I’ve had enough.
Nebraska’s uninspiring 2-2 start has me wondering just what is going on with our beloved program. Yeah, I hear you say that they are two plays away from 4-0, but to me that is the same as telling me I’m a $1 lottery ticket away from being a millionaire – irrelevant.
I’ve seen enough football to know when something isn’t working – and friends, this ain’t working.
We need changes. And we need them now.
Where should we begin? Let’s start with defensive coordinator Mark Banker. Hello? Have you seen the passing defense? Even Kevin Cosgrove is embarrassed by this defense. You say that his rush defense is actually pretty good? I don’t care. Nebraska plays in the Big Ten West, a division so dedicated to rushing offenses that the forward pass is still a novelty. But Joel Stave, Mitch Leidner, and whomever plays quarterback for Northwestern are going to throw for 450 yards against Nebraska, probably in the fourth quarter alone. Get Banker out of here – now.
While we’re at it, let’s get rid of secondary coach Brian Stewart. You know the problem with Daniel Davie this year? Nobody is yelling at him. I believe that for Davie to be an effective cornerback, he needs a coach willing and able to scream at him on national TV. You know Riley is too soft to get the job done, so that puts it on Brian Stewart. Apparently he’s not up to the task either, so he’s got to go.
And don’t get me started on the front seven of this defense. Everybody says that Trent Bray is this hotshot up and coming linebacker coach, but he can’t get three starters on the field at the same time. Instead he’s playing guys like Chris Weber. Did you know he’s not the Chris Webber from the Michigan Fab Five team? No, this Chris Weber is some white kid from Elkhorn.
Up front on the line, I have no idea what is going on. Maliek Collins has yet to become an all time great player like Ndamukong Suh. Heck, Collins may not even be the best player on the line this year. That would be a former tight end. Hank Hughes, I think you need to head back to Cincinnati.
But let’s not pretend that everything is peaches and herb on offense. I think there need to be some changes there too. Attention Danny Langsdorf: I don’t care well Tommy Armstrong is playing, or that your offense is putting up big yards and 30+ points a game. You need to scrap this pro style, West Coast, fancy pants offense for direct snaps to Andy Janovich. Didn’t you watch the Southern Miss game?
Mike Cavanaugh, why do you only play five offensive linemen? How are you supposed to build depth? Haven’t you seen that one guy who sucks and the other guy who said those things on social media? Since we can’t fire the players, we’re firing you. And since lineman are supposed to block for running backs, feel free to hold the door open for Reggie Davis on your way out. This bum Davis is incapable of convincing Riley that Mikale Wilbon should be the starter. Don’t try to tell me that Wilbon’s lack of pass blocking ability may get Tommy Armstrong killed. If Wilbon runs like he did on those three carries in the BYU game, we could win out with Janovich at QB….which come to think of it is not a bad idea.
I want to like this new receivers coach, Keith Williams, but Jordan Westerkamp has had like three balls hit his hands and not be caught. That’s more drops than he had his first two seasons. And don’t try to tell me he’s human, because I’ve watched the YouTube clip of that behind the back catch 200 times. Speaking of receivers, I was told the tight ends were going to catch the ball in this offense, but the tight ends remain as effective as they were under Tim Beck – i.e. the apparent sixth progression after taking a 15 yard sack or throwing to Janovich. I don’t care that as a grad assistant Tavita Thompson makes like $6.25 an hour, he needs to go.
Did you know Nebraska has a Special Teams Coordinator? Seriously, that is his only job. And get this – Bruce Read gets paid $450,000 a year. For $450,000 a year, NU should never, ever miss a field goal, block at least three punts a game, and return the others for touchdowns. And yet this chump Read allows an onside kick against Southern Miss? Let’s go back to the days when one coach led a position group, coordinated the special teams, spearheaded recruiting, and put the “N” stickers on the helmets.
I think we need to make some changes in the strength and conditioning program too. Michael Rose-Ivey and Josh Banderas are both out with groin injuries. Since we blamed James Dobson for every ACL injury in the 402 area code, Mark Philipp needs to be held accountable for all pulls and sprains within the program. But could you tell him that he’s been fired? That dude frightens me. Instead, I’ll tell Jamie Belt to pack up his dumbbells. Look at this guy. Seriously, this is an assistant strength coach? Do you even lift, bro? And what kind of name is Jamie? My daughter is named Jamie. She probably has a better bench press too.
If you look at all these losers who need to be fired immediately, there is a common thread* tying them together: the chain of command that hired them:
*Okay, two common threads: the chain of command and the ugly and unpopular adidas apparel everybody in the Athletic Department wears. While we’re cleaning house, let’s send all of the adidas stuff to Goodwill – especially those alternate uniforms.
Head Coach Mike Riley, it was a nice experiment. Let’s see what happens when the nice guy coach from the crappy, underfunded program gets the keys to one of the richest and most passionate programs. It worked for a while. You said the right things, made us feel good, and won your way into our hearts with your “ah shucks” charm. But enough is enough. Bob Devaney didn’t start 1-2. Neither did Tom Osborne. Heck, even Callahan started 3-1.
But the biggest thing that ticks me off is this nice guy persona. What a joke. I didn’t realize it until I heard the host of one of the 16 post game call in shows say it last week: you don’t show any emotion on the sidelines. This must mean that you either don’t care or cannot fix the problems that are right in front of your 62 year old eyes. And have you noticed how Riley is still living out of a hotel after nine months on the job? Clearly, he’s going to jump at the first good job offer to come his way. He’s probably itching to get back to the Canadian League.
And then there is guy who hired Riley: Shawn Eichorst. Obviously, all of this is Eichorst’s fault. He hired Riley and his Band of Beavers. More importantly, he fired Bo Pelini – a good coach who won nine games a year. NINE!! Do you know how many schools win nine games or more a year? Only the top 30% of teams in college football, that’s who. Eichorst should have swallowed his stupid pride and allowed a subordinate to walk all over him, publicly disrespect him and the University, and lose games any way he damn well pleased.
I bet Harvey Perlman is smiling at all of this. You just know he has been dead set on destroying the University ever since he took over. You know he gave Pedersen a contract extension, right? Right? Clearly he is the exact same as he was back then. You realize that Harvey since was named chancellor in 2001 (on April Fool’s Day, I might add) Nebraska has not won a conference championship. Coincidence? Nope, it’s a “no-incidence”, as in there no way that is a coincidence. While we can’t fire Perlman, I am counting down the days until retirement ends Harvey’s reign of terror. Mark my words, Nebraska will never lose again once that BCS-loving scoundrel is gone.
While we’re cleaning house, we might as well get rid of all of the under-performing dead weight that surrounds this once glorious program. These chumps may not be directly coaching the players on the field, but I guarantee you that their shoddy performance is to blame for the 2-2 start. When I call your name, come forward to collect your pink slip:
- Graduate Assistant Max Onyegbule. What the hell kind of name is Onyegbule? The first time I typed “Onyegbule”, I dislocated three fingers and my Spellcheck didn’t work for a month – and I type “Akinmoladun” on a regular basis.
- Recruiting Coordinator Andy Vaughn. I was looking at the latest recruiting rankings and see that Nebraska has commitments from several three star prospects. Three stars? You can’t be a dominating program with three stars. This ain’t Corvalis, bub. Why Nebraska is even offering guys with less than four stars is baffling to me. But you totally need to offer this kid from my small town Nebraska high school. He is tearing up class C-2 this year.
- Chris Brasfield. You call yourself a “director of high school relations”. Ha! Are you telling me that high school kids and/or football coaches are supposed to take you seriously? You’re wearing a freaking bow tie!! Who do you think you are, Ross Dzuris?
- Graduate manager Hardie Buck. What kind of made up, adult movie name is Hardie Buck? Get out of here.
- Public address announcer Lane Grindle. I don’t really have a problem with you, but the team has played poorly since you became public address announcer. We can’t take any chances if we want to return to dominance. I’d apply for the job, but those comments I made about Perlman likely taken me out of the running.
- Cornhusker Marching Band director Doug Bush. I noticed that when the band forms the shape of Nebraska during the pregame spectacular, the shape is not geographically accurate. The southern border is often crooked, and your woodwinds cannot form the Missouri River to save their lives. Also, remember when you spelled out “Fear Ameer” last year? It is inexcusable that you have yet to spell out “Son of a Janovich” at halftime.
- Chris Pankonin. Sonny boy, I have had enough of this Hip Hop Hogwash you play over the speakers. You need to play more Black Betty. And Seven Nation Army. And Nickelback.
- Assistant AD for Digital Communications Kelly Mosier. Hey mister social media guru. I tweet all game long, and not once have any of my tweets been shown on HuskerVision. Are you afraid of the truth I’m bringing about how far this program has fallen? Does my love for homegrown fullbacks make you uncomfortable? Don’t suppress my First Amendment rights, Kelly!
- Der Viener Schlinger guy. Every game I see you shooting hot dogs into the West Stadium balcony and the sky boxes. Why? Surely the rich folks in the fancy seats can afford their own hot dogs. Let’s see you put a dog in the 600 level of East, tough guy.
Hopefully by now you’ve realized* that this was written in Sarcasm Serif font (12 point). It has only been four games, so calling for anybody’s job is so over the top knee jerkingly crazy – even by Nebraska fan standards – that I struggle to find an appropriate way to describe how ridiculous you sound.
*If not, I kindly suggest upping the dosage on your meds and/or switching your allegiance to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
I get it – you are not pleased with being 0-fer against teams that do not have “south” in their name.* It is frustrating seeing team after team roll up 300 yards of passing while the cornerbacks refuse to look turn and look for the ball.
*Any chance we can get the Badgers to go by “South Wisconsin” next week? Or maybe Southern Michigan State?
Maybe you have doubts about this pass-happy offense. Yeah, it looks good now, but you’re concerned about what happens in November when it’s 12 degrees and the starting I Back is still bouncing every run to the outside. Trust me, I’m with you: Option football, when coached and run effectively, if absolute poetry.
But it sure is nice to not have to resign yourself to a punt when it’s 3rd and long. This team is pretty good in 3rd and long. I’m not sure if any Osborne team (save 1995) could make that claim.
And maybe you don’t think a coach that wins nine games every year should have been fired. You are certainly entitled to that opinion. My opinion is Bo was fired for multiple reasons, but his win/loss record was not among them – but that’s another post for another day. Regardless, I’m guessing you gave Bo and his staff more than four games – or did you bail on him when he started 3-3?
At the end of the day – or at the end of the season – making massive changes to the staff if likely not the way to go. Replacing coaches every couple of years takes a toll and makes the sustained success we all want that much harder to achieve.
I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my kids when we’re in the car and they’re getting antsy: Take a breath, be patient, and enjoy the ride.
We’ll get there.