Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
My travels earlier this summer to the College World Series in Omaha provided me with an interesting concept of how big Nebraska football really is to that state.
With the season still a couple of months away, I saw a variety of T-shirts extolling the virtues of coach Bo Pelini in the parking lots at Rosenblatt Stadium.
But the most interesting shirt was worn by somebody I could tell was a devoted Cornhusker fan with a sense of the program's long-term and recent history.
The shirt listed the most important dates in Nebraska football history. Five were early January dates that represented huge bowl victories in the school's football history. The sixth was Oct. 15, 2007.
I wondered about that for a few moments as I trudged to the baseball press box. And then it hit me.
That was the day when former athletic director Steve Pederson was fired and replaced by Tom Osborne.
Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel saw the same shirt and mentioned it in his column this morning as he compared the program under Pederson with Bill Callahan in charge compared to today's Nebraska program with Osborne and Pelini in place.
As far as anniversaries go, it's hard to believe that the firing of an athletic director would be a red-letter day to many Cornhusker fans. But I guess it is, considering the program's struggles last year.
There will probably be a toast or two about the leadership change across the state -- despite the Cornhuskers' 3-3 record so far this season that is actually worse than the 4-3 record on this date last season.
Here are some other links from across the conference for your perusal.
The Austin American-Stateman's Kirk Bohls remembers the steep fall that Texas endured the last time the Longhorns were ranked during the regular season. The 1984 Longhorn team skidded all the way to the Freedom Bowl after a two-week stint as the nation's top team.
Oklahoman beat writer Jake Trotter breaks down Oklahoma's kick-coverage breakdowns. The Sooners rank 109th nationally in kickoff return coverage and are one of only four teams in the country to allow two kickoff return touchdowns.
Kansas State coach Ron Prince said his team wasn't as bad as most thought after a 30-point loss to Texas Tech. But he also said his team wasn't as good as public perception after a 14-point victory at Texas A&M that appeared more dominant than the final score indicated.
Texas can't snag all of the top recruiting prospects in the state. That's why Chase Daniel's visit to Austin this weekend is so intriguing.
Despite an 0-2 start in conference play, Iowa State coach Gene Chizik said his team is much improved from last season.
Weakside linebackers Mike Balogun and Austin Box and backup Brandon Crow will be counted to fill in for Ryan Reynolds at middle linebacker for Oklahoma.