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Hot Reads: The Early 11

March 18, 2020

In a perfect world, Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said Monday on Sports Nightly, the Huskers will have a chance to get their 13 remaining spring football practices in at some point. 

Of course, the world isn't perfect right now and might not be back to normal for a while. Whenever we get there, the NCAA might have a call to make regarding those spring practices, as Erin Sorensen explored Tuesday. Football programs, of course, will be keen on getting those in if it's at all possible.

It was certainly on Moos's mind during his radio appearance when he noted that teams that got 15 bowl practices in December and 15 spring practices in this spring had a 28-practice advantage over Nebraska, which got two in before everything was put on hold.

"That’s a heck of an advantage and we need to recoup that somewhere," Moos said.

In practice, I don't know that there were any teams in the country that had completed spring practice by last week. There were just 11 Power 5 teams that started in February, another 28 started between March 1 and March 11 (when team activities started being suspended) and the rest, those with start dates March 12 or later probably didn't get any practices at all.

Here's the P5 breakdown:

The Most Spring Football (11): Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, TCU, Northwestern, Purdue, Stanford, Arizona State, South Carolina

Some Spring Football (28): Florida State, Syracuse, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA, USC, Utah, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, LSU

No Spring Football (26): North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M

In a lot of cases, teams in that second group got one or two practices in. When you consider that there were only 11 teams who were even somewhat close to wrapping up spring ball, I don't know that there's much of an advantage gained here. Fifty-four of 65 P5 teams were in about the same boat.

Of course, it's not about that right now but this being college football––which is not the rational place all the time––it will be at some point. Moos mentioned it on Monday.

I'm guessing he's not the only one who has it on his mind.

Butler Did It

Former Nebraska defensive back Tony Butler is headed home to Ohio to play football at Kent State. Butler appeared in four games in 2019, mostly on special teams, and announced his intention to transfer in January. 

Kent State is a pretty good landing spot. The Golden Flashes have an exciting young coach, Sean Lewis, who won seven games in his second season and delivered the program's first bowl win.

Staff Picks – Day 2

Believe it or not, there are still movies with real, recognizable movie stars that you can't find online. "Prime Cut" is one of those. The 1972 mob movie stars Lee Marvin as a lieutenant in a Chicago crime family who goes to Kansas City to get slaughterhouse owner and sex trafficker Gene Hackman in line. Sissy Spacek plays one of the young women held prisoner by Hackman's Mary Ann. (Yep, that's his name. This movie, which includes a chase scene involing a combine, is not here for subtlety.)

After spending a week in disbelief that this move could not be pumped directly into my home whenever I wanted––what is this, 2010?!––I finally went to my local used media emporium and found a copy for $2. I was not disappointed, but this all makes for a crappy recommendation if you can't see it.

That's because it's not the recommendation. Charles Taylor's slim book of film criticism, Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American '70s, is the recommendation. In addition to an essay on "Prime Cut," Taylor also tackles such films as "Vanishing Point," "Ulzana's Raid" and "American Hot Wax." If you like film, particularly the grimy movies of the 1970s that bubbled beneath all of the auteur stuff, this is worth checking out. It is available for Kindle and thus can be pumped directly into your home whenever you want it.

Also, deputy editor Erin Sorensen asked me if TV show "Schitt's Creek" could be a staff pick. Understandable why she would ask. It is called Staff Picks, but that was just my joke to myself about my days working in bookstores and I had no intention of sharing this space, so I told her no, "Schitt's Creek" could not be a staff pick because I haven't watched it yet and that would be disingenuous.

But she says it's good and it's available on Netflix.

The Grab Bag

Today’s Song of Today

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