I’ve always had an odd fascination with The Longhorn Network. I suppose part of that infatuation is due to just how much changed in college football so that thing could exist. Even though I have no particular interest in Texas, I feel like I should at least check in every now and again just so all of the realignment was worth it.
But I also like “Friday Night Lights” reruns and I enjoy watching the struggle to fill 24 hours with programming. One night, at around 2 a.m., I flipped over to find short films from students in UT’s renowned film program and that felt to me like the second-best decision made at LHN behind having Dale Watson in some network promos. Watch it for too long, however, and eventually you’ll see everything through a burnt orange filter.
So sometimes I switch over to BYUtv, get a little blue in my life, and that’s an entirely different experience from a programming perspective. But it too gets propaganda-y in a hurry. It’s impossible not to with a school-specific network. That’s why they exist, really.
Anyway, that’s a long preamble to say that I think the conference network is the perfect size. The Big Ten Network is obviously pro-Big Ten in the same way that NBC doesn’t want its programming to fail, but if you can spread that bias across 14 teams and multiple sports, it’s hard to even notice it. And if you simply compare the conference schools to one another, it’s hardly there at all.
This time of year is good for the latter. The BTN crew is on its annual bus tour of the conference and today is Lincoln day.
These visits are always good for at least one good nugget or two. (Hey, these are the benefits of being the conference network.) Having watched more of the team- and conference-specific programming than is probably normal, I feel pretty comfortable saying the BTN crew does a great job.
Exhibit A: This post from Tom Dienhart on “what he’ll be watching” at practice today. The No. 1 item on his list, in my opinion, is the correct one:
1. Offensive line. This unit has a lot to prove and really hasn’t been dominant in recent years. The group needs to get a push as the offense looks to have a strong rushing attack. Mike Riley has said often he wants to run the ball. And it all begins up front.
Indeed it does, and I’ve written before that I think the offensive line probably determines the Huskers’ ceiling in 2017. That’s probably not as exciting to talk about as the new defense or quarterback — numbers 2 and 3 on Dienhart’s list — but winning is only sporadically exciting. Sometimes it’s just a lot of hard work.
Celebrating wins, however, is always great.
The Grab Bag
- ICYMI: Derek Peterson on covering Oklahoma in recent years and how the Huskers compare. Jacob Padilla on Nebraska volleyball’s “Mother of All Summers.” And, finally, Greg Smith brings news of a new Husker offer behind enemy lines.
- Former Husker Ralph Brown on what his transition to a 3-4 defense in the NFL was like.
- The Big Ten is involved in five of the 10 most expensive games in college football this season based on secondary-market ticket prices.
- College football’s year of the quarterback.
Today’s Song of Today