Tom Herman is a member of Mensa. No, seriously, look it up.
What’s that have to do with anything? Well, the new Texas head coach has very smart takes on Ndamukong Suh and his 2009 season. So, even though every Nebraska fan already felt that what Herman had to say at yesterday’s Big 12 Media Days was true, maybe the smart-guy credentials add some extra heft for those who . . . I don’t know . . . voted Mark Ingram, Toby Gerhart or Colt McCoy for Heisman eight seasons ago.
David Ubben of Sports on Earth provided the tweet that got the ball rolling on Tuesday.
I still haven’t seen or heard the “impassioned case” in full, but, knowing how Herman speaks, I’m anxious to read it. Though I’m not sure there’s much to add to an idea that, yesterday at least, seemed to have plenty of support from football fans throughout the country, but Ubben did add this later.
Oh, that game. The eight turnovers Nebraska committed sort of blot out all other memories from that particular Saturday, but Suh, as he did that entire season, had himself a ball game recording eight tackles, one sack, three quarterback hurries and blocking two kicks. Unfortunately for Husker fans, he wasn’t in charge of hanging onto the football though maybe he should’ve been.
Ubben’s tweets generated a good deal of conversation on the topic yesterday, but my former Hail Varsity colleague Grant Muessel may have summed things up the best:
That feels pretty accurate. Suh effectively was Nebraska’s 11th and 12th man that year. Nobody could handle him with just one man, so it made it a lot easier for Nebraska to just leave as many defensive backs on the field as it could in the pass-happy Big 12. If it wasn’t affecting run defense or pass rush, why wouldn’t you?
Nebraska’s defensive line was pretty talented that season as a whole, but Suh made a lot of that possible on his own. Good on Herman for speaking on the topic. I’m assuming it was in response to a question, but it’s even better if it was just something he needed to get off his chest and chose his first media day as Texas’s head coach as the perfect opportunity.
Grant and I used to get all heart-eyed over Herman when he was an assistant at Ohio State. Or at least that’s how I remember it. Maybe I shouldn’t speak for Grant, but I was certainly heart-eyed and that was before I knew he had such astute takes on Suh.
And now I suspect Texas will benefit from that. This 2017 Longhorns team was set up pretty well from a talent perspective before Herman was hired. With him in the fold, don’t be surprised if Texas makes an immediate move up the Big 12 rankings, which probably won’t engender Herman to Husker fans any, but at least he and the Big Red faithful can always share a love of Suh.
The Grab Bag
- The Orlando Sentinel offers its preview of Nebraska, ranking the Huskers 37th nationally to start the season.
- Walk-up songs for top-25 college football coaches. It’s officially the dog days.
- While Herman did well at yesterday’s Big 12 gabfest, Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor may have won the day with his Heisman campaign, which includes a website straight from 1996.
- The American Athletic Conference continues its push to be known as the sixth power conference.
- ICYMI: Greg Smith took a look at what recent losses in Nebraska’s 2017 recruiting class mean in recruiting for 2018.
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.