That Rose Bowl experience is one of the reasons cited by many fans as the reason why a coaching change was required after the 2003 season. Last December, I stated it was time to move on from that decision, and while that is still a noble idea, I'm swimming against the current on it, especially on night's like last night when we were reminded that the more things change, the more things stay the same.
All throughout the offseason, we were told how winning the Big XII North championship represented real progress for Nebraska, which is true... but only if you are looking back to November 2005. Comparing the Sagarin ratings for 2003 and 2006, the 2003 Huskers still were better. So then the argument arose that the 2006 Huskers didn't suffer any ugly home blowouts... until last night.
Everybody has opinions on this situation, and they aren't afraid to express them as proven facts. What I'm calling for is for everybody to be consistent in their actions.
In other words, if you were one of those people who felt there needed to be a change in 2003, you must begin screaming and yelling for change now. You argued that Nebraska got embarrased in blowouts... well, that happened last night. You argued in 2003 that Nebraska didn't have any difference makers on offense. We still don't have any in 2007. In fact, now we don't have any difference makers on defense now as well.
On the other hand, people who stood for patience in 2003 should continue to call for patience in 2007. Firing coaches might be cathartic, but there is one huge problem.
The man who created this whole snafu in the first place recently received a contract extension and a raise from his boss. He then turned around and gave Bill Callahan a contract extension as well. So not only did the price to make a change go up significantly, but the powers that be have already endorsed the current direction.
The FireBillCallahan blog and BillMustGo.com web sites are already full of reasons to make a change, most of them hard to dispute. Except for one... who would select the replacement? The athletic department would spend millions of dollars to buy out Callahan's contract, then spend millions of dollars more to repeat the circus-like coaching search that Husker fans endured four years ago.
This isn't a problem that has a simple solution. Firing everybody is a simple knee-jerk reaction, and with both sides as entrenched as ever, it just ain't happening immediately. Harvey Perlman, who has Pederson's back, already has found himself in the crosshairs of criticism for his plans to expand the UNL campus onto the State Fairgrounds. And LA Times columnist T.J. Simers was surprised to find that every Nebraskan seems to hate Steve Pederson.
Let's remember the words of Steve Pederson of December 1st, 2003:
In September 2007, it seems to me that we are even farther away from that goal than ever. Meanwhile, the Steve Pederson Error continues.
"No one should apply for this job who doesn't plan to win national championships."
"Nebraskans want, and expect to be, the very best."
"I believe we should be playing for or gaining on the (national) championship on a consistent basis. I don't feel currently we are playing for or gaining on championships."