Something’s stinkin’ in the city of Lincoln
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini isn’t about to entertain the idea that any coaching changes are going to happen. What about the absences of Shawn Watson or Ted Gilmore? Does this mean a new offensive coordinator or wide receivers coach?
"No, no offensive staff openings,'' Pelini said.
The departure of Corey Raymond from Indiana complicates things even further.
While Nebraska’s football staff for next season seems up in the air, Indiana hired secondary coach Brandon Shelby to fill Raymond’s vacancy. It’s almost a given that if Raymond isn’t part of Nebraska’s football staff now, he will be. If he’s not, then he’s going to be awfully upset with no coaching job wrapped up.
Another name that has surfaced is Ohio Bobcats linebackers coach Ross Els. Els may be taking the same position with the Cornhuskers as Nebraska has been without the services of Mike Ekeler for some time now.
With the interview of Oregon wide receivers coach Scott Frost and Notre Dame offensive line coach Ed Warinner, it’s obvious that Nebraska’s looking—regardless of what Coach Pelini would have us believe. A job posting on the University’s official web site pretty well cements the idea.
Despite all of the searching, one thing is certain. Regardless of who’s on it, this will now be Bo Pelini’s staff.
During the past three seasons, Pelini has worked alongside Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore. Both were the final remnants of former Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan’s staff. It appears that they will be departing, and now, only those who Pelini deems appropriate will surround him.
Three years after officially signing on, Pelini holds a 30-12 record. His teams have always posted nine wins and twice they’ve won 10 games. That, in and of itself, is impressive.
However, there are no conference titles or BCS bowl appearances. That has to be somewhat disappointing considering the fantastic things Pelini has done with Nebraska’s defense. The constant thorn in the side of any Cornhusker goal has been lack of a consistent offense.
Currently, defensive excellence is expected. Offensive excellence is spotty, at best. If Nebraska is to ever evolve beyond winning conference division titles and losing conference title games, they need the right man behind the wheel, and now.
Plenty of talent has just been trucked in from across the country via National Signing Day. Regardless of what Pelini decides to do offensively, it truly is his call.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for a rise to excellence. The Big Ten has the potential to suffer a conference-wide slump this upcoming season and the set-up of divisions allows the Cornhuskers the luxury of a loss.
Wisconsin loses several starters, it’s impossible to imagine the shape that Iowa will be in, and five of Ohio State’s key players return for their first live action against Nebraska. There is plenty of opportunity for the Cornhuskers to take advantage of.
What's vital for Nebraska’s success is that Pelini strike while the iron’s hot. If he can, then he will have a truly cohesive staff all his own and the sky's the limit.
Should Nebraska win the Legends Division, lose in the Big Ten Championship Game and head to the Outback Bowl, less pleasant questions might arise in the offseason.
The program is officially Pelini's to direct. Its successes are his to celebrate and its failures his to navigate. Knowing his competitive nature and demand to win, he will do everything in his capacity to make sure that the Nebraska Cornhuskers will be celebrating for years and years.
It’s Bo’s time now.
Offseason? What offseason?
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