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April 15, 2014

Husker Buzz: Big Ten schedule talk and Miles rumors

The Big Ten released its prime time schedule on Tuesday, and to no surprise Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes led the way with three appearances in the six available slots, but right behind them with two were both Nebraska and Penn State.

Michigan and Michigan State will appear in prime time just once in 2014, while Iowa and Wisconsin were completely shut out. In fact, the Hawkeyes haven't had a prime time slot since 2009 when they played Michigan.

Wisconsin is the one that surprises me the most, but if you look at the Badgers schedule none of their October games warrant prime time spots, while far and away their only game that could be considered is their match-up with Nebraska on Nov. 15.

As we know, the Big Ten does not like scheduling November night games, but there continues to be talk about it in the future. They decided to tread lightly this year by scheduling a Nov. 1 Illinois vs. Ohio State game in prime time - it's a start.

A year ago both the Nebraska games with Michigan and Michigan State easily could've fallen in a night window, but they had November kickoffs, which put them in 2:30 pm slots.

The only match-up a year ago that could've been in prime time was the UCLA vs. Nebraska game, but the league chose to put it in a national ABC window at 11 am and Notre Dame vs. Purdue in the prime time slot.

The Huskers Big Ten October games were with Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota, which should come as no surprise why the Huskers were shut out for prime time match-ups.

The previous two years NU had games with Wisconsin and Ohio State in 2011 and Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan in 2012 in prime time windows.

The bottom line is the Big Ten looks at the match-ups and tries to find the six games in September and October that are going to pull the highest TV numbers to help the conference. Both the Miami and Michigan State games were naturals for the prime time windows this year.

Let the Tim Miles rumors begin

You knew it was only a matter of time, but Tim Miles name has already been mentioned as a candidate for the men's basketball opening at Tennessee by a few different national pundits.

Sirius XM Channel 91 radio host Tim Brando first threw Miles name out on Twitter Tuesday after the news broke Cuonzo Martin resigned to take the Cal job.

"Tennessee's Dave Hart is a quality AD IMO, but he could prove it by making a strong run at Nebraska's Tim Miles," Brando said. "He is (Bruce) Pearl reincarnated!"

Martin was under constant pressure and heat all season by Volunteer faithful, and until a late season run that got them to the Sweet 16 he was on shaky ground. Tennessee has been in search for another Bruce Pearl, and Miles definitely fits that style.

The only problem is people on the outside don't realize Miles is from South Dakota and nearly his entire family still lives there. Coaching at Nebraska is perfect for him because his family and close friends can drive to all the home games.

It's going to take a much better job than Tennessee to entice Miles to leave Nebraska after what he's built the last two years. Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst will also make it pretty tough financially for Miles to leave NU. I would not be surprised if Miles gets a hefty raise on his contract in the near future.

Three and out

***Props to Nebraska for continuing to evolve the Red-White game to make it entertaining to the fans. The last two years NU's spring game has made ESPN's SportsCenter. How many other teams can say that? I'm sure they said this last year after Jack Hoffman's run, but how are they ever going to top this year?

***Nebraska Baseball has quietly climbed back into the NCAA tournament discussion with a solid top 40 RPI. The key has been their non-conference schedule with wins over teams like Oregon State, Washington, UC Irvine, UNLV, Arkansas and Wichita State. After a disappointing opening Big Ten weekend at Iowa, this team has really found ways to "grind" as head coach Darin Erstad constantly says.

***The Husker Sports Network plans to have a special kickoff weekend party that will run inside Pinnacle Bank Arena the Friday and Saturday before the Florida Atlantic game. The plan is to have several former Husker players and coaches back for different festivities throughout both days, along with live entertainment and activities for the kids. I think this event has a lot of potential going forward as Husker fans are craving for fun things to do before that first kickoff.


Sean Callahan can be reached at [email protected] and he can be heard each day at 6:50 am and 4:50 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha during the football season. He can also be seen on KETV Channel 7 TV in Omaha during the fall and each week he appears on NET's Big Red Wrap Tuesday's at 7 pm.


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