If I had told you seven years ago that your university’s head football coach would have a record at your school of 67-27 (winning percentage of .713) and that he’d be fired for said record, what would you have said?
Let me answer that for you. What you would likely ask are the following questions.
Did we win a national championship? No.
Did we win a conference championship? Um, no.
Did we win a division title? Yes! Yes you did! You won four of them. One in the Big Ten and three in the Big 12!!
Great! Did we win the conference title games? Oooohh, that would be no.
Did we have any Heisman Trophy winners? Nope.
So we won a lot of big games then huh? Well, there’s the problem.
You mean we fired our coach because he couldn’t win big games? Bingo. And the fact that he was a total jerk on the sidelines…
This is what we have come to now in big time college football. You win nine or ten games a season but it isn’t nearly good enough and that’s exactly what happened with Nebraska.
The above narrative was about Bo Pelini if you haven’t figured that out by now. No titles, and losing all of the big games will get you shown the door regardless of what else happens.
The same thing has rung true at Florida where Will Muschamp has already cleaned out his office and at Michigan where Brady Hoke learned of his dismissal yesterday.
What’s different about those two situations however is that both had poor seasons that were used to support their respective ousters.
Muschamp and Hoke each had 11-2 seasons but the other years were anything but successful and in two proud football universities like those two, average and poor are not accepted.
What Nebraska has to realize is what many programs fight to accept and that’s that the good ol’ days are gone. There are plenty of Big Red fans who’d love to see a return to the option rushing attack of Tom Osborne but that isn’t realistic.
Football has changed drastically since Osborne left the sidelines and the faster the fan base recognizes this, the better. They must also accept the reality that Lincoln, Nebraska is not one of the top destinations any longer prized recruits to come.
If I can go to Tallahassee or Baton Rouge or Austin or any other warm climate why wouldn’t I? This just isn’t unique to Lincoln though. Other traditional powerhouses will lose recruits to teams in the south because of lower academic standards and a greater path to the NFL as well.
The top candidate to come to Lincoln appears to be Oregon Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost. Not only did he lead the Huskers to a National Title but he’s from Lincoln and his Ducks run the ball very well which would clearly make the traditional fan base happy.
The only hang-up here is do you want to follow up a first-time coach with another first-time head coach? That’s what Nebraska would be doing with the hiring of Frost. Other candidates will include Troy Calhoun of Air Force and possibly Craig Bohl of Wyoming who built a dynasty at North Dakota State. He’s also a former Huskers’ player.
One thing is for certain; the Huskers need to get this right and they need to get it done before the Gators and Wolverines bring in coaches they are targeting.