Analysis: Kevin Wilson deserves another shot

Bo Pelini was fired after a 9-3 season at Nebraska. But Kevin Wilson should be retained after going 4-8. Doesn't make sense? Here is why I think it does.

Early Sunday morning, I received a text from a friend regarding IU football.

His basic premise was this: If Nebraska could fire Bo Pelini after a 9-3 season then how can Indiana retain Kevin Wilson after the Hoosiers finished 4-8?

If all things were equal, and both programs were viewed in the same light, I could understand the comparison.

But things aren’t equal. They’re not even close. At Nebraska, Cornhusker fans dream of competing for a national championship every season. At Indiana, Hoosier fans dream of getting bowl eligible.

Since 1994, Indiana has had two winning seasons (1994 and 2007).

Since 1994, Nebraska has had two losing seasons (2004 and 2007).

In fact, Nebraska worst two seasons in the last 50 years, in 2004 and 2007, the Cornhuskers won five games in each of those years.

Since ’94, IU has won five games or more just six times. And four of those it won exactly five games.

So my first point is that you can’t do an apples and apples comparison when looking at Indiana versus Nebraska.

If both programs were to conduct a search for a head coach right now and come up with 30 names for each job, I would be willing to bet that there wouldn’t be even one or two people mentioned for both jobs. Nebraska will be in a different level of coaching candidate.

It’s just the way that it is.

But let’s get back to Kevin Wilson.

First of all, here’s my opinion: Wilson should get a mulligan for the 2014 season.

That may not be the popular choice here but with a two-headed monster of Nate Sudfeld and Tevin Coleman in the backfield for the Hoosiers this season you got the feeling that IU was good enough to make it to a bowl game.

But when Sudfeld went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in the sixth game, all bets were off.

Some have said it was Wilson’s fault that IU didn’t have a better backup ready when Sudfeld went down. Maybe, but when your primary backup decides in June to transfer I’m not sure how many coaches could reach in their back pocket and find a capable replacement.

We’re talking six weeks before the start of preseason camp.

And then the player they thought would be Sudfeld’s backup got hurt at the same time that Sudfeld did and so now you’re down to the third or fourth option.

Perhaps Wilson should have been better prepared but myself I think he did about all he could have done in that situation. I understand that we live in a time when people want to react quickly and get rid of people and then step back and think about it later. In this case, though, I think that would be a mistake.

Is it time for Indiana football to be more representative? Absolutely.

Is it Kevin Wilson’s fault that the Hoosiers did not have a team go bowling this season?

My answer to that is absolutely not.

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