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BOvember: Does Pelini's Luck Continue?

Does Bo Pelini's November dominance continue and is his reliance on luck a sustainable strategy?

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Almost immediately after my euphoria from the Wester-catch wore off, reality hit me square in the face when I remembered we're about to navigate through the toughest part of our schedule.

After a tumultuous week for Husker Nation following the loss to Minnesota, the improbable finish against the MASH unit formerly known as the Northwestern Wildcats was exactly what we as a fan base needed to feel good again. Can you imagine what things would be like if we lost? Yikes.

Well, hold that thought. Things are about to get very interesting in the coming weeks and Ron Kellog's heroics could be remembered as simply delaying the inevitable meltdown from both the team and fans alike.

By the end of November, the Huskers will have traveled to two of the largest venues in college football in the Big House and Beaver Stadium, faced off against one of the best defenses in the country in Michigan State, and played in a rivalry game that looks a lot more interesting than it did at the beginning of the season.

Given the fact that Bo and company haven't beaten an FBS team with a record above .500 all year and the combined winning records of the FBS teams the Huskers have beaten this year is a sizzling 12-29, we should be worried. VERY worried.

Or should we? (cue the Keith Morrison creepy voice)

Forget about all the stats and records from this season and don't worry about Bo's record against teams that finished ranked in the AP Top 25 being a blistering 5-14 (5-15 if you assume UCLA will finish ranked). Why? Because Bo is so money in November he doesn't even know it.

Since Pelini became the head man back in 2008, his Huskers have accumulated an impressive 17-4 record in the last month of the regular season. On top of that, it seems whenever he needs that fortunate turn of events to turn the game in his favor he gets it.

Let's take a quick look at Bo and Miracles greatest hits in November:


Colorado: The Buffaloes led for most of the second half and were in a great position to pull of the upset, but an improbable (at the time) school record 57-yard field goal by Alex Henery pulled the Huskers ahead for good. An Ndamukong Suh pick six sealed the deal.

Bo's Miracle: The longest field goal in school history


Northwestern: Entering the fourth quarter, Nebraska trailed 28-16, but rallied by scoring two touchdowns in the final 8:31 to pull out the win. Northwestern's Jeff Budzien missed a 53-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth that would made it a two-score game with about two minutes left in the game. He hadn't missed all year until that attempt.

Bo's Miracle: Overcoming the largest fourth quarter deficit in school history.

Michigan State: With Michigan State up 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Spartan defensive back Darqueze Dennard had his pick six nullified by a personal foul during the return on his teammate Johnny Adams. The Spartans ended up having to punt and the Huskers cut the lead to 24-21 on the very next drive. Taylor Martinez would later throw the game-winning touchdown to Jamal Turner with seconds left on the clock.

Bo's Miracle: Adams' crucial penalty on Dennard's interception return. Adams' hit had zero effect on the actual play.

Penn State: Nebraska trailed 20-6 at halftime, but outscored Penn State 26-3 the rest of the way to win 32-23 to pull of the win. The Huskers outscored Penn State 12-0 in the fourth quarter and were aided by a controversial fumble call as a Penn State runner attempted to cross the goal line.

Bo's Miracle: The controversial goal line fumble call on Penn State.

Of course, it was probably a make up call for this.


Northwestern: After Ameer Abdullah's herculean effort on 4th and 15, this happened...

Nebraska Hail Mary vs Northwestern (Radio Call) - 11/2/2013 (via HuskerInKorea)

Bo's Miracle: See above

Either Bo took some of Les Miles' voodoo magic from his time coaching the Bayou Bengal's defense or he cut a deal with the man downstairs to pull out some of these games the way he did. Although the games didn't happen in November, I didn't even mention timely injuries to Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson that no doubt tipped games against Ohio State and Michigan in his favor either.

Give the Huskers credit for fighting to the bitter end in all these games, but if the ball bounced a different way last November, all this "Bo must go" talk might have reached it's apex last season. In fact, Nebraska was the most overachieving team in the FBS last year. Calling the entire month of November a miracle last season is not a hyperbole.

It's year six and "the process" has put Nebraska in a position where they need to overachieve once again. According to our Paul Dalen's indicators, the Huskers are expected to win seven games this season. I'm not a math wiz, but according to my calculations that means we're in line to win one more game.

Does Bo's luck run out this November or does he continue to defy the odds? If he wants to avoid the fate of his brother Carl, he's going to have to hope this BOvember is as fruitful as the last five. And if he does pull off of a few more "miracles," is this what we should expect from "the process"?

Is this a sustainable "strategy"?

Tim Tebow pulled off quite a few improbable wins with Denver in 2011 (including a playoff win), but the Broncos brass decided they didn't want the fate of their franchise in the hands of a leader that needed the improbable to happen to win. They went out and got a guy that knows X's and O's better than most coaches and was a proven winner. If Bo and the Miracle's next album flops, it'd be interesting to see who Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst sees as his Peyton Manning.

Knowing Bo's luck, Pat Smith kicks a 70-yard field goal to beat Michigan, the Spartan defense gets food poisoning, Bill O' Brien is forced to play Joe Bauserman's cousin at quarterback, Iowa continues to be Iowa, and Pelini tells his doubters to...well, you know what.