Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nebraska Football: Pelini Next Boss Hog?

Will Bo Pelini be chanting "Pig Sooie" at Arkansas next year? Fine with me.

Frank Solich was fired in part because his teams were being trounced by really good opponents. The same happens now.

Solich was fired in part because he couldn't recruit top talent. Now that the Callahan-recruited talent has cycled out, the same seems to be happening now.

Pelini has been on a downward trajectory since 2009. We are scrambling to beat teams that NU should beat handily if Pelini is serious about competing for a national championship. What's on the field right now is a mess of erratic play, turnovers, dumb penalties, inability to get the defense deployed, coach fuming throughout the game, and now players cursing the coach on TV.

Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien must be a great coach, maybe the next Bill Snyder, and Penn State has heart, but that should not have been a close game. Pelini in Year 5 should not have to be rescued from a decimated Penn State by a missed call at the goal line.

By the way, the botched call denying Penn State a touchdown late in the game does not settle the score from 1982. The 2012 goal line call was much tougher and closer than the 1982 McCloskey catch at least a yard out of bounds, and the 2012 stakes were much lower. The 1982 abomination cost NU a national championship. So no, we're not even. We'll never be even.

As for Snyder at Kansas State, he has eclipsed in 4 years what Pelini has done in 5. Pelini was dealt a much stronger hand in talent and resources (even the pathetic Callahan teams were beating K State), then moved to a weaker conference. The B12 is not as strong as it has been in recent years, but it still is amazing that Snyder has K State undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation.

Back to NU. It looks like I'll get my 10 wins. I had not predicted a B10 title game because I thought we'd lose to Michigan and win a non-BCS bowl game to finish 10-3. I'll say 11-3 because we beat Wisconsin and lose the Rose Bowl, or lose to Wisconsin and win the Dogbarf Bowl.

Next year's schedule is significantly weaker so it will be hard to tell if things are improving. Maybe the best move is to give a new coach the advantage of breaking in with a remarkably friendly schedule.

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