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Archive for October 13th, 2007

I hate being right all the time

So at the start of the season, Nebraska was predicted to be on the cusp of a breakout year.  But I wasn’t buying into the optimism.  Just before the first game, I wrote of my beloved Huskers, “I’m not even sure we go to a bowl game this year.”

Turns out that was an optimistic assessment.  They’re even worse than I thought they’d be.  Heck, I had the Ball State game picked as a gimme, and we barely escaped it with a one-point win.

Nebraska has become a slow-motion train wreck.  Our defense is utterly inept, getting gouged for huge chunks of yardage on the ground and in the air.  And our offense can’t run the ball, even against some of the weakest defenses in the country (witness the Missouri game last week).  Sam Keller has a live arm, sure, but throws too many interceptions, and can’t be expected to carry the entire team on his back, anyway.

And the scariest part is I don’t think they’ve hit bottom yet.  Hell, they’re still above .500 on the season.  That will change next week. 

NU fans, if you’re out there, I hope you enjoyed the Iowa State victory.  Looks like it will be the last one of the year.  This team has quit, I think.  They ran into some adversity, and rather than fighting back, sat in the corner and pouted.

And please, apologists, spare me any talk of parity.  If parity in the college game were truly the issue with Nebraska, we would at least be competitive in these games.  There’s no way you can convince me that the athletic talent of Missouri and Oklahoma State is four to five touchdowns better than ours.  They’re good teams, yes, but they’re not that good. 

We are, however, that bad.  And for that, I blame our clueless coaches.

I used to defend Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove.  That changed after the USC game.  But even after that debacle, I still felt that at least Bill Callahan had done a pretty good job recruiting for and installing a West Coast offense.  After today’s meltdown, however, I think it’s clear that the entire coaching staff has to go.  A clean sweep must be made.  I’m not saying that firing Frank Solich was a mistake.  I’m just saying that Callahan, despite improved recruiting, has not been an upgrade.

Some pundits talk about the difficulties he faced in “changing the culture” around here.  That’s a crock.  I personally don’t care what offensive scheme you run, and neither do most NU fans.  We only loved the option because it won football games and national championships.  So run whatever offense you like.  But dammit, get your players to execute. 

This coaching crew just ain’t gettin’ it done.  Run the bums out on a rail, say I.  And don’t wait until the end of the season.  This one is already lost.  Buy out Callahan’s recently-extended contract (and let’s send a big thank you to Athletic Director Steve Pederson for that boneheaded move) and get an early jump on the coaches that will become available.  We have the facilities.  We have the fan base.  We even have the talent.  What we lack is the coaching.

And while we’re at it, let’s start playing the younger guys now.  The seniors have had their shot, and they’ve blown it.  Get the rookies some feel for the game, so that they’re ready for it next season.

Nebraska, rapidly approaching the nadir.  I can’t bear to watch.