"Bo Pelini to Nebraska is a done deal."
This was on Thursday, the same day that Jason Peter, who now hosts a radio show on ESPN 1480 in Lincoln and is actually developing into a pretty decent broadcaster after a rough start, wanted to devote his entire program around one simple question: Why in the world is everyone so high on Bo Pelini?
It's a fair question, as Martin Sheen would say in The Departed. I've always wondered this myself, ever since Steve Pederson got fired and all of Husker Nation started banging the Pelini drum. Rumors already swirled that Bo and Carl Pelini were in Lincoln scoping out houses.
Everyone remembers the 2003 Alamo Bowl, where Pelini, acting as interim head coach, banded the troops together after the Solich firing and whooped up on Michigan State to allow the Huskers finish 10-3. Personally, I think Husker Nation still keeps a soft spot in their hearts for Bo, thinking Pederson never gave him a chance at getting the head coaching job. Which of course is completely true.
So after Pelini angrily left Memorial Stadium in Lincoln for the last time, he went off to other prominent college football programs and built up his resume. Oh sure, he had an impressive list before coming to Nebraska the first time, with stops in the NFL with the 49ers, Patriots and Packers. All indications are he's gotten the NFL out of his system. He's now been co-Defensive Coordinator at Oklahoma (during the "Fuckin' Hillbillies" Billy C game no less) and been DC at LSU since then.
And now it looks like an official announcement will come either tomorrow or Monday, introducing Bo Pelini as the next head football coach at the University of Nebraska. But let's take a look at some of the highlights of Jason Peter's show regarding Bo:
- He's never been a head coach. Anywhere.
- That loss to former Nebraska dance partner Houston Nutt and his Razorback's last weekend -- you know, the one that dropped LSU from the National Championship game -- did not help Pelini's claim at all.
- I actually like this one: He's one fiery bastard, not afraid to get in the face of of former KSU head coach Bill Snyder back in 2003. As one former Pelini player said about their coach, "Bo would tell us to run through a wall, and then we'd ask where the other wall is."
- He aint exactly the world's greatest public speaker. Personally, I think is one thing that bothered Pederson four years ago. Stevie P wanted a salesman more than anything, someone who could sell the program to the masses. To which Husker fans will say that Pelini chooses to do his talking with his defense on the field.
- What sort of offense is Bo going to support here? Does he keep Shawn Watson on staff to take care of calling the offensive play calling?
It sounds like Pelini is a stickler for detail, and the pressure on Bo to actually stay here for a long, long time is going to be unbearable. The smaller school of thought thinks that Pelini, who turns 40 years old on December 13th, could use this job as a spring board to something better, which would put us all back to this very same place in four or five years. We'll see. It looks like Husker Nation is about to get their wish. The defense will obviously improve immediately. But nobody better expect this guy to be the next Tom Osborne, because if anything, Bo Pelini sounds a lot more like Bob Devaney. And to me, that's the best thing you can ask for.
UPDATE: Looks like one of Pelini's way to inspire his players is to tell them before the SEC Championship game that Nebrask is his dream job. Oh, and TO is evidently done interviewing coaches.