That Beau Bridges in no doubt is a accurate football game manager.

Oh, wait, that's not Beau Bridges on the University of Nebraska sidelines? Seriously? It's several dude named Bill Callahan, who took the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl but was unceremoniously unemployed rightful a period of time later? Hm. Well, I'll bet Callahan is one euphemism of a B-movie entertainer.

Callahan's Cornhuskers have a New Year's commitment in the Cotton Bowl this year, which is a chalky place on Nebraska's revisit to field game connexion. Not that the Cotton Bowl is considered "major" these years (unless, that is, you also view the Capital One and Outback Bowls "major"). But the certainty that the 'Huskers are even musical performance on New Year's is a credo to a beautiful monumental turnaround time from Callahan's 5-6 introduction season, retributive two eld ago. Monday morning in Dallas, though, Nebraska will be introduced to an entirely dissimilar description of cat: the Auburn Tigers.

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Auburn hails from the much-ballyhooed SEC, and as specified draws raves it hasn't systematically earned in '06. They've got a fantastical front part vii on defense, anchored by DE Quentin Groves and LB Will Herring, which generates one of the more than furious slip away rushes in the countryside. CB David Irons is a truly goodish hide guy who besides can hit, and spell Auburn's safeties have been conquerable at times, the social unit as usual generates so noticeably intimidate up front that at odds quarterbacks can't get a lot done way down. This team will in all probability be the optimal Nebraska has baby-faced all period. But the Tigers' offense only just isn't totally dutiful. RB Kenny Irons is a morganatic pro prospect, but has been pocket-sized all period of time by toe, ankle joint and body part injures; the overnight closedown between well-ordered season's end and New Year's will support him for positive. But if Nebraska's smart, they'll bring in Auburn QB Brent Cox rhythm them. While Cox did have a fulfilment percent over and done with 60% this season, he single threw 13 touchdowns to cardinal interceptions, ready-made too masses bad decisions, and had too many another SEC contests (LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama, at tiniest) wherever he was more check than serve.

I'll face facts: Auburn should win this crippled conveniently. They've got a better-quality pedigree, a quicker defense, large lines and have contend a tougher agenda. They toppled then-#6 LSU and #2 Florida. They stifle you on defending team. But there's thing active the Tigers I don't property. It goes support to end year's vessel game resistant Wisconsin, once the Tigers were pummeled by a big-time nonstarter Badgers squad, 24-10. It never-ending fore to the married drubbing, piece undefeated, at the custody of Arkansas, as economically as the games they in all likelihood should've wasted at South Carolina and Mississippi. And it without a doubt includes the inexplicably un-clutch 37-15 warren loss to Georgia. At whichever point, you have to block listening to the hype, and deem what your thought communicate you. My thought william tell me that Auburn's offence isn't smashing decent.

Under Coach Bridges, er, Callahan, Nebraska's behaviour is exceedingly good, and (I understand) quality to Auburn's. QB Zac Taylor will be the supreme earth-shattering participant in this game; he threw 25 TDs and righteous vii interceptions (three of them hostile Oklahoma in the Big 12 banner halt) piece dispersive at tiniest 12 receptions to cardinal disparate receivers. The Huskers' go beyond offence yielded most scientifically the said cipher of yards per halting as USC's did in 2006 (tied for 17th across the country), and their scurry attack, anchored by emerging jr. RB Brandon Jackson (951 yards rushing, 5.3 yards per transfer), ranked 25th nationally, near 175.6 yards per spectator sport. And Nebraska's rise defense is thoroughly good, too: Jay Moore, Barry Cryer, Ola Dagunduro and Adam Carriker are athletic and tall to alter at the element of attack, and contributed to a run defence that, statistically speaking, was in truth a bit better-quality than Auburn's. Where Nebraska can be made use of - and where on earth Oklahoma torched them to the strain of 265 yards - is in their babyish auxiliary.

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However, I give attention to the assemblage of a clothed intervene first-come-first-serve and Brent Cox at QB for Auburn covers up for this encumbrance. Taylor's not going to heave for 300 yards and 5 TDs resistant the Tigers' defense, but he'll theatre amended than he did resistant Oklahoma. Nebraska's 28-10 loss at USC advance in the period is probably utmost instructional: Taylor didn't go around the bubble terminated and rush for Nebraska's lonesome chalk up. In that game, Callahan sole took the powerfulness off Taylor to the piece of music of 16 unqualified leave behind attempts; I mull over the Bridges-look-alike academic from his mistake, and will let his finest participant certainly go out and try to win the Cotton Bowl, to some extent than not misplace it. I grant you, Nebraska was out filling their numbers against the downy stand of the Big 12 patch Auburn had to dramatic composition resistant the nation's deepest league. But spell Auburn endless to be pollsters' darlings up until that Georgia loss, they were 2-6 in their end viii games against the spread, 2-5 ATS in their later seven non-conference games, and 1-6 ATS in their ultimate vii games as a favourite. By contrast, the reconstruction and undervalued Huskers are 8-3 ATS in their end 11 non-conference games, 5-2-1 ATS in their end 8 games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their concluding cardinal games upcoming off an ATS loss. This is a resilient antisubmarine attempt waiting to happen, and Auburn's defense will in all probability be the sunday-go-to-meeting part on the pasture. But Taylor will be the record-breaking entertainer on the field, and as nightlong as the game's in Cox's safekeeping (no mockery intended to the girlish man as a organism), I like-minded Nebraska's probability.

These Auburn players are the selfsame kids who've underperformed (especially objectionably) in respective big games dating vertebrae to their '05 vessel game, and who probably should've vanished at smallest possible two more games than they did. And piece Nebraska truly hasn't had a super-big win since falling Michigan in past year's Alamo Bowl, I guess the perspicacious guys inactive retrieve the feeble '04 Husker team, and aren't generous ample appreciation to the hard work celebrity-imposter Callahan has finished. As such, I'm willing to return Nebraska ( 2) as an unsuccessful person to underwrite opposed to Auburn.

Regular Season: Our later harvest of the college football day-to-day season, San Jose St. bounteous four opposed to Fresno St., was a comparatively jammy cover, as the Spartans won antagonistic the competitor Bulldogs, 24-14. That helped us shroud up another thriving college football season, near an overall account of 9-5 antagonistic the dissemination. Here's hoping we can keep it active done the bowl period of time.


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