The events of the week have brought on another Big Red Roundtable. We're good at getting together when things are crazy, so you'd have to wonder what would happen if we all met at the same bar.
1. Steve Pederson is out as athletic director. Did you see it coming? Good move or bad move?
I'd said before that Pederson needed to be fired before he did any more damage. This was right after the Missouri debacle, but it was also triggered by the resignation of Paul Meyer, one of Nebraska's chief fund-raisers. Any time you start to see high-end people leaving an organization, it's a red flag (no pun intended) that there's something amiss.
Add to that the fact that Pederson couldn't even walk on the field to do a presentation and you've created a situation in which changes need to be made. Did I see it coming? Not as quickly as it did. I didn't think Harvey Perlman had it in him to pull the trigger that quickly but I'm glad he did.
It's a good move. Regardless of what happens in the future, Pederson was too polarizing a figure to continue in his current capacity.
2. Tom Osborne has returned as Pederson's interim replacement. Good move/bad move? What should Osborne's priorities be, and what does Osborne need to do?
Also a good move because it creates instant credibility within the program. Forget how good a coach Tom Osborne was. Everyone knows who Tom Osborne is as a person. He's a stand-up guy about whom you can say very little ill. He has a national reputation for integrity and fairness. He's served as a congressman
Let's use Dan Cook as an example. He's the one big-name guy who was publicly angry about Pederson's firing. The guy's name is on Cook Pavillion, built in 1989, so he's been giving to the University for quite a while. You don't think he'll at least answer the phone if Osborne gives him a call?
3. The Huskers have been blown out two straight weeks. What is happening with the football team, and what does the rest of the season look like?
There is no heart in this team. There may some heart in the individual players, but not as a team. People can point to all sorts of things - the coaches aren't good, the players aren't fast enough or talented enough, but if the team has stopped giving everything on every play, nothing else matters.
Personally, I've been a consultant for nearly 20 years now. If you've been around long enough, you're going to work in jobs (projects) where things go wrong. (And if someone tells you they've never failed at a job or project, they either haven't done many or haven't challenged themselves or they're flat out lying.) Sometimes you know what it is and you fix it (or not). Sometimes you don't, and there is nothing more frustrating when you can't figure out why things are failing. It sucks.
When stuff like this happens you just have to keep going, and keep trying to make things work. There are a bunch of teams, like the Aggies, in the Big 12 who are discombobulated this season. We need to pick up some more wins and get to a bowl game. At this point, anything can happen. I remain hopeful.
4. firecoz.com and billmustgo.com are getting lots of internet traffic. Steve Pederson is already gone. Tom Osborne says nobody will be fired during the season. What happens with this coaching staff?
I've already said that at the end of the season that Kevin Cosgrove wouldn't be fired and that he'd take a position in the NFL. Brad Childress in Minnesota will be in a position at the end of the season that he'll need to move some coaches. He coached with both Callahan and Cosgrove at Wisconsin, so don't be surprised if opportunities come up for at least one of them there. It'd allow them to save face, and Nebraska won't look like they're firing coaches as much as the coaches choose to leave on their own accord. Contracts can be worked out to save face as well.
With regards to assistants, forget who knows who and who is a "Husker Guy" and who isn't. If we get a new head coach and he determines that he wants some of these guys to stay, then I hope they stay. Some of them need to stick around so that the existing players don't come unglued over the next couple seasons. You can't tell me they're all bad coaches and need to be tossed as a whole. That's just plain silly.
I don't have anything against Bill Callahan. I can't think of anything he's done that would make me dislike him to the point that I wanted him to fail at Nebraska.
Participating Husker Blogs
to be added as links come available: