Saturday, November 10, 2007

Game 11: Nebraska Seventy-Fucking-Three, Kansas State 31

I've never had a day of text messaging like I had today.

By 1pm, I had people who I never figured on even knowing on knowing my cell phone number sending me messages. Everyone wanted to reach out in some different way that I hadn't heard or felt in, oh, over a month.

"When did Nebraska get a football team?"

"Was Ganz really the better guy all along?"

"Seriously, why's Joba's dad gotta wear that hat?"

And of course, my most infamous one, that I've sent before, and posted here:

"Billy C will have one more year, at least."

He's never really been the Dead Man Walking that the press has put out, at least he deserves credit for not drowning the entire ship when, in all reality, he had every reason too. Look, I don't understand the loyalty and devotion to Grover either. But if I'm the interim NU Athletic Director, I bring Billy C in and have a conversation along the following:

"Look...and let's forget about the whole 'crotchety old fuck' thing right now. I have to say what you've done with the offense even though you're a big part of ruining one of the greatest things to happen to the state of Nebraska, is quite impressive. And I'm an offensive genius, in case you haven't heard. And you may or may not think of God or think like God like I do. Whatever. Here's the deal. You can remain head coach here, but I'm bringing in an entirely new defensive crew to coach the defense. And there's nothing you can say about that. You keep doing that recruiting thing you do and run you're little west coast offense but be nice to the new guys we're going to bring in. And no, Barry Alvarez isn't behind any of this, and he's not going to take this job, even though you want him too. So go hit the street and get those kids back here because you've got another year."

"Can I just call the wife to tell her to take the house off the market?"

Loyalty is a fucked up thing, and I can't imagine why Callahan would want to go down with Grover. I mean come on, for over a month now, Super Grover's been the real dead man walking through all this mess. I mean, despite that 76 point embarrassment last week in Lawrence, Billy C and a "backup" quarterback found a way to almost score 40 on an undefeated team. But nobody, including yours truly, will ever forgive anyone for what happened in Lawrence last week. Nor should they.

Which is why I thought Nebraska was going to go out of their way to score 100 point this afternoon? I mean, come on, if you were in the same situation, wouldn't YOU? Wouldn't you, if afforded the opportunity after all of this shit, to treat this like a video game and just keep piling on the points until somebody put up the white flag?

That was the only surprise that came from today. Was I surprised that Joe Ganz threw for 510 yards and 7 touchdowns? Only after halftime. By then I figured he was good for 10 TD's and maybe 700 yards. I mean seriously, this was resume building time for Billy C. It was only the 2nd win in the Big 12 for the guy this year.

Oh, and this was Josh Freeman's first time in Lincoln since his own infamous text message, saying he felt more comfortable in K-State than he did at NU. Seriously, you don't think a guy like Callahan forgot that?

But why the support for the "one more year" plan of Billy C, especially if he isn't the long term solution to a long term problem?
  1. He's not from Nebraska. For whatever reason, I really, really, love that. I love that there can be a guy who's not of this blood to be the one to be another Bob Devaney. Which I thought he really might be back in 2004. On TO's watch, Billy C may just be another short Irish guy who thinks he knows a lot about football. I like having a guy who thinks differently than everyone else. Somebody who doesn't think Sunday mornings are for church. Call me whatever you want, but I actually like that.
  2. Things would be a lot of fun if he had an undefeated, National Championship caliber team. Only because you could see him at the Sidetrack or Barry's, joining everyone in a celebratory toast and getting liquored up with everyone around. Can't say that about TO.
  3. I can't imagine what's been going through his life, his family's lives, since Stevie P got the boot a month ago. I mean, the Omaha World Herald did a full page spread on "Who's Out There" about the next potential new head coach. And all of the car dealers around Omaha and Lincoln and other Nebraska towns still have that page hanging up in their offices when people come in to close on deals for cars. I saw it personally at five different dealers, and just finally imagined what would it feel like for a Callahan to want to even buy a used car, anywhere in Nebraska. Fuck it, call me somewhat compassionate towards the guy in that regard.
  4. To paraphrase Rick Pitino when he was coaching the Boston Celtics, "Tom Osborne isn't walking through that door. Bob Devaney isn't walking through that door." Say everyone gets their wish and Bo Pellini comes in and takes over. Is he REALLY the next savior? Do we know who that next savior is? No. Nobody does. Even if TO thinks the world of Turner Gill, which we all do, can he fix this mess in a few years? Aren't we all better off with the devil we know who knows what's happening? I'd say so.
  5. Recruiting. Even though we can all argue about how Callahan sucks as a coach, he's gone above and beyond in getting quality talent to consider Nebraska when they never would, not under TO, not under anyone. I don't know how he got Maurice Purify or Marlon Lucky to sign here, and frankly I think both are going to be solid pros.
  6. Now all that was to be undone, so that we were left in the end with wreckage. In other words, everyone's going to chase what Osborne did in his final five seasons, never to achieve it again. Now all we want is one year like one of those. It was only fitting that the Orange Bowl itself came to an end the same day that the final home game of this season, perhaps this era, came down. Finally, a non-Osborne team but up 70 some points on somebody. In Lincoln. Not the place where Osborne famously went four two-points when he could have had his first National Championship by just going for the tie. The same place where TO would finally deliver, on that wonderful January night in 1995, when Tommie Frazier taunted Warren Sapp, when Corey Schlessinger scored those touchdowns. And then all of those Orange Bowl ghosts were put to rest. Osborne would of course go on to win two more National Championships. How we forgot how long it took between that January night in 1984 to 1995 before TO could finally slay the demons.

So there you have it. We're at year four of this Callahan era, an era when Nebraska Football could still be run by TO's self-anointed successor, Frank Solich, and we may or may not have had the same results from this season or any other. Or perhaps a less egotistic athletic director would have just handed the reigns to Turner Gill or Bo Pellini. And then we wouldn't have had Zac Taylor, or Joe Ganz. Or 76 points hung on us like last week in Lawrence.

The damage is done. Whether Billy C walks away from this with a 6-6 record in a few weeks and gets that same meeting that Solich had with his Athletic Director the day after a decisive win in Boulder isn't the point. Osborne's own presence is all over the place. Callahan's put his stamp on things the way he thought should be -- which is the direct opposite of whatever Osborne would have done. But a new guy puts everyone right back to 2004 again. The financial consequences of cutting loose Billy C are too large. It was after that horrendous stretch in the early 1990's when Osborne himself took stock in things and realized that he better figure out how to recruit speed, rebuild his own defense and deliver on the earlier promises. Callahan should at least now realize the reality of having to cut ties with Grover, how it only makes perfect sense and how it's just the right thing to do in the end. If he can't realize that, then get on the first bus out of town.

The wheels came off this big bus in a big way over the past month. All indications are there will be a new sheriff in town come December. But maybe Osborne himself should reflect on the past, how he himself made mistakes, none that led to a 6 loss season, but sure as shit had everyone in an uproar in that Citrus Bowl in 1991 when he had to let Tom Haas play quarterback, and he let Georgia Tech of all schools reach dominance. It's a different world now; Callahan has certainly helped that out.

But who else is there to be the next Osborne or Devaney? Nobody's coming through that door. Maybe, you have that little talk with him after the Colorado game, no matter the outcome. And try to get things right. And then decide to blow everything up again and start all over.

Just like Billy C did in 2004. When he didn't have all the answers either. He was just a fired football coach looking for a job. Can't really blame the guy for taking this one. If he meets his fate later this month or thereafter, who the hell among us can be the one with all the right answers?


4 comments:

TravisRoastBeef said...

Check out this shit..

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s178/sopher86/fudge.gif

notorious DEK said...

this lady does not agree with you...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7GUUwKuyXo

TravisRoastBeef said...

13DEK,

I could care less if CU beat us 97-3 if it meant Callahan having to drag his scrotum out of Lincoln and me getting one of those Motor boats.

Dirtylaundry said...

Oh that video is too good. I only wished I would have watched the entire thing before sending it out to everyone I know. We should really post that up here.