Taking stock of our sports world and what I learned from the Nebraska spring game:
» I learned that fans pay attention to the Tunnel Walk song — and might have to learn a new one.
Last Saturday, Scott Frost led the team out of the tunnel at Memorial Stadium to a version of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” You probably wouldn’t be surprised that this got a big response.
Shot Kleen, the associate athletic director for HuskerVision, said on Monday that his department decided to change it up to recognize Frost’s first appearance as coach.
Was this a one-time thing? Or a chance to make a break with tradition with a new coach and start a new traditional song to the team entry?
It’s a touchy subject. The Tunnel Walk, with the Alan Parsons Project song “Sirius,” began in 1994. Frost ran out to it during his career. Many Nebraska fans associate the tradition with great memories. Winning.
Kleen said, “We are going to take a look at it this summer and evaluate it, and we’ll make a decision as we get closer to the season.”
I did a Twitter poll on the subject — because this is serious journalism — and after 1,400 votes, it was 61 percent to 39 to keep "Sirius."
Stay tuned for breaking news on this topic.
Quick twitter poll, because I'm getting good at this.— Tom Shatel (@tomshatelOWH) April 23, 2018
Should "Sirius" be replaced as the Tunnel Walk song?
» I learned that Matt Davison, who is now an associate A.D. for football, will return as the color man for Husker football broadcasts. Some wondered if Davison would have time to do both. He will. It’s fair to wonder how critical he’ll be of the coach. But I’m guessing he won’t have to bemoan the team’s effort this season.
» I learned that Frost made the absolute right decision in coming back to Nebraska.
No question that Frost grew to like Orlando, Florida, and the Central Florida culture. But more often than not, Frost and UCF were going to be underdogs. Frost would have tired of being an underdog and being shut out of the national title chase.
From what I have seen this spring, Frost is very comfortable being the big dog, in the spotlight, the leader of a program with a big appetite. With all of his dealings in the public and with the national media, it’s been a seamless transition. Frost has embraced it all.
It’s no small deal that Frost had two years to be a head coach before coming here, and brought an entire staff that has been together. They’ve hit the ground running.
It’s something that could pay dividends in the fall.
» I learned that some Iowa fans are paying close attention to Frost and have a lot to say on the subject.
» I’m not sure Wisconsin knows — or cares — who the coach is at Nebraska.
» I learned that while a quarterback debate may have developed, Nebraska might need more than one next season. Not saying somebody’s going to get hurt, but the quarterback in this offense is going to run and is going to get hit — in a schedule against a lot of big dudes. Also, take into account that these dudes are young and inexperienced and there are going to be mistakes/turnovers. Chances are, we’ll see two.
I learned that the defense is going to act, not react, which is the way the best groups play. Maybe in a world of quick snaps and substitutions, coordinators have out-thought themselves trying to stop the madness. Attacking and pursuing the ball always worked in the past. It should help the Blackshirts produce more turnovers. Gotta keep that secondary healthy.
» Finally, I learned that national media types are interested in the Frost story and all have come away with a new take on Nebraska football.
From Dennis Dodd, CBSsports.com: “Scott Frost is exactly where he should be at this point in his life and career. Because he knows the turf, he has what I call a controlled confidence, not cocky. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He definitely knows how to get there. He’ll have Nebraska as a player in the Big Ten West (and hence Big Ten) in short order. He is the brand now with recruits.”
From Paul Myerberg, USA Today: “It’s an important part of Frost’s mentality: He’s motivated by the chase. I think he’s supremely competitive in a sport that often rewards at-all-costs competitiveness.
“UCF was never going to scratch that itch, and I think he grasped that during the push into postseason last fall.
“... Two things really stood out during my visit last week. One was a sense of cohesiveness, which might be the byproduct of bringing the same staff along from UCF. In fact, ‘Unity of Purpose’ is a slogan I saw on the walls of the football facility. The other was the idea that the Cornhuskers will have no fear of failure. That’s a directive from the new guy in charge. Show me a program on the same page that lets it rip and I’ll show you a program with potential.”
» When was the last time there was such a lack of buzz for a Creighton-Nebraska baseball game?
» Given what he is going through, you have to have that much more respect for Kyle Korver for what he’s doing on the court now.
» The Legend of Jake Guentzel continues. Think we can get a Pittsburgh Penguins exhibition game at CenturyLink Center?
» I think Lamar Jackson might end up being the best quarterback in this draft class, but I know you have a hard time taking Chargers fans seriously.
» One more and I’m outta here: I’d like to thank Frost for the early-morning practices this spring. It kept the sports writers from staying out too late.