As soon as Mr. Irrelevant was announced, excuses began flying about why Nebraska's money program didn't have its cash register raided in the 2013 NFL draft. If the truth wasn't so sad, the praise wouldn't have been so funny.
Something to the effect of, "players' weaknesses were magnified during losses." This is believable. "Rex Burkhead was out for most of the year." Sure thing, but the Bengals know they got a steal and will give Superman every chance to shine.
"Bo Pelini and his staff can win without much NFL talent," an absurd number said and/or agreed with.
Who's supposed to take this statement seriously? What children's book was this written for?
Wait, I've got it. It was a recruiting issue after taking over for Bill Callahan. So while the talent Pelini did have to work with was running out, he wasn't trying to accumulate more?
Well, Georgia had a number of guys drafted and Nebraska hung with them in the Capital One Bowl for three quarters. Tell me asterisks with "moral victory" are not returning to Husker football DVDs.
If you applaud the staff for winning "without much NFL talent," what message is that sending to the guys on the roster? Especially the ones who were specifically told, "We can get you to the NFL?"
Kenny Bell wasn't a stud coming in? Ameer Abdullah didn't somehow get smuggled out of SEC territory? Whoever ends up kicking won't be fantastic, yet get snubbed for a Groza award dinner?
There's a correlation between all of those shiny crystal footballs and the fact that both SEC divisions had more draft picks than every other conference this year.
Let's get back to reality.
There's a reason Nebraska's staff has been pounding the pavement so hard during this evaluation cycle for the class of 2014.
If you're not keeping track, here's an illustration of offers being handed out:
Five years. Four losses. Every. Single. Season.
Don't get me wrong, I love steak. Even as a Nebraskan, I need to dine on poultry once in a while.
In order to bust through a ceiling that will be defended by the likes of Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan among others, Pelini and crew must stockpile high-powered weaponry every year.
Classify these recruits however you want: the five-stars, the Elites or those that the SEC covets. If Bo wants to stop going by "PeLLLLini" to some (not by me, that's lame as hell), he needs more 2013 classes and less 2011s.
A 50 percent contribution rating of high-level talent is what Nebraska needs to win the B1G, be in a big-time bowl and hell, let's go nuts, be in the College Football Playoff®.
It's clear that those with offices in North Stadium realize this or they wouldn't be flinging offers to the best and brightest even if they know the chance is slim.
Please, don't "praise" Bo Pelini by saying he doesn't need much NFL talent to win. Don't insult him, his staff, his roster, the football program and everyone associated with it.
Pelini and I don't have High Tea often, but "good job, good effort" doesn't sit well with a coach like him. It shouldn't, at least.
Every program needs the best players it can get, and if they're not brought in? The spin's going to stop being so damn hilarious and just start being sad.