Nebraska coach Mike Riley has the well-earned reputation of being the nicest guy in college football and his players can probably give him a wholehearted endorsement after this week.
That’s because the Cornhuskers were able to attend rapper Kendrick Lamar’s concert in Lincoln on Friday night after their coach surprised the whole team with tickets to the show. Naturally, said players were quite pumped to be going.
As cool as taking the team to a Kendrick Lamar concert is, I personally can’t wait to see what one-upmanship this inspires across college football. One can already imagine Jim Harbaugh taking the team to see Migos in London next summer…
Mike Riley’s task of rebuilding Nebraska’s offense looks like it will get a little trickier after a serious injury during preseason camp.
The Cornhuskers coach announced after Thursday’s practice that four-star freshman receiver Jaevon McQuitty had suffered a season-ending knee injury that will require surgery, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star.
“It’s always the receivers, it seems like, every year,” Riley said. “We try to do everything we can to prevent it.”
McQuitty was injured during a blocking drill earlier in the week in a manner that the coach described as ‘freaky,’ according to the paper. The loss of the freshman — who was apparently in line for some significant playing time in 2017 — leaves a team that is already dealing with a number of new faces at receiver even thinner heading into the season.
To make matters worse, Riley also announced that fellow wideouts JD Speilman and Keyan Williams each pulled muscles in practice and are out for an undetermined amount of time. The Cornhuskers do still have the duo of quarterback Tanner Lee and senior De’Mornay Pierson-El to build around but options appear to be thinning quite a bit in August the way things are going.
When last we left Bovada.lv‘s odds for the 2017 national champion, 2016 runners-up Alabama sat atop the initial wagering odds. On the cusp of a new season? Same old, same old. Pretty much.
Along with its updated Heisman Trophy odds, Bovada also revealed its updated odds to win the next edition of the College Football Playoff championship, with the Crimson Tide sitting as a comfortable favorite at 12/5. In January, those odds were a little longer at 4/1.
The next two teams, USC and Ohio State, saw their odds shorten as well, with the former going from 9/1 to 6/1 and the latter from 15/2 to 13/2. Florida State and Michigan, at 7/1 and 9/1, respectively, seven months ago, have lengthened a bit to 15/2 for the Seminoles and 16/1 for the Wolverines.
Prior to Bob Stoops’ retirement, Oklahoma had been at 9/1; after his abrupt departure, those odds have tumbled to 16/1.
Below are the complete set of updated 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Big Ten teams are bringing in truckloads of new television revenue nowadays but that hasn’t stopped many of the schools from signing ever more lucrative apparel deals to stuff the coffers even more.
The latest move on that front appears to be at Nebraska, which the Lincoln Journal Star reports is set to approve an 11-year extension on the Cornhuskers’ deal with adidas worth a whopping $129 million. The new contract is already in front of the school’s Board of Regents and is expected to get the thumbs up at their next meeting on August 11.
Nebraska has had an extremely long and productive relationship with the apparel company dating all the way back to the glory days of Big Red in 1995. The new contract will apparently start this season (retroactive to this past July) and see the school triple the amount of money they receive from adidas to the tune of $64 million in cold hard cash and a similar amount of apparel and equipment over the life of the deal through 2028.
The news of the Cornhuskers’ extension is part of a run of new deals by adidas’ college athletics division in recent months, which also included a new contract with fellow Big Ten school Rutgers. Nebraska’s figure of $129 million over 11 years is not quite industry-leading in the wake of Under Armor’s $280 million deal with UCLA, but it does keep the school in the same relative ballpark as conference powers Michigan ($174 million over 15 years) and Ohio State (15 years, $252 million).
One of the greatest teams in the football program’s storied history is getting its sartorial due.
Nebraska and its apparel partner, adidas, announced Thursday a new alternate uniform that will pay homage to the 1997 Cornhuskers football team. The uniforms will be worn for the Oct. 7 game against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium.
From the release:
Centered around a one-to-one recreation of the mesh jerseys worn during the 1990’s, adidas designers were able to recreate the visual aesthetic and texture of the traditional numbers by utilizing a new framis screen-printing technique that also allows for flexibility and movement. Additional detailing for the retro look includes the classic white pants and the traditional white Cornhuskers helmet that features a classic red “N” logo on the sides and accented with player numbers featured in red the back of the helmet.
The new Primeknit Husker ‘97 alternative uniform is at the forefront of design and innovation, providing players the perfect blend of style and technology for elite performance. Made with a cutting-edge, proprietary yarn blend that increases durability and abrasion resistance, Primeknit is the premier compression uniform system, featuring the latest generation of adidas TECHFIT technology. Primeknit helps keep players cool and increases range of motion, giving athletes an unrivaled level of comfort and allowing them to perform at their highest levels. The jersey’s padlock system secures tension over the shoulder pads, while the bodymap fit adheres to the player, making it difficult for opponents to grab, hold or tackle.
The Husker ‘97 theme continues on the TECHFIT compression baselayer with the “Huskers” wordmark prominently place on the chest and accented with traditional stripes on the sleeves to help replicate the look that old school jerseys. Additionally, the theme carries onto the black adizero 5-Star 5.0 gloves, featuring a white oversized graphic of the “Huskers” moniker. The adizero 5-Star 5.0 gloves feature 4-way stretch mesh for compression fit and GripTack for consistent control in all weather conditions. To complete the homage, the team will don all black adidas adizero and FREAK cleats.
The 1997 Cornhuskers went 13-0, completing that undefeated national championship season with a 25-point win over No. 3 Tennessee. Nebraska beat their 13 opponents that season by an average of 30 points per game.
Tha year was also Tom Osborne’s last as head coach.