Win vs. Michigan Not Enough to Keep Bo Pelini off Hot Seat, but Beating MSU Will

Erin SorensenContributor INovember 9, 2013

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini's seat cooled considerably after beating Michigan.

It doesn't mean his seat isn't still hot, though.

While defeating the Wolverines 17-13 on the road is a big step forward for the coach, it isn't enough to fully save his job just yet.

Instead, that opportunity is on its way.

Nebraska hosts Michigan State at home on Saturday, Nov. 16th. Whoever wins will likely win the Legends Division and head to the Big Ten Championship.

With that said, a lot of pressure still remains for Pelini.

However, defeating Michigan in the Big House doesn't hurt one bit.

In fact, it could be argued as one of Pelini's best road wins in his time with the Huskers. A big takeaway is that it was Michigan's first loss at home under head coach Brady Hoke.

Regardless, Pelini knows he has plenty left to prove.

The opportunity to make a statement will come against Michigan State.

It won't come easy, though. The Spartan team is currently blossoming in the Big Ten.

On the other end, Nebraska is starting to come into its own.

The Blackshirts are finding a rhythm. After a rough first quarter against Northwestern, Nebraska's defense has put together seven solid quarters of play since.

Additionally, Nebraska's offense is starting to take slow steps forward. With redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Armstrong leading the way, the Huskers offense is finding ways to score when needed.

Against Michigan State, that will be the ultimate test. Nebraska's offense will have to be ready.

That's where the Spartans will wreak havoc.

Michigan State's defense has proved itself over the past few weeks. That will be the biggest problem for the Huskers, especially with an injured offensive line.

Prior to the beginning of the season, Nebraska's offensive line looked experienced and strong. Since then, injuries have left the unit struggling to protect the quarterback.

Against Michigan State, the Huskers offensive line will have to step up. If not, the Spartans defense will take advantage of whichever quarterback starts for Nebraska.

Pelini knows all this, though. One year ago after losing to Ohio State, Pelini said the only option for the Huskers was to win out. It was a challenging goal. Few believed he could accomplish it.

Then he did.

One year later, Pelini is back in the same spot.

From where he stands currently, Pelini's seat is not nearly as hot as it was a few weeks ago. That doesn't mean the head coach is off the hook.

There is still a lot of season left to play.

That doesn't mean beating Michigan didn't mean anything. It meant a lot, actually.

Defeating the Wolverines kept Pelini and his team in the race. It just didn't guarantee anything.

Michigan State will answer a lot. If the Huskers win, it could very well be the end of the discussion of Pelini's job for 2013. If Nebraska loses, Pelini's seat will remain warm and surrounded by doubt.

Winning at the Big House was a reason to celebrate. For Pelini, it will be a short-lived celebration.

Michigan State is next on the schedule, which will make or break Nebraska's season.

It could also be the answer to Pelini's future.