Carl Pelini to FAU: Nebraska Needs a New Defensive Coordinator

Mike WehlingAnalyst IDecember 1, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Colorado 45-17 (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

As being reported by CBS Sports and the Omaha World Herald, Carl Pelini is expected to take the head coaching vacancy at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  FAU's head coach Howard Schnellenberger announced at the beginning of the season that he would retire. 

Husker fans might remember Schnellenberger from his days at Miami where he beat Nebraska in 1983 for a national title, or his brief stint at Oklahoma where Nebraska shut out the Sooners 37-0.

Carl has been the defensive coordinator at Nebraska for four years, during which time Nebraska had a defensive renaissance.  Nebraska went from being one of the worst defenses under He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (Bill Callahan) to the top defense in 2009.  However, it is no secret that Bo was in charge of the defense during the 08 and 09 seasons. 

In 2010, Bo handed the reins to Carl, where Nebraska had a decent year defensively.  This year, Nebraska has dropped off on defense; they have dropped down to the middle of the pack while causing only 16 turnovers and scoring one defensive touchdown.  Many started to question Carl's prowess as a coordinator.

Carl Pelini's departure represents an enormous opportunity for the Cornhuskers.  With so many coaches being fired, they can pick up an elite coach for the defense.  My hope is that Bo Pelini and Tom Osborne already have former Oklahoma defensive coordinator and former Arizona Head Coach Mike Stoops on the phone.

Mike has the Stoops-Pelini connection: he's from Youngstown, Ohio (like Pelini and Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck) and is a great defensive mind.  He would seem like the most likely candidate out of anybody out there, although one has to wonder if Mike Stoops wants to go back to being an assistant after being a head coach for so long. 

Nebraska has a great opportunity here to grab a great coach who will help rebuild a defense that has fallen from its elite status.  One can only hope that they do not waste it.



A new Omaha World Herald report says that Carl Pelini has denied taking the job at Florida Atlantic.  Though Nebraska coaching legend and Athletic Director Tom Osborne states that his counterpart at Florida Atlantic did contact him about Carl Pelini and his abilities.