Nebraska will open a home-and-home series against old Big 12 (and Big 8) rival Colorado this fall in Lincoln. The Huskers will renew their rivalry with Oklahoma beginning in 2021. Could there be more former Big 12 opponents popping up on future Nebraska football schedules in the years to come? It appears to at least be a discussion ongoing in Lincoln.
Nebraska Athletics Director Bill Moos mentioned the possibility of adding Kansas and Kansas State back on the schedule for non-conference play while speaking to the media at a summer Nebraska football tour stop.
How far those discussions have gone was not confirmed, but it is enough to get the imagination wondering just when Nebraska may step on the same field as either Kansas or Kansas State again. A look at the future schedules suggests it won’t be any time soon.
Nebraska, Kansas, and Kansas State all play nine-conference schedules in the Big Ten and Big 12, leaving just three non-conference dates to fill each season. Nebraska already has its non-conference slate booked through 2022 and has just one vacancy to fill in 2023 and 2024 before having some more openings available in 2025. The catch is Nebraska already has a power conference opponent lined up on the schedule through 2031, which suggests Nebraska may not want to add another power conference opponent that may require booking a road game as part of the deal (even if that power conference opponent happens to be Kansas).
Kansas State’s non-conference schedule is booked as well with all vacancies filled through the 2022 season and power conference opponents lined up through 2031. Kansas is booked through 2021 but already has a power conference opponent on the schedule annually through 2024 and again in 2027 and 2028.
Schedules can be modified, of course, but unless any schedules are changed to accommodate any potential games between Nebraska and Kansas or Kansas State, we’ll be waiting quite some time for the Huskers to meet either of these particular former conference foes in non-conference play again.
Bill Moos is still getting himself settled in as the Nebraska Athletics Director after making the move to Lincoln after serving in the same role at Washington State. Faced with pressing issues like figuring out what to do with the football program’s leadership moving forward, Moos has had a busy time already. One topic that has already been tossed to the side is the idea of Nebraska providing for the sale of alcohol at sporting events. As far as Moos is concerned, the need to open the taps is not one that needs to be addressed at Nebraska at this time.
The question is relevant for a few reasons. First is the growing trend of alcohol sales in collegiate athletic venues like football stadiums, including inside the Big Ten. Second is the fact Moos previously stumped for alcohol sales while employed by Washington State. As Moos explains, the situation at Washington State is likely different enough from what he takes over at Nebraska that makes it a less pressing issue for the school.
“The fan has a lot of different options now,” Moos explained in a Q& shared by The Lincoln Journal Star. “Especially the fan that has to travel quite a ways. That was the case at Washington State, where the fan base is at least an hour and a half away and, in many cases, more. I know that’s the case in some instances here. A lot of night games because of television, so when they’re contemplating, ‘Honey, do you want to go to the game?’ ‘Nah, let’s just sit here, have dinner and a beverage or two and watch it on television.’ They have that option now. That entered into it.”
Moos will undoubtedly be evaluating the environment at Nebraska home games the rest of the season to see if there is a reason to change his outlook. But for now, he seems settled on not allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages at Nebraska home games.
“Again, I haven’t even seen a game here,” Moos said. “It’s been sold out since 1962, so I think Husker fans are fine without it, but we’ll have to take a look.”
Some fans who have been sitting through this season may beg to differ.
The 2016 season has not been a very positive one for Washington State. Aside from losing at home to an FCS opponent and following that up with a road loss against Boise State, the Cougars have been in the headlines for off-field reasons as well, which is never a good look. This has led to the athletics director at Washington State to issue a brief statement.
“We are well aware of recent incidents involving Washington State football, including many details associated with each incident that have not been reported,” Washington state AD Bill Moos said in a released statement on Wednesday. “We take such allegations very seriously and, as always, we will fully cooperate with local authorities. We intend to respect the legal process and all the rights guaranteed to everyone involved. Until the full legal process has reached completion, WSU Athletics will have no further comment on these matters. We believe such a position is most fair to all parties and best protects the integrity of the legal process.”
The released statement comes the day after Washington State linebacker Logan Tago was arrested for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery. Over the summer, a couple six players were investigated for their role in a massive brawl, which was caught on video. On Wednesday, Washington State head coach Mike Leach blasted the media and police for targeting his players.
“We’re going to let the legal system take its course,” Leach said, per The Spokesman-Review. “But the system has to be checked if – with the number of people involved in these incidents – the only ones accused are football players. If that’s the case, then something is seriously wrong, which goes far deeper than whatever has even been alleged.”
As you might expect, the police chief in Pullman denied any allegation by Leach that his department was profiling Washington State football players.
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was removed from last weekend’s game after being slammed to the ground against Colorado. Despite the apparent severity of the injury, Falk could actually be ready to play this weekend in the latest edition of the Apple Cup between the Cougars and rival Washington.
The news, oddly enough, comes from Washington State athletics director Bill Moos instead of head coach Mike Leach. Leach has a history of not discussing injuries, but Moos shared the insight on a weekly radio program earlier today. Moos confirmed NCAA-mandated policies regarding concussions have been followed and the injury does not appear to be season-ending.
Washington State has just one game left in the regular season, but the Cougars are heading to a bowl game this year. If Falk is unavailable this week for Washington State, backup quarterback Peyton Bender will be the next man up for Leach’s Cougars.