Has Pelini Lost His Edge

Only one other coach besides Bo Pelini since 1960 has had four consecutive 4-loss seasons. Care to guess who? Bill Callahan.

Bo Pelini’s comments in the post-game presser centered around that the way the Huskers played today wasn’t the way they were coached. To which I asked rhetorically on Twitter that if the players didn’t do what they were coached to do, can you call that coaching?

In the last 29 minutes of the game, the Huskers managed exactly 1 yard of offense. Did this stem completely from not doing what the players were coached to do?

Today’s game, and in fact many this season, have been riddled with undisciplined play. I firmly believe that the team leadership either exemplifies discipline, or they shun it. There isn’t a middle ground where discipline is expected by the players, but the coaching staff gets a pass. Bo Pelini has exactly zero discipline to control his anger on the sidelines. I have two kids under 8 and I know that when my actions don’t match my words, the lesson is lost on my kids.

Many will counter that by saying my 5 and 7 year old aren’t 20 year old athletes, but I’ve seen the same action in the workplace – the CEO who says earnings are down in a morning meeting, and is picking up a new BMW in the afternoon. The culture and morale are killed instantly, I don’t care what the ages involved. If the team, coaches and players together, are not united, there are problems.

Nebraska replaced Shawn Watson because of an ineffective offese – deservedly so, I’m not questioning that decision – only to replace him with Tim Beck who’s simplified schemes were designed to get the most out of the personnel on the field. The first half of the season sputtered from learning the system. The second half sputtered because of poor execution and head-scratching play calling.

Today’s Capital One Bowl in Orlando started strong, everything was clicking on the offensive side of the ball, and then? Nebraska quit going to the plays that were working. Penalties – I don’t blame the refs, they call what they see and they are human, and a part of the game – undisciplined play, fundamentals that were nowhere to be found and to me, it looked like the team quit halfway through the 3rd quarter.

Is Bo Pelini serving himself and this team well as being head coach? Frankly, with the talent I’m seeing in the program, I think his recruiting needs some help and his antics on the sidelines likely aren’t helping the situation. Head coach? I think he’s lost his edge for the position and either needs to step up as the CEO of the team and play that role in a disciplined manner and hire the staff that makes him better, or he isn’t much longer for this job.

Fire Bo Pelini?
I give him another year. His defense numbers – after peaking with players he inherited – are on a slight decline. His offense has never showed much punch – talented, possibly, with the occasional playmaker. But his management of the young talent is bordering on ridiculous. Freshmen who burn their redshirts for a couple early plays that are never rarely seen again. Things obviously change with the departure of Carl Pelini, but how much was he in charge of the defense? I doubt much given Bo’s control on that side of the team.

Things need to change and the 2012-13 season is a defining moment.


  1. Fire Bo Pelini says:

    I definitely think we need to fire Bo Pelini! The only way we’re ever going to get this program back on top is to fire the head coach every 3 or 4 years. The only way! Look at teams at the top. How did they get there? They keep firing their coaches every couple of years. really it’s the only way to go.

  2. bamahusker says:

    Defensive line looked pathetic, linebackers are slow, secondary looked good until the embarrassing hail Mary, burkhead ran well…until they took the ball out of his hands, receivers are awful, and worst of all…our guys quit! Shameful, Pelini isn’t a head coach. You can tell the team is separated. He wastes time yelling at refs, I haven’t seen them pick up a flag yet so shut the hell up and do your job as a coach and…well…coach! Martinez isn’t a qb so we will struggle as long as he is back there. Needs to move to receiver. Not durn why Bo burned jamal turner, braylon heard, and Aaron greens freshmen year, they were hardly used. Plus his recruiting is embarrassing, we only have 9 verbal commits so far…9?! I’m really confused as a fan, here has our program gone? Where’s the pride, tenacity, punishments, glory, viciousness, etc.? There’s no fear in our opponents eyes when they see our team like there used to be. Tom Osborne, I love the man, but he’s given Bo enough time to build something and he hasn’t, Coach Osborne needs to find not a winner, a champion! Someone who loves Nebraska and will do anything to put us back on top. Until then we will have to settle for 0-4 or worse…and its looking on the side of worse in my opinion. I’ll be optimistic about our future, but I won’t be an ignorant fan about it and say were headed in the right direction. Anything less than 10-2 next season and he needs to go. That’d be 5 years of Pelini with nothing to show for it and his ticket out of here and into a straight jacket.

  3. bamahusker says:

    Replace *durn with *sure. Auto text got me!

  4. bamahusker says:

    Also *9-4 instead of *0-4. Dang this phone!

  5. ruggerhusker says:

    Really? I think that this team did fine this year. They played in complete conference schedule, of teams that they never play. Was there a loss on that schedule that shouldn’t have happened, yes. It happens. Today they played the number 9 team in the nation, and they did hang with them in the first half. The second half the play calling was different because they were off schedule, anyone that watches football on TV could tell you that. Now I am probably about 100% sure that Pelini doesn’t teach these kids how to have a false start, or a hold, or even allow the D-line to break through. Those are the things that got them off of schedule. The old horse trick, you can take him to the water, you just can’t make him drink it.
    Those boys on that team would do anything for that coach, and that says something to me. Plus, look at our academics; it is on the rise again. Don’t forget that is the first thing that they are there for.
    You stating so many bad things about Pelini is comical. Should we be so critical of your writing, I mean you are a professional. You have misspellings and punctuation errors, so should we give you one more chance?
    Give me a break! We hired a young coach for a reason, so that he could grow in the job and build us back to a 9 or 10 win team with the occasional BCS/NC mixed in. Stay the course and stop with the sky is falling every time the team loses.


  6. @ruggerhusker I think my points may have been lost on you. No worries. As for being a professional, you might want to look at the header of the site, I’m a fan. I don’t get paid for running this site and I’m not a journalist by trade – have never pretended to be.


  7. Only 1 yard of offense in the last half of the game? I sure missed that stat on TV.
    Since the Hail Mary happened/coincided with that stat it really does mean that the players (and maybe the coaches) did give up.
    Confidence was just not there, it would appear. Why the lack of confidence I wonder?
    I want to like Coach Pelini as a head coach but he just makes it so hard to support him.

  8. ruggerhusker says:

    Administrator, my appologizes I thought that you were a writer.
    I don’t feel that you lost your points on me, however, I don’t like being on a bandwagon of hating my coaches or being so critical of them. I believe in support for the lot of them, and let the AD decide when it is time for them to move on.
    OU7, it was after the field goal attempt in the 3rd quarter that the team started the downward spiral. I like to think that there was 4 plays that completely doomed the Huskers. The first two was passes that were clearly caught and dropped, both would have picked up first downs. The other two were calls by the refs (block in the back and pass interference), of course I could be completely wrong here as well. I think those 4 items put that black cloud over the team and they just lost the steam.
    The first half I thought that the Huskers played well, but just wasn’t getting any breaks that teams need to put away a game.
    Being at the game, my hat is off to the USC team, as they stayed the course and won, but more so to the USC fans, they were great to be around!


  9. oregonhusker says:

    OU7 – so you are on here also? Good to see and I agree with your last statement. I too have been in Bo’s corner, but it keeps getting harder and harder to stay there.
    When he has his tantrums you can just feel the breeze die down as the wind comes out of the players sails. They just look deflated. Every loss over the tenure of Bo is punctuated with sideline screaming, stomping, and just a general lack of self control that a true head coach should have.
    For the first time in my 40+ years of being a Husker fan, I am glad the season is over and I am glad that I do not have to look at our head coach for a while. My only blessing is that I no longer live in Nebraska and can choose what I want to read about the program and not be force fed it all day long from fans and media.

  10. Whoever says fire Bo, and hire aomeone else..or hire and fire every 3-4 yrs..are you kidding me.. How would you ever get any consistency or even a coach to come and waste his time..
    The Huskers had a decent season, lost 2 games they for sure should have won, due to lack of confidence and execution. The team is coached well, but no coach can go out on the field and make the plays. Offensive play calling, ya shaky at times, Taylors confidence is a problem, I have never seen a QB just lay down at the site of the opponent.. We seemed to make the right adjustments, look at the DB’s beginning of the season and at the end.. I saw great change. Why they burned redshirts, and Turner, Jean-Baptiste, didnt play after showing the moves they can make.. Questionable.. I am ready for next season already, GO BIG RED! we are going to be just fine, we can’t win em all every year.

  11. I think discipline is a huge problem on offense. That is taught thru good coaching. Also if that had been shown by Dennard he would not have been ejected just the South Carolina player. I don’t remember osbornes players fighting back but I do remember them walking away quite a few times. That’s because they were taught to think team first and taught discipline.

    We also need a good offensive coordinator and although Martinez shows improvement it may be taking too long to get him there.

  12. Richard Hand says:

    A rather stupid approach to attacking Pelini.
    Callahan had only ONE 9 win season in four years. Pelini has in that same amount of time TWO 9 win seasons and TWO TEN win seasons. Just what is your bitch?
    This coach and AD came in after one ego driven lunk head tried to destroy the Husker program. I think you need to keep in mind that it took Osborne over 20 years to cut and paste his teams into national championship calibre.
    Pelini in one year disciplined a Husker defensive team into national prominence so I hardly think you can charge him with lack of disipline. The following year Cosgrove took that same defensive unit into the basement.
    Give this guy a break. He wants to coach at Nebraska, he is getting on board with being a head coach , he is pasting his staff together to go for the gold and all some of you people do is gripe. He is NOT going to be a Tom Osborne on the sidelines but then no team has one of those these days. We just played SC coached by Steve Spurrier. Even seen him get mad on the sidelines? Most of us don’t like him because of his “looks” on the sideline but he IS a very good coach.
    I think we have a very good coach in Bo Pelini if some of you don’t end up screwing it up.

  13. I agree all husker fans do is complain. Its Nebraska not cali or Florida or Texas. Talent isn’t just stockpiled in Nebraska. What tom Osborne did was constantly win 9 to 10 games every year. Wait a second, isn’t that what bo has done. Eventually we will win a nc. Just like it took tom Osborne 21 I repeat 21 years to do. Tom was given a nc team. Bo a 5-7 team that was one if the worst in 60 years. All u guys can do is complain. That’s pretty pathetic.

  14. oregonhusker says:

    Now – hold on. I am not saying that Bo should be fired, or that a 9-4 season is not a good season. I just feel that with B. Pelini’s temper we are not going to elevate to national prominence again. He needs to keep it in check. It totally affects our team during the game and will hurt us nationally in recruiting if he doesn’t stop. Would you like to have your son play for a man who gets so worked up over officiating that he looks as if he is about to choke someone?

  15. Vic Scadieros says:

    I have had three days to think about it and my thoughts remain the same as they were after the game Monday.

    I have been referring to Bo Pelini as Bo Callahanini. He simply has too many of Callahan’s traits. Actually Callahan, despised as he is to most Husker fans, had a better persona for the public. He showed composure and restraint, which Bo Callahanini does not. I mean, just how many tantrums must we endure before Bo recognizes that he looks like an immature brat.

    How many times has Bo, just like Bill, blamed his players. The Oakland Raiders quit on Callahan and the Huskers quit on Callahanini. Bo the Brat keeps telling us the players are not doing what the coaches have coached them to.

    And while I am venting, someone please tell me what the difference is in Beck and Watson. Or is the real culprit Cotton???

    I know we live on the periphery of the sophisticated world and very few blue chippers want to spend winters in the Nebraska-hinterlands, but Osborne managed to get so much more out of the average Husker athlete. Any one know why? Seriously folks, Osborne was ten times the coach Callahanini is.

    Bo is the root cause of the embarrassing act our team puts on the field. Just look at the record. The Huskers have become the Chucksters. Who is afraid of them anymore? Surely not the Northwestern defense. And obviously no one in the last half of the normal season.

    My vote: Get rid of Cotton, give Callahanini an ultamatum to conduct himself in a manner reflecting professionalism on behalf of the University, learn to accept the blame for the program that he is in charge of, quit blaming the players (especially since he and his coaches can’t seem to get them to focus), and lastly, refrain from thinking that these Blackshirt and Offensive linemen are the same as they were in the glory days. I can’t believe Milt Tenopir can even watch the ill managed product we now call “The Huskers”

  16. Yes, it’s been tough for fans to watch the Huskers play football these past two seasons. Lack of player focus, inept coaching, and bad luck somehow combine to thwart expectations. And sadly, most promising recruits lose interest in a program that finds ways to self-destruct in the final 3-4 games of the season. Part of the reason is team parity in college football today. Another factor is the inability of the “teachers” to prepare their players for game day. And, of course, players’ lack of confidence is a huge problem. The Huskers are just not able to play together as a team. Leadership is lacking on several levels.

  17. ruggerhusker! You’d better proof read your comments before you send them!

    I agree Bo should be fired as I see the same mistakes over and over. It’d be different if we saw some improvements on mistackles, penalties, dropped balls and play calling but history continues to repeat!

    And for Martinez, he’s a good athlete but he’s definitely not a college football quarterback. I guess Bo will learn the hard way! Live and die with Martinez!

    Fire him now as he just doesn’t fit the Husker culture!