Never too early to look at Nebraska's opener

May, 13, 2009
5/13/09
1:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I always kid with my friends in the Nebraska media corps about the all-encompassing nature of their jobs covering Cornhusker football.

The Cornhuskers' traditional excellence, along with the lack of major-league sports competition in the state, makes following Nebraska football a 365-day vocation for most fans in the state.

The Lincoln Journal-Star is feeding that beast by already presenting a series of entertaining video vignettes on the Cornhuskers' approaching schedule. I can't provide a direct link, but the video report is prominently displayed on the Journal-Star's sports page on its Web site.

Journal-Star beat writer Brian Christopherson, columnist Steve Sipple and program host Kent Wolgamott were featured earlier this week with an extensive breakdown of Florida Atlantic,  the Cornhuskers' opponent in their Sept. 5 opener.

The trio talks about veteran FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger, who has been competing against Nebraska since his days as an assistant coach under Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama in the mid-1960s. Schnellenberger later met up with the Cornhuskers in the 1984 Orange Bowl, a classic game that brought him with a national championship at Miami.

I'm intrigued with this game for a lot of reasons besides Schnellenberger's former games against Nebraska. I remember how he popped off about Texas last year before playing the Longhorns in his opener. Will he treat the Cornhuskers similarly?

Another item of interest from the Journal-Star video came from Sipple, who related that Nebraska coach Bo Pelini chose not to allow his spring game to be televised because he didn't want Florida Atlantic to have an early peek at his spring game.

I'm sure that Pelini got that line of thinking from his coaching mentor, Bob Stoops, who still laments allowing his 2005 spring game at Oklahoma to be telecast. Stoops has maintained that having that spring game widely available gave TCU some advantages that they turned into a stunning 17-10 victory over the Sooners in their season opener several months later.

It was a mark of respect that Pelini didn't want video of his spring game to be out there for the wily Schnellenberger to glean nuggets from over the course of the summer. And I'm sure that Stoops gave him a lot of reasons to not have his game on television.  

All of this is why the Journal-Star's videos are such a good idea.

Because you can never start talking about Nebraska's upcoming football season too soon.

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