Memorial Day started off on a sour note for Ohio State football fans as the news of coach Jim Tressel's resignation hit the wire. It wasn't exactly a surprising turn of events, but it was big news nonetheless.
Following the statement from Ohio State University, attention seemed to shift immediately toward possible replacements for "The Vest"—understandably so considering the constantly played saga of Jim Tressel and the "Tat 5."
The facts were out there. Tressel's resignation was inevitable. Now the big story is who will take over THE Ohio State University football team?
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has been on the short list of replacement candidates even before Monday. Obviously, he is still on the short list and has some rather elite company there.
Urban Meyer. Bob Stoops. Jon Gruden. Gary Patterson. Mark Dantonio.
Pelini, however, will not be trading in his Huskers sweatshirt for a sleeveless Buckeye version.
Urban Meyer is the obvious prize target for the Buckeye administration. But Pelini wouldn't be a bad second or third option—not by a mile.
He grew up in Youngstown and played college ball at Ohio State. He is a defensive mastermind who demands perfection and toughness from his players. If there is a man who won't accept prima donna antics, it's Pelini. Quarterback Taylor Martinez learned this the hard way—on the receiving end of a very publicized verbal undressing for using his cell phone in the locker room while having his ankle looked at.
And when Pelini suspended linebacker Cody Glenn for the last three games of the 2008 season for unspecified team violations, he sent a loud and clear message that being a Husker was a no-nonsense business. You either accepted that as a player or you played elsewhere.
But Pelini, as many ties as he has to the state of Ohio and Ohio State University, will not pack his bags for Columbus.
2011 marks the first season for Nebraska in the Big Ten. Pelini jumping onto another conference ship would be sacrilege. The very act would permanently vilify the man Husker Nation has come to "Bo-lieve" in. On a personal front, the move wouldn't make sense—Pelini doesn't seem like the kind of guy who will burn bridges to further his career.
Nebraska is Pelini's first stop as a head coach, and he has, for the most part, settled the waters in Lincoln and provided a spark to the program that had sorely been missing. His system is finally in place, and the players in the program are finally all his.
Nebraska's defense can now be considered "elite," and not every few years—every season. Pelini has put his own special brand on Nebraska football. The Huskers are once again tough, disciplined (for the most part), fast and athletic. Pelini molded this team, with athletes he inherited, into what it is today. Why would he want to give this up when the fruits of his labor are finally in sight?
A big factor in why Pelini won't be the next head coach at OSU is the turmoil surrounding the program. There are violations that have been outed, and because of them, Tressel is gone and five OSU players will sit the first five games of the 2011 season.
With Tressel resigning, you have to wonder what else will surface.
Pelini doesn't want another USC situation on his hands. If you remember, Lane Kiffin fled Tennessee toward greener pastures on the West Coast, and USC was hit with NCAA sanctions right after his arrival.
Nothing like starting a new job with no chance of a bowl game in your first two seasons—not to mention the NCAA handcuffing your recruiting during that period.
It is true that Ohio State is one of the premier coaching jobs in college football. But it just doesn't make sense for Pelini to enter a situation that is chaotic at best and downright in tatters at worst.
Let's also not forget that coaching at Nebraska isn't exactly second-tier. Pelini is the head coach of one of college football's most storied programs with one of the most passionate national fanbases.
Oh, and the Huskers have claimed more national championships since 1970 than THE Ohio State University.