If I was a betting man, I have to think Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst has his next football coach already locked down.
Judging by Eichorst’s press conference on Sunday, announcing the firing of head coach Bo Pelini, it’s hard to imagine Nebraska dishing out nearly $12 million dollars to buyout the current coaching staff if a plan wasn’t already in place.
For the most part, the national media doesn’t exactly seem on board with Pelini’s dismissal. It’s easy to look at the overall record and see why. But firing Pelini went well beyond nine win seasons. Nebraska was beat by 20+ points seven times since joining the Big Ten. That many blowouts at Nebraska isn’t acceptable.
“We just for whatever reason weren’t good enough in the games that mattered against championship-quality caliber opponents,” Eichorst said. “I didn’t see that changing at the end of the day.”
“Although we did win a bunch of games, we didn’t win the games that mattered the most,” said Eichorst. “I think we gave Coach ample time, ample resources and ample support to get that done.”
So now the question is who will Nebraska turn to? Eichorst isn’t exactly one to be public about much. If the process takes a couple of weeks, which I don’t think happens, it’s not likely there will be too many leaks as far as candidates.
"I will not comment on or speculate about the process or the people.” – Nebraska A.D. Shawn Eichorst
The Big Red Report coaching board can be SEEN HERE. But, it’s really a crapshoot on who will be holding a press conference in the coming weeks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
With that said, I don't mind the name Jim Tressel. He probably already has a house here from the previous years his name has come up for the Nebraska job and has been spotted at various hotels and the airport according to Twitter. (I hope you realize I'm kidding).
Michigan or NEBRASKA?
As ESPN’s Sportscenter closed one of their shows out last night, the anchors bantered back and forth about the Nebraska opening, both agreeing it wasn’t as big of a job as Michigan.
My thoughts are why? Since 2004, the Wolverines have had only two double-digit win seasons. A Sugar Bowl (BCS game) win is sprinkled in with the mix, but so are three losing seasons. Compare that to Nebraska’s two?
Both schools have money. Both schools have pretty much unlimited resources. Both schools have MIGHTY expectations from fans.
The Huskers have the most wins since 1970 in college football. Michigan has 11 claimed titles (even if only one has happened since the 1950s).
Even if you want to point to the scoreboard, Nebraska has won two of their three matchups against Michigan since joining the Big Ten in 2011 - including once in the Big House.
Now there is no doubt the talent pool in Michigan recruiting wise is a lot stronger than Nebraska. But so is the competition. Michigan State is the trendier destination for recruits. Throw in the fact that the Wolverines constantly have schools like Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan fighting for scraps at their heels and it’s not easy. A guy like Urban Meyer at Ohio State isn’t going to make any easier.
Maybe Michigan is a better job; I’m not a coach or an agent that knows the preferred destination. But I would hardly call is a slam-dunk.
* Nebraska prospects Stanley Morgan and Kendall Bussey both reported yesterday they are still committed to Nebraska, but opening things back up. At this point, we are leaving them off the commitment list. They can be added at a later date back to the list.
* According to a report in the Omaha World Herald, several members of the Nebraska Board of Regents were surprised that Eichorst did not give them an advance notice of Pelini’s firing so they could discuss. It’s just my opinion, but maybe they have gotten in the way before when it came to firing Pelini and Eichorst/Perlman didn’t want that to happen again?
* I have been inquiring around the country with BRR sources on various coaches that have been rumored for the job – including Jim Tressel. It was reported back to me that Tressel runs a pretty tight ship when it comes the media. He doesn’t reveal much and usually is very guarded whom he trusts in the media. Pretty much sounds like the last era – which is fine – but if you are a fan that craves more information, you might not be getting it.
* Contrary to what some thought on Twitter, I thought Eichorst knocked it out of the park during his press conference. Ultimately he will be graded on the hire and that grade might come years from now - talk is cheap. But, he looked confident during his Q&A session and showed this looks a lot different than it did in 2003 when it was announced the AD would be making this hire himself.