Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mizzou Baseball Game Day: Nebraska Cornhuskers

NOTE: The MU-NU series is scheduled as a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series.

■ Records and Rankings (
  • Record: MU 23-28 (10-13); NU 28-24 (7-16)
  • RPI: MU 72nd; NU 58th
  • ISR: MU 104th; NU 74th
  • Strength of Schedule: MU 37th; NU 48th
A five-year snapshot of Nebraska baseball (Big Red Today)
But set aside the dramatic final weekend for a minute. Look, instead, at where Husker baseball stands over the last five years of Big 12 play. This is neither a random, small snapshot nor a three-year look that some would call unfair because it only captures head coach Mike Anderson’s three worst seasons. This five-year measurement encompasses more than an entire recruiting class, and gives each Big 12 program ample time to right the ship.

Big 12 records since 2007:
[Trrip note: I've adjusted the numbers from the article to include this past weekend's results]

Texas 93-38-1
Texas A&M 81-52-1
Missouri 72-61
Oklahoma 65-62-1
Oklahoma State 65-66
Kansas State 58-69-1
Baylor 58-74
Nebraska 56-77-1
Kansas 53-77-1
Texas Tech 53-81

The Huskers are No. 8 in the league. Just barely qualifying for the five-year Big 12 Tournament. Nearly 40 games behind old nemesis Texas. More than 20 behind A&M. That’s how much the gap has widened.
. . .
What also jumps out about the list is that, after the Longhorns and Aggies, no league team has exactly distinguished itself as consistent. In fact, all eight of the remaining teams have at least two losing conference records in the last five years. Tech and Baylor haven’t had a winning Big 12 season at all.
An interesting scenario for NU baseball (Husker Extra)
Contrary to information from a story in the LJS this morning, so long as Kansas and Kansas State play all three games of their series this weekend, NU will not need any outside help in its 11th-hour attempt to qualify for the eight-team Big 12 Tournament.

A sweep by Nebraska would do the trick, because it would leave the Huskers ahead of Missouri and either Kansas or Kansas State. NU and the Wildcats could finish in a tie, but Nebraska owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The funny thing about this setup is that NU's only two Big 12 sweeps of the last three years occurred in the final series of 2009 and 2010 -- both of which the Huskers entered with no shot of making the tournament
Now that any loss means elimination, nerves come into the equation. What's more, you treat more situations unconventionally because you have to go for broke. Good luck succeeding under that kind of pressure.

For the record, there have been 10 three-game sweeps in the Big 12 this season. Missouri has been on the wrong end of two of those, but the Tigers also come to Lincoln having won four straight series to face a team coming off an 0-3 showing at Texas A&M.

Is there even one soul among you who truly believes Nebraska will pull this off?
Sweep hurts NU's post-season chances (Big Red Today)
A sweep by Texas A&M means Nebraska needs a sweep of its own and some help from other teams to get a shot at qualifying for the Big 12 baseball tournament.

The No. 11 Aggies completed the three-game sweep with Sunday's 5-1 win, leaving the Huskers one game behind ninth-place Kansas in the standings with the top eight teams making the tournament.

The Huskers (28-24, 7-16) will begin the final conference series of the season by hosting sixth-place Missouri (23-28, 10-13) on Thursday night.

If the Huskers sweep the Tigers (23-28, 10-13), they would reach the conference tournament, an NU official said Sunday night. Kansas, Texas Tech (31-22, 10-14), and Kansas State (31-20, 9-14) also are fighting to make the tournament.
Is NU skipper Mike Anderson still Tom Osborne's man? (Husker Extra)
Results this weekend and next will determine whether Nebraska's baseball team qualifies for the Big 12 Tournament for the first time in three seasons, so Tom Osborne understands why you'd ask.

For now, the NU athletic director isn't saying if he intends to honor the final year of Mike Anderson's contract as Husker baseball coach.

"We've got two fairly big series left," said Osborne, noting this weekend's at league-leading Texas A&M and next weekend's against Missouri in Haymarket Park.

But if you listen closely to Osborne -- who's been a big supporter of a coach who's won two of Nebraska's three conference championships in baseball since 1951 and is the only one to steer an NU club to victory at the College World Series -- you could see him opting to go into the Big Ten next year with the same guy.

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