Huskers Luck Out With Bowl Bid;
Will They Take Advantage Of It?

A team with a 5-7 season record has no reason to expect a bowl invitation.  But the Nebraska Cornhuskers lucked out.

Some bowls must deal with teams with losing records.  There just aren’t enough teams with winning records to go around.  This reality opened the door for the invitation to the Huskers to play in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  The stadium is among the top in the nation and is the home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Shortage of the supply of teams with winning records to play in bowls led to the Huskers’ invitation and a chance to regain some of the ground lost by a combination of bad breaks and Husker mistakes.

The good breaks started with the invitation of the 5-7 Huskers to play UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl on December 26.  Because of the reaction to the belief—rather widely held—that the Huskers perhaps deserved a better season record than they had finished with.

The Huskers’ luck certainly turned with the invitation to play 8-4 UCLA Bruins.  Kickoff time in the central time zone is 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.

Perhaps working to the Huskers advantage is the feeling held by a good many people that the Huskers deserve better than a 5-7 season record.

To finish the season with a good showing—victory against UCLA—would be a long shot but not appear out of reach.  An interesting twist to a reason the Huskers got the invitation:

In situations like the one created for the bowl pickers in this case was the fact that NCAA policy calls for the pick to go to the team from the school with the best academic record and the University of Nebraska ranks high in the nation in this regard.

Thanks to the University of Nebraska students who compiled that best academic record.

And Go Big Red!

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Batter Up!  Marian Will Soon Add To Her
Remarkable Record Of Ballpark Visits

Marian got some newsworthy news-column attention during the period we were giving our readers expanded coverage of the news by offering trips which ranged as far as Scottsbluff and Moscow.

Our attention to Marian’s newsworthy performance was focused on her determination to see a game played in each of the nation’s baseball parks, which numbered 26 when Marian set out on her mission.  That mission first was achieved in 1991.  I arranged with Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth to ask the Philadelphia Phillies management to arrange for Marian to get some attention during her mission-ending game.

The result was that Marian was featured on the big center field electronic message board and had a second-inning dance with the Phillies Phanatic “mascot.”

Since then, Marian has kept current.  When a new park is opened, Marian visits it.  Sometimes I go along.  Sometimes she has another companion or companions.

Her knowledge of—and passion for—sports goes back to the time when her father took her, at age 3, to her first Nebraska football game in Lincoln.

Her involvement with baseball was enhanced when, our return from our honeymoon in Bermuda, we attended a New York Yankees game and I taught her—based on my early experience as a sportswriter—to keep score the way sportswriters do—or did before the electronic revolution.  She had enjoyed recalling that lesson in scorekeeping ever since with a description like, “K” (written backwards) to record a called strikeout instead of a swinging strikeout.

So, “batter up” in the next new major league ballpark.  Marian will be there during your inaugural year in Atlanta in 2017, preferably on opening day.

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