Now, the mass exodus has begun. Nebraska has lost a good part of it's class that was assembled under Bill Callahan since the time that questions basically started to fill the air about his future at Nebraska.
So, what actually went wrong? I tend to look at this two different ways.
First, the timing of the firing of Steve Pederson and the hiring of Tom Osborne wasn't totally convenient. Don't get me wrong and hear me out. If the plan was to replace Pederson and Callahan, in one fail swoop that could have been done at any time following the Colorado game.
Maybe, just maybe, the record wouldn't have been what it was to begin with. You had to believe that it did cause for a huge distraction in game planning. You know that it did when it came to recruiting.
There was basically a time of eight to 10 weeks where the Nebraska coaches were recruiting in vacuum. There were no answers, only questions. There is also the aspect of when the negative recruiting against Nebraska actually started during this time period.
What I am going to find interesting to watch is how other recruiting classes will fair that are currently going through some similar changes. How will West Virginia's class look in a week or two? How about UCLA? A&M? Who else will get raided?
No situation will be quite like Nebraska though. Nebraska was a top 10 class. It wasn't peppered with 4-star recruits, it was filled with them. There is also that element of time that comes to bite Nebraska where they couldn't answer tough questions. There is still something else to consider.
The other isn't as obvious to some. There was a time when a group of all of the recruits were talking to one another. It was initiated by a few and then there was a group that would talk fairly recently.
There is something else that is fairly obvious for Nebraska now is that relationships are formed at the recruit level. This is something that Nebraska enjoyed through the summer and even into the early fall. However, it's working against them now in a big way.
That "gelling" that the players were making between quarterback to running back to receiver to offensive lineman to defensive lineman to linebacker was something that I had never seen before in those types of numbers. Players from all different walks of life and background that had no reason to talk to one another without them not being Nebraska commits.
It was fun while it lasted. Living by that sword is now dying by that sword.
The news today for the Nebraska coaches and the fans was bad. I don't expect that any real good news will come around for a while. In fact, I might brace for another helping of the bad news. Sorry to say, but it's the truth.
The good news here is there is time. It's a dead period, but that doesn't mean that nothing is going on. You can only imagine what's going on. The quick evaluation of the current recruiting class plus the re-evaluation of players they have seen before of the evaluations of the ones they haven't.
You can bet that there will be about five weeks of work squeezed into a three to four week window and with good reason. Nebraska isn't back at square one, but they aren't too far past it either. There will be a core that will remain, no matter what, but there are necessities for this class.
I am beginning to believe that there will be a lot of names that will come up that Nebraska will try to move in on for the first time or back in on. I think that some will be surprised to the response that Nebraska will receive too.
If there is one thing that you can feel good about it's the time that Nebraska still has left in the recruiting year. There is six to seven good weeks still to work. To identify the new wave of recruits and then to go out and convince.
I know from the way that this staff has put in the hours before to not bet against them when they have time and all that is needed is a little elbow grease. This may be the first great challenge to Bo Pelini and his new staff, but they have some leaders there that know how to get things done.