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A Lesson Likely Not Learned about Consensus: The Nebraska Football Edition

Nebraska fans knew who they wanted in 2008, and the same can be said for 2017

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, Mike Riley is a dead-man-walking.

Bill Moos will likely be searching for Coach Riley’s replacement over the next month or so.

Nebraska football fans and the media are here to the rescue. They (we’ve) all decided that Scott Frost is the answer. It is nearly unanimous.

This consensus has made me feel a little uncomfortable over the past month or so. Not that I need a safe space. But I want to say, “Hey everybody, maybe we should take a step back and think about this for a little while.”

That is not to say that Scott Frost may not be the right coach at the right time. He very well could be the perfect fit for Nebraska.

Unfortunately, it was my experience that Nebraska fans and most of the media had a similar consensus in 2008 when Tom Osborne hired Bo Pelini. This would include myself.

Which brings me to the following excerpt from an article written by Chris Low of ESPN. Low talks to Gary Patterson, currently coaching at TCU, about interviewing with both Tennessee and Nebraska for their coaching vacancies before the 2008 football season.

Looks like that same consensus which got Pelini hired, also caused Nebraska to miss out on Gary Patterson.

To be clear, I do not think Osborne hired Pelini because he wanted to “win the podium.” At that point in 2008, just being hired by Tom Osborne was good enough to “win the podium.” I do believe, however, there was a general consensus among fans and media which drove the hiring of Pelini in 2008. He was the opposite of Bill Callahan in many ways. Nebraska fans loved his fire, and he was known to be a great defensive coach.

Here is the record of the coach Nebraska passed on in order to hire Pelini in 2008 over the past four seasons:

2014 - 12 wins, 1 loss

2015 - 11 wins, 2 losses

2016 - 6 wins, 7 losses

2017 - Currently 8-1 and controls its own destiny to make the college football playoff.

Is there a Nebraska fan in the world that wouldn’t take Gary Patterson at this point?

So here in 2017 we have returned as a fan base to a general consensus: Scott Frost.

As Mark Twain once said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

This time around, before electing the consensus favorite as the new Nebraska football coach, maybe we could take time to pause and reflect and see who else is out there. Maybe there is another Gary Patterson waiting in the wings. Heck, maybe the actual Gary Patterson is sitting there waiting for the right phone call (Bill Moos, make that phone call please).

Or of course, Scott Frost could be the answer. But first lets take time to pause and reflect. Because the last time the majority got their way in 2008, it did not work out too well.