1.The more I see Nebraska merge into the Big Ten, the more I like it. The league moved the season-ending game between Nebraska and Iowa to Thanksgiving Friday for the next two seasons. The Big Ten hasn’t played games on that Friday in the past. But the Huskers have played on the day after Thanksgiving since 1990 (Oklahoma in the Big Eight, Colorado in the Big 12). The Big Ten didn’t say, “We don’t do that.” The adoption of Nebraska’s tradition illustrates why this will be a happy marriage.
2.Quarterbacks Tommie Frazier of Nebraska and Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech may have been the two best players who failed to win the Heisman Trophy during the 1990s. Frazier remains the best option quarterback I’ve ever covered. Hamilton combined running and passing in a manner that we now take for granted from the Cam Newtons and Denard Robinsons. Both appear on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. I feel for the holdover quarterbacks on the ballot.
3.Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports performed strong journalistic legwork in their piece last week on the number of college football players who have a criminal record. But the response from Iowa, which had 18 players with a record, provided perspective that muted the sensationalism. Hawkeye athletic director Gary Barta said of the 18 players, 15 had a record because of underage drinking. That’s an issue, yes, but if underage drinkers are a large percentage of college football’s “criminal element,” then the athletic department isn’t so different from the rest of campus after all.