The drawings of Steve Pederson, those little machinations of the mind that came to him as he flew from Pittsburgh to Lincoln, I wonder if anywhere in there was a 'note to self' on what NOT to do once you arrive at Memorial.
I imagine it could have went something like this:
1. Do NOT accept mediocrity
2. Do NOT settle for less than the very best
3. Do NOT go in a direction that takes NU anywhere but up
At this point, the Gin spills on the napkin, leaving just snipits that could be discernable as only, "Accept mediocrity, settle for less than the very best and go in a direction that takes NU anywhere."
Hey, it's a plan and any plan worth writing up is worth turning into reality.
The reality right now is this:
Steve Pederson looks like he has no idea what he's doing. After firing a 9-3 coach....................and here we are.
Yeah, that's it, nothing.
Wasn't it Pederson himself that stated he had been thinking about all this even before he took the job at NU?
What exactly was he thinking about? How to enlarge the swimming pool? Do they even HAVE a swimming pool?
I would say that this situation illustrates the old saying, 'from the sublime to the ridiculous', but there has never been a point where it has been any shade of sublime. It certainly has though moved well into the world of ridiculous to the point of being a complete embarrassment to the University.
How would I define embarrassing? Hmm, let's see. Let's offer a head coach 2 million bucks a year to become our coach and it's not like it's Pete Carroll or Bob Stoops you are offering, it's Houston Nutt. Houston Nutt, who's record over the last 6 years has ten less wins than the guy who Pederson just fired had. Yeah, let's put him in the top 5 of all college football coaches in the country.
He turned him down? He actually turned down 2 million a year? Well, that sounds like a message to me that he was probably using you the whole time. So, what do you do?
Offer him 2.5???????
Yes, Mr. Pederson, on a scale of 1-10 on the 'i'm desperate and I am going to show just how much' meter, you just tipped the scales over on their side.
The University of Nebraska Athletic Director, Steve Pederson just offered Houston Nutt enough money to make him the highest paid coach in college football by almost 300 grand.
Ahem, I said, Houston Nutt.
Granted, I am sure there are plenty of Nutt lovers down there in Arkansas, but I would seriously doubt any of them think that he is worth 2.5 million a year. I mean, nobody is that stupid, right?
You want to know why Houston Nutt might want to see this offer in writing from Pederson to back up his offer from Arkansas? Because he's going to frame it. Yes, he's going to frame this offer, telling his kids one day about how one of the elite programs in the country offered him the chance to be the highest paid coach in all of college football.
And, he turned it down because he was truly a Razorback thru and thru. "That's loyalty son. Maybe you'll learn it as you go through life."
Nutt forgot to include the part about the Athletic Director being totally out of options, having burnt every bridge he has up to this point, now reducing himself into being the politician that he is, throwing money at anything he can, hoping his problem goes away.
All this has equaled the almost total perception that Pederson now is winging it, going after anyone he can get with as much money as he has to give. According to some boosters, quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star, that list could be dwindling. One booster said that "this was the biggest botch job" they had ever seen.
And, we're not talking the nickel and dime boosters. These are as former A.D., Bill Byrne called them, 'boosters of substance'.
Oh, that's right, Pederson doesn't listen to them.
In fact, he apparently doesn't listen to anyone, because if he had, he couldn't take all the credit for all the wonderful things he was about to do for the University of Nebraska.
Ok,I give up. I will give Mr. Pederson all the credit in the world. He has managed to make the University of Nebraska go from a struggling team to a laughing stock. He's managed to take what we all presumed to be a carefully calculated plan and turned it into a some guy waving a few million around, hoping and praying that any "coach of substance" will bite.
Now, any coach he talks to from this point on can smile, knowing that he to will have a chance to be the highest paid coach in college football. That's right. Anyone. Pederson offers that kind of money to Houston Nutt, he's obligated to offer it to almost anyone and everyone else.
Yeah, that was a good plan, eh?
This might have been a plan a long time ago. Perhaps Pederson was orchestrating that plan even before he was offered the job to NU. Somewhere between Pittsburgh and Nebraska though, that plan went awry and now it's the program he was supposed to save that Pederson is hurting the most.
The moral of this story? No more gin on charter flights from Pennsylvania.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619