Nebraska football head coach Bo Pelini will be entering his sixth season as head coach, so it is a good opportunity to review his body of work. Here, we will be looking at what Pelini's five biggest wins have been at Nebraska.
When I say big win, I am referring to a combination of the quality of opponent and the importance of the victory both for the season and for the team as a whole.
It was the Red Out Around The World, the game that Nebraska fans had circled and anticipated for almost a year. It was a game that was supposed to define Nebraska's 2010 season.
No, not the Oklahoma State game. It was the week before, when Texas came to Lincoln after defeating Nebraska in heartbreaking fashion in the Big XII title game the year before.
Of course, Nebraska lost that Red Out game to Texas, and there was a danger that the team could split apart after that second loss. But with a superlative offensive effort, Nebraska righted the ship in Stillwater and got itself back into the Big XII title game.
Nebraska went to Waco with a backup quarterback and coming off a two-game losing streak. Both of those losses were at home, including a 9-7 loss to Iowa State where Nebraska turned the ball over eight (!) times.
But against Baylor, Nebraska was able to stop the rot, earn a win, and get its season back on track.
After Wisconsin rudely welcomed Nebraska into the B1G in Madison the year before, NU had something to prove. But it looked bad for Nebraska until a late comeback (sealed with a Montee Ball fumble) secured a win for NU and gave it some credibility in its new conference home.
I know, it's hard to think of a game against Iowa State as a big game. But consider the circumstances. In Bo Pelini's first season, Nebraska was 3-3 coming in to Ames, suffering gut-wrenching defeats to Virginia Tech and Texas Tech sandwiched around a humiliating loss to Missouri at home.
A loss to Iowa State would have put Nebraska a 3-4, and could very well have imperiled Pelini's fledgling career as head Husker. But the emphatic win over the Cyclones helped to right the ship and put Nebraska on track for a bowl win in Pelini's first year at the helm.
The B1G did Nebraska no favors in its first conference season. After an ugly loss in Madison the week before, Nebraska fell behind in Lincoln to Ohio State 27-6 with 12:46 left in the third quarter. Nebraska fans, still a little numb from the 48-17 pasting laid on by Wisconsin the week before, looked lost and completely overmatched in its new conference home. The Wisconsin fans "Big Ten football" taunts from the week before began to ring louder.
But then Nebraska knocked out Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, which cued a 21-point comeback, the largest in school history. Nebraska salvaged the game and, in doing so, its credibility in its new conference home.
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