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Steven M. Sipple: There'll be cool stories at B1G Media Days along with obvious turn-off topics
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HUSKER FOOTBALL

Steven M. Sipple: There'll be cool stories at B1G Media Days along with obvious turn-off topics

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Red-White Spring Game 5.1

Nebraska coach Scott Frost walks behind the Red team as it runs plays in the first quarter May 1 during the Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.

If you really think about it, it's not all that surprising that you practically have to drag a lot of people into college football stadiums these days. 

Athletic directors essentially need to create in-stadium recliners with the all-important cup holders to make people feel at home.

Maybe athletic directors can begin arranging for free foot rubs to the first 1,000 through the turnstiles.

But stadium discomfort isn't the only issue that turns off fans these days.

One factor college football leaders — I use "leaders" loosely — must acknowledge is the conversation surrounding the college game is, well, thoroughly unappealing right now in many ways. 

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So, we'll hear a lot of thoroughly unappealing discussion during Big Ten Media Days on Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis.

Oh, there'll be cool stuff, too. Nebraska senior safety Deontai Williams is part of the Husker contingent that will be on hand Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium. NU secondary coach Travis Fisher, speaking Monday night on the Husker Radio Network, noted Williams graduated more than a year ago. Fisher said Williams tries to be at Memorial Stadium every night watching film even though he's the parent of a young child.

"He’s not a partier around town (and is) a captain of the team. He runs the DB room," Fisher said.

That's the sort of story I prefer to tackle — a senior standout who's all-in on helping the program in a critical season. 

Instead, there likely will be much louder discussion regarding whatever Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren says about how the conference is handling the vaccination issue. That topic should be wild fun. Various coaches and players can weigh in on the matter. I'm sure that'll be real pleasant. Fans on social media get a prime opportunity to harshly judge what coaches and players (and columnists) say about their personal stances, if they dare voice opinions publicly. Some fans can even take their feelings about what they hear in Indy to Twitter and attack peoples' character.

Maybe some fans can even create burner accounts and just absolutely tear people to shreds without any repercussions at all. The discourse is all very healthy. All hail Twitter. All hail social media.

Or perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps the discussion will be football-focused. Is the Big Ten West Division as wide open as it appears on paper? Is anybody in the league closing the gap on Ohio State? Speaking of Ohio State, it's always interesting to hear what Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has to say about, well, anything. He's a fascinating character. Perhaps he'll be asked how he feels about the dawn of the name, image and likeness era in college athletics.

That's a fun topic, right? Perhaps Harbaugh will try to size up the overarching impact of Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, the team's presumptive starter, already earning close to $1 million in endorsement deals. 

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban sounds just thrilled with the situation. 

"Our QB has already approached ungodly numbers, and he hasn't even played yet," Saban said during the Texas High School Coaches Association convention, according to 247 Sports. "If I told you what it is … it's almost seven figures." 

It occurs to me that Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos got out of the business last month at an excellent time. He was always very careful about how he crafted his comments about NIL and the transfer portal. The 70-year-old obviously didn't feel completely comfortable with recent massive changes in college athletics, but he always said Nebraska would work diligently to be on the cutting edge of whatever came down the pike. 

No use fighting it, right?

At some point in Indy, perhaps we can approach Williams and/or Nebraska defensive tackle Ben Stille with a question or two about how they feel about the veteran Husker defense's potential in 2021. I believe this group could do serious damage to teams. I also believe tight end Austin Allen, another member of the NU contingent, is poised for a season that'll put him squarely on NFL teams' draft boards. Boring, I know.

Who actually wants to talk about football-focused topics when we can discuss vaccination rates and NIL deals? 

Yeah, I'm sure this will be a lovely experience for Nebraska fourth-year head coach Scott Frost, an absolute darling of the national media. Earlier this year, it became a national talking point when news surfaced that the Huskers tried to back out of a Sept. 18 game at Oklahoma, for competitive and economic reasons. Frost surely will be asked about the matter. He likely will have a canned response. Hope his players are ready, too. 

Come to think of it, Frost may prefer the Oklahoma topic to the bigger-picture discussions (NIL, vaccinations, godforsaken transfer portal) that will transpire in Indy. 

College football is more appealing than ever — says no one in their right mind.

See you at the stadium.

Contact the writer at ssipple@journalstar.com or 402-473-7440. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.

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