Hello again friends! The gnomes want you to know that they love all of you. Yes, even you Rutgers. But they want Nebraska to know that they love the Huskers most of all! Because if it wasn’t for Nebraska the mockery rankings for Week 3 of the Big Ten season would be much weaker and less enjoyable. But Nebraska came through and the gnomes send them all the heart emojis.
A loss to Northern Illinois where your first round pick quarterback (yes, Tanner Lee got McShay’d) throws a bunch of terrible interceptions and your fans are forced to (again) confront that it’s not the 1990’s anymore? One that causes everyone to freak out and Corn Nation to write multiple think pieces about the state of Nebraska football? One that brings us the answer to an important question affecting vegetarians everywhere?
THE GNOMES LOVE YOU NEBRASKA.
BRING ON THE TWITTER DISPLAY OF SHAME AND MOCKERY! Wait. No. First the Corn Nation self-flagellation.
I suppose there’s some of us in the Nebraska fanbase that think they are in a Groundhog Day sequence. And, for the most part, they’re right. But it’s not just since Mike Riley’s been in Lincoln.
He hasn’t helped the cause. But, before you get your nostrils up in a hizzy about what needs to be done TODAY about Mike Riley, Shawn Eichorst and any other son of a bitch in North Stadium over losing to Northern Illinois, we got to call ourselves out.
We first have to remember when things changed for Nebraska football. It’s been a while.
For those that don’t feel like thinking right now, here’s a easier timeline: 15 years, 9 months, 24 days.
That was when the magical run of Nebraska Football died. Do you all know that? I mean, that’s when the Husker magic really kinda spewed its final breath. The burial was at the Rose Bowl later that year as Miami put it down on the Huskers for a NC.
But see, that’s the thing. Sometimes, the program and fanbase of Nebraska Football gets a little bit of success, and we think Nebraska is back. They get to the conference title game in Kansas City, only to shit the bed there, and in Dallas, and against Ball State and thereafter.....
They get beat on a fluke at Virginia Tech, only to create a monster in Faurot Field on a rainy Thursday night. Which is fine, then the Cyclones come to town with 8 turnovers, four inside the five yard line. Then followed by :01 left after a thrown away pass in Cowboys Stadium....
It’s beating Colorado and being up 17-0 in the second quarter of the same game in Cowboys Stadium, only to lose that, then get physically embarrassed by a team you beat by five touchdowns in a bowl game where you claimed you were back a year before.
It’s winning your last six games in a row to make a new conference championship game and playing a 7-5 team, only to give up 63 points in the first 45 minutes. Then, for good measure, getting shut out the last 24 minutes vs. a SEC team in Orlando.
It’s being up 17-3 in the second quarter of a game for your division, only for 408 to happen against a team that’s owned your ass ever since you got in that new division. Still does.
See, what happened Saturday against the Huskies, it’s kind of not even a rip on Riley, although the reaction to it will be. Again, more later.
What it is is when even the smidge of success is even attainable to this program, fanbase, we tend to clamor about how things are back. But, when it goes in the shitter, we hearken to the days of Doctor Tom, who knew what play to call at the perfect time, and got the most out of kids! Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but in the end that’s what folks remember.
500 yard rushing days, a defense that had as many bad apples as playmakers, and by god that’s The Nebraska Way!
But, really, The Nebraska Way is what folks clamor for every time things go bad. Going back to that 2001 team, it had guys that were there from when TO gave the reins to Frank Solich.
Oh that’s not even the end of that post.
It occurred to me that it's going to be "work" to be a Nebraska fan this season. I still have hope that this team is going to pull its head out of a dark place and go on to win most of its games. I still have hope that they can save their head coaches job, because I don't think it will do us any good to keep up the lather, rinse, repeat scenario of hiring and firing coaches when they don't meet our expectations. This is not to say that I have a lot of faith in Mike Riley's coaching staff, but I still have a lot of hope.
Let's go back to that "work" comment.
For most of my life it's been pretty easy to be a Nebraska fan. Tom Osborne's teams steamrolled opponents who were physically inferior and probably had fewer real athletes than the northern Illinois team we lost two on Saturday. We came down to one or two big games a season, and Osborne is known for winning those games in a hot streak in the 90s. Previously he was known for not "winning the big one”, but we tend to forget that, as is common in myth making.
Even beyond Osborne it's been easy. You can whine about not winning a conference title since 1999 and how hard it's been, but even most of those years Nebraska has had winning records along with division titles. When you’re thinking about how hard it is to be a fan, don't compare yourself to your own past – I had a younger fan this weekend tell me that the one thing he hates about being a Nebraska fan is that he hates hearing from all the older people about "how great everything used to be". Most of that is irrelevant right now.
If you want to know what I mean by "work", compare yourself to a Purdue fan. Or pick Minnesota. Or Iowa, the team we make fun of who doesn't have any trophies, but has still managed to beat us three out of the last four years. Those teams still have fans – they don't have a sellout streak to point to, but they still have fans. The fans of those teams may be making fun of you this year. They will be laughing at you and taunting you on social media.
Welcome to the Gnomes life guys. Ok, now let’s go to the Nebraska Twitter party!
Nebraska has started 1-2 just three times in the past 56 seasons ... two of three have come under Riley.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) September 16, 2017
Corn is best when it's nice and salty. pic.twitter.com/oZN9qY3ZJS— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 16, 2017
What a bad, bad loss for Mike Riley. Sad state of affairs for Nebraska football.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 16, 2017
The gnomes wouldn’t call it sad Stew.
Minnesota’s fans watched Nebraska lose at their stadium on the big screen.— CornNation (@CornNation) September 16, 2017
Student section cheered.
Minnesota with a pick six to move ahead of MTSU 20-3.— CornNation (@CornNation) September 16, 2017
Should have hired PJ Fleck.
A lady in our section tried cheering "Go Huskers!" but coughed half way through and that's the best metaphor for this game I can think of.— Hilary Winter (@hilary_winter) September 16, 2017
NEBRASKA FANS HAVE FOUND THE SOLUTION YOU GUYS.
Never ever forget that every week Husker fans pretend to be the clown from IT.
The balloons were immediately intercepted by Northern Illinois and returned for touchdowns. https://t.co/qVFPMeGHxL— AmericaNeedsFarmabro (@PV_GIA) September 16, 2017
Not sure how you expect people to type while holding these balloons. https://t.co/u3Aw4TqEH1— AmericaNeedsFarmabro (@PV_GIA) September 16, 2017
EVERYONE SAY HI TO BOB!
The bridge's name is Bob which makes it the most Nebraska bridge ever.— RK (@roh_tweets) September 19, 2017
And in other tweets you weren’t expecting...
You’ve got that to look forward to Husker fans.
2) Illinois (2-1)
I’m sure OG’s comment there just shocked you. No? You already thought Illinois was bad? Why? Because they should have lost to a bad Ball State team? Because Lovie Smith has done nothing to prove himself yet? Because they’re Illinois?
Friday’s loss to USF was notable for only one reason. Penalties.
For the record I am meticulously cataloguing EVERY USF-Illinois penalty. The NCAA record is 36. We're well on our way. pic.twitter.com/R3majscY1b— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 16, 2017
I'm mildly annoyed we've gone ~10 minutes of real time without a penalty.— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 16, 2017
I think the teams finished with 30. I would have boo’d the refs for not setting the record had I lobotomized myself enough to travel to watch Illinois on the road.
How BAD is Illinois? Actual CFB writers are forgetting about Rutgers.
Trying hard to think of a worse Power 5 team than Illinois... #ILLvsUSF— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) September 16, 2017
In case you were wondering, Illinois plays dirty football. I don’t actually think that, but I was told by Illinois fans that feeling as though the targeting rule is imprecisely applied means that I and TDG support dirty play. Since they had a player ejected for targeting I didn’t want them to think I condoned that BS when they did it.
So Illinois fans are gonna call their own team dirty now right? Or do they condone dirty play? (/sarcasm)— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) September 16, 2017
Oh yea, The Champaigne Room had thoughts too.
Oh I’m sorry, the Gnomes forgot they were done with mocking Nebraska. Actual thoughts about Illinois being bad:
2. Through three weeks, I still can’t figure out what this offense is trying to accomplish.And this is equally as concerning as the development of the starting quarterback. You can recruit a better quarterback, and young guys on the team are going to improve, but if this offense doesn’t do a better job finding an identity and using its assets, it’s a systemic problem that’s going to continue for years.
Whose job is it to fix this issue? For one, it’s Garrick McGee’s. What are you going to be? Are you going to put Jeff George Jr. in the shotgun and spread it around to your receivers? Or are you going to keep Chayce Crouch behind center and take off his training wheels? Whatever McGee’s answers to those questions are, he needs to commit to them. The offensive line is a detriment to either direction, but there are creative ways to plant your flag and build around a mindset. I watched bad offensive lines gain an advantage this weekend through creative misdirection in the running game, screen game and wide receiver quick hitters that aren’t all tunnel screens.
No matter which quarterback starts the Nebraska game, McGee has to do a better job tailoring the offense to that guy's strengths.
Minnesota’s defense has got to like the sound of all this. Also, look at the cute little USF fan failing at Twitter.
USF fan coming strong with the terrible hot takes that are bad even if they didn't include a reading comprehension fail. pic.twitter.com/OgqMO5emZi— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) September 16, 2017
3) Iowa (3-0)
The Hawkeyes are big teases and the gnomes hate them more for it. Iowa almost gave us the Nebraska/Iowa bad loss daily double. They were losing to NORTH TEXAS. I bet a lot of people in Iowa didn’t know there was a school called North Texas. They are called the Mean Green. Do you know how many Iowa fans would freak out about losing to a color?
The number is large. Anywho, over to Black Heart Gold Pants.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have no alibi for Saturday afternoon. It was ugly. You all either saw it live or have no doubt read either the quick recap or the full morning after redux. There’s really no way around it. Things got weird and they didn’t look great for the home team.
After initially ruling it a TD, the finest officiating crew any middle school in Spain has ever seen somehow saw enough on replay (through an opponent’s body, no less) to determine the ball was coming loose prior to Easley crossing the goal line. No dice. Even better? Fumble went out the side of the endzone for a turnover and a touchback. North Texas ball at their own 20.
Six plays and 2:44 of game clock later and RB Jeffrey Wilson sliced through the Iowa defense like a hot knife through butter to put the Mean Green up 7-0. What. The. Hell. This isn’t how these things are supposed to go. But the craziness and the ugliness was just getting started.
ICYMI: It didn't count, but we all know this Akrum Wadley TD happened.— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) September 16, 2017
Excessive celebration? pic.twitter.com/x3pxtUDyj6
Ugh. “Excessive Celebration” = 15 yards from the spot = 1st and 10 from the 21. 7 points off the board, Iowa not even in the redzone and I am heated.
*We need to just take a moment here and talk about how insane this is. You can sit here and talk to me about the rule book and how stupid it was of Wadley to showboat like that on the way into the endzone. Fine. Do you have a TV? Do you ever watch games other than Iowa? Have you ever watched Wadley score a TD before? Have you ever watched any player in the history of football get a sack, create a turnover or find his way to pay dirt (who didn’t happen to be an Iowa FB, OL or LB)? THEY. ALL. DO. IT. Every time! Ever damn time. Where is the line? Nobody knows. It’s like holding. It can be called every time but you only should throw the flag when it’s egregious or the reason a play is able to move forward. This was a ludicrous call, on par with the roughing the long snapper penalty in the Michigan game last year. End rant. For now.*
THE REFS WANTED YOU TO WIN NORTH TEXAS AND YOU BLEW IT.
4) Rutgers (
2-1 errrrr 1-2)
RUTGERS BACK Y’ALL (via The Athletic, which you really need to subscribe to)
Rutgers ended the longest losing streak in FBS (11 games), and Austin Peay ended the longest losing streak in all of Division I (29 games).
Rutgers beat Morgan State 65-0, its first win since Sept. 17, 2016 against New Mexico.
On The Banks was properly subdued.
A Positive Step Forward But...
It was nice to see Rutgers finally put together a complete performance and dominate an opponent the entire game, something they’ve struggled to do against FCS competition in recent years. However, we really don’t know what to expect from this team in Big Ten play. If Rutgers can play closer to how they performed in the 16 point loss to Washington and the offense can continue to improve, then they can hopefully win a couple of Big Ten games, possibly more. Remember, Northwestern lost to a MAC school in Western Michigan and a FCS school in Western Illinois last season, but still finished with a winning record. There are still nine games to play this season for Rutgers. Next week’s Big Ten opener against Nebraska on the road will tell us a lot more about this team than this win. The Cornhuskers lost today by the way, also falling to a MAC opponent, suffering a 21-17 defeat to Northern Illinois. After losing 11 straight games, we can all take a breath and hope Rutgers can keep improving.
Also, you may be wondering why Rutgers is #4 in this list after a big win. The gnomes would like to refer to Exhibit A:
Also, I think OTB made a mistake here. The story below should have been titled RUTGERS FACES NEBRASKA AT PERFECT TIME TO MAKE HUSKER FANS BURN STATE TO GROUND OVER LOSING TO RUTGERS but I guess OTB missed that memo.
Regardless, Shawn Eichorst is in trouble. And we know that how? The Chancellor at Lincoln recommended that Eichorst and Riley both get one year contract extensions back in August. The University President, however, said let’s wait and revisit the issue in December. That doesn’t sound good for either man.
And they are both hosting Rutgers this Saturday.
Which means both men - and the football team they oversee - are desperate. They need to win.
Just as Rutgers goes into Lincoln.
No one else did mockery worthy things because they hate the idea of their SBN blogs getting your clicks. In summary:
- Wisconsin (3-0) beat BYU
- Michigan (3-0) beat Air Force
- Northwestern (2-1) beat Bowling Green
- Purdue (2-1) absolutely demolished Missouri
- Ohio State (2-1) beat Army
- Penn State (3-0) shut out Georgia State. The Gnomes considered mocking James Franklin for icing the GSU kicker up a billion, but decided they didn’t care.
- Maryland (2-0), Michigan State (2-0), and Indiana (1-1, 0-1 B1G)were all on a bye week. Screw those guys too.
And now this...
PUPPIES ARE THE BEST. NEVER MOCK HAPPY PUPPIES!