Did you know that there are sites on the interwebz dedicated to preparing crow to eat? Apparently, boiled in salt water or roasted on a skewer with tomatoes and onions are the preferred ways. Good to know, because I've got some major crow to eat this week.
Last week I urged Husker fans to slow their roll with the "Fire Bo Pelini" rhetoric. I opened with this gem:
HuskerNation needs to take a deep breath and try see the big picture here. Your Nebraska Cornhuskers are 8-2 with 2 regular season games left. A decent, but far from great, Minnesota team is coming to Lincoln next Saturday and then it's a road trip to Iowa City to face a bad Iowa team. It's possible, no, likely that Nebraska will finish the regular season at 10-2.
At this point it's become clear to me that the 2014 Huskers, sans Ameer Abdullah, are an average offense at best. And today we can add a head injury to Kenny Bell as a complicating factor. The Minnesota Gophers got the best of us, and the trip to Iowa City to face a 'bad' Iowa Hawkeye squad looks more and more daunting.
I believe I'll have crow kebabs tonight.
I had an epiphany as I listened to the Big Red Overreaction Show tonight. A caller made a cogent point that this wasn't 2003 and that the coaching environment had changed so much in 11 years that a coach could be fired after 8 or 9 wins without causing irreparable harm to the football program.
The key to doing so successfully is money. Lots and lots of money.
If Nebraska is going to break out of this Groundhog Day cycle of 9-4 seasons with wins over lesser teams and losses to higher profile teams, there has to be a coaching change. Bo has already demonstrated that he is uncomfortable with looking outside the program for new coordinators. A new coaching staff, head to toe, is the way to break out of this cycle.
Firing a numerically successful coach is a risky decision, and Shawn Eichorst needs to have his ducks in a row if he's going to go through with it. And one of those ducks is to have support to pay a new coach big money to come to Lincoln.
When I say big money, I mean the kind of money that starts with a 5 and ends with six zeros.
About $5,000,000 in base salary and bonus money is the kind of contract that could make a coach ignore the fact that his predecessor won roughly 75% of his games and still got fired.
About $5,000,000 would put Nebraska head coaching job near the top of the Big Ten in compensation, behind Mark Dantonio at $5.6M and just ahead of Urban Meyer at $4.6M.
About $5,000,000 would be sufficient to lure a successful coach away from another Power Five conference school and make the new coach among the Top 5 highest paid in the nation, according to USA Today.
Currently, Bo Pelini makes $3.1M, which is the #24 highest paid in the country and #5 in the Big Ten behind Dantonio, Meyer, James Franklin, and Kirk (The Buyout) Ferentz.
Franklin was the most recently hired, so his contract is a good indicator of the lower limit that a new coach in the Big Ten would cost. So, $4.3M is the absolute least that Nebraska should expect to pay. The upper limit is held by Nick Saban at $7.2M. Considering that Saban is probably the only coach in America who can command that kind of money, the upper limit is probably Dantonio's $5.6M, the 2nd highest in the country.
So there we have it.
The only way the Huskers will break out of this purgatory is with a new coaching head coach. That head coach will cost somewhere between $4.6M and $5.6M. Is Shawn Eichorst prepared to offer that kind of money? Only Shawn Eichorst knows the answer to that, and he's not talking.
In case you're wondering what it will take to bring your coach-of-choice to Lincoln, here's the 2014 FBS pay chart from USA Today.
|2||Mark Dantonio||Michigan State||Big Ten||$5,636,145|
|3||Bob Stoops||Oklahoma||Big 12||$5,058,333|
|4||Kevin Sumlin||Texas A&M||SEC||$5,006,000|
|5||Charlie Strong||Texas||Big 12||$5,000,270|
|6||Urban Meyer||Ohio State||Big Ten||$4,536,640|
|8||James Franklin||Penn State||Big Ten||$4,300,000|
|9||Kirk Ferentz||Iowa||Big Ten||$4,075,000|
|10||Steve Spurrier||South Carolina||SEC||$4,016,900|
|11||Gary Patterson||Texas Christian||Big 12||$4,008,150|
|14||Jimbo Fisher||Florida State||ACC||$3,591,667|
|15||Mike Gundy||Oklahoma State||Big 12||$3,500,000|
|22||Art Briles||Baylor||Big 12||$3,135,146|
|23||Dana Holgorsen||West Virginia||Big 12||$3,080,000|
|24||Bo Pelini||Nebraska||Big Ten||$3,077,646|
|26||Dan Mullen||Mississippi State||SEC||$3,000,000|
|29||Bill Snyder||Kansas State||Big 12||$2,900,000|
|30||Brady Hoke||Michigan||Big Ten||$2,856,000|
|31||Mike Leach||Washington State||PAC-12||$2,750,000|
|33||Todd Graham||Arizona State||PAC-12||$2,702,960|
|35||Frank Beamer||Virginia Tech||ACC||$2,660,913|
|36||Kliff Kingsbury||Texas Tech||Big 12||$2,605,300|
|37||Paul Johnson||Georgia Tech||ACC||$2,590,500|
|38||Charlie Weis||Kansas||Big 12||$2,500,000|
|39||Pat Fitzgerald||Northwestern||Big Ten||$2,480,967|
|41||Gary Andersen||Wisconsin||Big Ten||$2,285,000|
|45||Jerry Kill||Minnesota||Big Ten||$2,100,000|
|46||Darrell Hazell||Purdue||Big Ten||$2,090,000|
|47||Randy Edsall||Maryland||Big Ten||$2,033,880|
|48||June Jones||Southern Methodist||AAC||$2,019,718|
|52||Tim Beckman||Illinois||Big Ten||$1,950,250|
|54||Larry Fedora||North Carolina||ACC||$1,830,000|
|55||Paul Rhoads||Iowa State||Big 12||$1,808,025|
|57||George O'Leary||Central Florida||AAC||$1,800,000|
|58||Dave Doeren||North Carolina State||ACC||$1,800,000|
|61||Mike Riley||Oregon State||PAC-12||$1,510,008|
|62||Jim McElwain||Colorado State||Mt. West||$1,500,000|
|64||Brian Kelly||Notre Dame||Ind.||$1,457,284|
|65||Tim DeRuyter||Fresno State||Mt. West||$1,435,000|
|66||Kevin Wilson||Indiana||Big Ten||$1,301,644|
|67||Ruffin McNeill||East Carolina||AAC||$1,252,500|
|68||Willie Taggart||South Florida||AAC||$1,182,000|
|71||Mark Hudspeth||Louisiana-Lafayette||Sun Belt||$1,003,156|
|72||Bryan Harsin||Boise State||Mt. West||$1,000,004|
|73||Kyle Flood||Rutgers||Big Ten||$987,000|
|74||Troy Calhoun||Air Force||Mt. West||$892,750|
|76||Bobby Hauck||Nevada-Las Vegas||Mt. West||$850,000|
|78||Craig Bohl||Wyoming||Mt. West||$832,000|
|79||Rick Stockstill||Middle Tennessee State||CUSA||$803,129|
|80||Rocky Long||San Diego State||Mt. West||$802,000|
|81||Bob Davie||New Mexico||Mt. West||$783,690|
|84||Dan McCarney||North Texas||CUSA||$711,600|
|85||Todd Monken||Southern Mississippi||CUSA||$700,000|
|86||Blake Anderson||Arkansas State||Sun Belt||$700,000|
|87||Norm Chow||Hawaii||Mt. West||$620,500|
|89||Jeff Brohm||Western Kentucky||CUSA||$600,000|
|90||Matt Wells||Utah State||Mt. West||$576,434|
|91||Brian Polian||Nevada||Mt. West||$575,000|
|93||Ron Turner||Florida International||CUSA||$551,000|
|94||Ron Caragher||San Jose State||Mt. West||$525,000|
|95||Larry Blakeney||Troy||Sun Belt||$518,788|
|96||Trent Miles||Georgia State||Sun Belt||$510,000|
|97||Skip Holtz||Louisiana Tech||CUSA||$510,000|
|98||Sean Kugler||Texas-El Paso||CUSA||$508,364|
|99||Pete Lembo||Ball State||MAC||$503,500|
|100||Bill Clark||Alabama at Birmingham||CUSA||$500,000|
|101||Charlie Partridge||Florida Atlantic||CUSA||$500,000|
|102||Bobby Wilder||Old Dominion||CUSA||$486,010|
|104||Joey Jones||South Alabama||Sun Belt||$471,000|
|106||Chuck Martin||Miami (Ohio)||MAC||$450,000|
|107||Chris Creighton||Eastern Michigan||MAC||$425,000|
|109||Dino Babers||Bowling Green||MAC||$405,000|
|110||Larry Coker||Texas-San Antonio||CUSA||$402,150|
|111||Rod Carey||Northern Illinois||MAC||$401,500|
|112||Dennis Franchione||Texas State||Sun Belt||$401,200|
|113||Paul Petrino||Idaho||Sun Belt||$400,011|
|114||Willie Fritz||Georgia Southern||Sun Belt||$400,000|
|115||P.J. Fleck||Western Michigan||MAC||$392,500|
|116||Paul Haynes||Kent State||MAC||$383,700|
|118||Doug Martin||New Mexico State||Sun Belt||$377,044|
|119||Dan Enos||Central Michigan||MAC||$360,000|
|120||Todd Berry||Louisiana-Monroe||Sun Belt||$358,250|
|121||Scott Satterfield||Appalachian State||Sun Belt||$225,000|