Published Tuesday, February 14, 2012 AT 10:40 AM / Updated at 7:53 PM
Dirk’s Brunch Bites, Feb. 14
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

Your big-picture question this morning: Is Tom Osborne’s legacy as AD mostly finished? Or just starting to solidify?

In 2007, Osborne stepped in for Steve Pederson and put the athletic department back together again. He has since overseen the construction of major facilities. And of course, he helped drive Nebraska to the Big Ten, one of the most important moves in the university’s history.

Pretty solid work.

But one of the chief roles of an athletic director is hiring and firing coaches. And if Osborne relieves Doc Sadler of his duties — which he should — Osborne will make his third major hire in a span of 4 1/2 years.

Bo Pelini was the first, of course. Darin Erstad was No. 2. Neither, at this point, can be judged a success or a failure. It’s too soon. I would make the same argument for Osborne’s reign as AD.

So far, his work deserves a positive review. But the longer Osborne stays, the more his AD legacy is shaped by the people he hires.

* * *

>> The latest conference realignment story made me think of Creighton.

On Monday, Conference USA and the Mountain West announced a merger. The new league will have 16 teams and stretch from East Carolina to Hawaii.

This is a football move, like everything else in conference realignment. But for one league, I hope basketball eventually drives the bus.

As you know, the Big East has already announced the addition of Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football. Memphis will join Central Florida, Houston and SMU as full-fledged members.

That includes basketball, the Big East’s flagship sport.

Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia (and maybe Louisville) saying goodbye is bad enough. But adding UCF, Houston and SMU? That’s sacrilege for East Coast basketball fans.

Sooner than later, I think the non-football Big East schools will break away and form their own league. That’s Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul, maybe even Notre Dame.

Here’s where the vision gets interesting locally.

What if Creighton — a like-minded, private, Catholic, basketball school — maneuvered its way into that new league?

It might take some sweet talk — and a few Sweet 16 appearances — to make it happen. But it’s not impossible, especially if you throw in schools like Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis and St. Joseph’s, which fit the same profile.

I know the Jays have history with the Valley. They have rivals there. But Creighton is too good for most Valley schools.

What do you think, Bluejay fans. Would you willingly ditch the Valley if offered that scenario?

And if the Big East thing didn’t happen, what about a fallback plan. A league consisting of private, urban, Midwestern schools: Xavier, Dayton, Butler, Saint Louis, Drake, Duquesne and Detroit.

Creighton’s basketball program is making news nationally. But a conference promotion would help take the Jays to a new level.

>> Hilarious. A Valentine’s Day love song to Denard Robinson.

>> The new Big 12 football schedule is finally public. It includes West Virginia. Highlights include Thanksgiving weekend, when OU plays OSU and Texas faces TCU.

>> Despite movement among athletic directors and conference commissioners, Harvey Perlman is still opposed to a college football playoff. He talked about this morning on KLIN in Lincoln.

>> Urban Meyer and Bret Bielema are neck-and-neck in an ESPN poll. The topic: most disliked coach in the Big Ten.

>> A Maine high school coach resigned after accidentally posting a naked picture of himself on Facebook. Oh c’mon, who hasn’t done that!

>> The Oakland A’s actually spent some money! In the same article, Yahoo! Sports projects the MLB payrolls for 2013. Guess where the Royals are? How ‘bout fourth-to-last.

>> The New York Times spends four days with the Butler basketball team. Love these kinds of stories.

>> Baseball America doesn’t expect Darin Erstad to win the Big Ten. Purdue, they say, will get the Big Ten’s sole NCAA bid.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at


  1. James says:

    Is the talent that far gone in baseball that they can’t win the big ten? Afraid it is happening in football too. Bo is way to stubborn.

    1. Mosier says:

      Brought in the #2 and #3 classes into the Big Ten the last 2 years. Why are you worried we can’t compete. People need to rewatch the USC game and take a deep breathe. Pelini and Nebraska football will be fine.

      1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        Pelini will implode this season, and it will be the players fault because they wont ‘execute’ the ‘process.’ Osborne will step down, after we lose our 5th game, I will go out on a limb by saying Pelini may be suspended for a game due to side line behavior.
        Next football season may be one of the worst in the modern era.

        1. huskerfan says:

          Stop watching NUCORNDEVIL. Rather then bash a team go find to to support

          1. huskerfan says:


        2. TrevFortAD says:

          I pray you’re right. Perlman will finally have to make a great decision and hire Trev. Trev will then set our course for a bright future.

          1. NUCORNDEVIL says:


        3. Melvin says:

          Same QB, worse defense. 9-3 would be a miracle.

          1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

            Somewhere deep down in the depths of my being, I hope Kaz is to Pelini, what Steele was to Osborne.

          2. Mosier says:

            Better QB, better D, NU will be just fine.

          3. A Fan says:

            May be not a miracle… but we’ll be lucky to lose only 3 next year. Chances are it’s another 9 win season… with 4 losses.

      2. A Fan says:

        Well… you have the upcoming season to witness how good or bad Nebraska football has become. Make no mistakes about it. 2012 is a pivotal year for Pelini. He doesn’t win at least 9 games, his seat is going to get hot. He wins more than that… he’s good, for one more year.

  2. Chaz59 says:

    Creighton, Wichita St. and possibly Southern Ill. are the class of the Valley. They should probably look at a different conference either collectively or independently as was suggested. If they want to step up their national profile, have easier access to more elite players and boost their RPI then they need to bail from the Valley.

  3. Daniel says:

    What in the world makes you think Creighton is better than the other Valley schools? WSU just beat them and is sitting in first place this season, Missouri State won the regular season championship while Indiana State won the MVC Tournament last season, and UNI has made the biggest headlines for the Valley by beating Kansas in the NCAA Tourney. Creighton is by no means better than the rest of the Valley.

    1. Dirk Chatelain Dirk Chatelain says:

      Better university. Better facilities. Bigger city. Creighton doesn’t fit like it would with schools like Xavier, Marquette, etc.

    2. Mosier says:

      He said most schools. Being top 3 and usually #1 in the conference for over a decade is pretty impressive.

  4. Old Scout says:

    I think a good midwest conference of private schools with similar values would include St Louis, Xavier, Creighton,Loyola, Detroit, Marquette, DePaul, Dayton, Drake, Evansville, Butler, Bradely, Valporaiso. That would be a nice mix. SLU and Majerus not happy about being in Atlantic 10. Notre Dame needs to join the B1G, and I think sooner rather than later for obvious reasons.

  5. [...] We have a 2012 BigXII football schedule! Finally 2. Today Dirk’s Brunch Bites looks at Nebraska’s AD and the potential of a all-basketball league 3. How about some college [...]

  6. Mike says:

    I won’t bang on the Royals for their payroll rank this year or even next year. They are playing a lot of rookies and first year guys who only make league minimum. Aside from spending a boatload of cash on a questionable starting pitcher, Edwin Jackson/Roy O (inconsistencies and injury history) how are they going to bump up payroll. However, if they are still that low in 2-3 years than we need to talk. Gordon should get an extension and they should start locking up their core players like Hosmer/Moustakas/Myers/ and any of the pitchers if they project how everybody thinks they should

  7. Gene O says:

    I think Osborne can use his experience with how Bob Devaney left his job as a reason to have a candidate lined up when he decides to call it a day(so someone else doesn’t have to). He had Frank Solich ready to take over as head coach- making it easy as possible to leave quickly. He’s probably got someone in mind this time, too. Between keeping things close to the vest, and his stoic approach to handling himself- Tom would be a great poker player(if he gambled).

    As far as his legacy as an AD: once he decides how to handle the basketball situation, it’s pretty well up to the coaches on the fields and courts. Between stabilizing the football program, the stadium addition, and bringing NU into the B1G, his personal legacy as an AD almost comes up to the same level as his coaching record. The coaches and players will determine the final level of his achievement in this last job.

    1. TrevForAD says:

      Who cares about Tom’s legacy, he doesn’t have the best record in selecting head coaches. Bring Trev in and you won’t be dwelling on the past you’ll will be living the dream and building a rock solid foundation for the future.

      1. Relatively Neutral says:

        I sure hope this is sarcasm.

        1. Red says:

          Agree, RN.

      2. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        That Perlman cat needs to kick rocks also.

  8. BlueJay says:

    I say start an all Jesuit league. Creighton, Xavier, Marquette, Loyola Ill, Gonzaga, St. Joes, Santa Clara, St; Louis. I am an alum of Creighton and like the MVC as well.

    1. Marv says:

      I just threw up in my mouth.

      1. BlueJay says:

        You look in the mirror or something?

  9. Mosier says:

    I would love to see NU go after bigger name coaches and actually be willing to poney up to get them here. The facilities are a great start now we need a coach who actually knows how to build a program and will get the fans back.

    The final verdict on Pelini is still far off but I think he should easily be classified as a success considering the shambles the program was in when he took over. He was a huge success the first 3 years and I don’t think one mildly disappointing season negates what he has done.

  10. OldGold says:

    Creighton should get out of the MVC and take Drake with it for old times sake. They can pull in 18,000 at a game. They should be playing with bigger programs and not being pummeled in high school gymns by inbred microcephalics who automatically hate and resent Creighton because we have indoor plumbing. But if they do, they will need to step up the thug factor to be competitive. Remember P. Allen?
    That’s what you need to win at all levels of Div one…Marquette, Dayton, etc. some rough characters. Disposable heroes that you keep in a cage and then bring out for a basketball game.

    1. W. Wright says:

      Do YOU remember P. Allen?! He ended his career at D2 Mizzou Western. What an ANIMAL (according to you).

      And, please drive down to Springfield, Carbondale, Cedar Falls etc. and tell ‘em about their plumbing problems. Got big money you won’t get out of any of those places with all your limbs.

  11. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    Its unfortunate Doc’s gotta go, the results will be the same in 10 years, anyone who can play basketball @ a high level avoids Lincoln, unless they’re from Nebraska.
    Just for the record, a high profile would not commit career suicide @ NU, regardless of money.

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      p.s. NU basketball is a stepping stone, hire someone young.

      1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        And for the record, Pelini’s ability to coach, will be taking snaps this fall from an unknown center with little or no evperience.

        1. Mosier says:

          I have kinda missed being conDused by your comments the last couple weeks.

          I hear Omaha football needs some new fans, you should check them out.

          1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

            My bad, did I forget to fat finger a letter for ya, well here, this will give your peanut brain something to play with besides your djck. :)

          2. Keezer says:

            Stay classy nucornbrain.

  12. HuskerRebel says:

    For some reason, Bo will not allow players to gain quality experience
    at any position. It’s T-fumble or bust!

  13. malcolm says:

    I think best possible scenario for Creighton is the A-10, but before they need to have a solid 20 years of 15000+ attendance to justify that move.

  14. dash riprock says:

    Creighton is too good for most valley school? LOL all over the place! One of the dumber things I’ve read. They are lucky to have McDermott even playing there. Not until pappa Mac signed on as coach, UNI released him from his scholorship. Hey, sweep the MVC tourney and see you in the final four…..

  15. macjones says:

    Can I bring my Lite-Brite, Jem dolls and My Little Ponies? Is so, I’m so there. OMG!

    1. macjones says:

      Go Huskers golly gee howdy.

      Lil Red in life er smart. Who dat springer Husker do? Hahahhaha! Bo ain’t der person to do dat. Who dat? Whee!

      Little10 good fer Huskers. Bleh!

      1. macjones says:

        Ger era not goin to be Bo. Isa like Jar-Jar. Boo Huskers lil Red. Bo ain’t like der Jeffy. Jeffy do dat whosa better da. WHOOO! Jeffy no Bo. Are none big as Ohio n Michigan. Bo no. NO! Haha!

        1. TexasHusker says:

          So, looking forward to another 3-10 season with your mighty Puffalos?

          24-50 since 2005, aren’t they?

          Tell me, why does Colorado suck so much?

          And since your Buffys do suck so much, why spend your time here? Doesn’t your bargain-basement coaching staff deserve some discussion on your own boards?

          You poor dear. You’ve been a loser for so long, it’s all you know.

          Uh-oh! Sucks to be a Buffawo!

          Buffawo up, Buffawo Chips!

        2. Bigfred says:

          This is your brain on drugs.

  16. Skytown J says:

    I took the time to listen to Harvey Perlman. He says he hasn’t heard any good reasons for going to playoff system. Maybe Harvey needs to get out of his office a little more often. He claims the bowl games are a good tradition. I disagree. They were a fun tradition about 20 years ago or so, when their were a limited number of games and the whole fiasco was at least done by Jan. 1. But even then, as now, the term “national champion” was totally subjective. And as SI pointed out last year, most schools lose money on the bowl games nowadays anyway. It is a system that has long, long outlived it’s usefulness.

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      Nothing like a bunch of old tired blue hairs pulling the strings.

      1. HuskerTadow says:

        Yes. Don’t listen to someone who has experience. Harvey doesn’t throw rocks at YOU when you’re mowing lawns.

        Stay classy nucornforbrains.

        1. Skytown J says:

          You’re right, Perlman has the Pedersen/Callahan “experience” on his resume. That worked out great. Really good point.

          1. Husker Tadow says:

            Oh. I forgot Harvey was the AD then. Oh wait…he should have micro-managed Steve.

            Really awesome point.

          2. Skytown J says:

            Micro-managed? Hah! Newsflash – if you hire a top executive at a huge corporation, and that decision turns out to be an utter disaster, you get the axe too. Sorry, but welcome to the real world.

          3. Husker Tadow says:

            And he should soley be judged by the football program. Very intelligent thought process. Welcome to the world.

  17. pelinisadlersavioursofhuskersports says:

    tom needs to step down as AD. he is too close to the football program to be unbiased. form a committee and chose the next ad. someone who has no ties to the university.

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:


  18. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    There are agencies which have a database of talanted people with said qualidications, I think Tom should be eliminated from making the decision on who takes over the A.D. position, and Jamrog should never be considered.

  19. TexasHusker says:


    Submit your application! Please, please don’t deny us the benefit of your vast expertise any longer! Show those University of Nebraska elders the wisdom inherent in your every post! Oh, DO say you’ll do it, won’t you? Nebraska NEEDS your relentless negativity and your asinine advice.

    1. Husker Tadow says:


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