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Like It Or Not, The Season Moves On At Nebraska With Mike Riley

The anger is massive after Saturday's debacle. But, if you're going to judge Mike Riley after five Football games, then who has the issue?

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It's Monday. You're still upset about how the Nebraska Cornhuskers farted the bed against Illinois Saturday.

Heck, you're still steaming about the BYU loss, the Miami Overtime. That son of a bitch Mike Riley, does he not get it? Does he not understand this is NEBRASKA FOOTBALL?

Sure, you're upset. Find someone that didn't do the Surrender Cobra and get all mad Saturday night. That'll be the tough part of it. Then again, we're all wanting this team to win the Big Ten. Yes, team. The coaches and players do go with each other.

It's a bloody time in this program. There's blame to go across the board, both player and coach wise. Not that I've checked, but #MessageBoardHero has to be tired of their fingers flaming on the desktop and iPad. Hell, you are fatigued? EVERYONE is fatigued of the last 16 years.

Speaking of everyone, that's who thought this team was a 7-5 or, at best, a 8-4 team, right? A win vs. Wisconsin, as far fetched as you would believe, puts Nebraska at 3-3 and still in the middle of the West race, unless a team like Iowa runs away with it.

Your anger and rage about the short-term picture doesn't mean that you should forget about the long-term goals of Mike Riley and his staff. We knew that the Offense needed some more parts, even though they have shined up to Sunday. We also knew the Defense would be brutal through this year.

It's been inconsistency that has plagued the Huskers, and we all agree that they have to be better. Better from the players, better from the coaches, hell even better from the S&C department.

If you want to blame a terrible 3rd down play on Tommy Armstrong Jr and his inability to realize what's going on, you better be putting just as much blame on Riley and OC Danny Langsdorf for 1) not getting Nebraska out of that call with 1 of the 2 timeouts left, or 2) getting on the same page with their lifeline of a QB who had carried them pretty far this year.

When you did that, did you use a piece of empathy and realize that, no matter what you wanted to happen, this was Game 5 between a staff and team? That doesn't fully justify the loss, but it does help put the craze of this first season so far in a semi-tolerable perspective.

We all were hoping that Mike Riley would turn into this big time winner the second he stepped foot in Lincoln. It hasn't happened. Mike Riley and his crew needs to learn how to win something big, just along the lines of how this team needs to learn how to win something big. That's a truth we failed to think about once in a while, myself included.

Calling for Mike Riley's ass after five games? Want Mark Banker tossed? Danny Langsdorf needs to hit the bricks? Wish all you want. That's not happening, and you may want to sit down and anguish over that, if you need to.

Danny Langsdorf has been beyond a good thing for Nebraska. So has Keith Williams, one game be damned by both of them. They got you to Overtime in Miami two weeks ago, but you forgot that as you were looking for a For Sale signs to throw out.

Mark Banker & Brian Stewart need to do better, and to be fair, they're the reason Nebraska was in that game for the majority of a blustery afternoon. 14 points by Illinois should win the game for Nebraska.

So, Mike Riley and staff stays. Do you take a lighted torch and pitchfork to Memorial Stadium next Saturday? Of course you don't, because a win vs. an equally marginal Wisconsin team Saturday puts Nebraska at 3-3. Which, to be fair, gives them the easier half of their schedule to get to that 7-8 win total we all thought Nebraska would be at this point in the season.

You have every right to be upset about Saturday. But, and this is going to be tough for some folks, is that it shouldn't make you forget that this is a 2, 3 or even 4-year project for Mike Riley.

Recruiting and player development, which was an issue for Bo Pelini and his staff, needs to be better for Riley. There is one Spring and 5 games with no bye's gone by, but some want to compare that to 7 seasons of Bo? That seems completely legit.

I remember when people told me that I had to tolerate Bo Pelini because it was his program and he was going to get a chance. Those same people now have to be told that you're going to have to give Mike Riley a chance for the exact same reasons.

Speaking of Bo Pelini, what was his record after 6 games in his first year? A refresher, if you will.

W 47-24 Western Michigan
W 35-12 San Jose St
W 38-7 New Mexico St
L 30-35 Virginia Tech
L 17-52 Missouri
L 31-37 (OT) @Texas Tech

Yep, 3-3. The culture of Nebraska Football didn't allow Bo Pelini patience either if I remember right. You remember those losses to Virginia Tech and Texas Tech all of a sudden, right? Bad mistakes by Nebraska sealed both games there too, right? Ah yes, the pain, make it go away!

Want to sit Armstrong? Tell me how you want a possible bowl berth on Ryker Fyfe or A.J. Bush. Alex Lewis gone for his actions? I wouldn't disagree, but it's a knee-jerk reaction to being upset. Then again, a Captain making an ass out of himself two of the last three games would justify something in my world. Who knows about Mike Riley's.

The point in all this is that, if AD Shawn Eichorst thinks it's a long-term rebuild that will take Mike Riley 3 to 5 years, then your point of firing someone because BLOOD is moot. No HC that wants to win something for once in his life feels good after a loss, and I would say that Mike Riley won't prove me wrong.

There are 7 games in 8 weeks left of a season we could not stop waiting for 5 weeks ago. Realize it's going to be a bumpy ride. And then, and only then, after the last snap, understand what could be better. It could be a AC going, it could be a new player coming in one spot while someone else leaves another spot.

But, if you took 7 years of Bo Pelini inconsistency within the consistency, you can tolerate Mike Riley.