Shortly into the second quarter of today's 17-14 loss to Auburn, Nebraska coach Bill Callahan called a fake punt on his own 25. The handoff/pitch is mishandled, resulting in a fumble that Auburn gets, then turns into the touchdown that ultimately wins the Cotton Bowl for Auburn. It was a belated Christmas present for Auburn.
Late in the game, Bill Callahan decides to go for it on 4th and 11 rather than try a very long field goal. The choice isn't difficult to understand since it was out of Congdon's range, but the fourth down play was rushed, and Taylor made a poor throw that sailed out of bounds.
Let's chalk this loss up to bad play-calling by Bill Callahan.
Making that statement, I realize, I've committed BLASPHEMY in the eyes of some blaming Bill Callahan for this loss. I'm sure it's HEROIC in the eyes of others. What I find frustrating is that any criticism of Bill Callahan isn't seen as just criticism. It's seen by many Husker fans as supporting Frank Solich. And that's where we are. Three years later, and we still have this split of Husker fans mired in this Frank Solich versus Bill Callahan debate, as if it matters anymore.
I'd like Husker fans on both sides to consider that both statements may be true:
- Bill Callahan cost us the Cotton Bowl with some really bad play-calling
- He's still the right coach for Nebraska