Just a quick note on a busy Sunday. I’ll check back with more on the blog later today, but I wanted to get a thought out there on Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini.
Big 10,or whatever you’re going to be called, take him. Please. Now. Pelini loses it What an embarrassment Pelini was on the Nebraska sideline during the Huskers’ 9-6 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday night. Ranting and raving all night against his player and especially the officiating crew, which called a shaky game. No doubt about it. Some of those flags shouldn’t have been flags, especially a late hit against Courtney Roberts late in the game after he made a clean hit on A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That’s football, folks, and Roberts shouldn’t have been called for a penalty.
That doesn’t excuse Pelini’s overall boorish behavior. Fans watching that game on ABC who had no connection to either team must have been thinking to themselves: “This guy’s nuts.”
And almost 100 percent of those unconnected fans must have decided to go ahead and root for Texas A&M because of Pelini’s antics.
Not that Nebraska fans care about that. They have an unwavering “us against the world” mentality that has worked for decades. But Pelini is no Tom Osborne or even Frank Solich, gentlemen who competed like the dickens but didn’t make fools of themselves in doing so.
The ABC cameras couldn’t avoid Pelini, yet the ABC commentators never said much of anything about his behavior except to acknowledge that he was upset. Neither my guy Brent Musburger nor analyst Kirk Herbstreit called Pelini out about how his madness was potentially costing the Huskers the game. He drew a half-the-distance penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the fourth quarter that put the football at about Nebraska’s own 5-yard-line. Fortunately for Pelini, Nebraska moved the ball out of that dangerous territory without paying a bigger price.
There are Nebraska fans who believe the Big 12 – and its officials – are out to get the Huskers because of their impending move to the Big 10. Conspiracy theorists are almost always wrong, and this case is no different. They would argue that 16 penalties to A&M’s 2 is a wide enough disparity to convince the naysayers that the conference does, indeed, have it out for NU. But I saw only a couple of shaky calls go against NU, albeit the Roberts late hit was a huge one.
Officials are human and after being screamed at incessantly by Pelini, it’s plausible that their eyes might have been more closely trained on the Nebraska players. But I was struck at the calmness retained by the back judge who was catching most of Pelini’s wrath. He never lost his cool, at least that I could see during the telecast. And he never backed down to the bully.
I haven’t much cared for Pelini since he called out Kansas State’s Bill Snyder during a game in Lincoln earlier this decade, a game K-State won. Pelini, then an assistant, thought the Wildcats had tried to run up the score late and he wasn’t at all shy about letting Snyder know his feelings. It was a classless move.
Pelini reportedly has made attempts to gain more self control over the years. Now that he’s the head coach of one of the country’s most traditional college football programs, self control makes sense. But self control flew out the window Saturday night and Pelini was left looking like a lunatic.
He’ll be gone soon. Good riddance.