The Best College Recruiter

Welcome to this edition of

First Downs and Second Guesses

Blog #162- October 2018

Let's talk about a couple things happening in our neck of the woods...

In this space last month, I mentioned that the University of Nebraska football team started the 2018 season 0-2.  I'm using this space again to mention that the team is presently 0-6, the only Power Five conference team not to have won a game yet this year.  But the story for Husker fans is even more dire:  The team is currently on a 10-game losing streak stretching back to last season.  The 0-6 start is the worst in the 129-year history of Nebraska football.  The team hasn't won in 354 days.

Are Husker fans ready to do bodily harm to themselves from disgust and anger?  Can they handle the humiliation that goes with the 0-6 start?  Are they ready to pay off first-year coach Scott Frost's $35 million contract?  The answers: No. Yes.  And No.

If things had fallen right, the Huskers should be 4-2.   Colorado beats them when the Husker starting QB goes down in the fourth quarter.  Troy beats them when the Husker backup QB can't quite get the job done.  They didn't belong on the same field as Michigan.  Wisconsin wins late.  Purdue plays lights out.  And the Huskers blow a 14-point fourth quarter lead at Northwestern to lose in overtime.

You're thinking, "Ah. Losing is contagious."  Partly true.  But there are more tangible reasons.  The Huskers lead the country in penalties and penalty yards.  Their defense is ranked somewhere in the 110 out of 127 Division I teams.  If there is a way to lose a game, the Huskers will find it right now.  Special teams are far from special.

Husker fans are willing to wait this out until all of the players are Frost's.  There are still some Bo Pelini and Mike Riley players around.  The culture is not where it should be yet.  Key players need to get healthy.  And the youngins' need to step up when they get their chance.

The Husker radio play-by-play guy, Greg Sharpe, has named this the "season of the cleanse."  Meaning: Cleanse the program of players who don't want to be here.  Cleanse the program by losing games now to win games later.  We'll see how that plays out the remainder of the season.  

Frost and his staff continue to stay positive with the players.  The majority of the fan base continues to look for improvement each game, even if the final score isn't a pretty one.  And I'll keep my season tickets.


The Creighton University men's basketball program was implicated last week in federal court in New York by the father of a former Bluejay recruit who told the jury that Creighton, through one of its assistant coaches, offered the family $100,000 and a "lucrative job" if the son signed with the team.  Creighton officials have denied the accusation.

Brian Bowen, Sr. said he was told by a would-be agent who is on trial for assorted crimes relating to this case, that assistant coach Preston Murphy allegedly made the cash and job offer to lure Brian Bowen to Creighton.  Murphy has remained silent on the matter, and Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen says that no evidence has been discovered to prove Bowen's statement.

Creighton is not known as a school that reverts to cash offers to recruits.  The athletic program has never been cited by the NCAA for major rules infractions.  The school has been labeled the top academic university in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for several years.  It's a proud institution that strives to do things the right way.

Even if/when Creighton is exonerated in the courts, there will still be a residual effect of just having been mentioned in such a story.  But it's recruiting fodder for unsavory coaches out there who won't be shy in mentioning that fact if they are recruiting against Creighton for a player.  College athletics has a very dark side to it.  This is one such example.

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