Much of why Frank Solich said he was stepping down from his position as offensive coordinator was so he could devote more time to the team. Turns out that might not have been such a good thing as his involvement seems to have done more harm than good, at least as far as the choosing of a linebacker coach is concerned.
First, let's not take anything away from Jimmy Williams. His resume' dating back to his playing days at Nebraska is impressive.
The issue here is, coach Frank Solich said that the hiring of defensive assistants was going to be left up to one Bo Pelini, yet every single coach now amongst the staff of defensive assistants has Nebraska ties, except for Pelini himself.
That begs the question whether it was Pelini's choice to make at all.
On the surface, this appear to be a direct undermining of Pelini's authority that he was promised and that was stated he had in the press. Granted, coach Solich will be involved in all hirings, no matter what the side, but don't you find it rather odd that it ends up being a Nebraska guy?
Maybe it's not odd, maybe it's what everyone should have expected. Pelini was brought in to coach, not to choose coaches. The power he was said to have had was possibly just a statement made because it seemed like the right thing to say.
From the sound of things though, Bo Pelini isn't happy and honestly, he probably shouldn't be. I mean, if Solich planned on getting a Nebraska guy like he did with O.C., like he did with the DB coach, like he did with Downing and of course, pulling Albin up from his G.A. position, why would an outsider be given the final choice in who fills the final spot on the coaching roster?
Here's my problem. Don't tell everyone and especially, don't tell Pelini that it's his choice when in fact, it's never been his choice from the outset.
Could it be that Solich did indeed go through this evaluation process thoroughly and decisively, ultimately ending up with Williams as the best candidate? Or, was it just a matter of wading through the "other guys" before Solich could end up with a satisfactory candidate that filled the most important criteria, being connected to NU.
One school of thought says that Solich is looking out for NU's future, in that he doesn't think Pelini will be around long enough and wants to make sure he doesn't take a bunch of assistants with him when he is off to greener pastures.
That makes sense.
The other school of thought is that again, this was never Pelini's choice to make, even though Pelini might very well have thought it was.
Coach Solich admitted in the press conference announcing the new coaches that he has never had to relinquish control to this extent before.
For the sake of the barely inaugurated NU defensive staff and of course, for recruiting, it's hopeful that this choice isn't a relapse, simply the best decision.
Again, we don't want to question the worth of Williams, but the fact that all this looking around, interviewing and yes, posturing, well, when it ends up being a Nebraska guy, it all looks like politics in the end.
And what I believe about politics is hopefully what this won't end up being and that's one person not doing what's best for the whole, but for themselves and any good it ends up doing is a matter of coincidence and not intent.
One thing is for sure. This "off-season" continues to carry just as much drama, excitement and pepto bismol moments as even the most recent season for Nebraska football. When this next season starts though, NU fans can only hope that coach Solich wont' again be looking for a new D.C., because this one has already had enough.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619