Welcome to OSI Heat Index, a weekly look at local teams and assignment of a “temperature reading” based on the past week’s performance.
For instance, a temperature reading of “1” would be ice cold, while “10” would be scorching hot.
Nebraska Cornhuskers Football
Heat Index: 8
Two practices into fall camp, and everything is going about as well as it can be for the Huskers.
Mike Riley seems to be pleased with how far his team has come in a year, saying Thursday’s opening practice didn’t look like the first practice of the year. The players seem to be more confident with the playbook and scheme heading into year two.
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker is also pleased with what’s he’s seen so far in camp, noting the defense looks more fluid, and guys are playing faster and with more confidence.
More good news? Injuries seem to be few and far between at the moment. A season removed from a devastating leg injury, De’Mornay Pierson-El is back running around for Nebraska.
While its only the first week of camp, and a lot could change, things are off to a pretty good start for Nebraska.
Iowa Hawkeyes Football
Heat Index: 9
Unlike Nebraska, which allows reporters access after almost every practice during fall camp, information on the Iowa Hawkeyes is much harder to come by.
Still, following a 12-2 season a year ago (Iowa players at Big Ten media days were quick to point out that they didn’t go 12-0 last year, they were in fact 12-2), optimism has to be running high in Iowa City. Quarterback C.J. Beathard underwent several surgeries in the offseason, but says he’s feeling good heading into the fall.
Beathard claims he wasn’t 100 percent after about the third game of last year, which could be a scary proposition for the Big Ten West if he manages to stay healthy in 2016.
The reality is we probably won’t know a ton more about Iowa until their season opener, unless there are major unexpected announcements from Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa State Cyclones Football
Heat Index: 7
The talent level isn’t where in needs to be in Ames just yet, but its hard to imagine the excitement and buzz being much bigger under first year Head Coach Matt Campbell.
Campbell has been scorching hot in recruiting recently, and has re-energized a fan base that had grown somewhat stagnant at the end of the Rhoads era in Ames. Fans will need to be patient, however, as Iowa State is severely lacking in a few key areas, especially on defense, in the offense dominant Big 12.
The Cyclones won’t be serious players in the Big 12 this year, but things are clearly moving in the right direction.
Omaha Storm Chasers
Heat Index: 5
It’s been pretty much “steady as she goes” for the Storm Chasers since the Triple-A All-Star game, but the past week saw Omaha slip just a bit with a 2-5 record, and four straight losses coming into Monday.
It’s not going to be another year season for Omaha, but Kansas City has promoted several key prospects to the Storm Chasers over the past month, and fans will be able to get a glimpse of what the Royals future could look like over the last month of the season.