The Hlist: Nebraska and Northwestern riding high - Minnesota, not so much

Published: November 23 2009 | 6:20 pm - Updated: 30 March 2014 | 2:22 pm in
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From published sources nationwide and the Nielsen Co., which says the Hlist gets better ratings than Jay Leno’s show


“Ohio State’s not that good of a team. We beat ourselves.” — Michigan punter and Ray Guy Award finalist Zoltan Mesko, after the 5-7 Wolverines’ 21-10 loss to the Big Ten champs.

The debate team suggesting “Kickers are strange” just got its decisive argument.


1. Corn in the USA: On Oct. 24, Nebraska lost at home to Iowa State, 9-7.

Four games later, the Cornhuskers clinched the Big 12 North title and a date with Texas in the league title game. They did so by winning four times with defense, allowing just 33 points in that span.

Wrote Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald after the Cornhuskers’ 17-3 win at Kansas State Saturday”

“This North title is a big deal.

“Oh sure, the North is the nation’s whipping boy. It was supposedly on the rise a couple of years ago, but it keeps finding new ways to reinvent its incompetence. Now Kansas is imploding. K-State had two choices: win the North or miss out on a bowl. . . .

“And yet here’s why this Nebraska North title should not be dismissed: it’s an important step in (Bo) Pelini’s plan, a major brick in the wall.”

2. Purple Power: Northwestern’s 17-10 win at Iowa on Nov. 7 was just the beginning of a big month for the Wildcats.

They won at Illinois the following week, then downed Wisconsin 33-31 Saturday in Evanston to finish their season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten.

“To get to eight wins,” NU Coach Pat Fitzgerald said, “I don’t think any of you guys would have predicted that six weeks ago. I guess we proved some folks wrong.

“I’m a little biased, obviously, but I don’t think there’s any player in the conference who means more to his football team than (Wildcats quarterback) Mike Kafka.”

From the Chicago Tribune: (Northwestern’s players) got mobbed at midfield by NU students who were part of a season-high crowd (many wearing Badger red) of 32,150.”

That Northwestern can assemble a winning program given its ticket revenue compared to other Big Ten programs is remarkable, actually.


1. Not Digging the Gophers: The Hlist is looking for fans of Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster. Anybody?

Minnesota didn’t score an offensive touchdown in its last two games. Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune covered the Gophers’ 12-0 loss at Iowa. He wasn’t overwhelmed by the visitors’ performance, writing this:

“Brewster lost a deceptively close game to a ranked team on the road on Saturday, and he will take his team to a second consecutive bowl. Those are the facts that will probably persuade Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi to retain Brewster for at least one more season.

“I think that’s a mistake.”

Minnesota could be headed to its third Insight Bowl in the last four years. What did the Insight Bowl do to deserve that?

2. Cajun Cave-in: Trailing Mississippi 25-23 after having just scored with 1:16 left in the game, LSU recovered an onsides kick at its 41-yard line.

But horrible clock-management and weird play-calling drained all the time from the clock before the Tigers had the chance to pull into field goal range. That was after they had been in such range, but took a quarterback sack.

“A last minute of near-heroics turned into Louisiana and LSU giving the world a new batch of Cajun jokes in a 25-23 Ole Miss escape.” wrote Gary Raney of the Baton Rouge Advocate.

“What happened Saturday is what will continue to happen more often than not when there is reckless coaching from a rudderless sideline,” wrote Glenn Gulibeau of Louisiana Gannett News.


“It looks like we lucked out again,” TCU Coach Gary Patterson, joking after his team’s 45-10 win at Wyoming to improve to 11-0.

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