Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tom Osborne Rides Again

Well, it didn't exactly happen the way I thought it would in June, but one thing is clear about Tom Osborne's return to the athletic department. I said then that the "road to Husker Unity goes through Steve Pederson and Tom Osborne", implying that Steve Pederson should open the doors to the athletic department to contributions from Tom Osborne.

Well, Steve is thankfully gone, and replaced by none other than Tom Osborne.

Neither Osborne's presence nor Pederson's absence will change the fact that Nebraska hasn't been able to tackle since Labor Day, nor that Nebraska has been outscored 96-20 this month. It doesn't change my opinion that this football team gave up on this coaching staff a month ago, and that despite assurances to the contrary, this coaching staff has as much unity as the Bundy family.

No, this one is for fans and boosters. This one is for the future. This one is for the alums and the former players.

But what about the current players? What happens to them? That's a good question. Although they say the right things, it's obvious they checked out on this staff a long time ago. And with Osborne's statement that he's not making staff changes during the season, the status quo prevails. Which means that the divide between coaches and players will probably get worse, not better.

Here's hoping that one of Osborne's first calls is to Jack Stark, to get the staff psychologist back on staff to help this team out. Callahan might not like it, but that's too bad. Callahan knows that he's out after the season. His brown sweater at the press conference was a non-verbal statement that he's no longer "N". Will the rest of the staff just go through the motions the rest of the season? That's a good question. And one that might affect their job prospects as they move on in their careers.

But unfortunately for fans, that makes it more likely that the Huskers aren't going to pull out of their tailspin this season. That will make the rest of the season tough on fans, but will make the decisions at the end of the season much easier to make and to accept.


Anonymous said...

I don't think the Billy C thanks he is out at the end of the season, has he ever worn a different shirt to a press conference? In general if you back someone into a corner they come out swinging. Get ready for some swings. He started to push back at the press conference when he told the media to look at themselves (which they won't).


Anonymous said...

Callahan is a great coach, PERIOD!
We just extended his contract for 5 more years. No one was complaining after the Nevada win. Let's let this thing play out. What's so bad about being in the North cellar until 2012? We should all have the opportunity to feel like the real losers we are. Afterall, we are only bandwagon fans.

Alex Quinlan said...

While Osborne's comments have sounded like a tacit admission that Callahan's job is on the line right now, he is allowing C. the rest of the season to turn things around. As difficult as it may be to do, especially after the spiritless play over the last month, I think we, as fans, should follow Osborne's lead and wait until the season's over before we start calling for Callahan's head. After all, he's found a way to motivate the team in previous years. They played hard last year, didn't they?

Of course, play-calling isn't one of Callahan's strong-suits. (Botched fake punt in the Cotton Bowl anyone? No takers? Hmmm...) This is a problem, as is the reliance on JuCo kids and other transfers (Big Sam!). But, as I said, these are questions for the AD and they will be asked--and answered--during the offseason.

As to the swing Callahan took at 'the media,' this blog is part of the media. It is a good blog. However, it seems the biggest problem with Steve Pederson is also the biggest problem with this blog: unrealistic expectations. Osborne was a once-in-a-century type of coach. Nebraska will probably never have anyone as good as he was. That may be difficult to grasp, but failing to do so would be disastrous. Just look at Alabama.