History is made
By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director
If you like cold weather and football, Sunday was your day. I love that setting, especially when I have tickets for my Lazy Boy chair, a remote control, big screen TV, and the thermostat set right where I want it.
Some of those games had to be bitter to watch and to play. Kansas City at Washington might have been the worst of the bunch. Lots of snow but a lot of fans were dressed to look like empty seats. There were not very many people attending. The way the Redskins are playing, there might not have been many more if it had been sunny and 75. Denver had a temp of 16 at game time but it got lots colder as the sun set behind the mountains.
The Denver game might have taken away the myth Peyton Manning can’t throw the ball in cold weather. He looked pretty good to me as the Broncos thumped the Titans 51-25 and in that game, Denver kicker Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64 yard field goal as time ran out in the first half. The previous record was 63 yards and four other kickers had accomplished the 63 yard kick.
Tom Dempsey of the Saints first did it in 1970 and his was a game winner. Another Bronco kicker got one from 63 and that was Jason Elam in 1998. Sebastian Janikowski got one in 2011 and David Akers hit one in 2012. I haven’t talked to him to see what it looked like in person, but my son Troy was braving the cold Sunday and got to see an NFL record effort along with a Bronco victory.
Another football story that caught my eye was one that featured a coaching feud that has been going on between Bret Bielema and Urban Meyer. One of the pieces of the BCS selection is the Coaches’ poll and the last Coaches’ poll of the season is always made public.
Coach Bielema when he was at Wisconsin had indicated that Coach Meyer may have tried to visit with some players that had already committed to Wisconsin.
Meyer was in his first year at THE OHIO STATE, runner-up in the Big Ten I might add this season. Anyway Bielema hasn’t forgotten and he voted the Buckeyes 12th in the final poll. Bielema voted Ohio State lower than five two-loss teams.
Maybe Bielema took into consideration the strength of schedule, scoring margin or whatever coaches do to make their ratings, but something just didn’t look right there to a lot of other coaches.
Of course, there were other odd happenings also. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy rated his team two spots higher than OU, who had the same record as OSU in and out of the conference and had just defeated OSU in Stillwater. Maybe this is a good reason not to include coaches in the ratings. Just saying….
On the basketball side of things, I did get to watch some good games over the weekend, but one that I thought might be a close one right to the end ,wasn’t.
The Creighton and Nebraska game was a blowout. Creighton looked so much better as a team, especially early, as they built a 30 point lead in the first half. They certainly had the best player on the floor in Doug McDermott and he played that way. I think McDermott had 15 of the first 30 points that Creighton scored and the game was pretty much over by then.
I like to watch Creighton because head coach of the Jays, Doug McDermott, is a good friend of mine. He was at Wayne State for a few years and he came out and helped me when I was putting on coach’s clinics. He coached at Northern Iowa where he attended college and also at Iowa State before moving to Creighton.
I still want the Huskers to get their program to a point where it can compete at a much higher level. I think they headed that way because they have played better this season, but Sunday my opinion was that they left the energy that they seemed to have had in earlier games this season 50 miles south of Omaha. Creighton passed the ball better, ran the floor better and shot better than the Huskers. Usually that causes you to get beat and it certainly did on Sunday.
The bowl selections came out on Sunday evening and as you probably know by now, the Huskers get to go to Jacksonville, Fla., for the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl where they will play Georgia.
I thought that the Huskers might get lined up with Texas for a little taste of the Big 12 of years past but it didn’t happen. Then maybe the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl with a Big 12 team, but that didn’t come around either. One thing is that maybe in Jacksonville, there should be no snow on Jan. 1. ESPN2 will be doing the television broadcast.