"You didn't really think it was going to be that easy did you?"
--O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), Kill Bill: Volume 1, 2003
It's not my style to come out and say "I told you so", but this is as good a time as any to mention that in our very first blog, the infamous post that suggested Billy C might be the best vacuum salesman in the world but might not be able to coach his way out of a wet sack, I did say there'd be an upset at Oklahoma State, no matter how good or bad the season turned out to be. My feelings were even confirmed as far back as June 13, when college football expert Colin Cowherd predicted the very same thing. "Oklahoma State returns just about everybody offensively and they're good for one upset a year," is how Colin put it. I even suggested a Vegas trip for last weekend where we could even "load up" on such a game.
Whatever. Here's the good news: Billy C has assembled some serious talent on the offensive side of the ball, including an extremely punishing running back in Brandon Jackson who found 182 yards on the ground on Saturday, and a stud receiver in Maurice Purify, who if he gets the ball enough next year has all the makings of a top 5 pick in the 2008 draft (Never mind the fact that he still might not be sure whether or not snow falls from the sky or is something that is planted in the ground -- his early take from an earlier press conference, not mine) . Billy C's offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired, but right now I'm still OK with the move to the WCO.
But if this quote doesn't sum up our hero in the most predictable of ways, I don't know what does: "First of all," coach Bill Callahan said after the Okie State debacle, "our goals are still intact."
That's our guy, ever the salesman, ready to push that handy vacuum cleaner around your house, come on in, clean up all of your floors, hop up on the couches and clean up dust you never even thought existed. He'll show you how the vacuum can even clean stuff off the walls and ceilings and make that house sparkle. And somehow you'll be convinced that dropping $499.95 on that vacuum is the greatest idea in the history of great ideas. Only a week later, the vacuum cleaners explodes, leaving a big mess of dirt and dust in the basement, and when you call the 800 number to get it fixed with the warranty that came with it, you wind talking to Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell from the movie Matchstick Men.
OK -- we get it. You've sold us on the idea that the only goal for this entire season was simply to win the Big XII North. That's it, that's the list. Win the Big XII North, something that if the wheels fall off next week against Missouri or the following week at Texas A&M could happen for KANSAS STATE! Fine, next year's your big year Billy. We understand it all so clearly now.
But that doesn't change the fact Saturday afternoon showed again that you're the king of blue balls. If you were the best looking hooker on the strip in Vegas promising us only the best hand job of our life, you'd come through with 10 good pulls on us and then walk away before anyone could get off. During almost every game -- especially the road games -- the Corn gets the ball and marches down the field like Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush are at the helm. And we got blue balled even more with the Texas game, where afterwards, all of your players went up to Colt McCoy and the rest of the Longhorn players and proudly said, "See you guys in Kansas City (for the Big XII Championship game)". We should have known then that instead of running the table and punching that ticket for KC that your staff and players were going to overlook everything that Mike Gundy and Okie State had in store for you. Now it looks like we're going to have to go all the way to the Colorado game on the day after Thanksgiving to make sure that your "goal" becomes a reality. And it will probably happen, and at that game's post game presser you'll be smug and happier than ever, saying how great everything turned out, even with four losses, because you achieved that one shining goal: To get that rematch against a good Texas team on a neutral field, where MAYBE a trip to the Holiday Bowl beckons. I can already script the press conference for you. "I'm just so proud of our players and our staff," you'll say after slithering through and getting the Big XII North. "Everybody pulled together as a team and I just can't say enough of how proud I am of everyone."
So now it's looking more and more like the Corn could still achieve it's "GOAL" and still wind up finishing the season with 5 or even 6 losses. But as we sit here right now, Kansas State has dreams of playing at Arrowhead in December. And this is progress???
I'm still going to hold onto my $499.95 vacuum with the idea that next year truly is Nebraska's big year. Even Colin Cowherd thinks so (making my cringing Beavis face while typing that last sentence). But if he really wants to buy next year, Billy C has to fire Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove at the end of the season. He has to make a major statement that he's committed to making the defense better, and kicking Cosgrove out of Lincoln would do just that. When Callahan first came to Lincoln, he showed right away that his ego wouldn't allow him to keep Bo Pellini around as Defensive Coordinator (never mind the fact that Pellini probably wouldn't have taken the gig after the way he was treated by Athletic Director Stevie P). He can't let his friendship and loyalty towards Cosgrove stand in the way here. He's got to bring the right defensive mind to this team. He might even want to at least reach out to Pellini, even if Stevie P would be against it. But Cosgrove running the D is simply unacceptable.
And until then, that nice expensive vacuum cleaner just continues to suck.