It's something we'll never know for certain -- BUT, an athlete who is influential with other players and not committed to team goals can indeed be a detriment to the team. I have no idea whether AG would have "detracted" had he continued, but it happens all the time. Think Terrell Owens. Think how easily influenced 20 year olds are by "established" players...
You are right - we're just fan(atics). We think stuff and say stuff just for something to do. Most of the time, most of us are clueless...but it's great fun!!
The beauty of being clueless is we have no idea how clueless we are. Which works for me.
1. Sit Rex Burkhead and let them get more snaps for the sake of getting snaps.
2. Redshirt B.Heard after he has already sat out one year trying to get eligible. Who knows what condition he would have been had he had to sit out 2 years before seeing the field again.
3. Ameer Abdullah showed he had fire in his feet the first time he got the ball in his hands and was one of the best returners in the country last season as a true freshman.
4. Aaron Green was the RB recruit for the class, 5* prospect, #3 RB in the country out of high school behind Malcom Brown (Texas) & James Wilder Jr (Florida St) whom both received playing time this past season.
Many tend to forget how thin we were behind Burkhead and Helu last season as far as guys who were able to contribute on the field. Aaron was showing that he had the talent to come in right away and play. We got Ameer at the last minute in fear that Heard would not qualify academically. Braylon qualified just before the summer.
This gave us a problem I don't mind the huskers having every year. 3 talented guys whom all wanted to play and possessed the skill to do so. Each were learning a new system from our new OC. Burkhead had the only playing experience at this level and was a hell of an athlete himself as well as a workhorse. How do you fault the staff for trying to keep his players happy and give them a chance to showcase their worth. Is it his fault that none of the triplets were able to distant themselves for the other two. Each had their faults that hindered the team just a bit (AA with his fumbling, BH with his injury, & AG not feeling he was in the right place).
Again, get over it. The staff did what they could with the talent we had. Each wanted to play, and each were making a case for themselves to get in the game over the other, who would you have redshirted with all doing the same thing practice.
One thing before I start: Using the phrase "get over it" twice within one post defeats the purpose since you already sound like you're whining from start to finish. As far as your questions:
1. Sure. We may have won the Northwestern game had Rex not been driven into the ground the week prior against MSU. Fewer snaps for Rex would have absolutely helped everyone.
2. Absolutely. It's not like he would have been put in a veal cage for the entire year. He still gets to practice, workout and learn the playbook with the team. His year at RB last year was absolutely wasted and would have been infintely more valuable as a 5th year CB. The position change just reinforces that fact.
3. Yippee. No one's saying he shouldn't have played.
4. You're making my point for me. All players want to play. They would't be on the team if they didn't. But it's not up to them to determine if they should play or not, much less if they get to use their eligibilty as afterthoughts their Freshman year or 5th year Seniors later on in the process. The coaches determine those choices. Burning three redshirts and then basically only using one of them (most as a punt returner) while overloading the starting RB to the point of exhaustion was asinine. Especially when you then move one to CB and another leaves for reasons related to playing time.
It could not have been handled worse than it was, and it absolutely is something Pelini should have had more control and foresight over.
Wow...think how fortunate Bo is that Suh didn't tell him to stick it. I hope he doesn't handle all these events in such a hot-headed foolish manner. For every time that childishness works, it may fail dozens of times that we'd never hear about. Might have failed with his two top recruits-- Green, and Green, already.