Monday, April 28, 2008

A Ruud Awakening for Some

I'm no fan of the New England Patriots, but you do have to respect a franchise that has won three Super Bowls this century. So when they selected Bo Ruud in the sixth round of the NFL draft yesterday, they proved the critics of the Ruud brothers wrong once again. They were wrong about Barrett, who nearly made the Pro Bowl this season. Now they're wrong about Bo as well. Heck, if it wasn't for Bo's interceptions against Ball State and Iowa State, Nebraska might have gone 3-9 this season. Why the hate for two of Nebraska's native sons, I'll never understand.

Many people want to point to this season's mediocre NFL draft results as some sort of indictment of Bill Callahan's recruiting. That may be...but the jury is going to be out on that for some time. This class of NFL draft picks is tough to assign to any coach, since it contained some fifth-year Frank Solich recruits. Much like the argument as to whether Callahan was able to fully develop players either... we'll see this fall just what kind of improvement these players have made, but for now, it's all speculation.

One thing is clear... there are a lot of four and five star recruits whose eligibility expired that never came close to meeting the buzz that was showered on them when they arrived in Lincoln. Were those expectations overrated, or did Callahan and company fail to develop players? Right now, I'd have to go with "all of the above."

Speaking of Billy C, Matt Hayes of the Sporting News reveals yet another juicy tidbit about the Bill Callahan Clusterfool that provides yet more insight what really happened:
Compared with where the process was last fall in Lincoln, the Huskers have made bigger strides than any team this spring. How bad was the dysfunction? Consider this anecdote:

Former coach Bill Callahan was obsessive about his offense; he made the game plan and called the plays. Sources say before the Texas game -- and at the height of Nebraska's failures -- Callahan let his assistants build the game plan and said he wouldn't call one play.

After the first series, Callahan not only called every offensive play, he called the defensive sets, too. The Huskers gave up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and lost, 28-25.
Hayes also listed Nebraska as one of his top five teams making progress this spring. Yeah, it's spring practice and it's hard to get a good read on it. But maybe it's not insane to hope for a huge improvement this fall, especially if the Clusterfool was as bad as it seems.


Anonymous said...

If Husker fans want to dump all the crap they can on Callahan to make themselves feel better they can and will continue to do so. However, the facts don't check out here.

Callahan had about two weeks to recruit for the 2004 class. 2004 WAS a Solich recruiting year that was further scarred by the coaching switch and yet homer fans from Nebraska are trying to use it to further smear Callahan.

Callahan recruited three classes, two of them were underclassmen last year, and fans are complaining that recruiting is over-rated. It's ridiculous. Solich did suck at recruiting. It took four years for the damage of Solich's recruiting to rear it's ugly head (it was hidden by Osborne players) and its last class just graduated.

The effects of recruiting are always three to four years behind. Pelini is the guy that gets to use the players Callahan brought in. Callahan was the only guy that caught the brunt of Solich's recruiting failures here, but people expected his freshmen and sophomore players to magically cover up the lousy 2004 class of seniors when he ran out of JUCO patches from his 2005 class.

By all means though, flood our sideline with walk-ons again! The Huskers will be back in no time!

What a load of crap. The Husker will be back when they go after the best coaches available (not based on their connections to Osborne's ego...err...I mean legacy) and when they bring in the best of the best in talent.

If I had to choose between four five stars and 100 walk-ons, I'd go with the five stars. You'd probably find three good players either way, and with the five stars you wouldn't have to sift through 100 guys.

Husker Mike said...

Callahan had about a month to salvage the 2004 recruiting class that Pederson scuttled by not having a head coach for nearly 6 weeks.

You made the statement that it takes three or four years to see the effects of recruiting. OK. Four years. Where did Frank Solich have the Huskers in his fourth year? BCS National Championship game. Where did Bill Callahan have the Huskers in his fourth year? 5-7.

As you point out, there were still a few Osborne players around in 2001, much like there were a few Solich guys left in 2007. But by and large, the roster was pretty much dominated by Callahan's recruits. By my math, I only see about 13 Solich guys still on the roster last season. Trying to blame Solich for 2007 might be the most idiotic thing I've heard.

hackermav said...

Who's to say that Bo Pelini won't get the 4 and 5 star kids? And as far as I am concerned, a 100 walk on kids who have a little 'Rudy' are worth the trouble of figuring out the 3 or 4 who can play real minutes each game. The passion brought on by these kids will far outweigh the 'hired gun' attitude of not caring about anything but stats of the bulk of the 4 and 5 star kids.

If Pelini can get the Callahan kids to care enough to go 8-5, then he has proven right the point of firing Callahan, he is a good coordinator and recruiter but a piss poor motivator, coach, and leader.

Anonymous said...

Husker Mike,

You are a biased, blinded fool.

Guys like you are the same ones that think Osborne is some sort of saint despite all the crap he used to pull. You see whatever you want to see when it comes to the Huskers.

Solich had tons of walk-ons to "show his primadonna scholarship players how to work hard" and they completely got flattened the second Osborne's recruits left...after his fourth year.

If you had any sort of clue you'd realize that every team relies heavily on it's's juniors and seniors. Our seniors last year were made up of a rag-tag bunch from Solich's 2003 and 2004 classes. The 2005 class had to rely heavily on JUCO's just to cover up all the holes there.

Callahan couldn't even get one class to it's senior year here and mindless Husker fans are reaching the conlusion that recruiting doesn't matter.

Solich salted the earth here AND managed to get martyred. It's total bs, and idiots like you keep it going.

Like I said, until we can bring in the best of the best in recruiting and coaching we are going to suck.

When our walk-ons and 'diamonds in the rough' get buried "Husker way" fools like you will have no one to blame but yourselves.


The Truth

Anonymous said...


The idea that "Rudys" have some sort of monopoly on 'heart' is laughable.

Highly sought after recruits don't get their offers and stars by a random drawing. They get them because they have some combination of the following three factors, 1) better athleticism, 2) better production, and or 3) better competition.

Like any draft in any sport there are going to be hyped signings that don't pan out. However, for every five star that doesn't work out there are about 30-50 walk-ons and hidden gems that never do a damn thing. If Pelini can't bring in top talent--the sort he built his reputation on at Oklahoma and LSU--he will fail. Completely fail.

It isn't very reassuring that the guy hasn't done crap for recruiting either anywhere he's been. The talent was there in place for him, as were the top defenses. I hope to God he's as good of a coach as everyone thinks and wasn't just riding the momentum of Stoops and Muschamp.