College Football

Why Husker Nation Needs to Take a Chill Pill

As you are all well aware by now, today the Huskers announced the hire of former Oregon State coach Mike Riley.  As with all things social media, this was met with swift reaction covering the entire emotional spectrum.  Many people, especially “Bo-lievers”, have reacted negatively to this hire.  This article will set forth a few reasons everyone needs to take a chill pill and let all of the dominoes fall into place before hitting “send” on that angry tweet or Facebook status.

Read this article, think about the “big picture”, and I hope that you will come to the same conclusion I have after hearing the news: the more you think about it, the hire of Mike Riley makes sense for Nebraska.  If nothing else, take a page out of Aaron Rodgers book and R-E-L-A-X.

1. The entire coaching staff is yet to be determined.

This needs to be stated first and foremost.  I believe, like many other fans, that Pelini’s biggest downfall was his choice of offensive and defensive coordinators.   It was obvious from the outset that Nebraska was going to hire somebody with significant head coaching experience and not hire another coordinator.

I’m a firm believer that a coach is only as good as the staff around him, and there are still a lot of big name coordinators available that could bolster this staff and completely change how we view this hire.  Judging this hire before the entire staff is unveiled would be a mistake.

For what it’s worth, I’ll throw this out there.  One of the popular rumors floating through the rumor mill was that the Huskers would hire Jim Tressel as head coach and hire Scott Frost as Offensive Coordinator/“Coach in Waiting”.  Many people absolutely loved the idea.  To stoke the rumor fire, Scott Frost’s dad mentioned that “Scott knows Riley well” to 10/11 news.  The hire of Riley doesn’t rule out the same scenario, but the Huskers would be hiring a head coach free of any NCAA restrictions.

It’ll be interesting to see who Riley surrounds himself with at Offensive and Defensive coordinator.  If he is able to bring in Scott Frost and a big name defensive coordinator (all rumors and signs point to Ed Orgeron from USC), I’m guessing that people’s opinions of this hire will change drastically and many angry tweets/Facebook statuses will be immediately deleted.

2. Mike Riley’s record is a poor measuring stick

Many “Bo-lievers” are quick to point out Riley’s 93-80 record as the head coach at Oregon State.  This statistic, when viewed in isolation, is extremely misleading. Because Bo-lievers have pegged 9 wins as a magical indicator of success, let’s take a look at this: since 1893 (yes, 1893), Oregon State has seven 9-win seasons. Mike Riley has coached 4 of those.  Now it’s my turn to cherry pick statistics.  Nebraska has 43 conference championships in the history of the program, zero of which were won by Bo Pelini.

People also are quick to point out his losing record in the NFL.  You know who was “successful” in the NFL? Bill Callahan. You know who “floundered” in the NFL? Nick Saban.  Success (or lack thereof) in the NFL doesn’t provide much of a measuring stick for college coaches.
Edit: I don’t know how I overlooked this yesterday, but Riley inherited a San Diego Chargers team that drafted Ryan Leaf prior to his arrival.  It’s tough to be successful with that train wreck as the “future” of your franchise.  Even if you choose to blame him for playing Ryan Leaf (which I imagine was a decision made for him by the GM and front office), a look at the 1998 NFL Draft will show you that the Chargers passed on numerous pro-bowlers and Hall of Famers, any of which would have helped the franchise immensely more than Ryan Leaf.

One surefire way to judge the quality of a coach is to see who else has pursued him.  Mike Riley has been pursued by Alabama and USC, two top-tier programs who have just as high of expectations as Nebraska.  USC pursued Riley to take over after Pete Carroll, a solid indicator that he is an excellent coach with the ability to lead a top-tier program to success.

3. Intangibles & Recruiting

All who are familiar with Mike Riley love him.  He is described as “an extremely likable guy”.  This in and of itself is the polar opposite of Bo. Even if Nebraska doesn’t take a gigantic leap forward under his guidance, I’ll take a coach that doesn’t leave me cringing with his temper tantrums on the sidelines.  Furthermore, I’m sick of Bo Pelini playing the “us against the world” card.  It was Bo’s go-to motivational technique.  From looking at many of the player’s tweets after the news broke, it was pretty clear that he had them brainwashed that the fans and media were enemy #1 and everyone outside of that locker room wanted them to fail.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Nebraska fans are insanely loyal, and if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past few days, the fanbase as a whole is extremely passionate.

What I wanted more than anything out of a new coach was this: somebody who will embrace the fans, embrace the tradition and high expectations that come with the job, and conduct themselves with class.  I believe Nebraska has found that in Mike Riley.

The more I read and learn about Mike Riley, the more I like him.  Recruiting today is different than it was 25 years ago.  These are players that grew up in the age of social media and participation trophies.  These players have a hard time connecting to a hard nosed coach with a bad temper.  Even with limited resources and a similarly disadvantaged location, Riley was able to send nearly as many players to the NFL as Bo Pelini from 2008-2014.  Given that Riley will now be working with a much larger budget and recruiting players to a traditional powerhouse, I expect Nebraska to have much better recruiting classes than Pelini was able to sign moving forward.  It is also worth pointing out that Riley has ties to Southern California and the South from his coaching and playing days. This surely has to be seen as a much better asset than ties to Ohio.

4. Don’t be a hypocrite

Most “Bo-lievers” were echoing a few talking points:  “How will this affect recruiting”, “Bo just needed more time”, “Who will want to come to Nebraska after this”.  Well, people, I hate to tell you this, but going on a social media rampage condemning the new coach before he has even arrived in Lincoln makes you a huge hypocrite.  Recruits can see all of the dumb things you are tweeting.  Don’t be a part of the problem you were rallying against days ago.  Don’t preach “patience” then show none.  You’re better than that.  The ship has sailed, Bo Pelini is out and there is nothing you tweet or post to Facebook that can change that.  What the players, University, and new coaches need is simple: your support.  I saw a lot of people talking about being “true fans”, well now is your chance to prove it.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, I think a lot of the “outrage” over this hire can be summarized as follows: Mike Riley wasn’t on the short list of Bleacher Report or the Lincoln Journal Star so people act like this was a terrible hire.  Let’s be real here: most writers at the Bleacher Report are college kids doing it for free, and then the Journal Star just steals that content, posts a stupid poll, and gets people to argue in their comments section.

Change is never easy, especially after firing a coach who was successful by most indicators.  That being said, I am proud of the University for not letting fear hold us back from pursuing excellence.  It would have been much easier to retain Pelini and hope that things would change for the better.  Instead of just “hoping” and “wishing”, we took the leap and have chosen that nothing short of championship caliber football will do.  If nothing else, Husker fans should gain confidence from the recent hire of Tim Miles, who has done nothing short of completely transform Husker basketball since starting his tenure.  He has shown Nebraska that we do not need to sell ourselves short and accept the “status quo”.

Judging Mike Riley before he is even formally announced is a huge mistake.  I think that when all of the coaches are announced and the dust settles, Husker nation will be very happy.  I have a lot of faith that there is a “method to the madness”, one that we haven’t had the opportunity to fully see at this point.  Nebraska fans pride themselves on being “The Greatest Fans in all of College Football”.  As I stated earlier, now is our chance to prove it.



  1. Pop_Lil_Red

    December 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Great points. The more I learn about Riley and his potential the more excited I get.

    FYI: Miles was hired by TO, not Eichorst.

    • Seth Morris

      December 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Sorry about that, Pop. That was brought to my attention and I fixed that as soon as I could. Glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for reading!

      • J-Sker

        December 5, 2014 at 12:36 am

        Do you think Gary Andersen, Mark Dantonio, or Urban Meyer fears Coach Riley?

        • Wojo84

          December 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

          Does it matter?

        • Objective_NU_Fan

          December 5, 2014 at 11:03 am

          Do you think they feared Bo Pelini?

        • go_beavs

          December 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

          Everyone in the pac-12 did. Carroll, harbaugh, Kelly, graham, shaw, they all did. I would say no one ever wanted to play Riley. He has beat more ranked teams with less than any other coach that I know of. Just my two cents

      • john e

        December 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        Seth, you’ve completely missed the main point. Pelini was fired (allegedly) because he didn’t win the games that mattered. So a person could logically assume the new guy would have a proven record of success in games that matter. 93-80 is hardly that. Add to that 5-7 this year, 6-6 last year, blow out losses to that big bad, perennial top ten team, Washington and I think skepticism is warranted. It’s pretty clear that either Pelini wasn’t fired for that reason, or Eichorst thinks he a genius who can make an average performer an instant super coach.

  2. aspiringgreatfan

    December 4, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Love it. Well said.

  3. Scott

    December 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    You’re facts are not all correct my friend….to clarify, Riley was hired as Oregon State head coach before the 1997 season, where he served as head coach of two losing seasons before being fired and replaced by Dennis Erickson. It was ERICKSON, not Riley, who turned O State around.

    Your points are pathetic and you write like a high school junior.

    I find it oddly funny that those that were posting all the negative tweets and posts BEFORE Pelini was fired, calling for his head, are now the same ones preaching the “lets all be good supportive fans” crap.While some looked at Bo and his sideline expressions as rude, crude, whatever…personally, I found the PASSION a great example of how much he did care about winning. Frankly, I don’t really care how nice a guy Riley is, but he better win, and win quickly, or else the banter will really be unleashed.

    I will always support and root for the Huskers, but I expect more from the AD than replacing a winning coach in the name of “we need a proven winner”….well yes, Riley was a winner….he won 9 or more games in 4 of his 14 seasons. Hmmh

    • Seth Morris

      December 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Scott. I’ll take “writing like a high school junior” as a compliment from a guy using all caps and the incorrect form of “your”.

      You do realize that Riley left Oregon State to coach in the NFL, and that’s when Erickson took over, correct?

      At this point it doesn’t matter what I would have written, it seems anything short of “BRING BACK BO PELINI” would make me an idiot from your perspective.

      Thanks for reading and checking out the site, hope you have a great weekend.

      • mark

        December 4, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        Whats confusing is that he uses your correct the second time…

      • Wojo84

        December 5, 2014 at 7:34 am

        Facial Lefluer….total facial!!! Scott’s PASSION must have gotten in the way of his spelling ABILITY.

    • TG

      December 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Scott… Funny how you found Bo’s sideline antics to be a great example of how he cared about winning while all Bo accomplished was losing in games that matter.

    • Big Ralph

      December 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      lets give him a good ole Nrbraska welcome and see how he survives. I know a couple of boys headed out to the panhandle to knock Downö some roosters. They’ll be leaving Lincoln in the am, this would be a great way to welcome him into the nation. the invitation is always open coach, I’ll get you My,Riley’s number.

    • Ben

      December 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Beaver fan here… Do some research before calling uo someone else’s research.

      1. Riley was not fired from OSU. He left on his own for the NFL. Dennis was a godsend, but had nothing to do with Riley leaving.

      2. Riley turned OSU around, but left right before finishing. Dennis merely completed the last few steps. If you stand by your assertion that Dennis was the program’s savior, either you have no clue about anything Riley has done for OSU, or you went to the type of school that teaches that Abraham Lincoln dropped the A-Bomb on the Germans during the French Revolution. I’ll give you the benefit if the doubt and assume you are just a loudmouth who honestly has no clue.

  4. rod rader

    December 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Agree whole heartedly. Great read. Thank you.

  5. Carey

    December 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Very well said. Couldn’t agree more with all of your points.

  6. verb

    December 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I would just ask the fella who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re if he could comment again. reading through his post it you can almost see the hamster turning the wheel. I can’ quit tell if that is a pea rolling around in his head or a hamster running around in a wheel.

  7. Stew Price

    December 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Mark Riley or Mike Riley? Can someone tell me which guy we hired …

  8. Diira

    December 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    It’s disappointing that anyone who was sad to see Bo fired is unable to be excited about the new hire and the potential he brings to the program in your world. I will keep on learning about him, encouraging the players to be open minded and see the positives in the situation, and not fall into to your stereotypes.

  9. bob

    December 4, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    who gives a crap…this guy is a loser… much for Husker Football

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

      States bob who speaks from experience.

  10. Jay Muny

    December 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    To suggest that an assistant from Oregon would ever coach for an OSU alum is sheer madness.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 8:19 am

      Just who is the OSU alum? Certainly not Riley.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

      For that matter, why would Frost care? Other than his years as an assistant at Oregon, he has no ties there. This would be a business decision. Frost has already expressed his desire to one day coach at Nebraska.

  11. Greg

    December 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Seth, I must confess that I was not a big fan of the Pelini firing, but I suspect he rode his loyalty to his coaching staff right out of a job. I too was among the people questioning this hire initially, but after a bit of research, I came to some of the same exact conclusions that you have stated here, right down to the parallel to Tim Miles… Giving him the tools and environment to show what he can do with them, may be the magic formula. We really only have one option as fans, and that is to support him…

  12. Travis

    December 4, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Woah, I didn’t know that being pursued by other programs is “a solid indicator that he is an excellent coach who can lead a top program to success.” Will Muschamp was also pursued by other top programs and that pretty much speaks for itself. This is Riley’s first time with a top program so the jury is still out on him. He was good in the CFL, a bust in the NFL, and turned a horrible team into a sometimes good (never great) and sometimes pretty bad team. We’ll see if he can turn a good team into a great one. It’s not a great hire and it’s not a horrible one. Wait 2-3 years and then we’ll find out.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

      FYI – Saban didn’t do all that great in the NFL and his Michigan State teams were average at best.

    • Seth Morris

      December 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Let’s not put too much stock into his flop at San Diego. I don’t know how I overlooked this yesterday, but he inherited a San Diego team that drafted Ryan Leaf. It’s hard to win with that train wreck as the future of the franchise.

  13. Jeff

    December 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    For the past seven years, Riley had been going to gun fights with knives, yet beating Goliaths with regularity. Now he has a full arsenal of automatic weapons and a few bazookas too. Pelini had the fire power at his disposal but always loaded blanks. Took care of the guys that showed up with knives though.

    • Dave Danger

      December 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      I wonder where Tommy Jr. will transfer to. He’s not a QB to thrive in Riley’s offense.

      • Wojo84

        December 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

        You assume to know what kind of offense Riley will use in Lincoln. The vaunted West Coast Offense was offensive in Lincoln, but that was under callahan (I just swallowed my own vomit). Depending on his OC – someone that knows what works in the midwest, etc? Besides, I’m ready to see what Stanton can do!

  14. Eli

    December 4, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    You are right about one thing, Pelini is gone. I do not want him back, having said that, not sold on Riley. You mention his big wins, but completely neglect his losses. This year alone he lost to Washington State and Cal, 8 wins combined. Dig a little further and losses to Eastern Washington and Sacramento State seem to debunk doing more with less talent, as less talented and less resourceful teams did in the Beavers. He still has yet to fill out his staff, but who is he going to get that couldn’t help him win one Pac-10/12 title, or avoid being non bowl eligible 6 years in his 14 seasons in Corvalis. Why is anyone who questions the hire, branded as not a true fan? Speaking my mind does not make me any less of a fan.

    • Sam

      December 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Eli you are 100% correct. I look for the Huskers to be 7 and 5 next year.

    • Seth Morris

      December 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      First and foremost, speaking your mind doesn’t mean you’re not a “true fan”. That’s something Bo-lievers say on message boards: “You’re not a true fan if you disagree with me” was their mantra.

      Second, while we’re cherry picking stats to prove our point, I’ll do the same. My stats are more of a measuring stick of the program as a whole to measure the coach.

      1. Since 1893 (yes, 1893), Oregon State has seven 9-win seasons. Mike Riley has coached 4 of those. (4/7)

      2. Nebraska has 43 conference championships (obviously much more common than 9 win seasons at OSU), and Bo Pelini has coached 0 of those. (0/43)

      Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend.

  15. Sam

    December 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    And remember you saw that predication here first.

  16. Chadron Husker

    December 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Great points.

    This hire definitely has much to be said for a “wait and see” strategy.

    That said, Riley is not new to the business. He is largely a finished product- and he is more than just a CEO. Riley has a clear offensive philosophy and a long-time defensive coordinator (along with many other veteran staff members that are tied to him). I think Husker fans are setting themselves up to be disappointed if they think Frost will become an OC. That makes no sense. Riley is a pro-style offensive mind. He is a developer of pro-style QBs- not Marcus Mariotas. Why would he let an Oregon-product hijack his show? The biggest question Husker fans should be asking is “Will Tommy Armstrong transfer to the Big 12?” Riley’s system does not fit his system.

    I would not be surprised if much of the Oregon State staff comes with Riley. I have no problem with much of this. That said, I hope he shakes up his staff some to include a couple Pelini-era NU assistants (Ron Brown) and, more importantly, some assistants with recruiting ties more in Texas and the Midwest. My one concern with this hire is from a recruiting perspective. I think from a scheme and talent-development perspective he will be fine- if he gets 2-3 years to implement his system.

    • shawn

      December 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Ron Brown is not pelini-era at all. Ron Brown has been with Nebraska since Osborne was head coach. Pelini had nothing to do with hiring Ron Brown at all.

      • mrhuskerman

        December 4, 2014 at 11:55 pm

        Pelini did hire Ron Brown. Coach Brown was let go once Solich was fired and then when Bo got hired he hired Ron Brown back.

  17. dpurtzer

    December 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    This is the only article I’ve read since the announcement of Bo’s departure that has made any sense. Well stated and thanks for bringing this perspective to the table. I hope our fans take time to read and heed

  18. Taylor

    December 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    No matter what staff he has around him we need a coach with leadership skills. Losing records do not show leadership. As far as temper tantrums that is all we saw in the advertising of the new coach. Next, the university needs to hire someone that has championship experience. If we were going to stay at this level we should have just stuck with Bo and replaced the coordinators.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Just how would you propose “we” get new coordinators for Bo when Bo himself refused to dismiss them? Yes – some (Beck, Cotton, Papuchis) were albatrosses around Bo’s neck but his loyalty to these few were a fault. Bo wouldn’t pull the trigger on them. Had “we” replaced the coordinators, then Bo doesn’t have his team. That doesn’t make things better.

    • Seth Morris

      December 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      A popular rumor (and one that I believe) is that Bo was given the chance to fire his coordinators, chose not to, and that’s why he was fired. Had he got rid of Papuchis and Beck he’d still be the Huskers coach.

  19. Lucky

    December 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I loved Bo and was pissed when he was fired. Same goes for Solich. Don’t think we should fire 9-3 coaches. With that being said I actually like the hire. Sounds like Ed Orgeron is interested in coming as a member of Mike Riley’s staff. That would be HUGE!

  20. Larry Berryman

    December 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I’m going to hang on to this article and in 3 rears from now when the boosters run this guy out on a rail sorting a new suit of tar and feathers I’ll remind you how smart you were!!

    • Taylor

      December 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      How true that is. Well put.

    • Objective_NU_Fan

      December 5, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Can I hold on to this comment? A poorly worded response to a fairly well constructed article is a strange way to question someone’s intelligence. Whether Riley is a good hire remains to be seen, I for one am cautiously optimistic, but hopefully in three years you’ll have a good enough grasp of the English language to understand why your post is difficult to read at best. Just to start you on your education, those little marks after words are periods and commas.

    • Seth Morris

      December 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Larry, I’ll be the first to join in one the “fire Riley” bandwagon if in 7 years Nebraska is still churning out 9 win seasons like Henry Ford churned out Model T’s.

      I have nothing against Pelini and wish him all the best in the future, but I think we had severely plateaued under his coaching and there weren’t any signs that the team was going to turn the corner in the near future.

      If anything, I believe these past two years showed signs of slipping even further into mediocrity. Bo’s best defense and end of the year ranking came when he was coaching Callahan’s recruits (most notably Suh). Our recruiting classes have been underwhelming to say the least and I was not confident of turning the corner and getting over the hump anytime soon.

  21. Adean

    December 4, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    As a college athlete you have to buy in to the program, buy in to what the coach is doing, and believe in the vision with your whole heart and mind–if you, as an individual athlete and part of a team, want to be successful. I would not call that brain washed. Players on social media were obviously upset, as any collegiate athlete would be if they believed in their team and coach.

  22. Brian

    December 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Right on point Taylor. Nice don’t feed the bulldog or win you championships. I’m sure Bo sealed his own fate. I would put good money on that Bo was told he needed to make some coaching changes (both coordinators) and he told Shawn to go fudge himself. Everyone knew that the coordinators sucked but he was/is to loyal to his coaches. If this guy don’t bring in different coordinators from what he has now he’s doomed.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Great case in point is Auburn. Last year in the NC game. This year they go 8-4 and fire the d coord. Mulzahn was not waiting. Bo’s loyalty, although commendable, was a fault.

  23. Bill

    December 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I love how you make up your own facts.. Bill Calahan was 4-12 hi last season at Oakland, he wasn’t over .500 in the NFL

    Much like our new coach.

    I stopped reading at that point when you figure that you can make up your own facts..

    Something everyone else seems to miss is the fact that it’s hard.. if not impossible to recruit to to the cold barren wasteland that we all call our home.. I mean, have you ever been to any of the west coast, southwest, or southeast school during the school year.. yeah, it doesn’t suck like it does in Lincoln.. the weather is amazing, the fans are amazing, the facilities are amazing the cities are amazing and oh yeah, the girls on campus are not all gaining weight each winter. NU will never get the same talent as those schools…

    We just took a big huge step backwards… Pelini for all his faults will be competing in a Nat. Championship game before we win our next conference one..

    While I wish this new coach well and I know how TERRIBLE some of our NU fans are.. when he doesn’t produce in a program that is now dead, you all will want his hyde… just like you did Osborne, just like you did when Frank was at the helm and recently with Bo..


    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Is wanting his “hyde” the opposite of not wanting his “jekyll”?

    • Seth Morris

      December 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I would consider coaching a Super Bowl team an indicator of success in the NFL.

      As far as recruiting, yes Nebraska is at a disadvantage. You are correct in stating that. However, Urban Meyer has brought in nothing but stellar recruiting classes at Ohio State, a state with similar weather. Even Brady Hoke, for all his shortcomings, was able to bring top talent to Ann Arbor. If these two schools in the B1G can consistently bring in top recruiting classes I see no reason why NU cannot.

      Simply put, top recruits want to play at winning programs. If location was the only factor, then UTEP, Florida Atlantic, San Diego, SMU, Louisiana Lafayette and a host of other schools in the southeast and Southern California would be putting together top recruiting classes year in and year out.

  24. Adean

    December 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    You have good points and, yes, only time will tell.

    BUT, the fans don’t play the game so, in a sense it is players and staff against everybody else. I don’t see fans on the field, going all year preparing for the short season, and missing family holidays/events for 4+ years. So no the fans and players are not on the same level. Fans are great but they aren’t the ones walking through the trenches.
    The fan-athlete relationship is a bit one sided.

    The thing about Nebraska is that most fans love the Huskers…when they win. BUT when they lose they are the worse..awful..just crap.

    Bo was not literally saying “us against the world,” he was saying they (the fans) are going to love you when you’re on top and hate you when you’re on the bottom…fact is you are playing for the man beside you, you are going to do anything for the brother you are playing beside, what those people say does not matter because we are in this together.

  25. Jim

    December 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Well said

  26. ADM1959

    December 5, 2014 at 5:17 am

    I never got the impression that the players thought the fans were against them. They loved playing for Coach Pelini and wanted him to stay.

  27. Lucy Lastik

    December 5, 2014 at 7:16 am


    Riley is wunnerful, just wunnerful. So wunnerful, in fact, that the Corvallis paper was lobbying for a new coach.

    Must have been an easy decision for all involved.

  28. Wojo84

    December 5, 2014 at 7:41 am

    BLUF is that the boosters and school were tired of his antics and poor record in the big games. Ws and Ls aren’t the only metric to use. His sideline demeanor, tirades, going off on players was not unnoticed. The man wears his passion on his sleeve and that is commendable but IMHO, he was too embarrassing for the school. I just don’t mean the ugly losses – I mean the above mentioned tirades. When the kicker squibs a kick and is greeted with a “WHAT THE EFF WAS THAT??” from the HC, and seen nationally too, that’s not good. The kicker would never have done that on his own – he was told to squib. But he got ripped into by Bo for it.
    This man (Riley) brings a T.O. presence with him. No rants, no in your face screams. If the players make a mistake, he’ll teach them rather than berate them. I believe most the players feared Bo more than anything which led to errors.
    Another thing to consider: Riley was making 1.7mil/year at OSU. Until details of his contract are announced, I hold out hope that 1) his increase is modest. Hell, any amount increase is better than what he was making and 2) that the other coinage not spent on him is spent on some big name OC and DC and 3) he is 61. Maybe part of the deal is for him to groom said OC for the HC position. ???

  29. Bobby McBobberson

    December 5, 2014 at 7:46 am

    I think all these people need to get off their high horse. Suddenly all these articles are coming out that the fans can’t express their disappointment with the hire because, us as fans, don’t know sh*t. Well how come these type of articles weren’t around when Bo was winning games? There were hundreds of articles about how Bo was terrible and he should be fired after every game! Get off your high horse and let the fans be upset. Everything keeps talking about how terrible Oregon State was, but guess what, they still are! You can’t tell me he is good at recruiting when he can’t steal away recruits from the main brands in the PAC-12. You also can’t tell me that the school wasn’t doing what it needed to do to help him get those kids, there were multiple investments in facilities at Oregon State while he was there to make them competitive. You can point to his games that he won over ranked teams but I can just as easily point to the games he lost to nobodies. It is true that maybe he will pull some amazing coordinators and all this will go away and the fan base will be truely excited, but as of now, it looks like Eichorst went for the cheapest coach he could find after literally saying no expense would be too much to make Nebraska great again. STFU with your be paitent crap when you aren’t even being paitent with the fans. Let the emotions flow, let the coach know what he just walked into so he knows he has to make some big time hires for coordinators. Yeah we all know he is ours now and we have to deal with it and need to support him, but again, let us fans have our day in the sun.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Does thumbody need a hug?

  30. Scott

    December 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I am concerned with how coach Riley was content in where he was at Oregon State. Does he have the true passion to win championships. He settled for mediocricy at Oregon State. Did we just go from being embarrassed in losing big games to now losing big games with dignity?

  31. alex

    December 5, 2014 at 9:37 am

    It took Tom Osborn how many years to get a national championship? No might of been rough around the edges but he fought for his team and he cared. How many Colleges and Universities would like to have our record. The coach is not the guy on the field that fumbles the ball on the 4 yard line, or misses the coverage on defense that’s all players mental errors. I’m not happy with the firing no matter what spin you put on it.

    • Wojo84

      December 5, 2014 at 9:56 am

      How true. The coach is only the man that puts said players on the field that fumble on the 4 yard line, etc. He is the one that keeps players on the field that fall on their butts, on national TV, or hikes the ball when the QB is not ready. It’s the coach(es) job(s) to have the players ready. It was evident Bo did not have that ability to have the players ready, mentally, for the big stage.

      And it’s Osborne – not Osborn.

    • JF

      February 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Please don’t compare Pelini to Osborne. Pelini’s best team finished lower in the final standings with one of Osborne’s worst (9-3-1 in the mid-70s). Osborne also won some conference titles and played in meaningful bowls during the NT drought. Winning nine games every year is not the milestone it once was with the season being longer. And at a school with the big boy resources that NU has, nine wins should only be an expectation during years where the team is breaking in a bunch of underclassmen starters.

  32. Kurt Johanson

    December 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Seth – Thanks for this. An additional word – Bill C inherited a sound program left over from John G – who left for Tampa…then he (BC) was another one of those Al Davis casualties… The Coach in waiting idea imploded, in our neck of the woods, at UT with the fired Florida Coach as Mack Brown’s successor – ouch… I would love to see Scott on the sidelines at N – however – the time is not yet right…perhaps in a couple of years… With this being said…and however angry I was with the losing record (a losing record is measured against good and great programs – not wins against lesser squads like McN State – no mean-spirited intent directed against that program…) at Nebraska – the consensus is that Nebraska (in the mind of the Huskers Nation – you know, those “greatest fans in College Football” thing) is an elite program and should do everything to live up to that expectation. I’ll finish with the Oakland thing – “Just Win, Baby” (against the best teams…) For the sake of College Football Fans everywhere – I hope to see Nebraska competing at an elite level in the near future…

  33. bill hanson

    December 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Great column

  34. Scott M.

    December 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Just a few quick thoughts that I haven’t seen mentioned and haven’t had time to research yet.

    1. Did Riley have a walk on program at OSU comparable to NU?
    2. Where does OSU stand in the Pac-12 and the nation as far as graduation rates?
    3. How many character/legal issues have OSU players been involved in during Riley’s tenure?

    I hated the embarrassing losses as much as anyone, but I did have pride that the quintessential Husker values were restored under Pelini after Callahan did away with many of them.

    I am easily satisfied with 9-10 wins most years and every 5 years being in a position to win a conference championship, as long as the program overall brings pride to what it means to be a Husker.

  35. tklbc

    December 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I’m extatic. I’m amazed that so many football “fans” are having trouble with this hire. I expect it from Bolievers.

  36. Hoarse

    December 6, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Do you think they feared Boo Pelini? Heck not even Jerry Kill or Kirk Ferenz feared Bo Pelini. And you know who else didn’t fear him? FCS coaches. Craig Bohl’s Bisons would’ve beaten Bo Pelini, just as SDSU & McNeese St. nearly did. Also, the opinion of anyone who identifies as a Jaysker does not matter.

  37. Hoarse

    December 6, 2014 at 6:15 am

    If those are your standards, you are welcome to become an Iowa fan.

  38. Shim

    December 6, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I’m not a “Boliever,” yet his record is what it is: horrible. And I never stated 9-10 wins is the level of acceptable. But 10 wins is something Riley is yet to achieve.

    I am supportive and excited to see what Riley can do at Nebraska, but please stop lumping particular fans into the Boliever faction, simply because they state the obvious and factual.

    If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that his performance history is literally the only piece of information that is based in fact. The rest, like this article, is nothing but speculation, rhetoric, and “imagine what he COULD do at Nebraska.”


  39. randy

    December 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Bo wasn’t fired for going 9-3. Bo wasn’t even fired for not winning games “that mattered”. It would seem to me that Bo was fired for being humiliated in games that mattered. Melvin Gordon is a fantastic player, and Wisconsin is a solid program. He went for 408. In the BIG title game, Nebraska had 70 hung on them against a Wisconsin team playing with a third string QB. 68 against Ohio State…nearly 700 yards against UCLA. These are video game numbers. If he loses to Wisconsin 35 – 21 he might still have his job. But that isn’t what happens. His teams look completely lost and without poise. I don’t know if it speaks to an inflexibility in his scheme or a major flaw in his approach. Whatever it is those losses only serve to undermine the program’s future. I don’t know that Mike Riley is the answer. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the national perception is correct, Nebraska will only be a 9-3 team and no coach no amount of effort can change that. I do know that we don’t have to pay someone 3 1/2 million dollars a year to compete against Minnesota and Iowa for second place in the BIG West.

  40. Josh

    December 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    The word is “foundered” not “floundered.”

  41. Eric

    December 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    So the people who have been on fire for Bo’s head and walking out on our home games for the last 4 years are OK, the critics of less than a week are the problem. Right.

    Those of us who pointed out the positives of Bo’s record despite all else were told that they were making excuses for mediocrity, and now that the Huskers have the mediocre coach they deserve, who’s the one making excuses for mediocrity?

    And Riley is a mediocre coach, the numbers don’t lie. At best he’s no better against ranked teams than Bo was with the added bonus of losing stinker games that at least Bo won. No glut of articles from the papers and press conferences can change a McDonald’s hamburger into a open face prime rib steak sandwich.

    No one critical of this hire is blaming the coach nor not willing to support him, despite the fact that he is a step down from Bo. They’re blaming spoiled brat Husker fans who have no clue what the college football landscape is like now. We aren’t a top 10 program anymore, and with our move to the Big 10 the cards are stacked even further against us on the recruiting side. Whining for the glory days accomplishes nothing, and pretending we’re just one coach and a couple of years away from a national title is delusional. The rest of the college football nation knows this, it’s time for Husker fans to get with reality. Maybe then we can actually get better.

    • JF

      February 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      You do realize Riley had some of the worst support and resources at OSU, right? And despite that, he was able to wreck USC’s season in both 2006 and 2008. And in 2012, his Beavers went down to UCLA and won the week after Bo and Company lost. And the week before? Remember that Wisconsin team that put 70 on NU with a third string QB? Riley’s boys held that same team to just a late game TD, beating them.
      Now Riley will have plentiful resources to enhance his coaching and recruiting talents (the coaches in the Pac 12 are glad they don’t have to coach and recruit against him anymore).

      You’re obviously an ignorant troll.


    December 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Pelini was fired for his arrogant filthy rage on the sidelines when the going got tough. He started pointing his finger at whomever he thought was responsible. It was never his fault.

    When those times came, he lost his players and assistant coaches who didn’t know how to pacify Bo. The second half of the Wisconsin game is a good example of losing your players.

    Bo will never change, and was an embarrassment to the State of Nebraska.

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