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Interrupting All Programs: A Loser Named Mark

Rough Game For NU Reminds The Faithful It Could Be Worse

Nebraska v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Don’t take the bait Husker fans.

The vast majority of negative stuff recently about the Cornhuskers early in a massive rebuild is from bitter and jealous fans of other programs who wish their blood was blue like Nebraska’s.

And of course you wanted NU to play better against Ohio State, but when you are a three-score underdog versus maybe the top team in the country, and just a few years removed from the Bo Pelini and Mike Riley nightmares, it happens.

Yes, the Big Red got thumped under a second-year coach, but Pelini was getting clobbered regularly in big games once he was established at Nebraska from 2011-2014.

Look back at almost all of the Wisconsin games, Ohio State 2012, Michigan 2011 and Iowa and UCLA in 2013.

Yes, it’s always worse when your experienced head coach goes Michael Spinks versus Mike Tyson. Granted, some weren’t first round KOs, but the KO came sooner or later, losing the third quarter to UCLA 28-0 at home was a vintage Pelini collapse.

Last weekend’s game was not that shocking as Las Vegas predicted a fairly one-sided game and they know a thing or two.

Somebody who doesn’t know a thing or two is one Mr Johnson on Facebook from Wyoming (Where is that anyway?). Mr. Johnson posted this in the days following the Husker loss to OSU.

Mr. Johnson I bet Bo pelini and his 9 wins a year are looking pretty goo right now.

Not sure if Johnson thinks that is how good is spelled as anybody in a cowboy hat and Wranglers might not have been exposed to that much formal schooling.

However, besides the grammar lesson, I will give Johnson an education on the absolute biggest jerk-off to ever work at the University of Nebraska as a football coach and a man—Mark “Bo” Pelini.

Pelini is not a goo man.

Let me preface this by saying Pelini was an above average to goo coach from 2008-2010. He did a damn fine job of developing Bill Callahan’s elite recruits and Pelini’s defensive schemes were a perfect fit for the pass-happy Big XII.

Sometimes people dismiss Pelini’s first three years as he did not recruit the biggest impact defensive players in Ndamukong Suh, Phil Dillard, Prince Amukamura or Eric Hagg, but it was his system and development.

(BTW, the next coach at Kansas in the Big 12 would be wise to look at Pelini for DC, but don’t let him near major boosters, fans or the media, and whatever you do, DON’T LET HIM HIRE family members with no college experience!)

But what caused Pelini to go bad after being so goo earlier on?

We know Pelini was irate that he was disciplined by the Chancellor for the multiple incidents at Texas A&M in 2010. Fair to say he was extremely mad at his bosses, which affects how hard you work. Also, I think Pelini is the type to hold grudges for a bit, or forever.

Also, I think he had a major burr under his saddle that NU left a conference that his defense was perfectly suited for in the Big 12 for a conference that he would have to make significant defensive changes.

Or should have made changes, see the rushing totals against Nebraska under Pelini.

Unfortunately for Pelini, Big 10 offensive coordinators aren’t ego maniacs like Big 12 OC’s and see dime packages as a challenge to their passing game and chuck it more.

I feel all his frustrations came to head after the ridiculously lucky Husker win over Ohio State in 2011 and the hugely embarrassing Nebraska Big 10 debut at Wisconsin the week earlier.

I enter into evidence the tape of Pelini after the OSU game in 2011.

And now besides his bosses, the tape showed he had it out for the fans. You know the people that made his million dollar salary possible (ya’ know those no goo f*ckers!)

And yes, “jerk-off” is strong language but the fact Pelini took a huge paycheck and half-assed it for four years makes it warranted. I have told Pelini’s players this off-air on radio over the years and have no problem telling Suh or Joe Ganz in person that their boy “Bo” is a bum.

While Frank Solich, Callahan and Riley all deserved to be fired, they all at least put in a respectable day’s work, Callahan did for 95% of his time anyway.

I remember reading “Big Red Confidential” by Armen Keteyian about NU in the 1980s and one thing that always stuck with me was Keteyian talking about Osborne’s station wagon being the first one to the stadium and the last to leave.

Also, many Husker fan cared an inordinate amount about Pelini’s crudeness, but I didn’t care about Pelini’s f-bombs and childish tirades on the sidelines, except when he got flagged and it influenced the outcomes of games like VT in 2008.

Blowout losses from being unprepared and having a turnover and penalty ridden program are my issues.

I feel it is fairly obvious he worked half-time based on the blowout losses starting in 2011 along with the falling recruiting rankings at a time when he supposed to be “getting the hang of recruiting,” plus the more attractive Big 10 Conference to recruits

Pelini deserved to be fired in 2014 for leading the Big 10 in turnovers and penalties since 2011 and leading the galaxy in lucky wins and ugly losses. And if your whole frame of reference for a good football team is “9 wins,” you might be a 5th grader or an adult imbecile.

There is no doubt that if Pelini stayed at NU his teams would have kept falling from the 2009-2010 level and not being in the Big 10 divisional race. Under Pelini, Nebraska only played in meaningful Big 10 games once past mid-season (2012).

Also, I’m glad he pulled his stunt right after he got canned with the 2014 Huskers because as they get older, they will realize that’s not how a man goes out, but perfect for a how hot-headed chucklehead exits the stage.

But back to the field…when looking at Pelini’s last four years, how can you be behind three-scores so often in games after your program is established if you are working full days?

Especially at a place like Nebraska with all its resources, facilities and tradition to help recruiting.

After your program is established at NU, I feel anytime you are down 3-scores, it should set-off warning signs. It is fair to call such a contest a “WTF Game,” even if you win.

Once Pelini started working half-days, NU averaged over three “WTF Games” a year from 2011-14. Also, NU only had one such game in 2009 versus Texas Tech largely thanks to a long, fluke defensive touchdown by the Red Raiders and no such games in 2010.

How does that happen at place like Nebraska?

Please anyone with an answer to that, email me at

See the games below that Pelini was getting hammered in his fourth through seventh years with being down 17 points or more (3-scores).

They did come back and win a few, but mostly routed.

2011-Wisconsin, Ohio State (w), Michigan, South Carolina

2012*-Wisconsin (w), Ohio State, Wisconsin

2013-UCLA, Michigan State, Iowa

2014-Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa (w)

*Does not include the four other times in 2012 they faced deficits of 10-14 points in the second half (Northwestern, Michigan State, Penn State, Georgia).

Again, how are you always playing from behind when your program is established and with Nebraska’s resources? After five years if Coach Scott Frost’s teams are playing from behind that much in 2020-2022, I’m guessing he will be fired too.

Lastly, if you are thinking, “Attaboy Bo! Way to compete with Wisconsin in 2013!” Don’t. The Badgers weren’t on the schedule.