Baseball season is here. The Huskers will open the 2017 season this afternoon in Tempe, Arizona, with a double-header against UC Riverside. It’s the start of a season that comes with some expectations for Nebraska following a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
The Huskers were ranked third in the Big Ten when the “preseason poll” — which only features the top six teams — was released this week. According to D1Baseball.com, a finish like that should be good enough to get Nebraska in the NCAA Tournament again in 2017.
The site projected the field of 64 yesterday and had four Big Ten teams in the tournament. Indiana was tabbed as the 3-seed in the Coastal Carolina Regional. Maryland, the preseason Big Ten favorite, was projected as a 2-seed at the Columbia Regional hosted by South Carolina. Michigan, also a Regional 2-seed, is tabbed to take a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina. And, in a projection that probably wouldn’t disappoint Husker fans too drastically, D1Baseball.com projected the Huskers as a 2-seed in the Vanderbilt Regional in Nashville.
Now, this is obviously all just a starting point and everything will likely change, but sign me up for another visit to Nashville for a Huskers sporting event.
First pitch on Friday against UC Riverside is at 2 p.m. CT. The matchup will feature a pair of Los Angeles Angels teammates in opposing dugouts as Coach Darin Erstad faces off against Coach Troy Percival.
Huskers Add a Wideout
As most people expected, Arizona wide receiver Kade Warner accepted Nebraska’s preferred walk-on offer, announcing his decision on Thursday night. Warner seems to have a pretty high upside given his record-setting career and size (6-2, 205), the latter of which differentiates him a bit from the scholarship receivers in Nebraska’s most recent recruiting class.
He also happens to be the son of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, giving the Huskers another famous football father alongside Les Miles, Rick Spielman (Vikings GM) and Keyshawn Johnson Sr. (Oh, what might have been, Robert Porcher IV.)
At this point I would like to pitch my new reality show, in which the Famous Football Fathers of Nebraska rent a house in the North Bottoms for the fall. That’s basically the pitch: Put football royalty in a house alongside a slew of students just across the way from Memorial Stadium. Picture Warner and Johnson tossing the football around in the yard the morning before a game. Miles mowing the lawn. Football theory over the breakfast table. The drama (DRAMA!) as three of the famous football fathers’ sons battle for playing time at wide receiver.
It’s pretty much a ready-made hit. Anyone know how to get in touch with Andy Cohen?
The Grab Bag
- Turner Gill will be back in FBS football as Liberty University announced its intention to move up from the FCS in 2018.
- Penn State makes this CBSSports.com list of five teams that need to “win now.”
- For fans of Netflix’s “Last Chance U”: Brittany Wagner is leaving East Mississippi Community College to work in marketing for a restaurant group in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Meet Calibraska, a California racehorse with Nebraska ties.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.