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Don’t go Bo

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director

The Husker football team has won eight games, with one more regular season game left and that is with Iowa in Memorial Stadium this week, and then a bowl game. Nebraska could very well end up 10-3 which most football programs would consider a pretty good season.
Bo Pelini and his staff have gotten to eight wins while suffering all kinds of injuries to key players on both offense and defense and having a number of freshmen and sophomores playing from the git-go. This combo of events has led to some close games, some big melt downs that turned into a loss and maybe one upset and that was with Minnesota.
The UCLA loss and the Michigan State losses were to pretty good teams and I am not sure how much better MSU is but they won and are in the Big 10 playoff.
Last week at Penn State the Huskers won another one. They won it despite at times being their own worst enemy. A fumble into the end zone instead of scoring, a fumble deep in their own territory, and periods when they could not stop Penn State’s running games even if they had been able to use extra players on defense. They had the same problem with PSU’s passing game at times.
Then there were the officials. I won’t even comment on the personal foul call when Nebraska scored with four minutes to go.
Yes, I think I will. All my life I have been pretty easy on officials knowing they worked hard to make the right calls. But that call was as bad of a call made as the no-call on Eric Crouch at K-State when they turned his head around about 180 degrees. But still, at the end they had put themselves into a position to win and they got it done.
I think maybe this is Bo Pelini’s finest coaching job since he arrived at Nebraska. The injury list is about as long as the number of walk-ons on the squad. You never hear Pelini complain about it. The defensive squad is so young I am not sure they all have a driver’s license. He never complains about that. He just lines them up each week and plays.
This week, however, there was an internet rumor that Coach Pelini had resigned and it would be announced sometime after the Iowa game. I am certain that a lot of people would think that was a good move. I am not of that opinion.
It is no secret that Pelini needs work on his people skills. He is not a politician. He tends not to sugar coat things. Black is black, white is white and that is the way he will explain it to you.
Nebraska fans keep thinking there will be another Coach Tom out there just licking his chops to come to Lincoln to coach. No, I don’t really believe that. There was only one Bob Devaney and there is only one Coach Tom and hopefully the Huskers don’t find one more Bill Callahan.
Nebraska needs to rebuild their brand a little. The tradition is great but I can assure you most 18 or 19 year old kids have no idea who Matt Davison is or maybe even Tommy Frazier. They have no knowledge of the game and the story behind “Nice catch Matt” or Tommy Frazier breaking tackle after tackle in the blowout over Florida in the national championship game.
Matter of fact, when asked, Jordan Westerkamp told a reporter that he’d never seen Davison’s miracle catch that saved a national champion run at Missouri.
It appears to me that at the present time Bo must stay and continue to build and improve recruiting, etc. Check back on Coach Tom after six years and people wanted to make changes in the program but it all worked out in the long run.
It would be nice if Coach Pelini had some of Coach Miles’ of the men’s basketball team people skills but he doesn’t. That is not his style.
Pelini did have a team meeting on Thursday before Penn State and told his team he has never quit anything, trying to put a damper on the resigning rumor. He also told them it was an “honor” to coach them. He repeated that on Saturday.
If nothing else, when people start to rant and rave about Coach Pelini’s shortcomings remember he has enough strong points to build a very strong program. No program is built overnight. It takes time. It takes some patience.
On the other side of that coin, Nebraska should remember that it doesn’t take very long to destroy a program.