Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Football Preview: Husker Football – Big Ten West

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It’s always great to have a look at Husker football from outside the Big Red Bubble. My dear friend Hondo “Hardcore” Carpenter reached out to me as he wanted to explain the reasoning behind his earlier predictions further.

Hopefully his statements on his very own site (Spartan Nation) will help clear up any confusion. Without further adieu, we give you Mr. Carpenter’s full take on the Huskers:

Team: Nebraska Cornhuskers B1G West

Head Coach: Bo Pelini

Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Key Assistant: Bo Pelini (will explain below)

Trending: Downward. Nebraska is one of the top five college football programs( and jobs), and Bo Pelini has systematically turned it into what Rutgers wants to be. Four losses a year and coaching blunders that should send a blue blood program into orbit.

Instead the BO-lievers simply make excuses for his failures and allow him to embarrass the program over and over. There is NO excuse for Nebraska to be in the shape they are.

With his best team as the head coach of the Huskers this season, it could be Pelini’s last chance to prove it.

Prediction: 7-5 (4-4) No. 4 in the B1G West

Florida Atlantic: Win

McNeese State: Win

At Fresno State: Loss

Miami, FL: Win

Illinois: Win

At Michigan State: Loss

At Northwestern: Loss

Rutgers: Win

Purdue: Win

At Wisconsin: Loss

Minnesota: Win

At Iowa: Loss

Final thoughts: In all of my years doing reports on teams prior to the season, I never put a head coach as his most important assistant. My reason is simple. Pelini has made the program all about him. Even with all the turnovers, the Huskers had MSU in trouble last season.

They still lost when the Huskers had to be cute and go away from running the ball where MSU had no answer. Coaching cost them a win over the eventual No. 3 team and Rose Bowl champs.

Pelini’s press conference was an embarrassment to the once proud University that was only outdone in classlessness by the people who swarmed to defend his once un-Nebraskan-like behavior. A school that once stood for winning the right way on the field, in the classroom, and in society now has to look in the mirror at this program’s leadership and cry.

They don’t. They make excuses.

There is no shame in losing four games a year, if you are Purdue or Rutgers. To do it at Nebraska is blasphemy. Add to it, the shenanigans of Pelini and the program has become a side-show. I have become a person Nebraskans love to hate because I guess I think more of their program than they do.

They left the Big 12 to get out of the shadow of Texas, but sadly they haven’t got out of the shadow of Pelini. It would seem all of those years being treated so poorly by a previous conference that openly worships Texas; they have developed a complex because they no longer view themselves like they should.

The most underrated and undervalued college football player of all time is Tommie Frazier. The famed Nebraskan would have been a Hall of Famer in the NFL if he played today.

He was RGIII, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kapernick before they were who they are. In fact, not one of them had his talent, and had he played in an era that used him like he would be used today he would have redefined football.

Pelini, who should be treating him like most programs treat their revered, instead got into a public spat.

In fact, he had the audacity to say via Twitter that in regards to Frazier and the Husker program, “We don’t need him.” Frazier wanted more from the team he bled for and the man paid millions to produce it got his feelings hurt. DUMB. How do you argue with a man who bled for free when you are paid millions to be somewhere you complain about?

Nebraska was never known to have the best recruiting classes, but every year you knew the best coaching would produce some of the best players. It was hard work, respect the game and wearing the red N with pride.

The Huskers still have the proud red N. They still have the best game day experience in football and still have great players. Sadly, the problems in Nebraska are in the coaching offices and the fans that sit in the seats that defend them.

Take heart, Big Ten. If the Huskers ever fix it, they will make life hell for the rest of the conference. Every fan of the other 13 teams should send money to the “Keep Bo in Lincoln Fund”, because every year he is there, you have better odds of winning.

Pelini, who should be treating him like most programs treat their revered, instead got into a public spat. In fact, he had the audacity to say via Twitter that the Husker program, “We don’t need him.”

One Big Ten Coach told me, “They (Pelini and company) have to try to prove they are smarter than everyone and that is why every year they have a couple of losses that don’t make sense.” last year after MSU survived with the help of the Huskers’ staff.

I peg them at five losses solely based on their coaches. They are better than that, but they have been better than four losses a year every season Bo has been the coach and they still lost that many.

Bo would be a good coach at other places, but in Nebraska good coaches are not what it is about.

Frank Solich was fired after playing for a national title and coming off of a nine win regular season that saw his team beat Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl. He was not only a long time assistant to college football’s greatest coach in Tom Osborne; he is also Husker royalty as a player.

He is one of the best college football players of all time. Solich won a conference title in year two and is one of my favorite human beings on planet Earth. Every day Pelini is employed in Lincoln the BO-lievers owe Solich a bigger apology.

I can already hear my inbox blowing up with more hatred from the Husker Nation, but I don’t care. Just like I still believe in America, I still believe in Nebraska, apple pie and hot dogs. Sadly, some of America’s greatest people don’t believe in themselves.

Husker Corner sidenote: We encourage you to send an e-mail to Hondo as he truly would like to hear from you.

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Tags: Big Ten Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Russ

    No way we lose to Fresno State, even in Fresno. We’d have to have a huge offensive meltdown, their D is likely to suck again. The potential is there for a huge year if we stay healthy…and of course the big IF, IF we can cut down on turnovers. I am a little worried about the kicking game (besides the punt return game which was among the worst in the nation last season)., but I feel our D has a chance to be the best Husker D since 2009. I’m looking forward to seeing Randy Gregory terrorize opposing QB’s, and watching Ameer rush for 1, 500+ yards. I say either 10-2 or 11-1, with the toughest games at MSU and at Wisconsin. If we win one of those two, we’ll be in Indy with a chance for redemption IMO.

    • Brandon Cavanaugh


      Don’t be so quick to dismiss the Bulldogs. More so, don’t be so quick to dismiss the venue and time of day. Regardless of the talent on the field, for whatever reason, Pelini struggles with games on the road and this is a well-coached ball team.

      Turnovers and penalties are a given under Pelini, that’s just what history tells us. I wouldn’t be too concerned about kicking and punting aside from the return units.

      • Russ

        Question…if we actually do go 7-5 with that schedule, does Bo keep his job???

        • Brandon Cavanaugh

          I doubt it. If Nebraska goes 7-5, a major meltdown happened. The locker room split, a couple blowouts happened (maybe one to an absolutely unacceptable team), etc. I can’t see the season-ending presser going well, either.

          • Russ

            I personally see good reasons for optimism about this coming Husker football season, regardless of what has happened in past seasons.  I can’t really blame people for expecting the worst though…until that breakthrough season happens it’s going to be that way.  Bo did say he’s all about championships, and he’s come very close twice…but has yet to deliver so that’s a legit criticism.

          • Brandon Cavanaugh

            I don’t know about the worst, per se. Between penalties, turnovers, injury, poor performance and just being outcoached, the monotony can only stand for so long. It’s like stretching a rubber band. Eventually, that sucker’s gonna break.

  • deerhunter

    You will see a change in this team just because the athletic director finally stood up for his coach and told the media to take a hike. Husker will not be perfect but they will be feard!

    • Brandon Cavanaugh

      I didn’t see that at all. Eichorst came out after people were asking what his thoughts were, said some vanilla “I support the program” sentences and that was that. Didn’t hear a ton of support.

  • Dan Journey

    I think that “Hardcore” has some valid points. I do not agree that the Huskers are heading for a 7-5 season. If a team with the talent Nebraska has on its’ roster only goes 7-5 then they definitely had to get out-coached in at least 4 of those losses and maybe even in 4 of those wins. If that’s the case then Pelini must go. On the other hand, getting out-coached is bound to happen when you have a big ego. The coaching talent that Bo actually does posses must catch up with that ego. Dr. Tom had lots of time to get any ego in check as an assistant under one of the best coaches ever, Bob Devaney. What am I talking about you ask? I’m glad you asked. Tom Osborne goes for two for the win. If he just kicks the field goal he wins at least a share of the National Championship. It doesn’t work and Nebraska losses out on a championship. Does that sound like a bonehead thing to do? Does sound egotistical? Well it shouldn’t. He had faith in his team and in his players. He knew that it was more important to his players along with himself that they finish the season on a Husker agenda and not the agenda of the pollsters. In other words, he didn’t have a sense of entitlement. Maybe that’s what Bo is missing. Bo makes some silly coaching decisions at times, no doubt about it. Those mistakes were pure ego. Now it’s time for him to have some faith in what works and stop trying so hard as he put it, to go 50/50 on the run/pass. He needs to have faith in his star players when they have it going and have faith in his backups when his star players are struggling. He needs to have faith in one system and not faith in multiple systems. Rant over…