PHOTO: USA Today Sports
Under Tom Osborne, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were a dominant program in the 1990s. Osborne coached the Huskers from 1973 to 1997 and won 83% of his games as well as three National Championships. That era seems like such a long time ago.
Since Osborne hung up his clipboard, three coaches have tried to fill his shoes and the latest one, Bo Pelini, seems to be just about at his wits end.
In seven years at Nebraska, Pelini has put up a respectable 57-24 record and has won at least nine games every season (the Huskers currently have eight wins with a bowl game looming). Nebraska has been "good" under Pelini but they haven't ever been great.
During Friday's game between Nebraska and Iowa, Pelini (who is not one to hide his emotions) had a couple of bad moments on the field. The first was when he snapped at the sideline reporter who asked him a question about his teams first half performance.
The second bad moment was where he was called for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike-like penalty when he whipped his hat inches from hitting a referee in the face. During his press conference, Bo would call this a "chicken shit call".
Finally, there was the post-game press conference. In this press conference Bo was asked if he felt comfortable about his job status and if he had made a case to keep his job (his response is at the four minute mark of this next video). Pelini flat out said "if they want to fire me, then go ahead". Pelini was unapologetic and said his record spoke for itself and that the program is headed in the right direction.
This is where it gets murky in this "win now" era of college football. Is nine wins good enough every year for Nebraska if there doesn't seem to be any deviation in any season? Is the fanbase happy with winning nine or ten games every year with no hope of much more and is Pelini someone that the University wants to represent them as their coach?
College Football coaches are supposed to be tough but with the increased media and social media of this era of college football are coaches like Pelini going to be a thing of the past or is someone with his personality and temperament meant to be more of a Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Coach?
I've seen Pelini's buyout listed at $4.5 million. It's expensive but it might be worth it for the Huskers to part ways with Pelini as he just doesn't seem like he's the right fit to run a program like Nebraska.