As I admitted on the TRC Unleashed podcast last Sunday night, I know next to nothing about our 2012 Capitol One Bowl opponent, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. My only experiencing this year with the team from Lincoln was via my couch and a too-many-barley-pop stupor that left me with little memory of their strengths and weaknesses. Despite the malted haze I do remember the NU running back being a tough little sucker, and I think he was carving up the Spartan defense pretty good.
Given this lack of knowledge, I embarked on an intense period of in-depth study and analysis (OK, I used Google for about twenty minutes) and learned that this Nebraska football team is strikingly similar to our beloved Gamecocks. Witness the following similarities:
– Both teams play tough defense, with a strength being defending the pass.
– The linebacking corps are both sturdy, but lacking in superstar bona fides.
– Both teams feature running quarterbacks, who might not break ankles with their shiftiness, but can burn you with straight-away bursts.
– Both schools are forced to tolerate another in-state school full of inbred yokels: Clemson for SC, Mid-Plains Community College in McCook for NU.
– Both teams have one head-scratching home loss they wish they could replay: Auburn for SC, Northwestern for NU.
– Neither team has a sterling bowl record, with Nebraska’s being a little better in that it hovers just under .500, where our’s doesn’t hover so much as it absolutely and utterly fails to get off the ground.
– Both teams are known by unique nicknames, and both of these nicknames have disgustingly suggestive double entendres attached to them. (Don’t ask me to expound on this one).
– Moving on quickly, both schools were once known by other, even more inane nicknames: Nebraska’s teams have been known, at various times as “Bugeaters”, “Tree Planters”, “Nebraskans”, “The Rattlesnake Boys”, “Antelopes”, and the “Old Gold Knights.” We were once known as the “Worst Team in the Southeastern Conference” and “The Team Even Kentucky Laughs At” during the Brad Scott era.
– Both fanbases are riddled with superstitious nonsense – we have the supposed Chicken Curse, they have a Uniform Fetish that borders on the absurd. You may not realize it, but the Cornhuskers tend to go on wild losing dives every time they alter their traditional (boring) uniforms. Change to red facemasks? Inexplicable loss to Clemson in the 1982 Orange Bowl. All-red unis? Loss to Oklahoma in 1986. Side panels on jerseys? 7 losses in 2002. (Here’s hoping the 2012 Capitol One Bowl patch send them into a collective tailspin).
– Both defenses have similar nicknames: NU has The Blackshirts, SC has The Black Death (except when they are called The Fire Ants, or when they were coached by Chris Cosh, when our defense was called other, less family friendly, names).
– Both schools enter the field to somewhat clichéd, but nevertheless beloved, techno-balads: We have the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, they have the song “Sirius” by, I kid you not, The Alan Parson’s Project.
– Both teams have an excellent football tradition, ranking among the winningest programs in NCAA history, and have multiple National Championship. /looks nervously from side to side. /clears throat. /quietly leaves room.