Parting Husker thoughts

Thanks for the memories, Nebraska football. Nothing else, just Nebraska football.

Thanks for Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. Thanks for Mike Rozier and Eric Crouch. Thanks for Memorial Stadium on a home Saturday. Thanks for Nebraska being what it is to that state’s sports fans. Thanks for Dave Humm and Vince Ferragamo. Thanks for the great rival you helped create with Kansas State back in the late-1990s and early 2000s.

Thanks for the OU-Nebraska memories, which culminated Saturday with a spirited game for the Big 12 championship in Dallas.

Johnny Rodgers

Johnny Rodgers

Thanks for Tommie Frazier and Johnny Rodgers. Thanks for those classic uniforms and the simple ‘N’ on the side of the helmets. Thanks for the press box, one of the best I’ve ever worked from. Thanks for Mike Brown and Ralph Brown. Thanks for Lincoln, a great little city that doesn’t get its due. Thanks for Irving Fryar and Trev Alberts. Thanks for The Game of the Century against Oklahoma in 1971, which might hold on to become the Game of Two Centuries.

Thanks to Nebraska fans for almost always treating the opponent with respect. Thanks to Barry Switzer, for being the oil to Tom Osborne’s water. Thanks to Rich Glover and Ndamukong Suh.

Nebraska, thanks for everything.

* After such a nice tribute, I have to say I have no regrets about the Huskers leaving the Big 12 now. And that I was happy that Oklahoma beat Nebraska on Saturday night. I’m not an OU fan, but it would have been too much if Nebraska had been able to leave the conference with a football championship on its arm.

Bo Pelini is a difficult coach to like. He doesn’t symbolize, to me, the class Nebraska used to stand for. We’ll see how it goes for the Huskers on their move north. The Big 12 is a lesser football conference without them, for sure. But the trade-off is that there’s no more Pelini. I’m good with that.

* The Wichita State basketball team certainly didn’t embarrass itself with its performance at San Diego State on Saturday night. But the Shockers will always wonder “what if?. . . ”

What if they hadn’t had that meltdown midway through the second half, when the Aztecs’ pressure forced the Shockers into numerous mistakes and turnovers? It went from being a close game to a near-blowout in a matter of a couple of minutes and that’s difficult to take.

WSU is a good basketball team, perhaps even a very good one. But to cement an at-large spot into the NCAA Tournament, with the Missouri Valley Conference being down the way it is, won’t be easy. And a win over a name opponent is much needed. San Diego State is a name opponent, at least this season. That’s a good basketball team coached by Steve Fisher.

Meanwhile, Kansas State had a better result on its journey west, beating Washington State on Friday night in Pullman. But I’m not sure the Wildcats gained much from the victory except for a mark in the win column.

That was ugly. Both teams looked awful and K-State is still searching for the right combination in the backcourt. It’s incredible how much the Wildcats miss departed point guard Denny Clemente, whose personalize jibed perfectly with that of K-State coach Frank Martin. They were in sync, and Martin is struggling to find a guard to emulate him in the way Clemente did.

Still, the Cats are ranked No. 4, one spot behind Kansas, in the ESPN/USA Today Coach’s poll, out today. No panic is necessary. But Martin and his team have things on which to work.

Quick hitters:

  • Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the toughness of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who played Sunday night’s game against Baltimore on a bad foot and endured a shot to the nose.
  • Interesting that offensive coordinator Greg Davis is taking the fall for Texas’ woes this season. Somebody had to. But didn’t Davis coach some of the most high-octane offensive teams in NCAA history while with the Longhorns?
  • My Heisman vote has been sent. It was easy: Cam Newton, LaMichael James, Andrew Luck. In that order. Newton wins this thing in a landslide.
  • Love baseball’s winter meetings. Biggest question in these parts: Will Zack Greinke get traded? I think so, because I think he’s pushing hard for something to happen.
  • I like the Patriots in tonight’s game against the New York Jets. But I’m not confident.
  • The Chiefs had a great Sunday, beating Denver while San Diego was losing to Oakland. Now, only a choke job can keep KC out of the playoffs. I don’t think the Chiefs have a choke job in them.

My Facebook Friend

Jessica Lucas Miller

Jessica and a poodle

Jessica and a poodle

Well, I don’t really know Jessica very well. In fact, we’ve met only a couple of times: Once at the Cottonwood Hills golf course, where she was helping market its grand opening; and a second time when she was on our radio show, “Sports Daily,” to help promote something going on in Hutchinson. Forgive me, I don’t remember what it was. It’s surprising I remember I am involved in a radio show.

Anyway, my observation is that Jessica is one of the nicest people on the planet and the picture I’ve included here does nothing to dis-spell that notion. She’s a native of Wellington who now lives in Hutchinson with her husband. Here’s Jessica in her words:

My name is Jessica Lucas Miller and I live in Hutchinson. I’m not a sports fan in the sense of loving to watch sporting events, but I love reading about the personal stories of the trials and successes of athletes at all levels.

I first met Bob when he interviewed Nick Faldo at the now defunct Cottonwood Hills Golf Course. I enjoyed his company that day and was delighted to later “friend” him on Facebook. It’s a privilege to be connected, if primarily only through social media, to one of the individuals whose sports perspective I enjoy listening to/reading. I think it is his dry wit and candidness that I most appreciate … even if I don’t always share the same opinion.