Published Saturday, November 19, 2011 AT 10:24 PM / Updated at 10:24 PM
Tom’s Take: Michigan 45, Nebraska 17
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel offers his key observations from Nebraska’s 45-17 loss to Michigan on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

* * *

I don’t know if you can have a defensive player of the year who’s not in the conference championship game, but Lavonte David should be the exception. It’s a treat right now to watch No. 4 play. He’s playing at the highest level of any Nebraska linebacker in a long while. He’s got Senior Day next Friday and it seems like it’s too soon. The young man gave us plenty and he’ll leave us wanting more.

It seems like a silly nit-pick in a 45-17 loss, but why not play more young kids in the fourth quarter? Why leave Taylor Martinez in to get hammered needlessly? Why not play Brion Carnes? Why not more young guys? Where’s Jammal Turner? If he’s struggling with the offense, give him some plays he can run. If he’s not a receiver, put him back at quarterback.

Nebraska’s bowl picture is coming into focus. My best guess is, Outback (likely vs. Georgia or South Carolina) or Insight (vs. Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M or Baylor). Bowl sources at the game painted this picture: Now that Oklahoma State is out of the BCS title picture, the Fiesta is likely going to take the Big 12 champion (OU-OSU winner) vs. Stanford, if the Cardinal wins out. That means Michigan and the Big Ten championship game runner-up would compete for the Capital One Bowl, with the other competing with NU for the Outback. I could see Michigan in Orlando. I could see NU in Tampa, with MSU going to Tempe. We’ll see. Here’s one thing a bowl source said: If Nebraska loses to Iowa next Friday, it’s the “Car Bowl.” Otherwise known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl, in Houston. Yikes.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at


  1. Paul says:

    I don’t think suggesting that playing some of the younger guys late, is a nitpick, Tommy. The way this staff handles that puzzles me. And you could add Rex Burkhead to the list of those who should be out late in a big loss. Why subject them to more punishment, emotional and physical? How in the hell, as a head coach, could you justify a Burkhead getting a knee blown out at the end of a game like that? I don’t think you could.

    1. Curt313 says:

      You are correct, sir! Why NOT put the young guys in & let them make their mistakes…its not like the guys on the field are giving us anything to be proud over. And what’s the difference if you lose 59 -17 or 45 -17? A big loss is still a loss! What a waste of redshirts…what a waste of coaching…what a terrific waste of money. And losing big to bottom 20-ranked teams…I’m not sure we deserve the “car bowl”– they may not want us.

      1. Scott says:

        Ohhhhhhhh–here we go–I was SCATHED in this blog a week ago for asking the question–”where is Carnes?”
        I was blasted for having a personal producted dumped in my wheaties–and I was “pathetic” for the mere suggestion that our 4 million dollar a year “God” was not the second coming—

        Well people–”Leaders” and good coaches are hand in hand–ANY smart coach would have been playing Carnes throughout the season–in good games and bad to build him AND challenge Martinez. This season and yesterday demonstrate two things–Pelini (excuse me–the 4 million dollar God) has got a lot of growing to do as a coach and leader; the team does not think Martinez is the leader or they would not have played in that fashion–a respected QB would have held this team together and pulled thru

        Which brings me to a lingering question–”WHY” no Carnes all season ? I still wonder if Pelini has a “deal” with Martinez’s Dad over playing time–if it is because “Pelini thinks Martinez needs more time to become accomplished”–get over it and let competition do it–a “smart coach” would follow that approach

        1. HuskerFanX5 says:

          I agree with most of your point on playing the youngsters.

          However, of course Bo has a lot to learn, it’s only his 4th yr as a head coach.

          As for Martinez, if you haven’t seen any growth out of him this season it’s because you don’t want to. He’s only a Sophmore w/2 more years to grow.

          I can’t wait to see what we look like the next 2 yrs. Go Big Red!!

          1. Highdef says:

            After “it’s only his 4th year as a head coach”, you lost all credibility.

          2. Paul says:

            I have to respectfully disagree about Martinez. He is too inconsistent in making reads and has at best a pathetic throwing motion with a weak long ball arm. As long as Coach Pelini stubbornly sticks with him, we are destined for two more 8-5 seasons.

          3. David says:

            Spot on! Looking fwd to the next two seasons. All things considered I think we r still on track. We have some young players and coaches and thus consistency issues.

          4. jane carter says:

            Sorry, but Taylor would not be playing QB in any other major program–so limited. I love Rex Burkhead, but he should be a FB, with one of the fast freshman playing I-Back. We have no speed on offense. Thing I dislike about this coaching is that if things are going badly, they do not make changes. I would not be surprised to see one, or more, of our “prized” freshman transfer next year due to lack of playing time and poor coaching. And is it a requirement for a coordinator to be a Cardinal Mooney grad? Beck? Give me a break. It feels like Bo needs to be surrounded by loyality ,not talent in his choices . I am sick of the Bo era: his boarish behavior, no innovation, his poor coaching choices and lack of discipline shown by the team, reflects his lack of discipline. I’m sure Scott Frost had only a cursory talk with Bo because he had his heart set on his old Cardinal Mooney pal and overlooked the fact that he was inexperienced and ill-qualified. Maybe we will never return to the glory years, but his teams never seem “up” for the big games or have a even half-inteligent game plan. I’m not saying fire Bo, but I’m getting there.n

    2. alan says:

      They play Rudy and let Secretariat sit on the bench.

      1. kevin says:

        Carnes is Secretariat ? really ?

  2. Highdef says:

    Yet another OWH writer that is back on Pelini’s payroll. Hey, Shatel, there’s something brown on your nose. This version of “Tom’s Take” is more watered-down than the Ogalala Aquifer. After a game like today’s, this was the best you could come up with?

    As Pelini has proven game after game after game, he has no real coaching experience or talent. His entire tenure is based on fitting square pegs in round holes. Prime example: putting a receiver like Taylor Martinez (K-Mart) in as a quarterback and expecting him to “mature”, “get reps”, “grow”.. any number of mindless Pelini quotes will do here.

    Other than Cotten, Pelini’s Peon’s have proven once again their heads are back in Ohio. Have been, always will be.

    Let’s talk about T. Moore’s father’s passing instead of the 17th game in a row in which he gets another personal foul called.

    Let’s not talk about Bell and Kinney and their $600 gloves that are supposed to help them catch a pass.

    Let’s not address yet another blow-’em-off-the-line Offensive and Defensive debacles.

    Is the Husker weight room under construction? I’m guessing strength and conditioning has been dumbed down like K-Mart’s playbook, right?

    Let’s forget that it’s game 10 and K-Mart still prefers getting sacked as opposed to getting rid of the football.

    Let’s forgive our Offensive Coordinator for getting paid boo-koo bucks, yet not showing up for another post-game interview.

    We can once again not even question Mr. Beck’s inability to teach K-Mart more than 7 different plays.

    And finally, let us pray that we play William and Mary in the 2011 bowl game. If we lose, no one will have watched it and maybe the recruits will still come this next February. If we win, Pelini will have yet another “something to build on” for the 5th year of his learning curve.

    1. HansJ says:

      But it’s always best to be positive. The fabulous Chicago Cubs now have a new GM and manager. The future has never looked brighter.

    2. T says:

      I have to agree with the criticism of Pelini surrounding himself with fellow Mooney grads. Is there really that much talent in one high school? I do like the number of wins we’re getting as opposed to what we were seeing under Callahan. I have no problem with being 8-3 at this point. I do have a problem with 48-17 and 45-17 to the likes of Wisconsin & Michigan, teams that are good but, we should be equal to. Brady Hoke, Urban Meyer etal, are perfect examples of what can be accomplished by a new coach that has accessible talent and a supportive administration. The climb back to respectability has been nice but Nebraska fans deserve more. Blowout losses are inexcusable and the lack of fire and execution from the players while protecting the home-turf is disappointing to say the least. A 9-7 loss to a mediocre ISU team a year or two ago and this years debacle against an over-matched Northwestern are cause for concern. Pelini has raised the bar, but not high enough. His demeanor after the games is an embarrassment as well. He thinks he’s worth millions of dollars a year in salary and other compensation yet acts as though he should not be accountable or criticized for his team’s performance. He has a lot of growing up to do, but I think if we stick with him and he sticks with us, we’ll be fine in the long run.

  3. HuskerinLA says:


    Right on. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Dump Pelini now.

    Better now than to stick with 2-3 more years of an undisciplined, unmotivated, untalented and outcoached team.

    1. Husker63 says:

      How did dumping a coach with a winning record work out for us the last time?And who would take the job?
      I’m not pumping sunshine after that mess of a game on Saturday,but lets finish out the season before some of you try to clean house.

      1. Butch says:

        Just because Callahan was a bomb certainly doesn’t mean the next guy will be, this is completely ill-conceived logic. What are we going to do….not hire a reputable, qualified, experienced coach just because Bill Callahan sucked? That makes no sense.

  4. Rob says:

    Dump Perlman and Osborne for getting the Huskers in the Big 10 where they can’t compete

    1. UrDef says:

      I really don’t get some of the insane comments in here. How can you say we can’t compete in the Big 10? First of all, a REAL Husker fan would never say we “can’t compete” ANYWHERE and second, we WERE in contention for the title until yesterday. In addition, we BEAT the team who IS in the championship game. The problem isn’t the conference, the problem is consistency. We need to play consistently like a top team. That is what is takes. Parody in College football has made it harder and harder to win consistently week in and week out. Right now, it is LSU and Alabama. Give it a year or two, someone else will step up and it will be their show for awhile. We need to play consistent not in the Conference USA…

    2. Skytown J says:

      Sorry, but this is just stupid. It ain’t the conference Einstein, it’s our team. They’d be struggling in the Big 12 too. They’re just slightly above average most Saturday’s. We knew the offense would be marginal, but the defense really has been disappointing.

      1. SAM says:

        you are correct.
        Had we been in the big 12 we would have lost to KST, Iowa State , MO and all the south teams.
        Pelini lost 15 games in less than 4 years.

    3. jane carter says:

      And we competed sooo well in the Big 12–did you see RG3 last night. Imagine what he would have done to Nebraska

  5. JD says:

    Husker fans need to come to realize this is not the Big 12 you don’t have lay up games in the Big 10, like you do in the Big 12. Nebraska is simply an average football team and will just be an average football team in the Big 10. Once you come to grips with that the easier all of your lives will be.

    1. HansJ says:

      And, unfortunately the B1G is just an average football conference in the BCS.

      1. ZadoMac says:

        Amen. I am getting tired of people saying this year is just because the schedule is so tough. The Big 10 is having an EXTREMELY down year. It can get nothing but better. Unfortunately, I don’t see NU getting better. That is the real cause for concern. NU stays average, OSU improves, Michigan improves, Wisky stays good. Trouble.

    2. Butch says:

      JD, the B10 is so much weaker as far as quality of football compared with the B12 right now it is absurd. This is just a poor Nebraska team, period. It might go winless in the B12, yet is good enough to be average in the B10, just like every other average team in this league. Stop with the disillusion that this has anything to do with B10 competition, you are dreaming.

    3. Jim says:

      Trouble with the Big Ten is that you take a physical beating every week and that takes its toll. Look at how tough Ohio State, Penn State, Northwestern were, not to mention Wisconsin and Michigan. The Big Ten teams beat up on one another week after week, which is why they are not so high in the polls. The competition got tougher with the conference move, whether fans want to admit it or not.

  6. swany56 says:

    Ya know…… outside of Nebraska we are still a joke and games like that only show how far we would have to go to compete at the top again. Pelini CAN NOT recruit talent and after a showing like that should be put on a short leash by TO. Best thing that cuold happen to us is if he would go back to Ohio State. Coaches making comments like “I don’t know why that happened” are clueless. Why in the heck are we not playing the young guys in a blow out? Pelini is too concerned someone might actually be able to play besides the ones he annoints? Beck is not an OC, Els is not a LB Coach, Brother Carl is clueless on using the talent on his side of the ball, the wheels are off and the fact is Pelini is the head coach that gave these guys the keys and they are NOT going to get us where we need to go. I was on his band wagon when he first arrived but he can not get us over the hump and has proven it time and time again. If we want to settle for 9 win seasons keep him around, if we want to win championships cut the strings now. GBR

    1. Swany, why don’t you ask OSU, MSU and PSU how much of a joke NU is. I am always amazed on how guys like you post such uninformed comments. You state opions as facts. Here are some facts for you to swallow. Bo first 4 years as a coach 2 seasons with 10 wins and a chance for a 3rd. 1 year with a 9 win season. TO 1 year with a 10 win season 3 years with 9 win seasons, if fact TO’s first 6 years only netted 1 10 win season. TO basically took over a football team that was the elite team in the nation, Bo took over a program that was in shambles. TO had to compete in a confernece that only had 1 team to be concerned with and he lost to them every year. NU plays in a confernece were every year four teams have a real chance to to capture the divison title. Bo has faced a schedule where 4 teams have a real chance to win 10 games this season, TO faced 1 per year. The three teams NU lost to all are bowl eligable. As a matter of fact 9 teams NU faced this year are bowl eligable. TO never faced that.

  7. Ben says:

    Every time it’s a big game the Huskers can’t hold on to the ball. Every time! How sad.

  8. Ryan says:

    It kinda reminds me of the Boob Davie era at Notre Dame. You take a good D-coach with no experience of ever leading a team at its helm and this is what you get. Bo needs to follow Boob’s career path and try and get on with ESPN. I herd there is an opening at the ESPN studios since Boob is getting back into coaching. Come on Bo, touch up that resume’ and send it in. You can put me down as a reference.

  9. David says:

    If you take out the preseason games against teams like Wyoming, Fresno State, and Tennessee Chattanooga – Nebraska loses as many games as it wins. We are a lot closer to being 6 and 5 than we are 9 and 2. A few close losses I can deal with, but we are getting blown out by teams outside of the top 10 in the country. We haven’t been to a BCS bowl in 10 years. Nebraska is not relevant on the national scene and haven’t been for sometime. And, next year’s recruiting class is currently ranked 49th and we are losing by far our best offensive player. Osborne won’t fire Pelini, but hopefully somebody else hires him. He is not the man for the job at Nebraska and anybody who thinks he is doesn’t have a clue.

    1. Fred White says:

      You sir have hit the nail on the head. My thoughts exactly.

    2. Kevin says:

      David said it earlier. The experiment with Bo should be over at the end of the year unless the Husker fans enjoy finishing in the top 20-to 25 (or unranked). He could at least fix the defense. We are relevant only to ourselves. Almost every D1 QB in the nation is better than Martinez. NU should have hired a coach with head coaching experience.

  10. california husker says:

    Good coaching leads to consistent execution. The Huskers are a Jekyll & Hyde team, you never know what you are getting from game to game, or even quarter to quarter. All teams have a down day or two. Our coaching staff is up & down repeatedly. Can Pelini & company get us over the hump to a conference championship and a BCS bowl? Not likely from what we have seen. Can they develop players? Not if they will not play younger guys in games that are decided. Leaving Carnes on the bench game after game is foolish. Martinez gets hurt and we are up the creek at QB due to no experience. Will we beat Iowa? We should, but who knows what team will show up. That lies squarely on Pelini and his staff. They are losing their grip on the Husker faithful as each week goes by.

  11. Chicago guy says:

    I agree that Bo is not head coach material and that he will never get us to a NC or even a Big 10 championship. All the major points mentioned above are valid. However, just to get some perspective, look what happened this weekend to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Clemson and Oregon and how their fans must feel right now. Look at all the games Bob Stoops has lost when he shouldn’t have. Again, I’m not defending Bo, he has proven his ineptness too many times, but we aren’t the only ones shaking our heads today.

    1. HansJ says:

      I’m shaking my head today over paying $100,000 to send the “full” Nebraska Marching Band to Ann Arbor. Next time hire a local trumpet quartet, give’m a free lunch, a ticket to the game, and a red cap. They too can stand on the sideline.

      1. Highdef says:

        .. the Husker volleyball team would have been cheaper yet. Give them a 6 pack and a cell phone and they’d be happy. Just don’t let ‘em drive.

      2. Ron says:

        Yes, but did you hear them play? As always, they brought thier A-game. Too bad they didn’t have more opportunities to play “Hail Varisty”. I think they represented us far better than the other team that travelled. The Pride of All Nebraska!

        1. scott says:

          Are you kidding. They are awful. And boring. Who cares?

          1. ron says:

            Awful….LOL. Music is definitely not on your list of refinements. Maybe you should forgo the extra beverage at the tailgate, or hotdog run at half-time and listen once. They are nothing short of amazing.

    2. jane carter says:

      They may have lost, but at least their teams COMPETED

    3. SAM says:

      They didn’t get blown out
      they competed.
      Bo is not head coaching material
      Next year is his last.

    4. T says:

      C’mon people. There is room for criticism but, we have an excellent chance of finishing the regular season 9-3 with a possibility of 10-3 with a bowl victory. Pelini has his flaws, but he’s still learning. What he’s brought back to NU is respectability. The program will regain some of the glory days of yesteryear, but the playing field is a lot more even from top to bottom these days. I for one do not need to see us win national championships, but I do expect us to be able to compete with the best teams in the country. I’m seeing progress and feel Bo needs time. Remember, as great as Osborne was he never won a national championship until his 22nd year as head coach–with an established winner. And Paterno, the child molestor-protector who is the winningest coach in history didn’t win his first national championship until his 16th year as head coach and that came with the aid of some slip-shod officiating at NU’s expense. Bo will be fine–just give him time.

  12. The Big Red One says:

    I been saying it since they hired him…Bolini is not a head coach…. 2.1 mil a year for on the job training…Kinda the same way he’s attempting to coach that loser Martinez..See how the pieces fit together? FINALLY?? I see some of you fumbuckers coming around…Hidef..your the biggest hypocrit on here. One week your singing his praises and banging on anyone that critisizes your “boi” Bolini….Now your calling for his head…When you gonna decide which side of the fence your gonna straddle with them long girly legs of yours?

    They were outcoached, out played, out “hearted”, out prepared & out smarted… Martinez is not a QB, I don’t care what anyone says. He can’t throw the ball and he’s afraid to run…Of course the fact that the receiver core couldn’t catch a cold doesn’t help. If this team spent as much energy actually playing as they do chest bumping and butt slapping & congradulating each other maybe they could cut down on some of the stupid penalties, dropped balls, blown blocking assignments, blown pass coverage, and missed tackles…Osborne woulda benched everyone of them for that kinda garbage…Solich would of too.. Devaney woulda thrown them off the team…With a few exceptions, this team has no heart, no leadership, no class & no clue…

    1. Highdef says:

      The Big Red One: Where did you crawl out of? I’m guessing you must change your nickname in here, since no one has seen you here before.
      NOT ONCE have I sang the praises of Beauregard Pelini, and if you go back over the last 4.5 weeks worth of blogs and articles, I’ve always referred to K-Mart.
      Calling me names in a personal attack is fine. Almost humorous, I’m flattered. But doing so makes you sound even more uniformed. Go back into hiding.

    2. Larry says:

      Unless you rob a gas station. Then you can stay on the team. Quit saying what past coaches would do. They have all let us down one time or another.

      1. The Big Red One says:

        shut up & drink your koolaide..

        1. Larry says:

          Why the big red one? Devaney let us down with Johnny the Jet,T.O. let us down with Larry Philips and Solich let us down with a DWI albeit at Ohio.

  13. HansJ says:

    For God’s sake Bo do whatever is necessary to stay away from the Insight Bowl—-K-State, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor! These teams are better than Wisconsin and Michigan. “Where are the young guys?” Yep, Bo and his staff have done a horrendous job of managing young talent—and TMagic’s best year will be his freshman year, he’s a mediocre QB now. Why would an outstanding passing talent now want to come to Nebraska with Bo and Beck?

    I was hoping to see a post from our good friend “Buckeye-In-NE” today. After losing to Purdue and Penn State and with Michigan up next week, maybe he’s checked himself into the psycho ward in Omaha. The “Leaders Division” is led by Penn State and Ohio State, it now appears that our fearless leader Jim Delany should have stuck with East/West divisions.

  14. Cam Lind says:

    We are a B league slowpitch team playing in the Big 10. We are consistently outcoached, outplayed and outworked in most games. When we struggled with the average teams early in the season it showed that we are not ready to return to the big time. And we will never get better or develop young players when they never get in the game. The starters make the same bonehead plays every game and still hold their jobs. You see a couple of guys come in and play well for a few downs and they never seem to resurface. Also somebody mentioned there are no longer layup games in our schedule as there were in the Big12. Well guess what Iowa State and Kansas State would have beaten us this year.

  15. Gene O says:

    Good wins against Washington, Mich St., Ohio St., and Penn St.; then uuuuggggly losses to Wisky, Northwestern, and the team wide brain fart against Michigan. It is up to the coaches to have players ready for the game. EVERY GAME.

    Anyone talking about how Pelini can’t coach at all are forgetting the ’07 disaster. Bo has brought the team to a winning level. But the championship level demands teams show up to play every game.

    I hope they can manage to get one more good win Friday; but after that they better get on the stick and start developing the young stars that either red shirted or rode the bench. It’s obvious there is not enough talent to get away with the lack of execution on the field. If Bo doesn’t improve both those things the next time he starts allowing rumors of him going to another school to continue he may be told either go or stay- but don’t expect another raise.

    1. JD says:

      Lets be totally hones with your good wins. If Braxton Miller does not sprain his ankle on a play where he was untouched, Nebraska gets hammered in that game. Penn State had the biggest scandal in the history of scandals distracting them, and NU had to hold on to win. Michigan State your right you lined up and kicked them over and over again. In a normal Big 10 year Nebraska would have 2 more losses already.

      1. Gene O says:

        So you want to count wins as “almost losses”? Every team has injuries. And distractions. Since you’re in a different time zone it’s obvious this has something to do with being a whiner whose team lost to NU. Instead of laying negative, ignorant crap on someone in a blog about a school that’s not yours- why not find something constructive to do…. Like taking an English class, or learning how to use spell-check.

      2. Butch says:

        Hey JD, refresh my memory on who it was that lost to Minnesota this year? Go spend your time somewhere else, loser.

      3. The Big Red One says:

        Nice catch JD…Couldn’t have said it better…

    2. huskerred says:

      We pay a coach 2.75 million and the fundamentals are non existent. I have backed Bo all year but after this game its hard to say he is doing a good job. Execution non-existent, penalaties run rampid, special teams did they even show up, both lines man handled all day. 4th year into Bo’s play and the kids on the field are the ones Bo stafff recruited. Yes we have had some good wins; however, one cannot say that there is any consistency at all. I don’t know what the answers are, but I am sure that if things are not approached differently (at least for next season) Neb will remain mediocre at best. After this absolute demoralizing loss Bo and his staff should be on the hot seat.

  16. billn says:

    i have been a husker fan all my life, i am at a loss as to why we cant seem to fix the problems that have haunted this team for several years. I truely thought bo was the man for this job but now i have serious doubts. i hate to say it but i have lost interest in husker football. we are going to have to get used to 7-5 and 8-4 seasons, and no division, conference championships or bcs bowls as long as this coaching staff is here. they have no ability to fix the problems or develop the players, and now i believe our recruiting is suffering greatly. this program is headed down the same path that callehan took us. what a shame and what a waste. and i agree where are the young players, why arent they getting playing time. the carnes thing is a total mystery.

  17. Highdef says:

    I agree on most things here. HOWEVER, throwing new players into a game like that (and many games prior) is not helpful to anybody. They needed to be in game 2 or 3 or 5… NOT GAME 11! What are they going to learn, how to lose? The 2nd and 3rd string players are 2nd and 3rd string for a reason, right? (well, with Pelweini, we’ll never know for sure) But still…

    If “we” haven’t developed first string talent, how in the hell do you think by throwing 3rd stringers in the game it would help?

    The only possible substitution should have been on K-Mart.

  18. kevin says:

    What r the expectations of Husker fans ? is it to win a NC every year ? if so Okie-St,OU, Clem, Orego, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, MiamI, Florida St, Notre Dame, Ohio St, West Virginia, Tennessee, TAM, Texas, USC,UCLA, Etc must also have horrible coaching. We have played for conference titles in Pelini’s 4 years he won a share of the north the first 3 years, and played in 2 championship games. One against UT who played for an NC and beat us on a questional FG as time expired, and OU who ended up in the top 10. I believe the problem is fans and their expectations, as I often say why do you hold others to expectations you don’t hold yourself, or family to ? I suppose that’s part of our entitlement culture we live in. If you have lost interest in NU Football simple solution don’t watch… In his first 3 years he has won 9 games each season, we had another coach who also won 9 games each season and he to was an inexperience, ignorant, didn’t have a clue coach. As for people talking about Carnes as our QB, I know one thing the most popular position on any team is the backup QB, WHAT GAMES HAS MARTINEZ LOST FOR US THIS YEAR ? Wisconsin ? he certainly didn’t lose us the game yesterday, or against NW

    1. HuskerzRed says:

      Thank you Kevin for finally posting a comment with some intelligence in it. So called “HUSKER FANS” wanted to run that coach you speak of out of town because he couldn’t beat Oklahoma. He ended up having a “pretty good” career at Nebraska. Not sure what Pelini’s career holds, but he’s done a pretty good job to date. Turnovers and a “horrible call” roughing the kicker penalty is what turned this game into a blow-out.

  19. HansJ says:

    This just in, an insider “in the know” just called me about the Iowa/Nebraska Heroes Game Trophy. Tom’s “Cornbelt” didn’t make the final cut. Its two bronzed elderly farmers [producers], standing on a wooden base, each with their hands in the other one’s bib overalls. Sounds like a winner.

  20. Gnome Master says:

    Another sunday to reflect on a gridiron dissaster. Blown out for the second time in the conferance and for the fourth time in four years. That puts Bo in a tie with his predecessor. I don’t think Dr. Tom got blown out more than twice durring his tenure.

    Looking ahead Crick is already gone. David and Denard both graduate and none of them have inspiring backups. Unless he gets sudden magic from what is so far a sub top 25 recruiting class blowouts will be the rule next year. Add in a quarter back who thinks he is doing “alright” in the big ten and an average offensive line that graduates both tackles and the center and things could be really bleak next year. As if they aren’t now. Here we are one game away from the end of the season and we are playing worse than we did in week one.

    Lose to a average to poor Iowa team and we will be out of the top 25 and the national picture and in a december bowl again. That will really help recruiting. If this happens I hope it is suggested that Bo look into other jobs. After all “Nebraska is Back and here to Stay” rings a little bit hollow and that “You wouldn’t be in this mess if you had hired me four years ago” is turning into a real joke.

    Still have a sixty plus year love affair with the Big Red but some times you have to face facts and take a hard look at where you are and what your prospects are. Even Frank did and thats how Bo got here. If he wants to stay here he had better do the same.

    You can make the arrument that this is like the beginning of Dr Toms stint but there are a few major differances. There were some assistants that didn’t really support the hire and were marking time untill they got different jobs and really didn’t do much good in recruiting. He also had to cope with some rule changes. He also changed his philosophy which led to the great teams of the eightys and the championship years.

    This is tough for me to say as I thought Bo should have got the job eight years ago and was estatic when he finally got the job. But much as I hate to say I was wrong. I was wrong. He may still turn things around. He did well with the players he inherited. If he dumps his problem assitants [especially his new ones] and finds a few great recruiters he may still turn things around.

    1. jane carter says:

      Our tickets are behind the Nebraska bench where we would always see Osbourne have the offensive players surround him and he would be drawing up plays, that is, ‘coaching’

      1. Hmmm Jane, I seem to remember drawing up plays during a game in my youth playing in the sandlots. I would say that if you are designing new plays as the game progresses that is not coaching. A team can not run a play that was designed five minutes before they use it in a game. Heck even the fumbleruskie was drawn up well in advance of being used in the game.

  21. don says:

    I remember in 1968 when Bob Devaney was in his 6th season, we went 6-4 and got beat by K State 12-0, TO NOTHING, AT HOME!!!!. Everyone wanted Sweet Ol Bob’s head on a platter. Petitions were circulated, everyone said that Bob couldn’t coach, no leadership, offense was horrible, defense was worse. He was retained by the AD then, and …… let’s see what happened in 1970? Someone help me here, I don’t remember. OH ya 2 National Championships in a row.

    So everyone take a chill pill, prozac, or a glass of wine and let Coach Bo right the ship. He’ll do it. How do I know? Cause we all go thru ups and downs. And we all come back.

    The worst thing that can happen is for us to go thru the 4-5 year coaching carousel that other average schools go thru and we’ll be just that, another average school that changes coaches every 4-5 years.

    This is the 4th year after Cally was dumped. recruiting is always down wen you change. So seniors are not the best. Let’s see what happens in 2-3 years when all the recruits are Bo’s.

    And all you writers get off Bo’s back.

    1. The Big Red One says:

      Don…I actually like this post….Thanks for the perspective…

      But that being said…There are some very basic componants missing from this team. And I am not talking about the players in key positions. Theres a disturbing undercurrant and “so what?” running through the heart of the Husker Organization. It is systemic. It is something I havent seen before, and I’ve been watching & listening to the Huskers since I was old enough to know what football was…(about 45 years now).. With Devany, Osborne, even Solich…we always knew that win or lose, we would do it with some class. Our players did not run around the field congradulating themselves on mediocre play. They did their jobs, took pride in the fact that they did it well….Tried to do better when they messed up…They didn’t pout on the sidelines, or email their parents whining about coach or threaten unpleased fans on social networks…They were all perfectly capable of speaking clearly, politely and intelligently to the press & the fans. They did their best in school and carried good grades…They respected the program…above all..They respected and upheld the core values of what it means to be a Cornhusker…This “game” has become about money…Big Money..

      Our COACH…Did NOT stand in front of the press core with his mouth hanging open, cracking gum telling everyone how embarrassed he was by the teams lack of preparedness of which He is princeply (sp) responsible for..He didn’t thumb his nose in arrogance at the very people who pay his overblown salary with snarky confrontational *how dare you aske me that* comments…. HE did not throw his own players under the fricken bus when they screwed up…He had class, he was intelligent, he cared about the KIDS more than he cared about football. Our coach used to build exceptional Men out of these young boys…He taught them to lead by example. With class and dignity and an understanding that football was just a game after all. Qin or lose, what mattered most was that you held your head up and did your best and respected yourself and the program…..And if they never set foot on the field during a game, they at least left Nebraska knowing the difference between whats important as a young man in this world and football…

      Those were the Men that lead this team in the past. Yes I include Frank Solich in that group. Frank was a good coach that was never given a chance. More than that, he understood what mattered at Nebraska. He understood what sets Nebraska apart from lesser programs….. Bo Pelini is not one of those men…He has shown it time and time and time again…If you think the fact that his lacking recruiting skills don’t blare it out in Big Red letters…Then like the rest of these koolaide drinkers..(most of the writers at OWH included), your not looking….

      Or worse, you do not want to

      “none are so blind as those who will not see”….


      1. Ben says:

        Frank couldn’t recruit the top athletes and neither can Bo.

        1. The Big Red One says:

          Frank was fired at the end of his second year at HC after a 9-2 season….Nobody recruits in their 2nd year….Nobody…

      2. don says:

        I was vehemently against Solich’s firing. But there were others that had control over that. The Solich firing started the down grade and it only takes one bad year to ruin a program and it takes 5 years to get it back to even. I’ve noticed that Bo has kept his temper in check this year. At the same time, the defense doesn’t seem to have the intensity that it had when he had a meltdown. DEon’t know if that has anything to do with the defense not playing up to the standard he set earlier. Recruiting rankings are bogus at best. I think recruiting is important but not as important as what you do with the kids that you get. It took Dr Tom almost 20 years to realize that speed on defense is priority. Good coaching is teaching, pure and simple.

        1. The Big Red One says:

          Solich was a helluva nice guy with a lot of class and a whole lot better coach than he was given credit for. ..That moron Peterson fired him after a 9-2 season…He is currently coaching his heart out at Ohio University and doing a pretty good job of it…I am looking forward to the day he walks back into Memorial Stadium as an Opposing coach….Won’t that be reunion to remember…

          1. The Big Red One says:

            P.S. I can’t help but wonder if Bolini is going to be held to the same standard as Solich when this team finishes 8-4 this year…

      3. kevin says:

        Big red One..good words, maybe you should try to live by those words to. Bo is developing players into good citizens, can’t recall one player getting into any major trouble, and his kids for the most part graduate.. on par with any of Frankies, or Tom’s classes. Also Bo hasn’t gotten a DWI yet like your Boy Frank, so don’t you dare claim Pelini isn’t a role model, cause he doesn’t fit your image. And I like Frankie, but don’t try to make him better then Bo

        1. Larry says:

          Well said.

        2. kevin says:

          Love how pwoplw can b disrepsoectful.. that I guess shows your intelligence. I live with my wife, and son in San Antonio,while my daughters in the USMC,

        3. The Big Red One says:

          A Texini for Pelini…There’s a shocker..(thats sarcasm in case you missed it). Shouldn’t you be lurking around the Longhorn’s page somewhere?

          Semper Fei…

  22. Steve Swartz says:

    A Message to Bo: Although I’m sure you don’t bother to read the preponderance of clap-trap coming from overly frustrated Sunday morning quarterbacks, there must be others beside me who appreciate the fact that you are giving every ounce of effort in coaching these young men. That being said, I would refer to the old adage which states, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. As you yourself have so often said just, “stay the course”. ….An Avid, Long Time and Reasonable Fan.

    1. kevin says:

      Thanks Steve. God a freakin voice of reason. The silent majority is always over ruled by the vocal minority

  23. Ben says:

    Where have the great Husker pass rushing defensive ends gone? Why don’t the Huskers ever put pressure on a QB? We miss you Suh!

  24. Al Clinchard says:

    I pretty much agree with most of the above comments for the most part. My thoughts are also, when the game is out of reach either way, where’s the back-ups, who’re going to be our future. My other thought all year has been, we were much more fired up when Bo showed some emotion on the sidelines. Like our best coach ever, Bob Devaney, when he’d start emoting at the players, you could see a big change in attitude right away. This year he just stands there, like he was bored. C’mon Bo, fire ‘em up!

  25. huskerlover says:


  26. Tom Kunkel says:

    Sure would be nice if Tom Osborne was back. He would win a title for us. Of course, if you have forgotten or are too young to remember, in Tom’s first year as head coach, we were favored to win another championship and he lost the first game to UCLA.
    By the end of the sevenities, many of us were calling for his head. Two favorite quotes were: “He’s too nice a guy to win.” and “He just can’t win the big ones.” The comments got so bad that at one point he almost took a job in Colorado. Thank God he didn’t. In the nineties he won three National Titles. We were on top of the world. But it took 20 really fustrating years to get there. Our coaching staff is young and our team is young. We had some highlights, and had some good times this year. Lets be a little more patient. Pelini will be ok. Martinez will be ok. Dr. Osborne, I’m sorry we weren’t more patient with you. Kunk

    1. SAM says:

      Those who compare the first years of TO and Pelini must be under the age of 20
      Pelini lost 15 games in less than 4 years.
      TO never did that.

      1. RM says:

        Competition was not as good in TO’s day. TO also was in the big 8 where only one team besides NU was good and that was OU. It was easy to win 9 games a year. It took TO years to finally get what people were saying. He was not the sharpest tool early on.

      2. Steve says:

        Your comparison is little misleading in that in first 4 years of Bo’s head coaching tenure Bo’s has coached 4 more games than Tom. Bo’s record in his first 4 years including the 1 win in 2003 when he replaced Frank Solich was 38-15 and Tom’s was 37-10-2.

      3. Steve says:

        Your comparison is little misleading in that in first 4 years of Bo’s head coaching tenure Bo has coached 4 more games than Tom. Bo’s record in his first 4 years including the 1 win in 2003 when he replaced Frank Solich was 38-15 and Tom’s was 37-10-2.

  27. I am surprised about how this post has become a venom spewing public lynching. I agree the game was a major disappointment but to call out the coach and key players is beyond me. Lets get realalistic about what happened Saturday. We wnt against a top 10 defense in the nation while using second and third string players. Our offensive line has the same injury problems as the deffense. We have been playing with depleted lines while facing some of the best offensive and deffensive lines in the nation. Any intelligent football fan knows it is in the trenches that games are won and lost. But even through all of that this game was not lost with the play off the lines on offense and deffense, it was lost with the play of the special teams. Two fumbles on kick-offs deep within our own territory, a questionable call of roughing the passer, and a blocked punt. No offense can overcome that kind of play by special teams they have to be on the field in order to compete. No deffense can stop a high calibur offensive unit such as Michigan’s when they are constantly given a very short field. I for one say that this was a terrible loss but it is over and done with so lets get over with it and move on. Alol the calls for Bo’s head will not change the facts all the ranker about Taylor’s throwing mechanics will not change the facts. Take a minute to remember what everyone was saying when our schedule came out for this year. Everyone agreed it was brutal, a christianing under fire, maybe even the Big 10′s way to say you are not comming into our confernece and winning any titles your first year. Lets get real here, we have 3 losses and all to bowl bound teams. We had only 1 oppenent this year with a sub 500 record and remember we still have a big game Friday. Lets get ready to play and root for the Huskers. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    1. The Big Red One says:

      Great post Charles……Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours… you guys have Turkey in China?

      1. Charles N China says:

        Yes they have turkeys in China, but I have to travel 3 hours by train to get them. They are US turkeys imported and cost about $70.00 USD. Last year me and an American friend hosted a Thaksgiving dinner for some of our students. They were impressed and could not believe a bird could get that big. This year Thanksgiving dinner will be a little bit easier since I am finally figuring out how to get all of the trimmings including cranberry sauce. I will also limit this years dinner to about 10 people.

        1. R says:


          Peking Duck would be a good substitute.

          Appreciate your “take” on NU Athletics.

          Have a great T-Day.



  28. dave says:

    I was in the stands in 2007 when the Huskers got creamed by Okie State- the game after which Pederson was fired and T.O. returned. Fans were disgusted. Players were joking around on the sidelines, not even paying attention to the game. Whatever problems anyone thinks we have now, it is NOTHING like when Callahan/Pederson were here. I’m so glad T.O. came back, glad Bo came in, and support our players- who never show any quit.

  29. Walker says:

    It must be a sign of our times. Fans have become as much of the problem to ruining (act of destroying) college football as some coaches and some players have. A possible solution is for all dishearted fans to step away from the message board. Perhaps take a walk or read a book intead of posting or watching a game. Ticket holders should give away their tickets as a community effort program. Not to be insulting, but many ‘fans’ are absolutely clueless about what coaches and players go through from week to week to prepare for a game. Coaches and players are on a fast track. There isn’t much time for coaches and players to navel-gaze (be self-absorbed) for all the great fans from Nebraska. It’s about getting laid, studies, film room, cold tub and moving onto the next game. In other words, it’s about enjoying the collegiate experience (only 4 years) and playing the GAME of football in the best seat in the house—on the field. Nebraska has/is a stellar program. Why don’t some of you fully embrace your program instead of putting your boot up it’s ass every other week. Mr. TO must do a lot of head scratching given NU fans’ fickleness. As for coaches salaries: it’s about the market—stupid! Economics 101. Beside, they must be brighter than most of you; otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting. Instead, you would be eating a cold cuts and watching film about now. Then this weekend, your butt would be running up and down the sideline yelling at REFs for making bad calls against your team. What a great life. Just ask U. Meyer? What’s even more amazing is, when a Furman team can put 22 points on a Florida team in the 1st quarter, then you know a major change has occurred in the universe of college football. Unfortunately, some fans did not receive the MEMO. Other fans got the MEMO, but they are having difficutly adapting to new landscape. Therapy may help? From my very limited perspective—-I’m glad for the change in the Old Guard and look forward to more to even more exciting changes forthcoming.

    1. @kholland007 says:

      well said

  30. RM says:

    Please show up and play, that is all I ask, win or lose.
    It is not that you lose, it is how you do it.

  31. Tbear says:

    For me it is hard to blame the coaches for 4 special team turnovers. Did the coaches fumble 2 kick returns? Did they tell the punter to drop a perfect snap? Did the tell #19 to run into the kicker. I bet not. At some point it is on the players to perform perod! I also thought the officiating was pretty bad. Michigan could do no wrong and when we touched their players it was flagged. I do think that games like this will hurt Bo’s chances for the OSU job (who wants a coach that cannot beat Big Blue). The above who are calling for his head, might have to live with Bo alot longer now!!!

  32. jack says:

    Pellini is a defensive coordinator…period…we know he can do that better than his brother. Move Pellini to defensive coordinator and hire Rick Leach from Texas Tech fame…wow what powerful combination offense happy and defensive stubborness…NU would have it all!

  33. sh73312 says:

    This is Michigans 1st year coach and he just kicked the $hit out of us. this is Bo’s 4th year. Tom Osborne figured out that in order to have good team you need experience, thats why he played backups so they would have game day experience. Why down 45-17 isnt Brion Carnes playing? Our backup QB hasnt even had a chance to play. Where is Jamal Turner? This guy looked explosive when he got the ball, hes no where to be found. At this point im not sure if Bo knows what hes doing. Always have your best players on the field, thats usually how you win. Does Bo know who his best players are? Martinez is not a QB, and we dont know if Carnes is better because we never see him in a game.

    1. @kholland007 says:

      Pelini destroyed teams his first year also, how soon you forget! And Michigan didn’t change a thing from last year or last 10 years, where NU has changed offensve schemes twice in the last 5 years. No comparisons. Now, please take Football 101 with your wife next summer and learn the game!

    2. Boy Tim says:

      I agree, but I would love to see Brion Carnes play some with the starters. That’s when you’ll see what he really has. If you wait & put him in with all the other young guns, what good does that do as far as seeing his true capabilities? Rex is taken out from time to time for a breather ~ but why isn’t Taylor taken out? WHY WHY WHY? ? ? He needs to be switched as well as anyone else. And the line needs to find a better way to part a seam so ANY of our guys can get thru for more yards! Rex, Tyler & Taylor has sought an opening to break out down the field. If you don’t have an opening, nobody is gonna get thru, no matter who they are or what speed they have.

  34. Highdef says:

    … I recall Brion Carnes being thrown into a game a few times this year. Three and out! But rarely at any point of this season has Nebraska had many opportunities to sub the players. (other than the last 3 minutes of a game) If your first-stringers aren’t getting the job done, it’s pretty pathetic to put all of our hope onto the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stringers.

  35. Highdef2 says:

    … I recall Brion Carnes being thrown into a game a few times this year. Three and out! But rarely at any point of this season has Nebraska had many opportunities to sub the players. (other than the last 3 minutes of a game) If your first-stringers aren’t getting the job done, it’s pretty pathetic to put all of our hope onto the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stringers.

  36. Jags12 says:

    Can we please stop talking about giving Bo a raise? Really now, what has the guy done? he has conformed the fact he can coach other peoples recruits but has yet to prove he can provide his own. He is 4 years in and has his players, his coaches and his scheme. This year has seemed like a huge step backwards and it doesn’t look like it will be getting better any time soon. So lets put the breaks on any raise talk.

  37. Reading Husker says:

    Ok boys I have read enough and many points are right on. The whole Cardinal Mooney thing for one. Not playing our talented freshman group after burning their red shirts. Dont get it. But I wonder if their were chat rooms back in the 70′s and 80′s, what would we be reading? I can tell you as a kid and young man I heard all sorts of talk about a guy named Osborne. His first 4 years and longer were filled with 9-3 10-2 seasons and no Big 8 championships. Oh and the competition was much weaker. Oklahoma was our only real tough opponent, maybe Missouri once in a while. Then he had a nice run in the 80′s but couldn’t win the big one. He lost 7 bowl games in a row, some of them real blow outs. Then Tom continued to “grow” as a coach and changed some things. Got some speed and went on a roll. Suddenly one of the greatest coaches ever; which he was. But you were not saying that his first 5 or even 10 years. Would have been a shame to fire that guy after those first “lousy” 4 years. Oh and people initially hated Osbornes lack of “personality” that soon became a virtue Remember what Bo took over. A friggin mess. We returned to winning records and bowl games. Just like Devaney and Osborne. It is not ridiculous to say that Bo shouldn’t be evolving as a coach. Tom evolved his whole career. Bo will learn to play his talent and his willingness to be loyal to players or coaches who don’t produce will subside. He may not be the answer to a national title but it is way too early to throw in the towl.

  38. @kholland007 says:

    First…”Jane”, we did play against the now knows as “RG3″ and we beat him up one side and down the other, pay attention! Second, 99.9% of you have no idea to what you are talking about and have either never played football, been on a football field period and definately never coached a down!

    Some of you keep copying and pasting what you write on hear and its getting very old. “Highdef” who ever you are hiding behind this user name (probably works at BestBuy in the TV department) you are clueless thinking 4 years is too long. Compare his record to any new coach in college football in first 3 full seasons as a head coach, play for 2 confrence championships and two 10 win seasons, I’d take that any day!!

    As a coach there is only so much you can do, all you people want to do is place blame. I would love to walk into where you work and evaluate you, especially “highdef” and “jane”. Quite hiding behind your keyboard and post your resume on here and let’s see what makes you so qualified to make these comments and coahing, and personnel decisions. I will be waiting!!

    P.S. this is my real name and twitter account so feel free to send it privately to that.

  39. panhandlemurph says:

    I attended the Spring game and left thinking WOW! Carnes and Turner were very good. Carnes made good decisions as he settled into the game. And Jammal is a natural game breaker everytime he touches the ball. We may lose both if not played as they are too good for the bench. They would fit Oregon’s style of play. God Bless Martinez but he is not a QB. And as long as he is stationed at the QB slot we will not get any good QB’s that will consider us. The good ones want to play sooner than 2-3 years up the road. The coach can coach however as a head coach the requirements increase and this is where it tails off. Evidently Callahan can coach as well but not as a head coach. Pelini needs to let loose of some of the home boys including his bro and have them find another money tree. If the need ever occurs to replace him due to lack of consistency we need to look at the Iowa State coach. As far as only 4 years of experience as our head coach the coach from Michigan is in his 1st year. This is a tough game and the excuses will only work so long. It was because of their youth, still learning, sloppy, etc, etc, etc. Only one thing matters and that is positive results otherwise this company cannot afford you.

    1. @kholland007 says:

      If anyone wants to transer, let them go, that means only one thing; they don’t want to compete!!! If Pelini put the ball in Carnes or Turner’s hands and we lost 5 or 6 games, you would all be saying “where is Martinez” It’s a no win situation for a coach other than blow you arm chair coaches off. Why after 3 years is Pelini a bad coach? He isn’t!! Or for that matter, why was Callahan a bad coach(?) he wasn’t a bad coach, just wrong man for a college football head coaching job. Have there been bad performances? Yes, all around. But the answer isnt to fire a winning coach.

      I remember when TO went after Pelini, everyone was so excited, now lose a couple games and all you whiney so-called fans want him fired, for winning! Get real, either support this team or get off the bus now.

  40. The Big Red One says:

    I can’t wait to see the Huskers in the “Car Bowl”….Do you think they will show up for that one like they did for the Washington Game last year? :-)

    1. @kholland007 says:

      Another so-called fan wishing Nebraska a loss!

  41. Chris....Husker in Texas says:

    Wow! Lots of arm-chair critics out there! I distinctly remember the same calls for the coach’s head about 20 years ago….hmmmm….he is now enshrined as a demigod. Yes, talking about our beloved TO. Please remember, too, that TO coached in a completely different college football culture that included unlimited scholarships, much less oversight from the NCAA, and a much wider disparity between the powerhouse programs and the doormats. Frankly, I think it is pretty amazing to go 8-3 with a chance at 9 wins (for four years in a row now) at Nebraska, where we don’t have a super academic reputation, good weather, minimal diversity, nearly zero entertainment, etc., etc. It is nearly impossible for a university to consistently compete for national championships – ask Auburn, ask USC, ask Texas. Everyone needs to relax and be proud that we are consistently winning 9-10 games every year and going to a bowl – that is an accomplishment. BTW, I went to both the Wisconsin and Michigan games this year on the road (I must be a bad luck charm) and the difference in fan base and atmosphere was 180 degrees. Folks in Ann Arbor were gracious and accomodating and classy. You could tell they are a football program rich in tradition who have faced some recent humbling seasons, unlike Wisconsin who has been a horrible BIG 10 doormat up until 1993 when Alvarez got them to the Rose Bowl in his third year.