|There goes Bo again...|
or is it just the rumor mill again?
It shouldn't be a surprise that other schools have an interest in Bo Pelini. If the Huskers can beat either Minnesota or Iowa, Pelini will have won nine or more games for the fifth straight season. While some Husker fans might think that's not enough, other schools find that compelling. That's new for Nebraska football. Certainly nobody was interested in stealing Bill Callahan away from Nebraska, and Frank Solich was probably viewed as a lifer in Lincoln. Same thing with Tom Osborne, though offers from Houston and Michigan State did come in after his retirement. There probably were other inquiries back in the day when the rumor mill didn't have access to the internet.
Sam McKewon of the World-Herald doesn't find much substance in these rumors. He speculates the Auburn story is just that..speculation from the media. The Arkansas report could have some legs, though the interest is by Arkansas, not Pelini.
So once again, we are treated to the lather/rinse/repeat of these stories, with the implication that Pelini has been banging on doors trying to get out of Lincoln. Except he's still in Lincoln and these reports never go far. Am I being pollyana in simply accepting Pelini's denials of interest? Maybe. But haven't we learned that unsubstantiated reports frequently are just plain wrong? Ten years ago, there was the wild rumor that Bob Davie was having cable installed at his new house in Lincoln in preparation of replacing Frank Solich. Turned out to be completely bogus, yet people believed it. People believe the darndest things about Pelini. My favorite from ten years ago was the report that Pelini didn't even own a suit.
After a caller to Pelini's call-in radio show insinuated that Pelini had lost his team, the rumor mill ran amok. It was fanned further by Daimion Stafford's expression of frustration with Pelini in the first half of the Penn State game.
I heard the call into the radio show, but since I was at the game and not watching the ABC telecast, I never saw the exchange between Stafford and Pelini. All I know is that if Stafford was upset with Pelini, it didn't last long; Stafford had a pretty good game in the second half. And tonight, Stafford and Will Compton cleared the air after practice tonight. What they said generally corresponds with everything I've heard about Pelini's relationship with his players over the years. Here's Compton to the Lincoln Journal-Star:
So when I hear these rumors that Pelini can't wait to leave his team for the latest rumor du jour, I stop and think about everything I've heard from inside the Nebraska football program over the last ten years. And in the end, the rumors just don't smell right. And when they are so quickly dismissed, I have no reason to put any stock in them.
"There's no better guy to play for, and there's no better guy to have in your life, as far as leadership and a father figure."
Will Arkansas or Auburn try to contact Pelini? Quite possibly. Pelini might actually answer the phone and tell them "no", which will then lead to rumors that he's "talked" with these schools. But I'm going to need more substance before I buy into these rumors.
And substance continues to be in short supply whenever the "Bo Pelini is leaving Nebraska" story gets regurgitated.