Let's take a second and go back to November of 2007. The most dreadful time to be a Husker fan, so I promise to make this brief.
Bill Callahan was weeks away from getting terminated as head coach, and there were some "under the radar" names being brought up to lead the Huskers.
Obviously, Turner Gill's name was one of the first names mentioned as a possible replacement after a dramatic turnaround at Buffalo. He knew Nebraska, and Nebraska knew him, unlike our boy Billy C.
How about Navy head coach Paul Johnson and that triple option offense? Husker fans will always have a special place in their hearts for a perfectly executed option play.
Brian Kelly from Cincinnati had just won the Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bearcats to their second 10 win season in school history. He'd won at every school he'd been to, with his high-scoring offensive system.
Jim Grobe from Wake Forest? He was the oldest of the names being mentioned, but Husker fans liked his success and sense of calm on the sidelines.
All of the above besides Grobe have moved on to bigger and better head coaching jobs. Nebraska passed on all of them, and instead they made the perfect hire.
In 2007, Bo Pelini was the biggest name amongst offensive or defensive coordinators to be considered for a head coaching job. Pelini coached top-10 defenses in all of his five seasons as a defensive coordinator for Nebraska, Oklahoma, and LSU.
Now flash forward to 2010. Let me apologize for that painful reminder of 2007 Huskers football, but it was needed.
Of all the coaches that Nebraska passed on back then, do any of you wish that Tom Osborne would've gone in a different direction? Do you really believe that any of those coaches would have this program at a better position than where we are right now?
Pelini and his staff have brought Nebraska from the depths of mediocrity to a national contender, after just two years! The Huskers are now in position to play with anyone in the Big 12 or the rest of the country.
The Huskers needed Pelini's style of play to compete in this conference. Osborne went against the grain, as the Big 12 was the most offensive conference in football. Defense wins championships, and it always will.
Now that Pelini has established himself as a premier coach in college football, Husker fans are starting to realize what they should expect from their team as we head into the new decade.
With the strong finish to 2009, the hype continues to grow as we head into 2010. The coaching staff is using this buzz in recruiting and are off to a good start for the 2011 class.
Pelini is going after more top players from talent-rich areas and not just settling for second tier players from those areas. Simply getting a serious look from these top recruits helps when the hype is this big.
The coaching staff is really attacking "SEC Country," as Pelini's name still carries a lot of weight in Louisiana and neighboring states. With the best defense in 2009, imagine where this defense will be with Pelini's recruits.
The offense needs to considerably better in 2010 if the Huskers want to live up to this hype. For if they don't improve drastically, Shawn Watson will more than likely not return to run the offense in 2011.
That's a bold statement to say, but Pelini has built a program that is ready to win right now. He will demand big results in 2010 and from here on out.
It should go without saying that Husker fans can expect a dominant defense, led by the best defensive staff in the entire country.
If Watson can pull the offense together and resemble the 2008 version, he will save his job. If not, Pelini will not hesitate to bring in someone who will get the job done.
From 2010 and beyond, Nebraska fans can expect Big 12 Championships and potential National Championships.
It feels good to have these expectations back in Lincoln. As long as the Huskers are coached by Bo Pelini, they won't be going away anytime soon.