Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Callahan Takes Credit for Ganz to Jumpstart Job Search

Many Husker fans were rubbed the wrong way by Bill Callahan's comments about Joe Ganz' performance on Saturday:
"He's a product of the system," Callahan said of Ganz. "This is a player that we've developed and you could see his development ooze all over the field on Saturday."
He went on to brag about the offense's performance, taking aim at criticism that his offense is too complex for college:
"Everybody’s very critical of myself about how our offense is too complicated, and it’s too pro-like, and it’s this and it’s that," Callahan said. "But the fact remains, the numbers don’t lie. And the performance of these players doesn’t lie. It’s there. It’s all out there ... Somewhere in there, there’s coaching, there’s development, there’s system. There’s some real positive things that aren’t being brought out."
Callahan pointed out that Nebraska is 12th in the country in passing offense and 18th in total offense. What he failed to point out is that Nebraska's offense is currently only 36th in scoring offense (8th in the Big XII) after the Scoring Extrava-GANZ-a the last two weeks; before Ganz took over, the Huskers were 36th in total offense and 62nd in scoring offense nationally.

Even more upsetting to fans is how Callahan chose to marginalize his starting quarterback, saying he's merely a product of his system, and minimizing the work that Ganz put in. (Heck, the way I read it, he minimized the efforts of Zac Taylor and Sam Keller as well...)

Is all this fair? When read as absolutes, no. Callahan deserves some credit for the numbers Joe Ganz put up the last two weeks. He's the coach, and he prepared Ganz. But is this outburst appropriate when Ganz' took his offense from downright mediocre to merely okay? Not really.

Let's be honest here. Callahan knows he's going to be fired in two weeks. These comments weren't about Joe Ganz and the Huskers; these comments were to send a message that Callahan isn't a bad offensive coordinator. Here's my resume (look at it now after I ran up the score on Kansas State); will you hire me?

It's certainly not an attempt to justify his return as head coach, as he points out the shortcomings of the defense. As head coach, Bill Callahan is responsible for the whole team, not just the offense. That means he also needs to take ownership of numbers like a 5-6 record, a #105 ranking in scoring defense, and a #112 ranking in total defense. You can't merely explain it away as youth or blame in on Kevin Cosgrove. Callahan chose Cosgrove, knowing well his history of mediocrity at Wisconsin. Callahan chose to focus recruiting on offense, thus leaving the defense undermanned. Bill Callahan is still ultimately responsible for the horrible defense the Huskers have played this season.

Husker fans and players shouldn't take offense at Bill Callahan's comments; we're looking at a man who has already working for his next job. Expect more ugliness as we enter the the final days of Bill Callahan's head coaching career. Bill knows it's over, and is now working to resume his career as an assistant coach, probably as an offensive coordinator as his head coaching days will be in his rear view mirror after failing at Oakland and Nebraska.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mediocrity. I am tired of this word, please find a new one please.