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    by Published on 02-05-2015 03:06 PM  Number of Views: 2741 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Come bask in the warmth of the hot takes...

    Mike Riley and friends can recruit a little bit.

    I'll preface this with a big disclaimer: I don't follow recruiting very closely. I understand the importance, but watching highlight films and tracking the whims of 17-year-old kids doesn't do it for me. That said, it certainly looks to me like Mike Riley and his staff will be a recruiting force. For a new staff coming in with less than two months to go in the recruiting season, ...
    by Published on 12-26-2014 03:06 PM     Number of Views: 7350 

    Lost in the shuffle of Bo Pelini's firing, the coaching search, Mike Riley's hiring, another Pelini audiotape, and other December distractions, is a rather important item: Nebraska is playing a talented and respected University of Southern California team in the Holiday Bowl.

    Very few people are giving the Huskers much of a chance in this game. The Vegas odds-makers have the Trojans as a seven point favorite, ...
    by Published on 12-18-2014 03:06 PM     Number of Views: 9491 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    While I think there were some moments of truth and honesty in Bo Pelini's comments to his former players after being fired from Nebraska, it is sadly obvious that there are many more pieces of spin, delusion, and possible fabrications.

    Since I don't really feel like splitting hairs or getting caught up in spin, I'm going to point out ten quotes where Pelini was completely, unequivocally, dead wrong:

    1. "I didn't really have any relationship with the AD."

    I include this one not from a fact or crap point of view, because I have no idea what type of relationship Bo and Shawn Eichorst had - nor is it really relevant to the point.

    I include it because if Bo did not have a relationship with his boss, his direct supervisor - the guy who could fire him - that's on him. I'm not saying that Bo needed to be a brown-noser or bestest buddies with ol' Shawnie, but if I was concerned about being fired - or more appropriately, wanting to avoid being fired - I'd make sure my boss knew who I was, what intangibles I bring to the table, the names of the kids who be uprooted if I'm canned, etc.

    I know Bo was a little busy trying to build a football team good enough to win championships and silence 1.8 million critics, but that doesn't excuse not making an effort.

    2. "(Eichorst) was never going to come out in the paper and support (us)."

    From an story dated August 13, 2014:

    • "I really enjoy what ...
    by Published on 12-18-2014 03:05 PM     Number of Views: 12055 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Fans and media members are reacting to the leaked audio of Bo Pelini's farewell address to his team from a few days after he was fired. Most of that reaction is rightfully critical as Pelini was very harsh - both in language and in message - in attacking his former boss, fans, media, and University leadership while portraying himself as somebody who was not supported by the administration.


    There are several areas of Pelini's speech where the coach is right, speaking the truth, or unintentionally stated an absolute fact.

    Here are the nuggets of truth mined from the Omaha World-Herald's transcript of the speech:

    1. "(Eichorst) was never going to come out in the paper and support (us)."

    Let's set aside the inconvenient truth that Eichorst - in an August interview with the World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and the Associated Press - did offer support (even if Eichorst's quotes read like a prequel to the Bo is fired press conference). I interpret Bo's quote to mean that he was looking for his boss to speak up for him after the Wisconsin or Minnesota losses.

    But if we know anything about Eichorst, it is that he's never going to make public comments about a coach while the coach is in the midst of a season. Bo states a truth, but he should have been smart enough to know he was not going to get what he wanted.

    2. "The scrutiny, the taking shots at you, and everything ...
    by Published on 12-11-2014 03:07 PM     Number of Views: 9043 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Fill your Christmas stockings with a fresh batch of Husker Hot Takes:

    What in the holy Incarnate Word is going on with Nebrasketball?

    That was a meltdown of epic proportions. Fouling a shooter taking a three pointer. Twice. Throwing away in-bounds passes. Mental lapses and physical breakdowns. All while a less than capacity crowd watches quietly. Somewhere in Indiana, Barry Collier said "Damn, that's a bad loss."*

    *He probably didn't say that.

    I heard a conspiracy-minded person hint that maybe Nebraska lost on purpose (for reasons ...
    by Published on 12-05-2014 03:07 PM     Number of Views: 9139 

    By the time you read this, Mike Riley will have been formally introduced as the new coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

    Much has already been written and said about Riley - a guy who was completely off the radar in the Huskers' coaching search. I don't have much to add that has not already been said elsewhere. Besides, I think it is time to more forward. Today. Now.

    To that end, I have some to-do items and friendly suggestions for all of the stakeholders in the Nebraska Football program

    Head Coach Mike Riley

    You have the most to do, so you go first.

    Earn the trust and respect of your players. As you probably know, Bo Pelini was extremely beloved by his players. They were shocked and hurt when he was fired, so some may view you as the bad guy (or the agent of a bad guy). Job one will be to get your new players to trust you, respect you, and ultimately buy into the culture you're going to create.

    How do you do this? Well Coach, I'm hoping you know the answer better than some amateur writer. I'm putting my trust in you that you can get this done.

    Hire the best damn staff you can. The need to hire a talented staff full of teachers and recruiters is of the utmost importance. You'll ...
    by Published on 12-04-2014 03:08 PM     Number of Views: 12405 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    In the wake of Nebraska's back to back losses, there has been a lot of talk about where the Nebraska program is, where it should be, and what it will take to get it there.

    Strong opinions are easy to find - especially if you are down on Pelini and/or his staff. But I wonder if all voices are being heard. Are there folks who think these are isolated losses, so any talk about firing coaches and benching players is unwarranted?

    There are some tough questions floating around right now. Some very difficult choices need to be made, many of which will likely shape the direction and perception of this program for years to come. So to get an accurate pulse of Husker Nation, I want to know what ALL ...
    by Published on 12-03-2014 03:08 PM     Number of Views: 3670 

    State of the Huskers header

    Since I asked all of you for your opinions on the State of the Huskers, and over 6,000 of you were kind enough to oblige, I figure the least I could do is share my responses and a brief justification*.

    *Author's note: I composed this prior to Pelini being fired by Shawn Eichorst (that dude is really screwing with my writing schedule), so the responses refer to Bo in the present tense as Nebraska's coach)

    Here are the answers I provided when I took the survey last week. Just promise you won't hold any of these answers against me...

    State of the Huskers header

    1. What is the biggest issue facing the Nebraska football program?

    Schematic deficiencies

    Reason: I feel Nebraska has the talent to win the West, but I question the approaches taken on offense and defense. Yeah, you probably could say this is on the coordinators, but I look at it like this: bring in the coordinator of your choosing. If he runs the exact same scheme as what's being done now, would he be successful? On the flip side, would Beck or Papuchis look better with a different scheme?

    2. What is the primary issue holding back the offense?
    Offensive Line

    Reason: It starts up front for this team. When the line is playing like "hell in a helmet", the offense moves very well. When they play like "Grandma Helen in a helmet", Armstrong and Abdullah have problems and Beck looks bad.

    3. What is the primary issue holding back the defense?
    Defensive coordinator / scheme

    Reason: The Big Ten is a run-first league, but NU's defense ...
    by Published on 12-01-2014 02:13 PM     Number of Views: 2264 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    One of the things I'll never really understand is the complete and utter obsession some fans have with hiring coaches and assistant coaches with some sort of Nebraska tie - a former player, former coach, was born here, did a social studies project ...
    by Published on 12-01-2014 12:39 AM  Number of Views: 9563 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    One of the most heated and lengthy competitions in Nebraska Football history - between Bo-leaver and Bo-liever - finally came to an end with the immediate dismissal of coach Bo Pelini by athletics director Shawn Eichorst. Between the firing and Eichorst's press conference, there is a lot to cover, so keep things focused, I'm going use my standard post-game template.

    My purpose is not discuss if Eichorst made the right decision, nor is it to lament/celebrate the firing of a polarizing coach. The decision has been made and it is time to move forward.

    So what did we learn?

    Nine wins is not the standard. Championships are. During his press conference, Eichorst was asked about expectations. His response included: "At the end of the day, our coaches understand that pursuing championships is what we do, and being competitive in those games that matter is important." He made it very clear that one of the key reasons for Pelini's dismissal was his failure to win (or in recent seasons, compete for) a conference championship.

    At the end of the day,* it was made very clear that championship contention matters more so than arbitrary win totals. More appropriately, ...