The Reads: Death to #teamsunshine?

Still proud of this team. Just not of Saturday's performance. - Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Nebraska channels their inner Hoosier in a horrific, jaw-dropping, head-scratching loss to the Wisconsin Badgers.

Before the game, I posted to twitter the following:

I will admit I didn't watch the entire game. I made it about halfway through the second quarter. I think we were already down 35-10. I saw shades of the Michigan game from last season and the Ohio State game from earlier this year and I just couldn't finish the game.

Two questions immediately enter my head:

1) Should I still be proud of this team?

2) Is #teamsunshine dead?

For #1, the answer is complicated. I, like all of you, am proud to be a Cornhusker. I'm not a native of Nebraska but I have bought 100% into the Nebraska way of life, up to and including being a lifetime fan of Nebraska athletics. This team, on the whole, is something to be proud of. When one reads about the latest from their chapter of Uplifting Athletes or their focus on academics, you can't help but feel good about this team.

But then, on occasion, this same team will step on the field and lay an egg like they did Saturday. And you ask yourself, am I proud of this team? And to that I say no. We cannot be proud of Saturday's performance or of the players and coaches who wore the scarlet and cream that delivered that performance.

Thankfully, the team knows they let the state down. If nothing else, this team under Pelini truly understands that when they're playing, they're not just playing for each other or for Coach Pelini. They're playing for the entire state, from Chadron to Omaha.

Going forward, there is only one thing to do. It is time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and do what Nebraska fans do best - support this team. 100% commitment. Travel to Orlando. Enjoy DisneyWorld and watch Nebraska go toe to toe with Georgia, the SEC's second best team. (Suck it, Florida.)

And that brings me to question #2 - is #teamsunshine dead?

I guess that depends on what you thought #teamsunshine's goals were. If you thought the goal was the Rose Bowl, then yes, #teamsunshine is dead. Very, very dead. And really, that was the original intention - #teamsunshine was meant as a rallying cry for returning to Pasadena and a top-10 finish.

But now I wonder if #teamsunshine can't live on. Let's beat Georgia. Memories of last January's CapOne bowl will certainly be brought up when this team travels back to Orlando. Memories of defensive break-downs against quality opponents will be ever present.

But this team can and just might take down the Bulldogs from the SEC. We can do this. It's going to take a monumental team effort and it starts with us fans.

This program is bigger than the 150 players on the roster. It is bigger than Bo Pelini. It is bigger than #teamsunshine.

Let's show the nation that we're bigger than our losses. That we support this team win, lose or draw.

Will you join me?

UNL Academics

Best in the Big Ten.

A great honor for these professors. Congratulations!

Capital One Bowl

Sounds like motivation shouldn't be an issue for the team. I only question our fans' resolve. Consider the gauntlet thrown, Nebraska fans. This is our time to show that we're fans of this team through thick and thin. (Remember, the program is bigger than one man's stubbornness - don't let Pelini be the reason you don't travel. Financial reasons, okay. But not Pelini.)

Can we win the Capital One Bowl? Not if Nebraska doesn't find a way to counter the speed of the Bulldogs.

UNL Football

Say what you will about Brett Bielema, he's one hell of a coach. With the rest of the Big Ten mocking the Badgers, he kept this team believing in itself and just kept punching. Well done to Brett Bielema and the Badgers. Good luck against the Tree.

The Badgers wanted it more. Here's hoping Pelini is truly humbled in defeat - this should never happen again.

Truly confounding. A huge test of this program. Pelini isn't going anywhere but expect some shuffling to occur. I would suggest Pelini bring in some experience from around college football, people who will actually disagree with him, not be beholden to him for a job.

Like Chatelain says, it's not time to fire Pelini. (I'm surpised myself, after the way Pelini barked at him - kudos for taking the high road, Dirk.) But he has a tough job ahead.

It's up to Pelini now. Will he make changes to the program and bring on-the-field discipline into the equation? Or will he stubbornly stick with more of the same? Nebraska has given him time - more time than other programs with the same aspirations, really. It's up to him to use it before the clock runs out on our patience.

If it was a coaching failure, then it is time for some changes. Retirements, reassignments so forth. The lack of discipline and focus this team shows EVERY week is indicative of a systemic problem that only a philosophical change in coaching can address.

I think Pelini is wrong. There is something wrong with this program. You can't build a program by only beating teams whose coaches make bigger mistakes than you do. That gets you to Indy but it doesn't get you to the Rose or beyond.

Why aren't we recruiting defensive linemen? That baffles me.

The hubris is strong here.

UNL Volleyball

Let's make sure the Devaney is every bit the homefield advantage as the Coliseum. (Just in case, let's keep the Coliseum intact, UNL.)

John Cook, you're our only hope. Save us from a(nother) winter of despair.

UNL Basketball

Looking for something to stave off the despair of off-season? Nebrasketball takes on USC tonight at 7:06pm CT on BTN/BTN2Go. (Also Huskers.com for radio feed.) USC appears to be at the same level of competency as Nebraska and currently leads the all-time series 5-4. Let's hope Tim Miles' team can even up the scorecard tonight.

A nice solid win over a NCAA tournament team. The Lady Huskers take on Creighton Wednesday at 7:05pm CT. (Radio at Huskers.com)

UNL Athletics

Sounds like a strong showing by our men's wrestling team. Keep it up!

The ladies' bowling team finished fifth out of sixteen teams with a record of 10-3. Great job!

Great job, ladies!

National News

Congrats to Alabama and Notre Dame. And somehow, we're still #16. (And yes, our loss apparently allowed Northern Illinois into the top 16, forcing the BCS to take them over a 10-2 Oklahoma. Life is good.)

Here's your post-season schedule.

From MAC champ to the ACC. I guess regular access to bowl games is nice. (He will not be coaching in NIU's game against FSU.)

More job openings. Sadly, we probably don't have to worry about our staff being poached. (Great programs worry about these things.)

Talk about bad blood. (I've seen conflicting reports of some bureaucratic haggling that went south after Nebraska's loss sent Oklahoma into the non-BCS pool.)

---

That's all for today's Reads. Be sure to join us this evening as Nebrasketball takes on USC at 7pm CT on BTN and we'll be having our weekly chat starting at 8pm CT.

Comments, rants and cat pictures go below.

- Salt Creek and Stadium

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