Shatel: Not ducking power foes is best stance for Huskers -
Published Monday, October 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm / Updated at 10:31 am
Shatel: Not ducking power foes is best stance for Huskers

There's a lot to like with Oregon-Nebraska, but here's my favorite part: Shawn Eichorst referencing the “College Football Playoff era” in his statement.

NU had an opening for 2016-17 and Eichorst filled it with one of the top two programs in the nation. Scheduling heavyweights can be a dicey situation; you never know how they're going to look several years down the road.

But there's no reason to think Oregon won't be quacking along at the same clip in three years. Or even better.

Tough game, great game, but how about Eichorst including the part about scheduling “as we roll into the College Football Playoff era?” You gotta love that, if you're a Husker fan. NU football looks years from having to worry about a four-team playoff, but that's how you want to think, and that's definitely how you want your administration to think and act. Big time.

Nebraska's new athletic boss is rarely seen or heard. But if you wondered about the standards he holds for football, that's a welcome statement. Literally.

» The game has already been called the “Scott Frost Bowl,” which caused several responses involving Frost on Twitter. One of the more interesting came from Bruce Feldman of, who tweeted, “Hunch: Frost will be HC someplace else by then.”

That prompted a barrage of “at Nebraska” tweets. Which was followed by this tweet from Omaha Storm Chasers president and Louisiana Tech grad Martie Cordaro: “hopefully@LATechFB.”

Nice try, Martie.

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» My sixth grade daughter reports that the boys in her class like Oregon football, not Nebraska. And so we have one more reason for her not to talk to boys.

» Nebraska will host an NCAA women's basketball regional at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in March. Which means if the Huskers can make another Sweet 16, they would likely get to play to go to the Final Four on their home court. The NCAA had gotten away from allowing this, hoping that it wouldn't need home courts to prop up attendance for its women's tournament. But NU coach Connie Yori said on Monday the concept was brought back on the recommendation of Val Ackerman, who was hired by the NCAA as a consultant for women's hoops.

Yes, the same Ackerman who is commissioner of Creighton's Big East Conference. How's that for a twist?

» Like the new Creighton logo a bunch. I'm sure the folks who will sell the new merchandise like it even more.

» The Lancers have done just about everything since they've been dropping the puck in Omaha, but goaltender Cole Bruns in rocking the hockey world. Bruns has five consecutive shutouts to start the season. Our good friend Ben Robert, owner and president of the Lancers, wrote to say “five consecutive shutouts is unheard of in the hockey world.” Folks are hearing about it now. It probably won't be long before Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman will want to sign Bruns at midseason.

» The NCHC's inaugural season includes a no-tie rule. After overtime, the teams will go to a shootout for conference games. In those NCHC games, teams that win in regulation or overtime get three points, teams that win in a shootout get two and teams that get in the shootout but lose still get one point. UNO coach Dean Blais said he likes the format. Me, too. I especially like the three-point wrinkle. You can make a move in the standings in a hurry with a couple of league wins.

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» Matt Davison was a competitor as a Husker, but now he's about to enter a new arena that can be just as fierce: the restaurant business. Davison is a partner in “Gate 25,” a new restaurant in the Haymarket Area next to Pinnacle Bank Arena that Davison calls an “upper end” sports bar. I suppose that means they have wine goblets.

What is Gate 25? Davison said, “There are 24 gates at Memorial Stadium; this is Gate 25, kind of like the 19th hole.”

» Yeah, I'll say it: Walloping Oklahoma would be a heck of a walk-off for Texas coach Mack Brown. Coaches don't think in terms of retirement. You have to pry the headset off their noggins. But if Brown can put some good vibes back into the program this year, why not go out his way?

» Apparently now if you pick against Missouri in a big game they call you a “hater.” We used to call them realists. That was as big a victory as Missouri has had. Dare I say, bigger than the wins over NU in 2007 and 2008, simply because Georgia was a top 10 team. Now, you'll hear speculation about a Nebraska-Missouri matchup in an Outback or Gator Bowl. Wouldn't be any storylines in that game, would there?

» The juice is back at Arrowhead Stadium, which makes it all the more imperative that the Chiefs win the AFC West from Denver. Wild cards hit the road in January.

» Yes, that was NU men's hoops coach Tim Miles on the sidelines at the Denver-Jacksonville game on Sunday, but Miles wasn't there to cheer Peyton Manning. Miles is a long-time chum of Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, who was a defensive assistant coach at North Dakota State when Miles was head basketball coach from 2001-07.

Miles, who took his nine-year-old son Gabe to the game, wore a Nebraska pullover. A lot of folks recognized the former Colorado State coach, but Miles said the Husker outfit didn't prompt any rude comments from the Denver crowd.

“The CU people left me alone,” Miles said. “But they didn't like me when I was here.”

» Bob Gibson coaching a St. Louis pitcher in the Cardinals' dugout during an NLCS game, while wearing a navy Cardinals' blazer, had to be the coolest thing I've seen in a while.

» Mr. McDermott goes to the city. That's on Wednesday, the first Big East basketball media day, in New York City. Coach Greg McDermott and players Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs will represent the Creighton men's team. Let the long flights and taxi cab receipts begin.

» People ask about the difference between the Big 12 and Big Ten all the time. Here's one: The press box at Purdue, like Ohio State and Michigan State, is separated into two parts. One end of the press box is for the home team media, while the other end is where the visiting media sits. So we have virtually no contact with the other Big Ten media. A small thing, but in the Big 12, you felt like you knew everyone.

» One more and I'm outta here: It's a bye week, so take your significant other out to dinner on Saturday night. My advice is to find a spot where there will be a game on TV. That's my version of multi-tasking.

Contact the writer: Tom Shatel    |   402-444-1025    |  

Tom Shatel is a sports columnist who covers the city, regional and state scene.

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