Monday, December 03, 2012

Nebraska Football: No, Seriously, Pelini Has to Go

How many times can a coach making $3 million say after a debacle of a game: "I'm shocked, we didn't execute, I don't know why, and I don't know what to do about it"?

Nebraska gets Georgia in a Florida bowl game. It's probably a tougher draw than the Rose Bowl opponent would have been.

This kind of matchup should be exciting, but the fun has drained out of NU football for me. My pitcher of Big Red Kool-Aid has run dry. I can't imagine why a fan would attend this game. I don't know if I would attend the game even with a free ticket. I don't like watching bad, embarrassing football, where my team's only success (when it mattered) was on a playground-style scramble initiated by failed pass protection.

Tom Osborne said he hired Bo Pelini to shore up the defense. Pelini's defense has fallen below the 2003 Pelini standard into Kevin Cosgrove territory. That means Pelini could do well with Frank Solich's and Bill Callahan's players, but not with his own. Think about that -- a worse recruiter than Solich, who was fired for inability to maintain a nationally-competitive talent/performance level.

I would not blame Shawn Eichorst, the athletic-director-in-waiting, for hoping for another splattering of NU so he can start fresh with a new coach enjoying two years of weak B10 schedules. 

I know the extra practice and TV exposure are supposed to be good for a program, but is this a case where it might benefit a program to shut down the season now? I guess you can't walk away from several million dollars, especially when you are a self-funding athletic department, but what top recruit is going to come to NU if it looks like it's going to be business-as-usual under Pelini?

I wish Nebraska would get creative and somehow activate Eichorst now, fire Pelini, let Ron Brown coach the bowl game, and get a new coach out recruiting now. Urban Meyer was hired by Ohio State at this time last year while the lame duck coach handled the bowl game. That worked out well for Ohio State.

I really don't care about the bowl game. I love Nebraska football and want to see improvement. There is no reason to believe Pelini can make that happen.


Ben Jensen said...

Are you suggesting the Tom Osborne is 0-2 in picking a good coach to replace him?

Chip Maxwell said...

The fact that a decision does not turn out well does not mean it was the wrong decision.

Osborne went for 2 against Miami. It didn't turn out well, but it was the right decision.

Osborne gave Lawrence Phillips a second chance. It didn't turn out well, but it was the right decision.

And of course Osborne made many other decisions that did turn out well.

Osborne said he hired Pelini because NU's defense needed the kind of immediate upgrade that he thought Pelini could produce. By Year 2, Pelini had turned the Blackshirts from one of the worst defenses in the country into one of the best.

In the longer-run it hasn't turned out well, but that doesn't mean it was wrong to hire Pelini.

It will be wrong for Eichorst to retain Pelini, given the downward trajectory Pelini has been on since 2009, with six pathetic performances by the defense against the only good teams on the schedule the last two years.