Thursday, October 21, 2010
Nickel Package: Hangover in Wisconsin?
1. Not only did the coaching situation at Minnesota take a dramatic turn this week with the firing of Tim Brewster, but his interim replacement owns a dubious distinction before even coaching a game for the Golden Gophers. With Eastern Michigan’s win last week, head coach Ron English finally got in the win column after going 0-18 to start his career.
So, which current FBS head coach now owns the longest active losing streak? That would be Jeff Horton, Minnesota’s interim coach with 16
he hasn’t coached an FBS game since 1998! Horton was the head coach at UNLV from 1994-98. His 1997 team lost its final 5 games, and then he went 0-11 in 1998.
2. The last time Nebraska beat an AP Top 20 team on the road, Tom Osborne was the head coach. The Huskers have lost 17 straight games on the road to AP Top 20 teams and 11 of them have been by double digits. The school’s last win over an AP Top 20 team on the road came in 1997 at second-ranked Washington, 27-14.
3. Given that Wisconsin is world-renowned for, among other things, its beer, the Badger State might be expected to have somewhat of a lasting hangover after Saturday’s win at Camp Randall Stadium against No. 1 Ohio State. Whether that hangover latches itself to the Wisconsin football team and lingers into this weekend’s game at Iowa remains to be seen. But recent history says that other teams haven’t been on guard enough against a post-upset letdown.
The last seven teams to beat the AP No. 1 in the regular season have just a 3-4 record in their next game. However, there is a bit of silver lining for the Badgers. Included among those seven teams, there’s one Big Ten team on the list. That’s Illinois, who also beat Ohio State in 2007, and they were one of the three teams to win their next game.
4. The Stanford Cardinal are 5-1 for the fifth time since 1971. A win over Washington State on Saturday would give the Cardinal a 6-1 start for the first time since 1970, when Stanford started 8-1 on the season.
The last four times Stanford sat at 5-1, the Cardinal dropped their seventh game, all to conference opponents.
Since going 10-0 in 1940, the Cardinal have won six of their first seven games only three other times (1941, 1951, 1970).
5. Oregon might be the top-ranked AP team in the nation, but the Ducks probably wish this week’s game was on Saturday, instead of Thursday. The Ducks have not enjoyed many pleasant memories in recent Thursday games, although they did win last year’s Civil War on a Thursday. Their previous four Thursday appearances were ones to forget.