Taylor Martinez and Bo Pelini: What's Fact and What's Fiction?

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2010

Taylor Martinez and Bo Pelini: What's Fact and What's Fiction?

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    Taylor Martinez and Bo Pelini have reportedly patched things up, just two days after a nationally-televised tirade by Nebraska's head coach aimed at his quarterback.

    Bo Pelini issued a formal apology during a press conference Monday in Lincoln, saying he let things get personal when he expressed his unhappiness with Martinez and a host of others during Saturday's loss at Texas A&M.

    Although Pelini didn't apologize to Martinez during the press conference, he went out of his way to say any problems have been cleared up behind the scenes.

    He also assured the media that his fabulous freshman had not quit the team.

    Late Saturday night, several reports stated Martinez had decided to leave the Huskers heading into Friday's game against rival Colorado.

    So where is exactly is the truth to this story?

    Here's a look at the fact and the fiction stemming from Pelini's crazed antics against the Aggies.

5 Fact: Martinez Is Not Close to 100 Percent

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    After several dazzling performances early in the season, Martinez was anointed as one of the best quarterbacks in college football and even considered as a fringe Heisman candidate.

    How quickly things can change in college football.

    Since suffering a sprained ankle a month ago, Martinez has spent time on the sidelines.

    When he has played, his production has been far from impressive.

    Martinez re-injured the troublesome ankle against A&M Saturday, and Pelini is rumored to be frustrated by his quarterback's perceived lack of toughness.

5 Fiction: The Injury Is The Only Reason For His Struggles

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    Despite his ankle injury, Pelini said Martinez will be available for the annual Thanskgiving Friday clash against Colorado.

    That doesn't mean he will play.

    Whether it's because he was overworked to start the season or due to some other reason, it seems like there is something else going on.

    It's entirely possible Martinez has simply hit the wall in his first college football season.

4 Fact: Nebraska Needs to Beat Colorado

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    Aside from creating a media firestorm, Saturday's loss to Texas A&M gave Bo Pelini some much larger concerns.

    A loss to Colorado on Saturday coupled with a Missouri win over Kansas would keep the Huskers out of the Big 12 Championship game.

    Nebraska is much more talented than Colorado, but Rodney Stewart and the Buffs' figure to at least make things interesting.

    All the pressure is Big Red to avoid what would be a brutal finish to the regular season.

4 Fiction: Nebraska Is Out of The BCS Picture

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    Nebraska's hopes of an at-large BCS berth may be gone, but there is still a good chance the Huskers end up earning a spot by winning the Big 12 Championship.

    A win Friday gives Nebraska one final Big 12 North title and a spot in the conference championship.

    Nebraska has already beaten Okie State this year with Martinez throwing five touchdowns, and Oklahoma's defense is extremely vulnerable to big plays.

    Don't count the Cornhuskers out quite yet.

3 Fact: Bo Pelini Apologized

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    To his credit, Pelini stepped up and swallowed his pride Monday.

    He apologized for his behavior against Texas A&M, saying he got caught up in the moment.

    Instead of directly referencing the screaming episode aimed at Martinez, Pelini spent much of the press conference apologizing to the officials.

    Pelini drew one of his team's school-record 16 penalties for a tirade towards the refs.

    Other than that, he didn't sound like a man with many regrets.

3 Fiction: Pelini Apologized on His Own

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    Pelini didn't seem to have much sorrow for his actions during his apology Monday.

    In fact, he didn't seem inclined to dwell on his anger issues and attempted to diffuse any controversy.

    He was addressing the issue because he had to, not because he wanted to.

2 Fact: Pelini Was Scolded

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    There is no question Nebraska's administration stepped in and ordered their football coach to apologize.

    The Martinez rumors may have intensified his meltdown Saturday, but Pelini was also caught on camera dressing down star kicker Alex Henry and tight end Ben Cotton.

    Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman was critical of Pelini's actions and said he would meet with the coach to address his anger issues.

    That meeting likely produced a demand for a public apology.

2 Fiction: Pelini Is Actually Sorry for His Actions

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    Pelini reminded reporters that he is a passionate guy and just wants to fight for his team.

    Instead of saying he would work to correct his mistakes, he said he has already managed to address the issues with his temper.

    Evidently it only took him two days to get those pesky emotions under control.

    Saturday's outburst wasn't his first, and it probably won't be his last.

1 Fact: Martinez Isn't Leaving the Team

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    Pelini probably isn't the most trustworthy source of information, but he is telling the truth.

    Martinez is still enrolled at Nebraska and there has been no indication he plans on leaving the team.

    He will be in uniform Friday, even if he doesn't get the starting nod.

    Don't be surprised if Zac Lee and Cody Green see the field ahead of the redshirt freshman Martinez.

    So what exactly started the rumors that have everyone talking?

1 Fiction: Martinez Texted His Dad To Say He Was Quitting

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    Shortly after returning to the locker room to undergo treatment on his ankle, Taylor Martinez allegedly embarked on sending the text message heard around the internet to his father.

    He was done with football at Nebraska.

    At least, that's what all of the trendy rumors said.

    Pregame.com was one of several websites that claimed Martinez had decided to leave the team and told his father via text.

    Did that really happen?

    Players aren't allowed to use their phones during the game, and Martinez doesn't seem like a kid who eagerly breaks the rules.

    It looks like one more wild internet rumor has been proven to be completely false.