Our beloved athletic director Bill Moos is screwed. He is.
I’ll start with this:
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told the Journal Star there has been contact between Nebraska and Hoiberg, and discussions are advanced. Hoiberg-to-Nebraska rumors have been swirling for weeks, and reports began to surface Monday afternoon on Twitter that the Iowa State legend was indeed in Nebraska's crosshairs.
This sets up some possibly bad things for our basketball program with only one good outcome.
Let’s look at the scenarios regarding the end of the season for Nebrasketball:
Miles is retained
This is unlikely. I love me some Tim Miles, but he’s had seven years to get a NCAA tourney win and he hasn’t done it. Shame is, I believe he’s figured out the secret sauce to getting talent to come into Nebraska. I feel like we’ll be doing Miles a favor by firing him. He can go on with his career and probably be successful somewhere else.
If Miles is retained a good percentage of the basketball fan base will crap themselves and swear to never watch again until he’s gone. “I’LL NEVER ATTEND ANOTHER GAME” - It’s the same bullshit as “If that guy gets elected I’m moving out of the country.” Four people follow through, but nobody knows or cares who they are. Still, there’s that fragmentation.
Miles is fired and replaced by a mid major coach
Note that the sign says “College Football”. I’m not trying to be rude, but Nebraska fans aren’t exactly the most knowledgeable people when it comes to college basketball. Winning championships in football requires your team win all of its games or damned close to it. Being good in Big Ten basketball requires you win 50% of your conference games. These two sports are nowhere near each other in this regard, yet Nebraska fans tend to take their football knowledge and translate it to basketball. It doesn’t work.
If you took a poll, two names consistently showed up in fans’ listed of coaches they’d like to see take over our basketball program - Fred Hoiberg and Tyronn Lue. This shouldn’t be surprising. Most fans will name a former Nebraska player to replace a position coach in football before they mention anyone else. I like Lue, but there is zero indication he could coach a college basketball team.
From a fan’s perspective there are two BIG problems with the “mid major coach” scenario:
- Nebraska has hired mid major coaches in the past and they have failed. Fans are not anxious to see this again.
- Nobody knows who the mid major coaches are before they’re hired and therefore they have to start out trying to win the fan base over. Okay... “Nobody” isn’t entirely correct. Basketball aficionados would know. Unfortunately, there are very few of them and they get drowned out by the masses of ignorance.
The “mid major coach” is certainly not the best case scenario.
Miles is fired and replaced by Fred Hoiberg
This is the only scenario in which Bill Moos looks good. Fred Hoiberg is a name that even casual Nebraska basketball fans know. He was born in Lincoln. His grandfather coached basketball at Nebraska. OMG HE’S ONE OF US - so it fits the ties that bind checkbox, the one where people think you have to know Nebraska to coach at Nebraska because we’re such a distinct culture.
This scenario has been set up by Nebraska’s media over the past few weeks. It’s been set up by us, the fans. He’s got the name everyone recognizes. He’s a proven winner, except in the NBA and who cares about the NBA?
Fred Hoiberg is the “Scott Frost” in all these scenarios. He’s the one coach that Moos has to land if Tim Miles is fired. Anyone else, and Moos looks like he’s done a bad job.
Having Said All This....
There is SO MUCH GOING ON RIGHT NOW!
It could be that Hoiberg is already a done deal. Maybe Bill Moos got his man a couple weeks ago and he’s waiting for the season to end to announce Miles is gone and Hoiberg is in. I’d like to believe this, but Nebrasketball has been so damned disappointing and cursed over the years I find it hard to believe it could happen.
It could be that Hoiberg’s agent is creating buzz in order to get Hoiberg more money, although it’s unlikely that he needs any more name-awareness than he already has.
It could be that Tim Miles has been left in the dark and does not know his fate. The same could be true for the basketball team. All that we have right now are rumors, rumors, and more rumors.
Who are these “sources with knowledge of the situation”?
A loose-lipped athletic department employee who likes to leak things to the media? If that’s the case, I’d fire everyone in the basketball office if I were Bill Moos and didn’t want this crap to continue.
An athletic department employee who leaks things to the media with the full knowledge of his superiors because leaking things is driving the narrative the way they want it to go? If that’s the case, I’d probably give everyone in the basketball office a raise.. if I were Bill Moos.
A reporter with a turd in his pocket? I’d like to think our Nebraska media is trustworthy, but, hey, if I don’t mention this I’m not being objective am I? Have you ever noticed how the Omaha and Lincoln papers write the same stories all the time?
A reporter with two turds in his pocket? Am I playing on your hatred of media? Yes.
THIS THING GOT MORE TWISTS THAN A SOAP OPERA!
It Will Be Interesting If...
Nebraska makes a run in the NIT. The basketball team is at 18-16 now. Win a couple games, and POW! - they’re at 20 wins. I’m not going to look it up, but our beloved Huskers have not had a plethora of 20-win seasons. Firing a coach with that resume will bring back memories of Frank Solich being fired after a 9-3 season.. won’t it?
This makes it even more imperative that Moos has Hoiberg in the bag.
What Would Be More Damaging to Nebrasketball Right Now?
Firing Tim Miles or having Fred Hoiberg say “NO”, even if it comes out that Hoiberg was offered a top-notch contract?
Bottom Line - TL;DR
If Bill Moos doesn’t land Fred Hoiberg as the next Nebraska basketball coach, will it be the equivalent of him not landing Scott Frost when Frost was the only guy Nebraska fans would have accepted?
There are a lot of things that need to go Nebraska’s way here and that includes your opinion on whether Bill Moos is a good athletic director. The odds are not in his favor.