X-Tra Points - A Fan's View

Check out our latest fan's view as we give you a fan's perspective on Bo Pelini, where he's been and where he's at. Also we give you multiple choice questions as only a real fan could deliver.

In my previous article, I analyzed the current members of theNebraska football coaching staff.


What's that?  I missed one?


Well, you're absolutely right – I didn't cover the new head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Bo Pelini.


Without further ado:


Mark "Bo" Pelini, Head Coach


Coach Pelini returns after a four year hiatus to the head coaching position of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He started his coaching career by working for two years as a graduate assistant under Hayden Fry at the University of Iowa.  He then took a one year assignment as the quarterbacks coach at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio.


He was hired by George Seifert with the NFL San Francisco 49'ers to join him as a scouting coordinator, then subsequently promoted to secondary coach, and again to defensive backs coach, and coached his players to victory in Super Bowl XXIX.


After that successful season, he was hired by the New England Patriots head coach Pete Carroll (currently head coach at the University of Southern California), as the defensive backs coach, and then hired away by Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman as a linebackers coach   Both of these stops resulted in playoff appearances.


Coach Pelini first joined the college ranks in 2003 as the defensive coordinator for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He had huge success in turning around the Blackshirts and created one of the top defenses in the nation.  When former head coach Frank Solich was fired, he assumed the title of interim head coach and led the team to victory in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.


Many fans hoped back then that he would remain with the Cornhuskers as head coach, but it simply wasn't to be. After a 41 day fiasco….ahem….search for a new head coach,   athletic director Steve Pederson went in a different direction, and Coach Pelini went elsewhere. 


Coach Pelini landed at the University of Oklahoma in 2004 as the assistant defensive coordinator under Bob Stoops.  He took their highly ranked defense to the BCS championship game that season.


In 2005, Coach Pelini was hired by Louisiana State's coach Les Miles, again as the defensive coordinator.  For the next 3 seasons, his defenses were highly successful, as they were ranked third in the nation in overall defense each of his three seasons.


Then, in late 2007, after a nine day search, Coach Bo Pelini was selected and hired as the new Head Coach for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, replacing the departing Bill Callahan.



(I know most of my readers already knew all of these details, but I must oblige those who didn't.  I hope you enjoyed it anyway!)


The Strengths:  He's baaack!  Coach Pelini returns with his hard nosed, take no prisoners attitude which the team sorely needs right now.  He has known plenty of success, and his previous team won the BCS championship, so he knows what is required to bring championships back home to Nebraska.  Pelini is without a doubt a player's coach, each time I read a comment about Pelini from former players, it's glowing.  They would do anything he asked them to do.  He has the credentials, he's had results.  What more can I say?


The Challenges:  Coach Pelini has experience, but only a month (and one game) as a head coach.  Will he be able to turn the assistant coaches and players into a tight knitted group?  Can he succeed with the talent already on board?  Will he recruit top talent into the fold?   Coach Pelini has previously stated that fixing things on defense is his top priority, but he will eventually turn his attention back towards the entire team.  Will Coach Pelini be able to get out from under the shadow of Devaney and Osborne and return the Cornhuskers to their former success? 



After so many years of stability at the head coaching position, we've now experienced another change – he is now the third new head coach since Osborne retired ten years ago.  Can he get the job done?  It remains to be seen, but optimism has returned, and the excitement is overflowing in yet another chapter in the storied history of the Nebraska Football program.  Fans believe he'll get it done.  Once more, he HAS to get it done.  And I, as a fellow Cornhusker fan, believe he will.




Let's turn back the clock for a moment – return back to your formative years. Remember your preschool afternoons watching Sesame Street?


Well, even if you don't, pretend that you do anyway.


Do you remember the learning game they played every so often that goes like this?



"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song? "


You are presented with four objects, and you had to choose which one was different?

"Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right! "


Anyway, I'll try to apply that game logic here.  Can you guess which thing is not like the others?


  • A     Red
  • B    Cornhusker
  • C    Purple
  • D    Scarlet


At first glance, most people would choose B, because Cornhusker is not a color.  But then, you would be WRONG!!


As a Nebraska fan, you should quickly notice that A, B, and D are all things associated with the University of Nebraska, while C is definitely not.  So C is the correct answer!


Let's continue!


  • A     Eric Crouch
  • B    Tommie Frazier
  • C    Mike Rozier
  • D    Johnny Rodgers


Hmmm, this one is a poser!  Some folks would choose B, because Tommie is the only player among them that didn't win the Heisman Trophy.  But ask anyone outside the state of Ohio, and you might get an argument.  Any fan that watched Tommie play back in 1995, and saw his performance destroy Florida in the National Championship game should know better.  Any Nebraska fan would emphatically claim that there is no correct answer here.


Tommie deserved the trophy, dad gum it!


Try this one:


  • A     1997 Nebraska
  • B    2000 Oklahoma
  • C    1990 Colorado
  • D    2003 Louisiana State


Stumped?  Some college football fans would choose D; because Louisiana State is not a current member of the Big XII conference….others would choose B, because Oklahoma is the only undisputed national champion listed.


But the correct answer is C, 1990 Colorado.  They didn't win the Coaches poll that year, and they don't have the Waterford crystal!


Last chance!


  • A     Bob Devaney
  • B     Tom Osborne
  • C    Bill Callahan
  • D    Bo Pelini


I don't think you need my help.  I'll leave you to figure this one out on your own.   




If you have suggestions for future "Xtra Points - A Fan's View" articles, email me at xtra.points@gmail.com and let me know. 

Bill A.

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