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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 16, 1996)
For the good
of the sport,
hold a playoff
For the past two years, I have
tried to support the Bowl Alliance.
Convincing myself that the
bowls are good for college football
and a welcome reward for a good
season has been a December tradi
tion for me.
But I just can’t do it anymore.
I have switched allegiances, and
now I am shouting from the band
wagon. It’s time for a playoff.
This season has killed any
chance that I could continue to sup
port .the alliance. When two 11-0
teams can’t play for the national
championship, something is wrong.
Even in a few years, when the
Rose Bowl finally joins the rest of
the world, it still won’t be fun
watching the other games, because
no team will be happy about where
How is an unmotivated Ne
braska team going to get up for Vir
ginia Tech? How can Brigham
Young be happy about playing in
the Cotton Bowl? How can Colo
rado be pleased with the Holiday
Bowl? The list goes on and on.
If college football’s hierarchy
got together and planned a playoff
— for the good of the sport — it
could be a spectacle greater than the
Super Bowl and the Olympics.
First, the season needs to be
dropped to 10 games.
I can already hear athletic direc
tors complaining. Bill Byrne has
often talked about how a six-game
home schedule is essential for the
university to make money.
With only 10 home games and
an eight-game conference slate, the
Huskers would be looking at five
games at Memorial Stadium.
Counter this with the playoff, in
which each team gets to keep the
money from its first two games, in
stead of sharing with the league.
With a 10-game season, every
league champion could be crowned
on Thanksgiving weekend. On that
Sunday, call it Selection Sunday, 16
teams are invited to the playoff.
ims year, Louisiana Mate (y-i)
and Miami (8-3) would not have
Is that fair? I don’t know. But
when you have 64 teams in the
NCAA basketball tournament,
some teams are left out. This sea
son, Wyoming is not going to a
bowl. Is that fair?
Imagine Alabama vs. Florida
State, Penn State playing Colorado,
Northwestern vs. Nebraska. Excel
lent matchups with a great deal at
First-round games are played on
December’s first weekend at the
sites of the Holiday, Sun, Copper,
Alamo, Peach, Carquest, Outback
and Independence bowls.
The winners advance to the
Elite Eight, to be played the next
weekend at four more bowl sites.
The Final Four is the third week
end of December and die champi
onship game is played on New
With this system, a true cham
pion is found. The bowls aren’t lost
and money isn’t squandered.
Most importantly, however,
teams and fans are excited and in
trigued about every game.
Kluck is a graduate student in
journalism and a Daily Nebras
kan senior reporter.
GRANT WISTROM chases Tfexas running back Ricky Williams during Nebraska’s 37-27 loss to Tfexas in the Big 12 championship game. No. 6 NU
will play No. 10 Virginia Tfech in the Orange Bowl, Dec. 31 in Miami.
Huskers will 'play for
pride' against Virginia
Tbch in Miami.
When Nebraska takes the field for
the 63rd Orange Bowl at Pro Player
Stadium in Miami at 6 p.m. on Dec.
Osborne knows he
will have a well
Osborne may not
know is what type
of NU team he
- will try to lead to
Minter victory and ring in
a third straight
happy new year in Nebraska.
The Huskers’ state of mind is in
doubt. For the first time in four sea
sons, NU will not be playing for the
national championship. And it won’t
be until the moon is high over Miami
that Nebraska will know if its disap
pointing 1996 season ends on a happy
ii s always a concern now people
react when they have played in three
straight national-championship games
and then all of a sudden they aren’t,”
Osborne said. “We had an opportunity
to play in the fourth. Then on the other
hand, if we can win it, we will have
won 47 games in four years, which I
don’t think anybody has done.”
The New Year’s Eve game will be
the first-ever Orange Bowl held away
from the Orange Bowl stadium.
If the Huskers (10-2) beat the
Hokies (10-1), Nebraska will complete
a four-year string with a 47-3 mark.
One of those wins was a 24-17 vic
tory over Miami in the 1995 Orange
In addition to wanting to be part of
a team that has won more games than
any group in a Tour-year period,
Husker players said there are many
other motivational factors in playing
the lOth-ranked Hokies.
“A lot of people thought when the
Texas game was over, since were not
playing for (the national champion
' ship), that we would have nothing to
Poe. No. Nano HL WL Yr. Poe. No. Nemo HL WL Yr.
MIKE 44 Jon Hesse 6-4 250 Sr. ILB 49 Steve Tate 6-1 240 Jr.
LCB 20 Michael Booker 6-2 205 Sr. LCB 12 Loren Johnson 5-10 176 So.
lose,” defensive tackle Jason Peter
said. “We are still playing for pride,
and we certainly want to go out and
finish the season off on the right note.
“To a certain extent, since we are
not playing for the whole thing, there’s
not that pressure. We’re still Nebraska,
and Virginia Tech has never been to a
game like this, playing Nebraska in the
However, senior Mike Minter said
he has a different motivation heading
into his final game.
“I’m looking forward to going
down there to have fun and take care
of business for the last time here at
Nebraska,” Minter said. “This is it
This is the last game I am going to put
on the Big Red uniform and go out and
‘It definitely will be tough, but I
think that will be a motivation for most
of the seniors. For the last time, they
are going to go (Hit there and play for
Coach Osborne. That’s big enough if
you need motivation.”
Minter, who has played Will line
backer since NU’s Nov. 29 win over
Colorado, said he will probably return
to the defensive backfield during the
Virginia Tech’s rushing attack is
led by junior tailback Ken Oxendine
and senior fullback Brian Edmonds.
Oxendine, an All-Big East Conference
first-team selection, led the confer
ence, scoring 13 touchdowns, and fin
ished second with 914 rushing yards,
averaging 5.9 yards per attempt.
Edmonds gained 298 yards, on 67
But what concerns Minter and has
prompted the coaches to start Ryan
Terwilliger at Will linebacker is the
size of the two running backs.
Oxendine is 6-foot-1 and 221 pounds,
and Edmonds is 5-10 and 235 pounds.
“They try to pound it at you,”
Minter said. “In the past history, big
backs have not had much success on
us. For the first time, I don’t think there
will be any pressure on our game.
Please see ORANGE on 11
Aloha Bowl Dec 25
Navy (8-3) vs. California (6-5)
Carquest Bowl Dec 27
Miami (8-3) vs. Virginia (74)
Peach Bowl Dec 28
Clems<ffl(74) vs. LSU(9-2)
Holiday Bowl Dec 30
Washington (9-2) vs. Colorado (9-2)
Independence Bowl Dec. 31
Auburn (7-4^ vs.Anqr(ll-1)
Gator Bowl Jan.1 I
North Carotina (9-2)vs.West Virginia (8-3) |
Cotton Bowl Jan. 1
Kansas St (9-2) vs.BYU (13-1)
Fiesta Bowl Jan.1 I
Penn St (10-2) vs. Texas (84)
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