There’s a lot to do for Nebraska Athletics in the coming week.
Football is playing in Iowa on Friday. And then the turbulent time will probably come to an end at some point with a head coach.
Volleyball hosts two top 10 games this weekend and has a chance to win a share of the Big Ten title if they beat Wisconsin.
Men’s basketball goes to Orlando for the ESPN Invitational and women’s basketball goes to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Clasico.
My observations from Tuesday’s Marathon availability:
1. The coming week for football
Interim head coach Mickey Joseph said Tuesday he has yet to have a conversation with athletic director Trev Alberts about his future in Nebraska.
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“That’s probably sometime this weekend or next week,” Joseph said, adding that he’ll be “lying on my couch until I get a call.”
But before that, Nebraska has one last game against Iowa on Friday.
If Iowa beats Nebraska, the Hawkeyes will win the Big Ten West.
And for a team that hasn’t beaten its rival since 2014? They don’t shy away from playing spoilers.
“Yeah, we wanna ruin their chances, man,” said edge rusher Caleb Tannor. “Shit, that’s what we’re here for. We are here to win. That’s what we’re here for.”
2nd Big Ten title in game this weekend for volleyball
A Big Ten title, or at least part of it, is at stake for No. 5 Nebraska this weekend.
Nebraska hosts No. 3 Wisconsin (23-3) on Black Friday and No. 9 Minnesota (18-8) on Saturday.
There are three possible scenarios. A brief overview:
Nebraska is one game behind Wisconsin in Big Ten play. The Badgers are 17-1 and Nebraska is 16-2. So for any hope of a share of the title, Nebraska needs to beat Wisconsin on Friday. With Ohio State losing two games last week, the Buckeyes are out of the competition.
Scenario 1: Nebraska wins, Ohio State beats Wisconsin: Big Ten Champions 18-2
Scenario 2: Nebraska wins, Wisconsin beats Ohio State: Co-Big Ten champion with Wisconsin 18-2.
Scenario 3: Nebraska beats Wisconsin but loses to Minnesota; Ohio State beats Wisconsin: Co-Big Ten champions with Wisconsin 17-3
The Huskers have not won a Big Ten title since 2017.
“This weekend has a chance to be beautiful – great, great volleyball, very intense. We’ve been working since January to get to that point where we have an opportunity to contend for a Big Ten championship,” said coach John Cook. “The team worked hard. The staff worked really hard. We just have to get started.”
3. Final season for Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles
Fourth-graders Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles could have played a fifth season in 2023 due to the COVID waiver, but both have decided to end their Husker careers once that season comes to an end.
“It was a tough decision, but I’ve met with Coach (Cook) several times about it, and I’ve absolutely loved this program. It’s like family to me,” Knuckles said. “And it’s so hard to say goodbye to that. But I just think that after four and a half years, the time has come where it’s like this, me and Madi, we came here together, we’ll go together.
Kubik added: “It’s been a great four years that I’ve had the privilege of competing here. I absolutely loved my career. And I’m really excited that our younger players are getting the opportunity to be at the forefront of this program and just encourage them and mentor them this season. It was really great and I’m looking forward to the future.”
4. Update on Derrick Walker
Senior striker Derrick Walker remains “common with his health,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s getting closer and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”
Walker played in Nebraska’s inaugural exhibition game against Chadron State but has not batted since.
A bonus: a cryptic contribution from Sam Haiby
Senior Guard Sam Haiby posted one 11 second video on her social media pages early Tuesday afternoon.
The video – set to “Us. vs. Them” by Quavo and Takeoff – is a close-up of her face as she removes a hood and stares at the camera before the video goes to a black screen with “BACK 4 MORE”. in all capital letters.
Haiby suffered a knee injury during preseason training and was originally determined to miss the season. However, her medical team determined during the operation in late October that the injury was not as serious as initially thought.
It is not yet clear when Haiby will return to the stage.