Bo Pelini: How the Nebraska Head Coach Can Avoid the Hot Seat

J.P. Scott@TheJPScottSenior Analyst IAugust 8, 2012

Oct 1, 2011; Madison, WI, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Nebraska 48-17. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

In most places, a coach who wins nine games a season would never be mentioned as possibly being on the hot seat.

Most places are not like Nebraska.

Including the 2003 Alamo Bowl, Bo Pelini has a record of 39-16 as the Nebraska head coach, a .709 winning percentage.

The man he replaced in that 2003 Alamo Bowl, Frank Solich, was fired from the same position after posting a .766 winning percentage over six seasons.

Many in Nebraska might tell you that Solich should never have been fired, but the fact remains, regardless of who fired him, that he was.

Bo Pelini now enters his first full season where the bulk of the contributors on the Nebraska roster are his recruits. They were recruited to play and succeed in his system. 

This should be the year that Nebraska takes the next step. Unfortunately, the rest of the college football world does not stop and cede to what some think "should be."

The Huskers will face a formidable schedule during their second campaign as a member of the Big Ten conference. They'll play host to the defending conference champs in Wisconsin, a Michigan team with national title aspirations, and make the trip to Columbus, Ohio to square off with a talented Buckeye squad led by the great Urban Meyer.

In order for Pelini's name to stay out of the mouths of the talking heads when discussing coaches who will be on the hot seat during and at the end of the year, Nebraska will have to somehow finish ahead of Michigan, if not beat them straight up, and make it to the Big Ten Championship game.

In doing so, they can only afford to lose to Wisconsin and Ohio State (both non-divisional games) and hope for a win in Indianapolis to secure a BCS bid.

If they were to beat one of the two and make it to Indianapolis with only one loss on their resume, there is an outside chance, based solely on the prestige of the Nebraska football program, that they could receive an at-large berth to a BCS game if they didn't win the Big Ten.

Those scenarios would keep the Huskers faithful happy, silence the pundits and secure Pelini's job for at least another season.

Another three-loss campaign combined with a lackluster performance in a second-tier bowl game most certainly would not.