Perhaps Bo Pelini's lack of championships has a silver lining.
After what we've been through these last two years as fans of the Huskers, one might think we were cursed. Our beloved team comes so tantalizingly close to glory (via a conference championship) only to have that storybook ending ripped away. Hell, last year, we even got to TASTE that glory for a fleeting minute, before :01-gate sent us a into a year long stupor. Not being able to witness our players hoist what would've been some well-earned hardware has been a tremendous letdown, for sure. And perhaps, that disappointment stings even worse this season, since we only have the Holiday Bowl against Washington (a no-win scenario, really) as our consolation prize.
However, perhaps you heard this week that Pelini was drawing some interest from Miami. While, realistically, most of us knew it was a long shot that he would actually be a serious contender for the job, in the back of our minds we also understand that we are very lucky to be in sole possession of what will be a highly-coveted gem of a coach in years to come. What legions of Husker fans and Tom Osborne saw back in '07, the rest of the country is starting to see. Pelini has nowhere to go but up, and another program that perceives itself to be a step above Nebraska will come calling for him again in the future.
You've heard this all before from Sam McKewon, Steve Sipple, etc, so where am I going with this? Well, maybe I'm naive, but I think the fact that Pelini hasn't achieved necessarily "instant success," via the winning of conference championships is perhaps a blessing in disguise. Pelini is hot now, but he'd be even hotter if he had a conference title or two under his belt while at Nebraska. If that were the case, it's likely that potential suitors for his services would be pursuing him even more aggressively than we've seen.
After Callahan was fired, this program was a trainwreck that most proven coaches wouldn't have wanted anything to do with. It's a minor miracle, when you think about it, that Pelini wanted to come here and has had the success that he's had. But even though he's fallen just short of championships, in the meantime he's been building Nebraska's profile back up by posting consistent 9, 10, and now possibly 11-win seasons. This has allowed Nebraska to better its standing as a program of national interest, all the while keeping its coach from becoming too hot to hold on to. The move to the Big Ten upgrades Nebraska's profile even more, and if Pelini can manage to post 10, 11-win seasons and runs at conference titles along the way, even better.
In these modern times, it's unlikely that we can expect to hold on to Pelini for 20+ years a la Devaney and Osborne. But as long as he's here and winning consistently, you have to imagine that-- when he eventually does leave-- he'll have laid the foundation for Nebraska to be successful in the future as a premiere, A-list job that looks to attract to other hot, young coaches.
That's just my take. A little Pollyanna, perhaps, but there you have it.