Nebraska is an elite coaching job
It used to be. But now-former athletic director Steve Pederson made a critical mistake and imposed his will on a program that needed a facial, not reconstructive cosmetic surgery.
AP Photo/Dave Weaver
Bill Callahan's tenure has ended. Now, Nebraska has some serious rebuilding to do.
Pederson hired Bill Callahan, who fit like Tabasco sauce on chocolate pudding. Callahan might be a good coach, but he wasn't the right coach for Nebraska.
Now Pederson and Callahan are gone, and so is Nebraska's one longtime advantage: an identity.
Lincoln was once I-Back U. It was Walk-On Heaven. It was a national recruiting pipeline, stretching as far as Jersey, Florida and California.
Now it's a seven-tractor pileup.
Tradition is nice, but elite high school recruits from outside of Nebraska's state lines (and there aren't many of them on an annual basis) don't remember much, if anything, about Mike Rozier. They want to win. They want to be on TV. They want to play for someone who can get them a job in the NFL.
If interim AD Tom Osborne is going to seal the gaping holes in this program, he had better find someone who understands and appreciates Nebraska's past, but more important, someone who understands the realities of its future. Nebraska needs its football identity back.
There are other overrated coaching jobs, beginning with UCLA (everything done on the relative cheap), Arkansas (limited in-state recruiting base, psycho fan expectations), Michigan State (program sounds good on paper, until you realize Michigan and Ohio State are in your conference).
But Nebraska was never in the same paragraph with those type of programs ... until now.
Nebraska football can be fixed. Probably. Not too much is at stake. Only the difference between relevancy and has-been status.