Bill Moos doesn’t attend Nebraska football practices. The athletic director chooses to make his evaluation of the program on Saturdays, calling his report card “game day.”
During his monthly appearance on Sports Nightly, Moos said that the Huskers have “some things we need to straighten out” but added that he knows they “have the ability to do that.” The Big Ten Conference is a tough one, Moos said, pointing toward Indiana’s likelihood of being in a New Year’s Six bowl, as well as Ohio State and Northwestern landing in good bowls.
“And there’s opportunities for the rest of us, too,” he said. “The frustrating thing that I’ve seen, and I’ve talked with [Coach Scott Frost] about it is just our inconsistency. I think our defense is playing the best I’ve seen them play since I’ve been here, but our offense has not caught fire, and some of that, I think, is because of youth in some key spots, an injury here and there, a couple too many mistakes, and those are things that can be corrected.”
And since Moos doesn’t interfere with his coaches during their seasons, he puts his focus on game day. What he’s seen from Frost is a team that can turn the corner—and Moos is confident it will—but some corrections need to be made.
“I think that we have playmakers and sometimes we look brilliant, but the kids have got to step up and make plays, especially in this league,” Moos said. “We need to average more points per game this year with a high-powered offense that I know Scott has coached in the past, and I’m very confident that he will again.”
More news and notes:
>> How were the week nine home sites determined? Moos said it was based on the number of home games a team had in 2020, as well as record. Since Rutgers has won three games to Nebraska’s two, that’s how the decision was made.
>> Moos is hopeful Nebraska will have the Red-White Spring Game in 2021. His priority remains getting the Huskers a full 15 practices, followed by having fans in the stadium for “a great celebration.”
>> Could Nebraska’s game against Illinois set for August 2021 in Dublin, Ireland, still take place? Moos said Nebraska is still planning on it, but there will have to be discussions about ticket demand and travel around the COVID-19 pandemic.
>> If you’re waiting on a baseball schedule, Moos doesn’t know when that will be released. He expects all of Nebraska’s winter and spring sports to have seasons of some kind and is excited to see Coach Will Bolt and the baseball team back in action.
>> Moos expects the Nebraska athletic department to face around a $40 million deficit when all is said and done after 2020. That’s less than what he originally projected earlier in the fall, which was around $100-$120 million at the time.
As for TV payouts, Moos expects each Big Ten school to receive between $40 million and $42 million in 2020, compared to $54 in 2019. That will ultimately be part of the $60-61 million revenue Nebraska will have for the year, which falls about $70 million short of normal. The athletic department was able to save around $30 million in expenses through salary reductions and furloughs.
About half of the 51 employees that were furloughed for four months have already returned to work, and the rest are expected to return Jan. 1. The salary reductions will also be removed.
“A lot of business in this industry is based around morale, and I’m a big believer in that,” Moos said. “We all locked arms, we took on the challenge, and we may need to come back and do it again. We’re hopeful that with the vaccines and the progress that’s being made in fighting the coronavirus that we can have all this behind us, certainly, hopefully when we get closer to our spring sports but also when we get back to fall football.”