Instead of one long main entry where I get on about something esoteric, we're going to move quickly through a handful of stories that caught my eye this week.
It's Friday and there are five of them, so call it . . . ah, you know what, call it whatever you want. This stuff is interesting to me.
1. The Future of JUCO Football: Somehow this mostly slipped under my radar, but junior-college football in Arizona no longer exists. The state's largest community college system reduced funding for four programs, effectively ending them, and that left three schools with only each other to play so those schools, one by one, gave up football, too. Add in a new and bustling transfer market for FBS schools and Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated asks if there's a future for the junior-college pipeline that supplies a lot of Power 5 programs. Nebraska has two players on its current roster from recently-shuttered programs: QB Andrew Bunch (Scottsdale CC) and WR Jaron Woodyard (Arizona Western). Running back Greg Bell, one of the top signees in the 2018 class, also played at Arizona Western before a brief stint as a Husker.
2. It Pays to Go to the Peach Bowl: Central Florida released 2017-18 athletic-department revenue figures to the Orlando Sentinel. Those numbers showed a 10-percent increase in revenue during the academic year that included the Knights' undefeated season and Peach Bowl win over Auburn under than head coach Scott Frost. UCF had previously announced a record total for donations during that year of $10.9 million as well.
3. One Short of a Six-Pack: Rutgers is expanding alcohol sales to the general-seating areas at Highpoint.com Stadium. [Insert joke about the sobering reality of Rutgers football here.] This brings the Big Ten's total of schools selling alcohol throughout their stadiums to five. Ohio State, Maryland, Minnesota and Purdue already were. Three others––Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State––have limited sales.
4. Draft Buzz: Dane Brugler of The Athletic named an "All-Underrated NFL Prospect" team and the tweet linking the story mentioned a Nebraska player was on the list. In our HV Slack channel, I think we all assumed it was finally Devine Ozigbo getting some love. Nope, it was Stanley Morgan Jr. "He doesn’t allow defenders to get him off-schedule and competes with terrific play strength to win in contested situations," Brugler wrote. Pretty good description of Morgan in my mind.
5. Best of Times, Worst of Times: Football Study Hall continues its look back at recent seasons with advanced box scores from the 2010 season. Here you can experience the joy of that Thursday night in Manhattan, Kansas, (most insane stat: an explosive-play measure double the national average) and the agony of the Texas loss in Lincoln (most damning stat: a 13-percent success rate on passing downs). The Roy Helu Jr. game of 2010 also get the advanced-box-score treatment here.
The Grab Bag
- In this week’s Varsity Club Podcast, Derek Peterson and I countdown our five most important position battles of the spring.
- Nebraska women’s basketball picked up a nice road win last night at Northwestern.
- Some interesting comments here from York High head coach Glen Snodgrass on how technology is changing high school recruiting.
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.