With the addition of Nebraska to the 2008 and 2009 football schedules,
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver has put the baying schedule hounds to
rest, at least for the next few years. The Hokies-Huskers matchups are the kind
of games that football fans drooled over when the 12-game schedule was
announced, and fortunately for Tech fans, Weaver was able to line up the type of
matchup that makes fans and TV execs sing.
First of all, kudos to Weaver not just for setting the games up, but for
keeping it a secret. Tech’s Internet-unfriendly AD despises message boards,
because (among other things) they make it hard to keep anything close to the
vest. Athletic directors like to unveil news that impresses fans and makes them
happy, but thanks to the Internet, most news is already out there before the
press release is issued, and it steals an AD’s thunder. That makes old-schoolers
like Weaver angry.
I always say that Jim Weaver is a control freak about two things: money and
information. Both are hard to control, but in this case, he did a remarkable job
controlling the Nebraska info. I’ll bet he didn’t even tell his dog that he was
negotiating with Nebraska. You’ve seen those Bush’s baked beans commercials …
never trust a dog to keep a secret.
hard to say what condition the Nebraska program will be in when 2008 arrives.
While freely admitting that I haven’t followed the Huskers closely, I do know
that coach Bill Callahan is in the process of remaking the team into a passing
team, and given Nebraska’s run-oriented focus for the last few decades, that’s
no easy task. It requires years of recruiting players that fit the new system,
because for the most part, the old ones didn’t.
You know about former coach Tom Osborne and his success, winning three
national championships in four years from 1994-1997, and nearly playing for
another in 1996. Nebraska was shocked by Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game
in 1996, and the loss bumped the Huskers down to the Orange Bowl, where they
beat the Hokies 41-21.
(A sidebar: I get very annoyed when writers refer to...
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