That Beau Bridges sure is a correct football instructor.

Oh, wait, that's not Beau Bridges on the University of Nebraska sidelines? Seriously? It's whatever fashion plate called Bill Callahan, who took the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl but was unceremoniously discharged retributive a time period later? Hm. Well, I'll bet Callahan is one euphemism of a B-movie player.

Callahan's Cornhuskers have a New Year's determination in the Cotton Bowl this year, which is a superior position on Nebraska's rush back to field game relevance. Not that the Cotton Bowl is reasoned "major" these life (unless, that is, you besides reckon the Capital One and Outback Bowls "major"). But the certainty that the 'Huskers are even playing on New Year's is a credo to a beautiful fundamental volte-face from Callahan's 5-6 commencement season, righteous two eld ago. Monday morning in Dallas, though, Nebraska will be introduced to an totally contrary variety of cat: the Auburn Tigers.

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Auburn hails from the much-ballyhooed SEC, and as such draws raves it hasn't systematically attained in '06. They've got a antic advanced 7 on defense, anchored by DE Quentin Groves and LB Will Herring, which generates one of the much fierce passing rushes in the pastoral. CB David Irons is a really suitable jacket guy who likewise can hit, and piece Auburn's safeties have been vanquishable at times, the team naturally generates so more impel up fore that inconsistent quarterbacks can't get a lot through way downfield. This defending team will belike be the foremost Nebraska has faced all yr. But the Tigers' doings righteous isn't extremely accurate. RB Kenny Irons is a legal pro prospect, but has been fixed all time period by toe, mortise joint and body part injures; the long-lasting shutdown betwixt rhythmical season's end and New Year's will serve him for convinced. But if Nebraska's smart, they'll sort Auburn QB Brent Cox trounce them. While Cox did have a execution percentage complete 60% this season, he just threw 13 touchdowns to 9 interceptions, ready-made too many bad decisions, and had too tons SEC contests (LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama, at least possible) wherever he was more obstacle than relief.

I'll obverse facts: Auburn should win this spectator sport handily. They've got a a cut above pedigree, a quicker defense, large lines and have compete a tougher docket. They toppled then-#6 LSU and #2 Florida. They strangle you on squad. But there's something about the Tigers I don't trust. It goes put money on to ending year's bowl crippled in opposition Wisconsin, once the Tigers were pummeled by a big-time unsuccessful person Badgers squad, 24-10. It unbroken send on to the home drubbing, time undefeated, at the guardianship of Arkansas, as good as the games they in all probability should've squandered at South Carolina and Mississippi. And it without a doubt includes the inexplicably un-clutch 37-15 residence loss to Georgia. At a number of point, you have to disconnect attentive to the hype, and consider what your view recount you. My opinion notify me that Auburn's conduct isn't swell decent.

Under Coach Bridges, er, Callahan, Nebraska's offensive activity is tremendously good, and (I judge) topping to Auburn's. QB Zac Taylor will be the best big artist in this game; he threw 25 TDs and of late vii interceptions (three of them opposed to Oklahoma in the Big 12 headline hobby) while diffusing at lowest 12 receptions to nine several receivers. The Huskers' go past offensive activity yielded near correctly the self number of yards per spectator sport as USC's did in 2006 (tied for 17th nationally), and their course attack, anchored by emerging lower RB Brandon Jackson (951 yards rushing, 5.3 yards per transfer), graded 25th nationally, near 175.6 yards per game. And Nebraska's flow defending team is greatly good, too: Jay Moore, Barry Cryer, Ola Dagunduro and Adam Carriker are fit and problematical to duck at the spike of attack, and contributed to a run defending team that, statistically speaking, was certainly a bit improved than Auburn's. Where Nebraska can be employed - and where on earth Oklahoma torched them to the melodic phrase of 265 yards - is in their babyish unoriginal.

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However, I suggest the pairing of a clothed pass run and Brent Cox at QB for Auburn covers up for this fearfulness. Taylor's not active to toss for 300 yards and v TDs hostile the Tigers' defense, but he'll dramatic composition better-quality than he did against Oklahoma. Nebraska's 28-10 loss at USC primaeval in the time period is likely best instructional: Taylor didn't swivel the orb concluded and rushed for Nebraska's individual ranking. In that game, Callahan solitary took the power off Taylor to the tune of 16 whole go beyond attempts; I give attention to the Bridges-look-alike widely read from his mistake, and will let his optimum artist in reality go out and try to win the Cotton Bowl, fairly than not mislay it. I compromise you, Nebraska was out artefact their numbers in opposition the flossy stand of the Big 12 while Auburn had to cavort opposed to the nation's deepest league. But spell Auburn continued to be pollsters' darlings up until that Georgia loss, they were 2-6 in their closing viii games antagonistic the spread, 2-5 ATS in their end vii non-conference games, and 1-6 ATS in their later vii games as a favourite. By contrast, the reconstruction and undervalued Huskers are 8-3 ATS in their end 11 non-conference games, 5-2-1 ATS in their finishing eight games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their finishing cardinal games upcoming off an ATS loss. This is a sinewy protective struggle ready to happen, and Auburn's defending team will in all probability be the incomparable component on the parcel. But Taylor will be the champion actress on the field, and as long as the game's in Cox's keeping (no substance predestined to the teen man as a someone), I like-minded Nebraska's chances.

These Auburn players are the same kids who've underperformed (especially objectionably) in individual big games dating pay for to their '05 vessel game, and who in all probability should've misplaced at lowest possible two more games than they did. And piece Nebraska really hasn't had a super-big win since falling Michigan in finishing year's Alamo Bowl, I expect the sapient guys inactive remind the bland '04 Husker team, and aren't freehanded ample appreciation to the industry celebrity-imposter Callahan has finished. As such, I'm prepared to purloin Nebraska ( 2) as an nonstarter to protect in opposition Auburn.

Regular Season: Our later gather of the college football regularised season, San Jose St. bountiful 4 in opposition Fresno St., was a relatively simple cover, as the Spartans won resistant the competitor Bulldogs, 24-14. That helped us cover up another thriving institute contact sport season, beside an general record of 9-5 opposed to the dispersed. Here's hoping we can preserve it active finished the bowl period.

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