LINCOLN — Tunnel Walk changes, alternate uniforms and crossover opponents were among the topics Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos discussed during a 15-minute session with reporters Thursday.
With Saturday’s 7 p.m. season opener against Akron looming, the A.D. said the anticipation he’s felt from fans is palpable.
“You can feel throughout the state a great deal of energy, excitement,” Moos said. “And it’s all coming to a head.”
Among the highlights from the question-and-answer gathering:
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» Moos said there will be changes to the Tunnel Walk, though he’ll experience them for the first time along with fans Saturday night. Those changes came from the football program, he said, and he embraced them.
He thinks some music will be different, he added, though that is only "hearsay."
“I think it kind of goes with our theme of ‘honor the past, live the present, create the future,’ ” Moos said. “There will be pieces of the Tunnel Walk that are traditional and have been part of our history through many, many years. Then there will be some things that might be more appealing to that 18-, 19-, 20-year-old player. I think it will be a tasteful congregation.”
» Another case of blending tradition with innovation is alternate uniforms. Moos said there will be one or two home games this season when Nebraska goes with an alternate look, including Nov. 10 against Illinois.
» Nebraska and Michigan became crossover partners through a random drawing the league conducted this summer, Moos said. An associate commissioner picked team names out of a box. The Huskers and Wolverines will meet each season from 2021 through at least 2025.
The transition to random protected crossover games came in part thanks to Moos, who said he convinced enough of his peers that Big Ten powerhouses playing each other so often would be detrimental to the league earning spots in the College Football Playoff.
» Regarding the pair of conference road games Nebraska will play to open seasons in 2023 (at Minnesota) and 2025 (at Illinois), Moos said it is a matter of helping accommodate the wishes of television networks.
“Our TV partners want us to spread the conference games out because they’re the most attractive,” Moos said. “Everybody’s going to get a little taste of that in due time. I really think that our program, by the time we get to that point, will be a veteran program that will be able to handle that. You gotta play somewhere.”
» On transfer rules, Moos said he thinks the changes aren’t over yet. But he said there should be a consequence of sitting out a year for transfers to prevent a free-agent frenzy that resembles pro sports.
» Moos said the level of commitment to being on the selection committee for the College Football Playoff is greater than he thought a few years ago. But with all of his five children out of the house, he said he’d be up for the challenge.
“I wouldn’t mind being on it now,” Moos said. “Print that, please.”