the encore in this series? BTN grabbed this one for a primetime night game (7:30 pm et/6:30 pm ct) which will only elevate the buzz and anticipation between these two programs. It is a circle the date kind of night in the season and with karma due to bounce back our way, the reason I’ve chosen “the Nebraska Night Game” as Purple Positive #21 for the 2014 season.

You might think I’m doubling up on the themes early in this countdown. Just last week we featured the “Home Schedule Sizzle” as #24.  I think you’ll agree that the Nebraska game, until proven otherwise, deserves its own special treatment.

I’ll be the first to admit I never saw a potential Northwestern-Nebraska “rivalry” being formed. Three games certainly doesn’t make a rivalry, but I challenge you to find a more thrilling series anywhere in the country over the past three consecutive seasons. You won’t.

Nebraska and Northwestern seemed to be oddly connected in ways that most fans would never think of at first.  Nebraska fans are famously hospitable always applauding opposing teams in a one-of-a-kind tradition. Husker Nation embraces academic excellence with the same vigor Northwestern fans do.  Thanks to Tom Osborne’s leadership, the Huskers put their Academic All-Americans on the highest pedestal in Memorial Stadium.  The Huskers actually lead all of Division I in this category with 314 CoSIDA/Capital One All-Americans.

Then there is the whole abbreviation thing. Northwestern fans are still a bit touch about the way we are abbreviated by television outlets (ESPN uses everything from NW to N’Westrn) considering the school, its fans and even the fight song have forever used “NU” a the official abbreviation.  We’ve come to learn in our Husker indoctrination that they also use NU despite the fact they’ll readily admit they are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL as we like to say).  Most other B1G fans don’t even register this fan sparring on their radar screen and why should they? For the most part, this burgeoning rivalry is irrelevant on the national landscape, but it is becoming more relevant in the B1G.

The recent B1G division realignment should only supercharge this series. Nebraska and Northwestern are of course both in the West Division and are assured of playing every single season. Certainly from a geographical and historical standpoint, Nebraska has other more logical rivals like border war candidate Iowa or from a most likely to be contending for a division crown aspect – Wisconsin.  However, the on-field drama that has unfolded over the past three seasons between NU and UNL is enough for us to already be white-knuckling what the heck will happen on October 18.

The Huskers get two weeks to prepare for what could be another thriller under the lights in Evanston.

The Huskers get two weeks to prepare for what could be another thriller under the lights in Evanston.

It’s reasonable to think Nebraska will be a 5-1 ranked team (high teens?) when they arrive in Evanston after earning a bye after a key early season cross-over game with Michigan State. Sure, Fresno State lurks as a challenging non-conference game as does a renewal with Miami, but I’m betting they’ll emerge with one loss at most. For Northwestern – who knows? I’d like to think we’ll be 3-0 non-conference and I’d be thrilled if we somehow entered the game 2-1 in conference (@Penn State, Wisconsin, @Minnesota), but that might be wishful thinking. I really wish this game was on ESPN to get the full effect of the national buzz, but that’s what happens when you go 5-7 the previous season. This game will have no shortage of star power, however.

Ameer Abdullah averaged 6.0 ypc in 2013 for the Huskers.

Ameer Abdullah averaged 6.0 ypc in 2013 for the Huskers.

The Huskers’ Ameer Abdullah is an outside contender for Heisman consideration by some experts. Abdullah, the star senior RB, is coming off of back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons highlighted by his 1,690 yard season in 2013.  However, potential top 5 2015 NFL Draft pick DE Randy Gregory is the one to watch in this game. The JUCO transfer lit up the stat sheet and intoxicated Huskers fans with his 9.5 sack season in 2013. The guy is a DC’s nightmare and you can bet should both be healthy come mid-October the Gregory vs Siemian match-up (or rather the OL) will be a make-or-break battle to watch.

Randy Gregory is already in many top 5 NFL Mock Draft picks for 2015.

Randy Gregory is already in many top 5 NFL Mock Draft picks for 2015.

There is something special about night games at Ryan Field. Granted, Northwestern doesn’t seem to win any of them (conference games that is), but nonetheless the atmosphere feels B1G time. Perhaps its the way the uniforms sparkle under the lights or the fact that fans have had all day to tailgate in anticipation of kickoff, but more likely its the packed house factor, which again, we’re working on to be OUR house and not a 50/50 neutral site feel.

This game matters big time as you know it will be the one stock full of recruits.  Fitz is a master at managing to leverage big home dates for recruiting purposes.  With the new policy of moving the marching band and student section to the east side (along with many of the fans, including my entourage) it should drastically help the optics.  However, nothing moves the needle like a home win in circumstances like this.

This game has featured a little bit of everything in its three year history.  The Jeremy Ebert slant, Kain’s superman performance and dive for the pylon and a fifth string RB helping to seal a win in 2011. In 2012 there was Venric’s 80-yard TD, Bo Pelini’s daring of NU to beat the Huskers through the air (and Tony Jones finally doing it) and the turn-on-the-dime momentum following Nick VanHoose’s injury.  In 2013 there was NU’s inability to cash red zone opps in to TD’s and of course the never to be forgotten cardinal sin of not being “deeper than the deepest” on the Hail Mary.  What will 2014 bring? I’m here to be optimistic and say “a win”.

Venric torched UNL for an 80-yard TD in 2012 at Ryan Field as part of a 118-yard rushing day.

Venric torched UNL for an 80-yard TD in 2012 at Ryan Field as part of a 118-yard rushing day.

Nebraska’s name may not have the cache it did in the 1990’s but don’t kid yourself. This is a huge one for Wildcat fans and is one of those national perception maker type games (along with Wisconsin and Michigan).  We’ve gone 0-4 in the past two seasons against Nebraska and Michigan with each one of those coming down to the final play. It’s time we make our own lucky break and get this series back even in B1G play.  I’ve got October 18 circled as a piece of Purple Positive. What do you think?

Now is a good time to remind you that the deadline for single game tickets for season ticket holders is tomorrow! Help keep Ryan Field purple against the Sea of Red by calling 888-Go-Purple or your ticket manager to gobble up as many tickets as you can for this game and keeping them in the hands of NU (not UNL!) fans!

Coming up tomorrow…

We check in with #20 which has nothing to do with any current player, but is a move that could have a dramatic impact on 2015 recruits. At least the ones that follow us on TV.

Purple Positive Top 25 Countdown Links

 

  • Jim (Speech ’89)

    They’re coming off a bye week? Is this gonna be another one of those seasons where we get the shaft when it comes to teams playing off bye weeks?

    • Jim (Speech ’89)

      Sorry, that wasn’t a positive. Here’s one: In Myerberg’s countdown, Penn State just came in at 56 (http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/07/14/penn-state-nittany-lions-2014-countdown-preview-roster-depth-chart-schedule/12607465/) and “It’s been two decades since [No. 55] last finished below .500 in conference play,” so that’s not us, either, meaning we’re at least 54!

      • wildcat6

        In Myerberg’s writeup of PSU, he highlights depth problems all over the place, especially in the offensive line and linebacker corps, the loss of Allen Robinson as a target for Hackenberg, and that Penn State fans shouldn’t be too unhappy with a six-win season. Sounds good to me.

        • JM

          It’s also hard to imagine anyone getting as much out of that roster as Bill O’Brien did. Franklin isn’t a bad coach based on his time at Vandy, but he’s likely a gameday downgrade from O’Brien.

          • Daniel Revas

            I think you’re right, his strength is Recruiting though, he’ll get good players.

          • fred675

            I concur. Having watched quite a few Vandy games over the last few years I don’t think Franklin is a very strong game coach. That said he’s not Tim Beckman either, and with the talent he will get you don’t need to be a genius to win 8 or so games especially against that kind of schedule.

        • Mark Wheaton

          Franklin should be fired if he only wins 6 games. What a simple schedule: UCF, Akron, @Rutgers, UMass, NU, @Mich, OSU, Maryland, @Indiana, Temple, @Illinois, MSU. If they lose any among UCF, Akron, Rutgers, UMass, Temple or Illinois I will be shocked. They should win 2 of 4 from NU, Maryland, Michigan and Indiana. MSU and OSU are the only games they really should lose. What a great schedule for them. 8 wins minimum.

          • Richard

            With their depth issues, I think PSU split UMD & RU and I favor all 3 of NU, IU, and UMich over them (2 losses there). I think a 6-7 win season should be expected. Remember that the sanctions will be hitting their hardest about now, after years of depleted recruiting classes.

      • wildcat6

        I should point out too that the Orlando Sentinel also does a countdown which is similar to Myerberg’s (though with less depth), and is down to #42, and we haven’t appeared there either. Recently Penn State came in at #48 and Iowa at #43 in that ranking.

        • Mark Wheaton

          NU has the talent to be pretty good this year. The only thing that can crater a good season is…..Pat Fitzgerald. If he plays aggressively with a chip on his shoulder, NU has enough talent and guts to win 7 or 8. If is is the conservative Fitz we have seen all too often, NU will again win 5. It all depends on which Fitz we get…….

          • fred675

            I agree with that completely. I have often thought that if Sid Gilman or Don Coryell were with still with us, I’d happily pay them to stand next to Fitz at games and propose daring alternatives.

  • Mark Wheaton

    Cal me crazy, but I’d actually rather have the game at 11:00 am. UNL may be coming off their first loss 2 weeks earlier @MSU under the lights and be looking for redemption. A prime time game with a predominantly UNL crowd would be just the ticket for them. Too bad we can’t play ‘em early in the morning without the hype machine and catch them napping.

    • PBRCat

      Totally agree. How many Cornhusker fans popped for Northwestern season tickets to escape Lincoln for one weekend again?

      • sam

        So your attempt at making fun of husker for traveling to opponents games just kinda backfired as you readily admitted anyone can and will by tickets to your pathetic games because they are avail and cheap….I get it …

        Look 20 yrs. From now Nebraska will be 15-5 against NW and you will be trying to start a rival with whatever new team is joining the conf that yr.

        You guys aren’t even on Nebraska radar… get it?!

        • PBRCat

          Congratulations on being able to find a perceived insult where none of was intended. In previous posts, many people have been complimentary about the courteous behavior of most Nebraska fans. Apparently, you are the exception that proves the rule.
          Of course, with a total enrollment of less than 10,000 and five major league sports franchises based in the same city, Northwestern may have more competition in terms of filling its stadium with sports fans than your favorite team does. Enjoy your recent victories, but remember that you were one play away in each game from being 0-3 rather than 2-1.

    • fred675

      I hate night games. NU does poorly at them. I agree with Mark. Every game should start at noon eastern. Well, maybe 1 p.m. for one more Bloody Mary.

  • BarefootCat

    Look at that UNL home schedule. Is there anything worse in the Power Conferences? If I was a UNL season ticket-holder, I would be not happy.

    Florida Atlantic
    McNeese State
    Miami (FL) – Ok, that could be good
    Illinois
    Rutgers
    Purdue
    Minnesota

    • JM

      Wow. That is just awful aside from Miami. Minnesota and Rutgers could be bowl teams, I guess, but that is weak.

      • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

        Iowa got a gift from the schedule Gods as well – check out their slate.

        • John

          Let’s contrast IA’s schedule and UNL’s. NU has to go to Wisky, NU, and IA as well as Sparty. IA gets Wisky, NU and UNL at home and travels to MD and Indiana. Fresno and Miami are by far harder than anyone IA plays in Sept.

          The Hawkeyes’ schedule is an embarrassment to the B1G scheduling office and a willful attempt in early 2013 to deal Iowa back into contention this season.

    • LukeinNE

      Trust me…..we’re not happy. At least next year’s will be good? Anyway I look forward to making the trip out to Chicago to watch this one.

    • John

      UNL season ticket holders are not happy about it, rest assured. B1G conference move not as pretty this year.

      I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat and say that the schedules for the next 2 years are an attempt by the B1G office to get as many teams as possible highly ranked by the end of the season.

    • Daniel Revas

      Minnesota? Never dismiss a Team that beat you the previous Season.

      • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

        Minnesota and NU share a “no respect” bond.

  • brian

    Lol the sea of red will swarm again just like last time. Nebraska is lucky they arent 0-3 against NW? Really? If it wasnt for the ridiculous amount of tournovers in 2011, NU could be sitting at 3-0 against NW. Nebraska has been in the big ten for 3 years and in that time, they have the 3rd highest conference winning percentage. It’s cute that you guys like playing up but get real. NU should stomp NW this season. I’ll be obe of the thousands of Nebraska fans in attendence. GO BIG RED!!!

    • David

      Jeff or Brian or what ever your name is….why not put your all of your delusional thoughts into one post? Rather than posting with different names to give the appearance of UNL fans taking over LTP.

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      Brian – you win on a Hail Mary and think you should be 3-0? Man, I’d love to get some of that perspective!

  • jeff

    I think the game this year will look more like the 2000 Alamo Bowl. I remember Northwestern fans were talkin smack before that game. They were awfully quiet after. Nebraska should win by 3+ touchtowns. Colter was the only reason the last 3 years were close. Unless you have someone that nobody else knows about, NW will be another 5-7 team. Go Huskers!

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      We shall see. We’ll wait til the season plays out before we do our talking. ‘Cats seem to always shine when people count them out.

    • Ponca42

      Northwestern has always had the reputation of a team that can knock off a superior team any given week (but not consistently). They have played the spoiler so many times in the past. I think Northwestern plays up to Nebraska very well for some reason. Sometimes two teams just create sparks when they play each other. I have really enjoyed this matchup over the last several years and I respect Northwestern for making me very worried whenever they play the Huskers.

      • Daniel Revas

        I used to live in Mississippi, and Southern Mississippi used to have that knack, just giving Teams that were more gifted a ridiculously hard time if not outright beating them. They thumped Alabama in the Bear’s last home Game.

        Northwestern just has that same Mojo. Pat Fitzgerald has a lot to do with it. Very good Coach.

      • dick chard

        Don’t feed the troll. As a Nebraska fan I am loving these games and look forward to seeeing this one. I may even fly out to Chicago.

    • John

      I’m a Husker fan. No chance it’s that big of a win. I suspect the bye before helps, but NW will be better than last year. Nebraska might be – but they’re VERY young.

      • Daniel Revas

        I’m not sure Northwestern will be better, but they will be different. I think you will see a lot less running, and more throwing it around, from their QB. I don’t think the Offense will be quite as multiple. As for their “D”, I don’t know.

  • jeff

    Nebraska is more focused on the big games, like Miami, MSU, and Wisconsin. NW has as much appeal as McNeese State. The only reason this game made prime time on BTN is because the other conference games that day are weak.

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      C’mon Jeff, really? Even an objective non NU/non-UNL fan has to admit these games have been coin flips.

      • David

        In the post below he blames the close score in 2012 on turnovers. UNL turns the ball over 4 times a game….not just in 2012 against NU.

  • ChicagoB1GRed

    Good write up. I had a great time last time we played at Ryan field. Enjoyed the game (well, the outcome at least), the atmosphere, mingling with Wildcat fans who were good sports before, during, and after the game. Most Nebraska fans think that’s what CFB is all about.

    The “NU” thing is kind of a Plains thing: Kansas/KU, Colorado/CU, Missouri/MU, Oklahoma/OU has always been the the way it was, going back to Mo Valley and Big 8 Days. “Dear old Nebraska U” as our fight song goes.

    Looking forward to taking in the game again, now we’re in the B1G West, good luck with your season.

  • brian

    GO BIG RED! i like how anytime Nebraska fans post on this dumb article it gets deleted lol

  • UNL Mike

    I know this is a “NU” fan site so it’s hard to complain too much about bias, but the one that rubbed me wrong was “lucky they’re not 0-3 against us.” I mean you can look at that both ways, we could easily be 3-0 via blowouts if we covered projected point spreads….. As noted before the turnovers played a huge factor and I think even most N’Western fans would agree that other than 2013(due to LOTS of injuries) that the Huskers have had the more talented team on the field. I have loads of respect for the way your team plays, and especially for your coach, but to say a program like Nebraska should feel lucky for being 2-1 against what you guys CURRENTLY have at N’Western is just silly

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      @UNL Mike – That’s the entire point of the post. We’re 1-2 vs UNL in the last 3 years, but every one of these games came down to the final play/drive. To say each of these outcomes wasn’t at best a coin flip late in the 4th would be disingenuous on either team’s side. Talent going in to the game and the actual outcomes of each of these games are two different arguments.

      • David

        2011 was not a coin flip. NU was up by 10 and UNL gets a late score to make it close. 2012 and 2013 were coin flips. UNL Mike you may recall that NU was down to its 6th string RB Hanrahan in the game against UNL.

        • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

          Good point David. But it was close. We needed that 11 straight run play drive to seal the deal.

      • UNL Mike

        I just took it as a slight, and I’m not half as sensitive as some Huskers fans(if you couldnt tell by some of these posts). There were a few other jabs in the article too. It’s not a bad post, for you, but it creates hate where there doesn’s need to be. They were good games, don’t get me wrong, and will continue to be, but to me it’s almost like you guys are too likeable to be rivals. Your teams are tough and well coached(not super talented yet), your coach is the man(integrity, ability, commitment to his program), and no offense but your fan base isnt large enough to challenge our stadium atmosphere or our “greatest fans in college football” trademark…..These may seem like put-downs, but I’m honestly not trying to fuel the flame. IMHO these were good games, for a variety of reasons(Hail Mary, Turnovers, Injuries, Upsets), and they should conitinue to be as your roster beefed up on talent the last 2 classes, but why turn two fan bases against each other based on the underdog being 1-2?? That doesnt seem like a healthy rivalry to me, the games may continue to trend into a rivalry, but provoking and trashing each others fan base over “lucky” is too far. Again just MHO.

        • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

          Intended spirit of the post was one of mutual respect between two fan bases based on the extremely close nature of the three game series to date. Wasn’t calling UNL “lucky” anymore then I was saying these games have been a coin flip. I stand by that. You can talk about talent level, star ratings, etc…but the truth is on the field, this series is the closest thing to a dead heat over 3 years as any series in CFB.

          • Richard Barnes

            I remember coach Switzer once said after a close game; “I’d rather be lucky than good”. I miss the old time Oklahoma/Nebraska games in the mid to late 60’s. Both coaches were sensational quote machines!

  • Catatonic Joe

    I was in Lincoln last year, and before the Hail Mary, the UNL fans surrounding me were slapping me and my brother on the back and shaking our hands, admitting that NU had come into town and handled the Nebraska team. To their credit, none of them gloated after the long pass. I think the point of the article was that the series could be 3-0 either way and that is what makes it so entertaining. For me, going to Nebraska was probably one of the most fun and memorable weekends of the season, even with the outcome. I am hoping to hear from the folks who invited us to join their Go Big Red tailgate and have invited a Nebraska fan I met through my job to come into town and sit with me. For that reason, I agree that the NU-UNL friendly rivalry game is something to look forward to. If UNL doesn’t think that the NU team is up to their standards, great. We’ll take that chip on the shoulder.

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      Well said. I met many great fans on their last trek to Evanston. I’m looking forward to it. i really feel there is a mutual respect among fans in this series, unlike others.

    • Ponca42

      Glad you had an enjoyable game experience Catatonic Joe. I am a life long Husker fan and as such am proud to be part of a great fan base (for the most part), but I think part of being a good college fan means not showboating, bragging, or being conceited. We should just enjoy the football games for what they are, an athletic struggle. A mature fan can appreciate great plays from both teams without getting bitter, angry or overly depressed (it’s a game for cryminy sake). Sure we can share in the disappointment or celebration during a season, but the game is bigger than simply wins and losses. I look forward to some epic games this year, and hold out hope that the Huskers can get their engine running on all cylinders.

  • GOBIGRED

    5-1????!!! More like 3-3. This season will end PeLLLLini.

  • Bugeater

    I’m a husker fan but I’ve always liked Northwestern. They’re smart, scrappy, tough and they never back down to anyone. I’m making this my road trip game for the year so I hope it’s a great experience and winning would certainly help that.

  • Daniel Revas

    I notice that Northwestern Writers never talk about that Alamo Bowl…:)

    • Mark Wheaton

      Can you blame us? That was about as bad a beat-down as a team can get!

      • Daniel Revas

        No, it’s not exactly a comfortable topic of conversation around here when someone wants to talk about the B1G Title Game against Wisky either. :)

      • David

        I have blocked it out of my memory…except for Damien’s long TD run. Didn’t Solich also call a flee flicker with a 35 point lead?…or was it a fake punt?…I try to block it out.

    • David

      As a rule NU fans try to NOT “Remember the Alamo”.

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      Why ruin a perfectly good memory of an otherwise stellar 2000 season! I don’t see UNL fans writing about 2011 either.

    • PBRCat

      I notice that Nebraska writers seldom mention the initial meeting between the two teams in 1931 when Northwestern rolled to a 19-7 victory.
      In a total of five games, Nebraska holds a 3-2 lead. If that entitles you to bragging rights, so be it.

      • Daniel Revas

        1931? Who remembers 1931?

        • PBRCat

          Notre Dame.

  • Daniel Revas

    Seriously, you guys have a gift for giving the Huskers a hard time, if you win more of them you could be the team we like to gripe about most…like Texas used to be.
    The only thing I’m wondering, is how is Team chemistry going to be between the Players, and the Players and Coaches, over the whole Union thing? Is there going to be some dissension? It would seem to be just Human nature.

    Will that affect the upcoming Season?

  • Rneb

    Nebraska Fan. Really looking forward to this game, and many more with N’Western. Seems these two schools have kept it classy, fight like dogs on the field, and have two very intense coaches–and players that match them.
    Basic recipe for “respect”. Class rises to the top. Win or lose. What College Football is SUPPOSED to be.
    We used to experience this with some teams in the BIG 8/XII, but it kinda slipped after the SWC remnants joined, and the backroom politics began.

    Love Chicago. Getting enamored with N’Western. ( Bro-in-law went there) Enjoy the intensity of the series.
    2-3 Turnovers shouldn’t decide the outcome–but in this series, it sure does. The Intensity reminds me of Mizzou series–but without their ever present cheap shots, and Boozy, horrible fans.

    See you in Evanston in October.

    • http://www.LakeThePosts.com/ LTP

      @Rneb – this is the type of comment/post I expected from UNL fans. When I wrote this post it was with the “mutual respect” spirit. My comments about this being a virtual coin flip between the two teams has seemingly sparked the ire of Big Red Nation.

      • Rneb

        Gee, I think your coach just leaped into the toilet….with his disparaging comments re: Nebraska and it’s fans.
        If the quote is accurate, Fitzgerald goes down in a Freudian Fire faster than Mrs O’briens Cow. Wow-He sure does shoot himself in the foot–alot!

        Your Administrators were classy, most of your fans classy, and ….then, this “turd” of a self-sabotaging coach.

        Scratch NW from the travel trip–forever. In the prose of Barry Switzer–I hope “we hang a half -a-hundred on them by half time”. ( …And then mercilessly beat the shit out of NW for the next 2 hours )

        Pelini is certainly not polished–but Fitzgerald is a complete turd.

        Not much you can do with Brown,smelly, crap.

  • PimpMario

    My idea for a NU Rivalry Trophy. Please excuse my paint skills. Anyway, pretty simple, a large NU on a poll/handle type thing. The top comes off so players and coaches and run around with it and wave it. The base has the history of the series on it. Fun fact, NU has outscored NW by 1 point since joining the B1G.

  • Richard Barnes

    Actually in 1969 and 70 we used UN on our helmets, so for me anyway it’s not a big deal.

    • Rneb

      It was NU…until the supplier ran out of “U”‘s –then it was just N.

  • Sker4Life

    Nothing personal, but I don’t really consider Northwestern a rival. They do play well, have great coaching, and out of the blue will steal a game from someone. I am more disappointed in not playing Michigan or Ohio State on a regular basis than excited about playing Northwestern each year.

    Yes, the games have been tight, but mainly due to our own mistakes. I expect fewer of them this year, as well as a drama-free win in this one.

    On a final note, the whole “Nebraska fans are soooo nice” reputation comes from fans of opposing teams that come and visit for a game. Out here on the net we’re just as scrappy as any other fans.

  • HskrDean

    I really like the series. National media and B1G beatwriters seemed to think the Iowa game would be UNL’s natural rival, which hasn’t really turned out as yet. Maybe some day, and I like the direction it’s headed, but it’s not there yet. UNL/Wisconsin is turning into a nice game, and having it annually will definitely give it some added fuel. I’m starting to really NOT like UW, they’re reminding me of a much better K-State team from the B12 days.

    However, the NU/UNL game has quietly crept up and become an important game for the Husker faithful. The fact that Big Red is barely 2-1 against the Purple NU makes many Husker fans MUCH more concerned about this game than most will let on. Personally, I have enjoyed the “who-carries-the-NU-moniker-this-year” battle, and wasn’t very happy that the Purples carried it first in 2011.

    Although the NU/UNL game isn’t necessarily one that will have national title implications or move the national media needle one way or another, I see it more so as an internal B1G West brother vs. brother, i.e. Iowa State of the old B12 North. Two teams that have mutual respect and slight dislike of each other enough to make the game a LOT of fun, a game that can ruin the happy parade of the other, but perhaps not damage a conference championship run for either team.

    Hopefully the Purple and Red NUs can both become better teams and push Iowa and Wisconsin down the ladder some, which would then give the game a little more conference and national meaning. Until then, we are just brothers from different mothers hoping to catch a well played game and rooting for your own brand of NU!

    GBR!!

  • Randy Carlson

    Thought you’d enjoy the fact that one of my email accounts (long ago) kept trying to change ‘UNL’ to ‘NUL’. I am a double alumnus of UNL, and fiercely protective of my Alma Mater, but I doubled over laughing when I saw that the spell checker had a sense of humor.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Nebraska5010
Minnesota4110
Iowa4110
Northwestern2210
Wisconsin3100
Illinois3201
Purdue2301

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Maryland4110
Ohio State3100
Michigan State3100
Penn State4111
Rutgers4101
Indiana2201
Michigan2301