There seems to be a genuine amount of interest from the fellow members of the media. There seems to be a morbid curiousity as most are convinced this is a train wreck waiting to happen. Who will ask the first question which sets Bo off? Will it be a beat writer or someone who was brought in specifically to ask the questions most beat writers won't touch?
As you may recall, Bill Callahan, who had already endured one hell of a bad year in 2007, was asked by Joe Jordan, a local news guy, 'If you were the A.D., would you fire you?'
Not sure we will see anything like that. But I don't have any doubt that there will be on-going questions about the blow up at Martinez, the things Chancellor Harvey Perlman said in the media even before he talked to Bo; perhaps something about his brother, Carl, and his ill-advised actions after the game.
Lots of stuff. Lots of potential kindling to what is the Bo Pelini fire.
And if he's asked those? Well, Bo isn't exactly known for his reserve when emotionally pressed.
So, I guess we'll see.
UPDATE - 11:14
Well, these things always draw a nice crowd, and today is no different. Lots of cameras, and I guess every TV station in Omaha is carrying this live. Lots of cameras.
State football is going on today, which equates to a lot more people than normal. But you can tell who is here for that and who is here for Bo.
i guess it's like a Tyson fight, eh? Morbid curiosity, which may ultimately amount to nothing.
But my guess is that while this could turn out to be a lot of nothing, it won't be for a lack of effort from the throngs in trying to see if Bo will actually answer one legit question.
UPDATE - 11:28
Quotes from Bo
Bo started the presser today by basically making a statement about what had transpired, his philosophy and how he approaches what he does. The message seemed to be around how he understands who he is, but also understands that sometimes he takes that passionate aspect a bit far. He said that his job wasn't to win football games. He basically said that it was his job to see his players' development as people. "My job is - it's not to win football games. I make that vow to the kids, the parents. That's what I am all about," he said. "That means accountability, discipline. I feel we've done that. You don't see our kids out there getting in trouble on ESPN."
On the other end of it, he said that his passion for what he does can get him in interesting situations like it did the other night. "I'm a passionate person, during that game the other night - It's the way you disagree with the call. I got too animated. I regret that I am and I am sorry about that," he said. "It's OK to disagree with the call. It's not OK to make it personal. I let it get personal. I'm sorry."
The other aspect of this was, of course, Taylor Martinez.
What most people seem to remember about that game was the dressing down he gave his freshman quarterback, after he had gotten out of the locker room. Martinez went into the locker room to get checked out after Husker center Mike Caputo had accidentally planted his left foot on Martinez' already tender ankle.
Following that game, there was rampant speculation about what had happened, about Taylor's status on the team and if he had in fact left. Pelini reflected on it, and also squashed the rumor that Nebraska was now without its star QB. "I know there is a lot of speculation about the exchange with Taylor. He and i have handled that. It was something totally unrelated (to his injury)," he said. "Taylor is on the football team. He and I are on the same page. We have put that behind us."
On Ben Cotton's situation, Bo had no problem with Ben's initial reaction from the penalty that wasn't called on the rather flagrant "foul" being committed by an Aggie defender. He said he did have a problem with him taking his helmet off. He said that Ben was pretty upset following the incident, as you might imagine, and he wanted to make sure that his talented tight end didn't retaliate. But he said that he supported Cotton's initial reaction to the act. "I got their back. They understand also, I expect them to have mine," he said.
UPDATE - 11:42
Bo got hammered pretty good about Taylor, and if he was at the team meeting which Bo said was called a "shake out." Bo said that there was never any issue with Taylor, they were fine, he was on the team and if healthy, he would play this weekend. But it didn't appear by his wording and reaction that he was all that confident that Taylor would be available.
Bo did say they sent in some stuff to the league, that being the plays they had questions about. But Pelini didn't comment on that issue any further.
On Carl Pelini's incident, Bo first said for himself, he got "lit up" pretty good by fans who were rushing the field. he said it was crazy on the field. And it seems from what he heard, Carl was trying to get to a player to help them get off the field and into the locker room, and the cameraman was in the way. It was inadvertent, according to Pelini, and he was trying to help get a player off the field.
UPDATE - 11:49
- Bo said that Zac Lee could be available for the game, though, he wasn't sure. It doesn't seem like Taylor will be available, but Bo didn't say he wouldn't.
- Nebraska has sent stuff into the Big 12, but he wasn't sure when they would get back them. He did say, though, that the conference has been good about getting back on these issues.
- Someone asked if he thought the Big 12 was out to get them, citing the 16 to 2 disparity in fouls from this last weekend's game. Bo said that he really couldn't respond to that\, because he hadn't thought of it that way. More in a bit.
UPDATE - 11:55 AM
Senior safety, Dejon Gomes was asked about Bo's sideline demeanor, and he said that if it does have an impact, it's a positive one. "it drives you that much more to play at the highest level."
"Anytime you have a coach that will go to bat for you on any instance, you want to play that much more for him," he continued. "If you just have a coaches' coach, maybe you aren't going out there and giving it your all."
Ben Cotton showed up, and as you might imagine, there were plenty of questions about the ahem...act. Ben was very good about it, talking about how he should have handled it better. But I think we can all sympathize with the young man, as if someone was doing that to us, we would have reacted similarly.
Here is a link to the video of Cotton being "handled" by the Texas A&M defensive player
DT, Jared Crick also talked about the situation, saying that he heard Cotton was getting "railed" on, and Crick said that it's part of the game. He went on to say that you don't like it, it's not great, but in the midst of a pile that's not all that uncommon.
I asked both Gomes and Crick if they thought this team was angry. Following the game where they were clearly jobbed on at least one potentially game-deciding call, players should be frustrated. They should be mad. But Crick said that there wasn't much you could do about it, and they have moved on.
For me, though, I'm thinking there will be some residual emotion when Colorado comes to town this week.
Video coming up later