Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mike Anderson? You're Still Here??

--So Mike Anderson wants to leave the Big 12 with a bang. Or a whimper. PYB is fully prepared for another season of excuses, laments about not executing and Coach Anderson's woes about losing three players to the MLB draft over the last four seasons. We recognize these as staples of the John Sanders era in Lincoln.

Seemingly, another staple of Sanders' tenure at NU has returned. An embarrassing schedule. Sure, NU gets home dates with preseason number-one UCLA and 2008 national champion Fresno State. And we're sure Anderson will blow two or three of those with his overbunting and poor game management.

Gone, however, are important tough foes in their early season tournaments. Goodbye Rice, LA-Lafayette and Stanford. Hello Texas State, Air Force, Washington, Missouri State and Northern Colorado.

Scan the rest of the slate and you'll see games against Doane, South Dakota State, four against North Dakota, and TWO MORE against Northern Colorado for a grand total of four. Also gone is that mid-season home series against a tough division opponent (Arkansas, Alabama, Coastal Carolina in previous years). All in all, in that desperate search for a .500 record, are 15 games against cupcakes. Trademark John Sanders. That should really put butts in the seats on the beautiful 46-degree days at Haymarket Park. NU will soon be reliving the days when the sports information staff is guessing the attendance for the next day's newspapers by picking the number off a 409 spray bottle.

Looking at the past few seasons, this shift to a puffier schedule has happened gradually, right under our noses as Anderson's squads have gotten worse and worse and finished 10th and 9th in the 10-team Big 12 the last two seasons. Silly us. Silly Tom Osborne.

The venerable TO had the perfect opportunity to make a change last spring, but refused. Now he's ranting about how character determines success, not wins. Either way, an empty multi-million dollar baseball complex doesn't scream success. It screams Buck Beltzer. And just like that, NU's top-10 baseball program has turned to dust. Poof.

--A little late, but good stuff from Kevin Durant. Apparently, he hated all the summertime stage flexing from Chris Bosh as much as the rest of us.

--It was nice to see Tiger Woods show up as a nonfactor again this past weekend at Torrey Pines, finishing 74-75 for a T44 and $18,000. Is that 18k wired straight to Sweden? Anyway, ESPN thought enough of Woods' gutty peformance to lead its tournament coverage with his round's highlights and fully ignoring the great finish between Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson. It was the first time PYB had seen a player have his caddie tend the flagstick for a 72-yard shot--something surely lost on the golf halfwits at the "Worldwide Leader."

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