I will be the first to tell you that I know very little in comparison to everyone here when it comes to the B1G. In fact, I've only really been following the B1G in a focused way for about 9 months. It has been a crash course on who's who, what's what, and why Jim Delany* insists on these terrible division names. Anyways, when thinking about how I can contribute to a B1G site's knowledge base, I've decided to give you my weekly sights, sounds, and stories. While I'm sure everyone knows most of what I have to say, sometimes it takes the new guy to make you appreciate (or start to not appreciate) what you have. This week was a snoozer for the most part (minus Northwestern, Purdue, and Minny... oh, that and the freaking monsoons that missed Lincoln somehow), but my thoughts and views on what happened are after the jump.
*Jim Delany insists that I apologize for making fun of his division names. Okay, maybe he doesn't, but would anyone be surprised if he did?
In Nebraska's first game in the B1G, I was most thrown off by the in-game tickers. I understand conceptually that Nebraska really is part of the B1G, but seeing them in the Big Ten section as opposed to the Big XII section is still a bit jarring. My buddy and I started talking about that at halftime a little bit deeper. You generally root for your conference in non-con play because you don't want to look bad later in the season. That's extremely normal, but now instead of caring about Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and the like, we were following Purdue, Iowa, Ohio State, and Michigan. While this seems like an extremely minor thing in the greater scheme, it will be a big transition for most Husker fans. We have been trained to root against the Big Ten for much of our lives. While we appreciated the tradition, we had to look the other way and talk about speed conferences that we were so much more in tune with. For the record, I have and will continue to always root against the ESSSSS-EEEEEEEE-SEEEEEEEE for the rest of my life. The only time I want them to win is when they play each other and the better team loses.
So when the Purdue game was tight, instead of saying go Middle Tennessee, I was rooting for the Boilermakers. When Indiana was losing to Ball State, I was angry. When Minny was ready to knock of USC... Well, I probably would have been happy regardless. The point is, I'm learning to root for new teams, which is hard. Saying, "Go Blue!" when Western Kentucky is giving their game away wasn't easy. Not laughing at MSU struggle with Youngstown State was a foreign concept. I may, from time to time, screw this up and root against a B1G team. Don't take it personal; old habits are hard to break.
As a quick aside, I'm more than happy at 12 teams in the B1G, but with the impending doom that Oklahoma is about to hammer us with, talks are ramping up for a Notre Dame relationship... finally. With that said, does anyone really want Notre Dame? Have they finally worn out their cache? I mean, is there a team who underachieves more consistently and catastrophically than the Irish? Also, a raise of hands, who here wasn't rooting for South Florida? Anybody? Exactly. Case closed. Let's expand, but screw Notre Dame. Let them go play ball with Harvard. Moving on..
Nebraska has a rap song that is going to set the standards for our new tradition of back and forth chanting between the third and fourth quarter. I'll let you decide what to think about your new B1G member's, 'tradition.'
For the record, I don't hate it, but the old WON'T BE BEAT, CAN'T BE BEAT thing will take time to catch on. Also, I absolutely hate the field of corn thing. Most Nebraskan's do not walk around in corn fields. Sometimes we see them, but between the pesticides and herbicides (not to mention trespassing laws), we stay clear of the corn.
One last sound thing. What was up with BTN all weekend? The Iowa game was terrible, the Purdue was only okay, and I missed at least four plays where the commercial break lasted longer than the actual break in football. Is this normal? Just curious.
Each week, I hope to give you my big story from the week. Recaps? Nope, because you all have the BTN and the WWL and saw the game or at least saw highlights. Also, Corn Nation does a fine job giving you insight into what happened on Saturday. No, for me, this is all about what matters most (to me). This week we're talking Taylor Martinez. In case you weren't aware, the kid is extremely fast. Just ask the Mocs chasing him on one of his long TD runs. The thing is, he still looked abysmal in the passing game, and I think it all centers on his funny throwing motion and penchant for locking onto receivers. I commented earlier today and said it looked like Rowengartner from Rookie of the Year. I tried to find a still of that throwing motion, but apparently the interwebz doesn't have any. Oh well. Go to NetFlix, watch the scenes where he's throwing and put Martinez' head on the kid. You get the idea.
With that said, I'm not exactly worried about the offense as much as the rest of the B1G writers are. Mostly because we looked better than we have in the past. Only one turnover (backup QB) and one penalty! Ladies and gentlemen, it's all about expectations. Also, it is important to point out that while watching the rest of the B1G, nobody looked wonderful. Northwestern is our hero this week, but was there really one team that looked like they took care of business outside of the box score? I don't think so. In a week where Purdue escaped, Indiana didn't, and Minnesota took home a (much deserved) moral victory, nobody was a huge surprise. Nebraska will look more complex (I hope) as the season progresses. I think that Time Beck is holding that playbook close to his chest still. The Mocs weren't going to win. Plain and simple. Beck knew that, Pelini knew that, everyone on the Yahoo! Pick 'em knew it. So why go all wild and crazy?
I look forward to this season. Seeing the Huskers in the Big Ten Ticker is still weird, and I'm going to have to answer a lot of questions about Martinez, but we're 1-0 and football is finally here! It's about time.