Sunday, July 09, 2006

Steve Pederson's 98% Approval Rating?

Last week, the Lincoln Journal-Star's HuskerExtra poll asked the question "Are you happy with the job Steve Pederson is doing as AD?" Hey, it's summer and we're still 2 months away from the start of the season, so there really isn't much Husker-wise to talk about aside from (yawn) recruiting. What were the results? Why 98% "Very Happy" and 1% each "Pretty Happy" and "Not Happy at All". At first glance, you have to be shocked to see a 99% satisfaction rating for a man that was named "Enemy of the State" 2 years ago. Next step is to start questioning the integrity of the poll. Since it's an online web site poll, it's not scientific, but surely it must represent a growing change in heart for Husker fans, yes?

Nope. I happened to see the poll last Sunday afternoon, and the results at that time were 48% "Very Happy", 14% "Pretty Happy", and "38% Not Happy At All". So what caused the change in attitude? Simple...someone (presumably a Pederson fan) hacked the poll and rigged it worse than an election in Chicago. By Monday morning, the results stood at 124% "Very Happy" until a Journal-Star programmer tried to fix their web poll, allowing it to return to a not-believable-but-mathematically-possible 98-1-1.

So what is the mood of Husker Nation? I'd venture that there are 3 camps: Very Happy with Pederson, Relative Ambivilence (he's OK; done some good things and some bad things), and Can't Stand the Guy. What are the ratios? I don't know, but I'd bet that it's around 25% very happy, 25% Can't Stand, with about half the fans in the middle (and likely tired of the whole thing.)

Speaking of recruiting, I typically avoid the hype machine. Remember a year ago when the hype machine had Harrison Beck and Marlon Lucky starting early last season, and Zac Bowman declaring early for the NFL? Horribly, horribly, horribly wrong on all three counts...and amny more. That doesn't mean I don't listen to it, I just take everything with a grain of salt because, as themselves says, "everything is make-believe until they hit the field." With that said, I did come away with some positive vibrations about Patrick Witt, who recently comitted to the Huskers. In a radio interview with KXSP (590 AM in Omaha), he came across as a extremely mature individual. He's an excellent student (4.73 GPA) on pace to graduate in December (and plans to be in Lincoln for spring practice). His brother is a quarterback for Harvard who spent part of his summer on a mission to Bolivia. I don't know about his playing ability, but he sure sounds like a great person.

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