OSU football: More talent than Nebraska?
In the Thursday Oklahoman, our man Brandon Chatmon compared the talent levels of Oklahoma State and Nebraska football. His basic conclusion: OSU has the superior offensive talent, Nebraska the better defensive talent. Which seems pretty obvious.
Some have wondered how OSU could be on equal footing with Nebraska in talent, but I have a question. What has happened in the last five years to make anyone think Nebraska should have more talent than OSU?
Records the last five years: Nebraska 38-21, OSU 38-20. Record the last four years: Nebraska 29-16, OSU 31-14. Record the last three years: Nebraska 24-9, OSU 24-8. Record the last two years: Nebraska 15-5, OSU 15-4. Record this season: Nebraska 5-1, OSU 6-0.
And while you might be able to argue the Huskers have played slightly tougher non-conference opponents — I don’t buy it, but you could argue it — that doesn’t make up for OSU playing in the Big 12 South and Nebraska in the weaker North.
So why the belief that Nebraska automatically has to have better talent?
I don’t claim to know who has better linemen. Or heck, better DBs and linebackers. But ballhandlers, I can distinguish. And OSU clearly has the talent edge in ballhandlers. Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter. The Huskers have a good tailback in Roy Helu, a fast quarterback who can’t throw much in Taylor Martinez and receivers who have angered their own fans for a dismal performance against Texas.
The Huskers got everyone excited with their performance down the stretch last season — a disputed loss to Texas in the Big 12 title game and a 33-0 rout of Arizona in the Holiday Bowl — and jumping to a 5-0 start in 2010. But there’s no evidence that Nebraska out-talents OSU.
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