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To find Pelini finishing on the hot seat after the 2012 season, we first have to determine what the expectation level is for Nebraska fans. Pelini is only getting put on the hot seat if he fails to live up to whatever the expectation is for Nebraska, fair or unfair.
Most national preview magazines have Nebraska rated between 16 and 24, and only Phil Steele has Nebraska getting to the B1G title game. But I’m not sure another trophy-less season will satisfy the Children of the Corn.
Pelini is starting his fifth year in charge of Nebraska, and has lost four games in each of his four years in charge. He made the conference title game in 2009 and 2010, falling short last season. If Nebraska has another four-loss season, or if Nebraska fails to make the B1G title game in 2012, Pelini’s seat will certainly get warm.
But for him to be “on the hot seat” in 2013, his seat would have to be more than warm. “On the hot seat” means that a coach is in danger of being fired, and I can’t see a déjà vu season for Nebraska putting Pelini in that kind of danger.
The only way Pelini is on the hot seat in 2013 is if Nebraska takes a significant step backward from where it has been under Pelini. And I don’t see that happening. Pelini’s seat might get warm in 2013, but he’s not facing a truly hot seat until 2014 if he doesn’t deliver trophies for NU.
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