ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In Nebraska, in the fall, a state bathed in red leans forward for football. Grandmas make elaborate relish trays. Hunters carry radios. Doctors and lawyers and teachers and mechanics and homemakers and computer programmers and students and poets pool their money for bleary-eyed road trips and three hours in the Big House at Michigan.
It's in the blood now. This is what the state does — what Nebraskans do — and what the lot of them expect in return for their investment is top-end stewardship from the coaches, trickling down to the players. They expect it to look like good football. Not great. Hear this: Great is more befitting of individual efforts. “Good” is the proper aspiration for a team. There is an abiding depth to “good.” It speaks to longevity.