Time for the Wednesday drive, with six points to be made along the journey. Let's start by looking at Memorial Stadium. She's changing her appearance a bit. Always changing.
1. The seats continue to get a little wider in certain parts of the old cathedral, which means capacity will continue to get a little smaller.
As Brian Rosenthal of Huskers.com reported yesterday, all of upper North Stadium, those seated in rows 80 and above, are going to have seats that are 22 to 24 inches in width now instead of 18 inches.
That's not the only spot where the seats are widening. Section 14 of South Stadium, Rosenthal wrote, will have width increases from 18 inches to 20 to 22 inches.
This shouldn't surprise people. The widening of seats in North Stadium has been going on for a couple years, and is something we've tried to keep track of best we can. It seems like you could make a safe bet the 91,585 fans present for the Nebraska-Miami game in 2014 will be the largest crowd to ever witness a home Husker football game.
In fact, I'd guess the days of hearing announced crowds of 90,000-plus at Memorial Stadium may be soon at an end.
Last year, the Huskers had announced crowds of just above 90,000 in five of the seven home games. The largest crowd was 90,546 against Purdue. The games against Wyoming and Maryland were just under the 90,000 bar.
So it will be interesting, when seat widening across the stadium is complete in the years to come, what the going number attached to full attendance at Memorial Stadium will be. When I was a young kid, everyone used to talk about 72,000 filling the stadium. When I was an older kid, everyone talked about 76,000 filling the stadium. (The picture above is Memorial Stadium in 1965 when capacity was pushed to 53,000.)
The place grew and grew just before stories became more and more common about how difficult it is all across the country to fill stadiums at even the biggest programs.
So widening the seats now is smart business. You wonder if it will it stop at just widening seats. Last year, here's what Husker athletics director Shawn Eichorst said to me about stadium renovations like that.
"You can maintain capacity without having seats too, right? Kind of like we did at volleyball. You can have standing-room only, you can have plazas. You can do a lot of unique things. But they have to be well thought-out. You have to get to the right place with them. So, no, we're not looking at anything other than providing anything but an exceptional experience throughout the stadium."
It also could help in keeping that Husker sellout streak alive. You may have noticed last week that there were 1,500 tickets left to be sold, which is fewer than this time a year ago.
Be clear: Most fans still care ery much about that streak. It's one of the great streaks Husker football still holds claim to. It also belongs to the fans.
In mid-April, we took a survey of fans about Husker football. More than 3,000 responded.
One question was, 'How important is the sellout streak to you?'
We provided two options:
A) Very. Must do everything to keep it alive
B) It's impressive, but it won't matter greatly to me if it ends
There were 74.2 percent who clicked on A.
2. Speaking of that spring survey on Husker football, I was reviewing it today and there's one question I asked that I probably didn't highlight enough at the time. It's a question I have oft wondered, and it's this: If you don't go to many games at Memorial Stadium, what is it that stops you from attending?
I gave four options to readers to pick from:
A. It's a time-consuming adventure
B. Because the comfort of home -- couch, big screen, etc. -- is tough to beat
C. The cost
D. You go to any game you can. Can't beat seeing it in person
None of the questions I asked had a more even split in the answers than this one.
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There were 28 percent who answered "cost," there were 25.8 percent who answered "the comfort of home," there were 25 percent who said they go to any game they can, and there were 21.1 who said it's because it's "a time-consuming adventure."
There is not one sure answer for athletic department administrators when it comes to filling seats. But there's something the Husker athletic department has going for it many places don't.
While I hear a few voices talk about there being apathy for Husker football, they seem to remain in the minority column. And, to be clear, a fight to keep the sellout streak going should not be confused for apathy. Winning big would help make people want to attend in person, yes, but there are still a lot of people who care about NU football completely on Saturdays who are just more willing to watch it from their house than 20 years ago for various reasons.
In the survey, I asked: "Since NU's last conference title in 1999, has your passion for Husker football remained the same?"
Yes or No? Now, this is on a site that covers Husker football, so it's taken into consideration that the results may be skewed somewhat in that regard.
But 76.77 percent answered yes.
3. Part of the stadium renovations include changes to the video boards.
The picture in on the big board in North Stadium is supposed to be much sharper this year.
But perhaps the biggest change people will notice is that the four corner HuskerVision boards now feature wrap-around displays, which will help some fans in the corner parts of the stadium get a better look at replays.
Here's what it's going to look like.
4. As good as the on-field success has been for Michigan State football, save for last year, you started to wonder if serious off-the-field allegations might completely derail Mark Dantonio.
But Dantonio received the backing of the school for how he handled the very troubling situation of three of his players being charged with sexual criminal activity.
All three players -- Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demtric Vance -- were touted recruits in Michigan State's 2016 recruiting class. Corley and King even played as true fresman. Dantonio has said they are no longer in his program.
The non-football stuff is far more important here. But you do wonder how Michigan State moves on as a team this season, following last year's 3-9 disaster.
Prior to last year, Dantonio had won at least 11 games in five of the last six seasons. That's incredible anywhere, but especially in East Lansing, where the Spartans had more often than not been the definition of a middling program.
But can Sparty get back with all these distractions and the rivals in the division like Michigan and Penn State finding their footing again. I think Dantonio is a heckuva coach, but would be surprised if Michigan State can regain the consistency it has recently enjoyed.
5. Some days you feel a little bit older than others. Like when you realize you're now older than the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners.
It's not official yet, but very good reporters are saying 33-year-old Lincoln Riley will take over as OU's head man after the stunning announcement Bob Stoops is retiring after 18 years.
Yeah, I'm older than 33. As The Dude from "The Big Lebowksi" would say, "Bummer. That's a bummer, man."
But ... OU has made a trend of hiring young. With great success, too.
Check this out:
Lincoln Riley is 33. Bud Wilkinson was 31 when he took over at #OU. Chuck Fairbanks was 34; Barry Switzer was 36 & Bob Stoops was 39.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 7, 2017
6. Nebraska is led by a Riley, Oklahoma is led by a Riley. Nebraska's Riley is 30 years older than Oklahoma's Riley.
In fact, Nebraska's Riley started coaching as a GA at California in 1975. Oklahoma's Riley was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1983.
One thing I love about college football is that mixture of seasoned coaching vets with the young guns like Tom Herman and Lincoln Riley who are trying to break doors down.
Never a dull moment in what I consider the greatest sport going.