Is Bo Pelini going to bolt to warmer weather?
I doubt it.
For one thing, Nebraska fans, as knowledgeable as some are, tend to over-blow what they view as potentially bad situations.
Take the Taylor Martinez situation for example.
After the Texas A&M game, in which Bo Pelini laid into Martinez while he stood sullenly listening (a situation that is probably very common in college football, just not always caught on national television), Nebraska fans heard rumors of Taylor being unhappy and immediately began panicking, certain the Huskers were going to lose their star quarterback to UCLA.
And how about Cody Green?
After getting continuously ragged on the entire season, Green had one efficient, less-than-spectacular game against Colorado in which Rex Burkhead actually did most of the work, and Husker fans were calling for Green to replace Martinez in the Big 12 Championship game.
Granted, I agree that Martinez should have been replaced in that game. But the fact remains, Nebraska fans too often jump to conclusions, myself included.
So, I decided to take a different approach to this issue.
First, we must consider the fact that Pelini has stated in the past that Nebraska is not a step up to bigger things. He appears to be very happy with his job, and there are few positions out there more high profile than the head coach of Nebraska football.
Still, the fact that Pelini declined to comment on the possible talks with Miami can be interpreted in more than one way.
While some will assume this means he is very interested in the job, let's take a step back and look at Pelini's track record with the media. He rarely likes to go into detail about "insider information", if you will, and frankly doesn't seem to like talking to the media at all (you heard it here first).
It's possible he just doesn't want to open a new can of worms, which is what I suspect at this point.
However, one could bring up another point—if he wasn't interested in the job, wouldn't he have just said so and left it at that?
The bottom line is, nobody really knows right now, and all we can do is cross our fingers and wait.
While as I stated earlier, I expect Pelini to stay at Nebraska, if the worst happens and he bolts, who should Nebraska hire to replace him?
To me, the answer is simple: Turner Gill.
This would make so much sense. First of all, Gill played quarterback under current AD Tom Osborne in the early '80's, and operated the famous "scoring explosion" offense of 1983. The Huskers were a point away from winning the national title that year—without Heisman running back Mike Rozier. Gill is a household name in Lincoln.
Second, Gill was the other candidate for the Husker job when Pelini was hired in 2008. Osborne expressed disappointment in having to turn an old friend down, citing the defensive struggles as the main reason he hired Pelini over Gill.
This time, I suspect, he would not hesitate.
Gill was a hot commodity before being hired for the Kansas job last year. He won 20 games, including an upset MAC title win over Ball State in the 2008, in just four seasons at Buffalo after the Bulls compiled just 12 wins in their first eight Division I seasons.
In Gill's first season at Kansas, the Jayhawks compiled a 3-9 record. But this is misleading. In Gill's first season at Buffalo, he went just 2-10, but won five and eight games, respectively, in his next two seasons.
Also, the talent level former Kansas coach Mark Mangino left Gill, particularly on defense, was possibly lower than what he had at Buffalo. It's pretty safe to say his cupboard was bare.
With a bevy of talent in place at Nebraska, Gill would most certainly have greater success early on at Nebraska than he did elsewhere. While some of, and possibly many of, the Huskers' recruits would shy away from Nebraska, I'm confident we would be in good hands.
So, assuming Pelini would take most of his staff with him, who would Gill hire as assistants? You can bet Ron Brown would be one. How about Scott Frost as offensive coordinator and Marvin Sanders as defensive coordinator? Whether either one of them would be good at those respective jobs, I have no idea. That's for the coach to decide.
This is all pure speculation and imagination, of course, at least for now. I don't expect Bo Pelini to leave Nebraska, and I think Nebraska is headed for ever greener pastures under Pelini. However, should the unthinkable (which is hardly unthinkable for Nebraska fans) happen, there's your answer.
It looks pretty good either way you look at it if you ask me.
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