It’s a familiar situation for the Nebraska Cornhuskers this year.
This Friday, Nebraska finds itself in another “must win” game versus Colorado.
“The Nightmare on Kyle Field” isn’t just in reference to the game itself, but rather what has come in its wake.
Severe backlash and poor sentiment has bled through across the state of Nebraska and across the country towards head coach Bo Pelini and defensive coordinator Carl Pelini, specifically.
This isn’t to say that Nebraska doesn’t have a beef of their own.
Video has made its way on-line showing a Texas A&M player repeatedly punching Nebraska tight end Ben Cotton’s groin. This was cause for two infractions against Nebraska: One in Cotton defending himself by kicking back against said player and the second for arguing with the referee’s call.
The Cornhuskers didn’t need distraction coming off such a regrettable loss. The Colorado Buffaloes usually given Nebraska a solid game and likely will do so again. Aiding them with further controversy is simply unnecessary.
After the firing of head coach Dan Hawkins, the Buffaloes want to walk into Lincoln on Senior Day and not only earn a bowl bid, but keep Nebraska out of the Big 12 Championship. A Cornhusker loss would allow Missouri to represent the Big 12 North Division.
The idea that “winning cures all” isn’t usually right, but it would help. If Nebraska wins, they find themselves in the Big 12 Championship game with a 10-2 record.
A win also provides a cold steak for the black eye that Nebraska is still recovering from due to the events of this past Saturday and the trail of consequences in its wake.
For Bo Pelini, this game gives him a chance to show not only the University of Nebraska, but also the entire nation that he meant what he said about cooling his jets. Approximately four times did the younger Pelini brother apologize for his outbursts during last Saturday’s game.
“It's OK to disagree with a call,” Pelini said during the press conference. “It's the way you disagree with a call. I believe that, at times during that game, I got too animated. And I regret that, and I'm sorry about that.”
“If I embarrassed anybody for what I did, I'm sorry.”
Nebraska fans will be able to forgive quicker than the rest of the country, but right now, Pelini needs support from both them and the university administration.
It’s doubtful that Pelini can ever truly reign in his passion entirely. Showing that he has the ability to improve his demeanor immediately would be highly beneficial to himself and his team, however.
With a win, Pelini finishes the season with at least 10 wins and appearance in the Big 12 Championship along with a potential BCS bowl berth. Depending on his decorum, Pelini will also be able to make a nonverbal statement that he can truly make the necessary changes to move his football team in the right direction.
A Nebraska loss will only add more fuel to the fire regarding just how much damage that night in College Station did to Pelini and the program.
The country will be looking through a very fine magnifying glass for the final showdown between these two schools.
Should the Cornhuskers be victorious, many eyes across the nation will move on leaving Pelini with the familiar ones across the state. If Nebraska loses, the attention that the Cornhuskers have drawn will last an uncomfortably long time.
Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you all and Follow Brandon on Twitter (@eightlaces) for the latest article updates and other general college football goodness..