Now that we all have time to digest the University of Nebraska relieving Bo Pelini of his head coaching duties yesterday morning, let’s take a step (or two) back and examine what led the university to this point.
Let’s first look at Pelini’s record in Lincoln. He went 67-27 during his seven years as head coach. He averaged over nine wins per season. Hell, this NC State alum would KILL for a a coach who could produce nine wins a season.
However, people who were not down with Pelini would point out that 67-27 record includes the following:
- Going 8-17 vs. AP-ranked teams (3-9 on road)
- No BCS Bowl appearances
- 3-3 overall in bowls
- No conference titles (lost in 2012 Big Ten title game, 70-31)
It also bears noting that when Nebraska loses conference games in the B1G, it loses BIG (no pun intended). Along with the aforementioned ass-kicking it took in the B1G title game, Nebraska also lost big to Wisconsin 59-34. In addition to blowing a lead to Minnesota at home, it had to come from behind against Iowa (Iowa?!) last week to get back to the usual nine-win plateau.
In other words, that is not considered good enough for a school to reach the “next level”.
That said, I will say this: how many coaches could consistently pull off season of at least nine wins? Not many.
How many coaches could do it in present-day Lincoln? Again, not many.
I hate to break this to you Shawn Eichorst (Nebraska’s athletic director) and members of Husker Nation, but times have changed – especially when it comes to recruiting.
There was a time where Nebraska was among the few “haves” in college football. Legendary coach Dr. Tom Osborne consistently had his pick of the litter when it came to bringing in blue-chip talent.
Now there are schools like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan State and even Iowa that have been successfully competing with Nebraska for recruits. Even traditional powerhouses such as Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State have consistently beaten the Huskers to the recruiting punch.
As a result, the Huskers are no more than a very good team in a so-so football conference.
So here is a couple of questions for Mr. Eichorst and the Husker brain-trust: who the hell are you going to bring in to take Nebraska to that next level? The candidate obviously have to be an experienced head coach, so are they going to pry the likes of Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, and Urban Meyer from their present posh posts?
And sure, Pelini seemed to be a prick off the field and to the media. And I do not like the way he turns beet-red and curses out his players on the sidelines. But is Nebraska REALLY sure that the new hire would Pelini’s production at a school whose time has long passed?
Good luck with pulling that shit off.