TSU + Nebraska = television has some people upset

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2001

Sports Columnist

The recent announcement that the Troy State-Nebraska game has been moved to 11:30 a.m. to accommodate FOX television has created a stir on some talk radio stations across the state.

What’s the big deal? Troy State’s playing Nebraska on television and people are taking pot shots at us.

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Evidently some people in this state do not think Troy State deserves the same kind of exposure that Alabama, Auburn and UAB are getting nationally.

I think it’s good that we’re being talked about. You would think that being from the State of Alabama they would wish good things to happen to an instate team. I know a couple of years ago, when the University of Alabama-Birmingham played Nebraska, I rooted hard for the Blazers. I think most of the state will root for us.

Some call-in’s on the radio talk shows has us being some kind of villain and suggests that we are not yet to the stature nationally where we can play on the same field as Nebraska. They’re saying TSU does not deserve this kind of exposure, that the game will be a laugher and no one outside the states of Alabama and Nebraska will want to watch the game.

I disagree! If David was going to fight Goliath at Legion Field on Saturday, I’d like to be there just to watch them him hit that big man in the mouth. I’m not trying to Biblical, but it excites me to watch the underdog battle a much larger opponent. To me, every time the underdog makes a big play it’s exciting and worth waiting for.

You’d have to be from another planet to think that TSU will not be a heavy underdog at Lincoln, Nebraska on Sept. 1., but that’s what college football is all about. The Cornhuskers and the Trojans still will fight for 60 minutes to decide which team puts the most points on the board. Troy State will play hard !

Of course, this game means a lot more to TSU then to Nebraska. TSU has just jumped from Division 1-AA to Division 1-A and is playing one of college football’s best program. Troy State is the ‘new kid on the block’ and they’re headed down the street to play in the front yard of those big corn-fed Huskers, who usually beat everybody’s brains out, including the Alabama’s, the Auburn’s, the Oklahoma’s, etc.

What’s the big deal? Somebody’s got to play this giant for a half a million dollars…why not us? We need the money to help build our program up. If that’s being foolish why doesn’t every football team in America go to Lincoln and get beat up on? Because that’s the case 99.9 percent of the time.

It’s an exciting time for Troy State football, our university, the City of Troy and Pike County. If you can’t rally around this, you need to get your stuff and move out. By the time Troy State and Nebraska kick it off on Sept. 1, TSU will have received more national exposure then it has in its existence. This game is the biggest one single event that our university and community has ever been involved in.

If I see Nebraska’s Athletic Director when I’m out there, I’m going to thank him on behalf of our entire community for helping put us on the map nationally.

Yes, it’s just a football game played between two fine universities, but win or lose, the City of Troy and Troy State wins big. I’m sure there are a lot of cities and schools across this state and country who covets this kind of opportunity.

As for those people who have shown some resentment that Troy State has the nerve to play Nebraska on national television, well, I think there’s a place in this state for four Division 1-A football programs. Each year the State of Alabama produces over 100 high school football players that have the ability to play major college football. The State of Florida probably has 500, Mississippi, 100 and Georgia another 150. These players are good enough athletically to play in Division 1-A.

These four states are all part of TSU’s recruiting territory, which ranks as one of the best areas in the country.

I say Troy State will get the players they need to compete in Division 1-A. What’s the fuss? The Trojans are going to Division 1-A and, in time, will be successful.

Make room guys. Here comes the Trojans!