NCF Nation: Courtney Herndon

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Nebraska will likely be playing in a bowl game this season. The Cornhuskers' 56-28 victory over Kansas State only improved their resume.

Joe Ganz paced a Nebraska offense that rolled up 608 yards in improving to a 7-4 record.

Notre Dame's triumph over Navy makes the Irish's bowl portfolio stronger. It's hard to believe that the Gator Bowl will avoid Notre Dame, even with a potential 7-5 record.

So Nebraska's victory likely makes them more likely to play in either the Alamo Bowl or the Sun Bowl. And both warm-weather locales should be intriguing for Nebraska fans who missed out on a bowl game last season.

The Cornhuskers are playing their best football of the season in their last two games. Ganz passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns and chipped in with a game-high 95 rushing yards to key Nebraska's attack. Ganz was one of five rushers with at least 49 yards as the Cornhuskers dominated in the trenches, piling up a season-best 338 yards rushing.

But an even more impressive facet of the Cornhuskers' defense. After Kansas State jumped ahead early on a 57-yard interception return by Courtney Herndon, the Cornhuskers played like they deserved the Blackshirts awarded to them earlier in the week by Coach Bo Pelini.

Take away that score and a 97-yard kickoff return by Brandon Banks and the Cornhuskers allowed only two touchdowns. The Nebraska defense helped chase Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, who was replaced in the second half by Carson Coffman.

It was the kind of performance that will make bowl selectors take notice.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Bob Stoops turned 48 earlier this week. And while the Oklahoma coach is revered in the Sooner State, it wasn't a holiday or anything.

At least not that we know of.  

Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel put his spin on Stoops' birthday in a unique way. He compared the career stages for other notable Oklahoma football coaches when they turned 48.

Barry Switzer's wishbone was struggling a little when he turned 48 in 1985 with Troy Aikman as his starting quarterback. Bud Wilkinson was in the middle of his run for the U.S. Senate in 1964. Chuck Fairbanks was trying to rebuild a struggling program at Colorado, well after his salad days at OU. Bennie Owen was getting ready for his 19th season as the Sooners' head coach. And Howard Schnellenberger was preparing for his fourth season as Miami's head coach, only 23 victories into his college head-coaching career.

With Stoops apparently excited about continued coaching at Oklahoma, it will be interesting to see what happens for him in the years after his 48th birthday.

Of a more immediate interest for him will be his team's trip to Washington to attack some nasty road karma. Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle writes that Stoops currently has a nation-best 20-game home winning streak at Owen Field. During that same time, the Sooners are a more pedestrian 12-9 on the road.

Those recent road woes have raised the stakes for Saturday's game at Husky Stadium.

"For me, this is the game of the year because this sets the tone for our future road games and sets the tone for our team," redshirt freshman LB Travis Lewis told the Chronicle. "It's easy playing in front of 85,000 who love you, but what about the 80,000 who hate you?"

It will make Saturday's game the biggest test for the Sooners so far this season. If Stoops can win, he would become the fourth OU coach to have won 100 games during their careers at the school, joining Wilkinson, Switzer and Owen.

Pretty select company, indeed.

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