The fallout from the lackluster start to the Husker season is leading to somewhat of a feeding frenzy of negativity. Certainly, the only thing to be excited so far about is the defense and the 3-0 record, both of which are offset by the fact that it came against an incredibly weak schedule. But today, the negativity went overboard. Media types, such as Jim Rome, latched onto Bill Callahan's quote yesterday about coaching in the NFL and in college being equivalent.
“People make a bigger deal out of that than I would expect. As a ball coach, I’m being honest with you. You have to be able to adapt. It’s not that hard. If you asked Steve Spurrier, he’d tell you the same thing….it’s just coaching football.”
Certainly, I've raised concerns about whether Callahan understands the college game, and I stand by them and these examples. But much of the criticism today was shallow and just piling onto Callahan. Rome's take was extremely lame: "Uh, no it isn’t. If it were just ‘coaching football’ then your defense wouldn’t have more touchdowns than your offense. And they do, 4-3. That’s not ok. If the defense is getting the ball into the end zone more than the offense, your ‘coaching is coaching’ philosophy sucks." That's not criticism of Callahan's statement, that's just saying "you suck". If that's all you have to say, just shut up. Rome, you deserve your buzzer on this one.
Now, if you want to criticize Callahan, let's deal with specifics. Today's Omaha paper talked about the height advantage the Iowa State receivers will have on Saturday. Todd Blythe is 6'5", and Jon Davis is 6'4". That reminds me of a previous story about how Nebraska's receivers lack the size for the West Coast Offense. Certainly, since Matt Herian's injury, the passing game has been rather anemic. And Callahan did inherit the receivers from the old Nebraska offense, which didn't put a premium on size.
But Callahan now has 2 classes under his name. He hasn't recruited ANYBODY over 6'3" as a wide receiver, and the single 6'3" player (Nate Swift) he got to Lincoln originally committed to Frank Solich.
If "big receivers" are such a requirement for running the West Coast Offense, then failure to recruit these guys is a huge recruiting failure. If Iowa State can get them, certainly Nebraska can.