That message looks even more out of line now than it did when it first came out. In fact, it now looks incredibly absurd. It's time to acknowledge where we are in year 4 of this NU regime.
"So if you haven't done so already, it's time to send Steve Pederson a thank you note and let him know that you can see now that he was right all along. Thank him for keeping the faith."
Nebraska Football is a mess.
The implosion is already well underway. We've seen five weeks in a row of sub-par performances on the field. Last night we saw a Nebraska football team take the field ill-prepared to play Missouri and were dominated on both sides of the ball. Where do we begin with this?
Kevin Cosgrove? Certainly gets his share of the blame, but this is bigger than him.
Bill Callahan? Needs to accept even more of the blame, but again, this is bigger than him.
Simply put, this starts at the top. The road to recovery must begin with the departure of Steve Pederson, and as soon as possible.
Yes, I know Pederson just received a contract extension. I said at the time all this did was make the inevitable more expensive.
Yes, I know that Steve Pederson didn't miss any tackles, fail to make any blocks. But he hired the men responsible for ensuring that the Husker football program does this. In fact, he just gave them contract extensions, further raising questions about his ability to lead this program.
Last week, Nebraska's associate athletic director for fund-raising, Paul Meyers, announced his resignation, refusing to comment as to the reasons why, prefering to let Steve Pederson explain why. To Meyers' credit, he's trying to not to inflame the situation by announcing his reason for leaving, but it's obvious that he's escaping the sinking ship.
The laundry list of complaints against Steve Pederson from fans, boosters, and former players is too long to be repeated here. Yes, there are trivial things on the list like the tunnel walk. If that were the only complaint against Pederson, it would be easy to dismiss those charges.
After Nebraska's 2003 football season, Pederson fired a football coaching staff that had brought renewed enthusiasm to the team. 2004 saw Nebraska's first losing season since prior to Bob Devaney, prompting Pederson to proclaim that he was "even more excited about the future of Nebraska football." 2005 found the football program still struggling, with the low point being a 40-15 demolition by Kansas. I called for Pederson's resignation at that time as well. Last season, Nebraska talked about "resurgence", yet still wasn't able to reach the level of 2003. And now in 2007, Nebraska football (#36 in the latest Sagarin ratings) finds itself 4-2 after victories over Sagarin #92 Nevada, #46 Wake Forest, #76 Ball State, and #109 Ball State. Blowout losses against #7 USC and #15 Missouri.
Nebraska needs 2 or 3 victories to reach bowl eligibility. Here's the restof the schedule: #51 Oklahoma State, #45 Texas A&M, #26 Texas, #13 Kansas, #27 Kansas State, #29 Colorado. Is there two or three victories left, considering the level of play of the Huskers? That's really hard to say.
Furthermore, Sagarin's ratings now put Nebraska a unquestion fifth of six teams in the Big 12 North, trailing Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, and Colorado.
Four years ago, Steve Pederson claimed the would not surrender the Big XII to Oklahoma and Texas. The results of Pederson's changes? We've now surrendered to nearly the entire Big XII North.
Many folks want to make immediate changes to the coaching staff, but what does that solve? Who do you find midseason to take over? Coaching staff overhauls simply cannot be done at this time. We are simply going to have to swallow what is coming our way from the rest of the conference. Pressing the panic button won't help.
Firing Steve Pederson is first place to start. It immediately sets the message that things will not be the same. Already I've seen a few comments for Tom Osborne to return as athletic director. I'm not sure Osborne is the answer long term, but with the number of questions that will need to be solved this off-season with the Husker football program, there is nobody else more qualified to make those tough decisions. At the very least, Tom Osborne should be named interim athletic director immediately.
Replacing Pederson with Osborne starts in motion the healing process. Osborne brings credibility back to the athletic department and can soothe the hurt feelings of fans, boosters, and former players. Bringing Osborne in now gives him time to come in and be ready to make the tough decisions we are facing.