Tuesday, November 21, 2006

As the coaches churn

The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart is reporting that Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell is the frontrunner to take over to replace Dan McCarney at Iowa State. Not a surprise to me; I've felt Norvell was the best coach on the Husker staff ever since he arrived. Losing Norvell is inevitable, in my humble opinion, and losing him to a Big XII rival would be double-trouble.

Dienhart also says that former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is one of the leading candidates at Michigan State. At least one MSU fan is pushing Bo to take over Sparty (thanks DoubleExtraPoint for the tip):

Down in Columbia, Gary Pinkel's contract extension was termed "insane" by AJ the HuskerH8er. Perhaps the timing of the announcemen was insane, right before Dan McCarney's final game in Ames. But Mike Alden really didn't have much of a choice here: either fire Pinkel or show him the money. Pinkel was basically in the same situation that Barry Collier was at Nebraska this spring with only 2 years left on his contract. Pinkel's contract status was an albatross around Pinkel's neck that would make it very difficult for Pinkel to recruit. Pinkel even acknowledged it in today's Columbia Daily Tribune:
"I think when you get under three years, people wonder. For example, last year after the bowl game, we won our bowl game and nothing happened, so all our competitors were like, ‘Oh, are they going to keep Pinkel there?’ You know how that goes."
Perhaps the timing was bad; certainly waiting until after the end of the regular season would have made more sense. But it had to be done. Alden couldn't make the same mistake Steve Pederson made last spring and hope that Pinkel would bail him out by finding another job.

Speaking of Steve Pederson's mistakes, the folks in Athens, Ohio are certainly celebrating the Bobcats' first championship and bowl bid since 1968. When you consider the progress that the Bobcats have made in their last 2 years under Frank Solich and that Nebraska is just now getting back to the level it was at when Solich left, it's obvious that Solich is a pretty darn good football coach. North Carolina and Iowa State certainly thought so, considering Solich before eventually looking elsewhere.

Oh, and just to be fair, I do have to give props to Steve Pederson's hire if I'm going to criticize his handling of Barry Collier. The Omaha daily's Tom Shatel said it, and I'll say it: It doesn't happen very often, but Dana Altman got outcoached Saturday night by Doc Sadler. And that's the best news for Nebrasketball since the team walked out on Danny Nee and into Bill Byrne's office over 10 years ago.

Matt Perrault on KXSP made one of the more inane comments I've heard on Saturday, calling the Nebraska game an "autowin" for Creighton. In Perrault's defense, he wasn't in town for any of the matchups prior to last season, but he neglected to do any research to show just how close the matchup between Nebraska and Creighton has been the last few years. I guess that's why the Jim Rome-wannabe is drawing an audience only comparable to NPR...


AJ said...

Let the record show two things:

1) 99.9% of Missouri fans want Pinkel gone yesterday. Gary Barnett is the #1 choice of fans right now. (I'm not so sold)

2) Missouri beat the crap out of Ohio in September.

Have a good holiday with your new family my friend.

Husker Mike said...

In the second half, yes. In the first half...maybe not. Ohio missed a field goal and had another field goal and extra point blocked, otherwise it would have been 14-13 at halftime.