Nebraska’s Next Head Football Coach is…

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit Camp Randall Stadium.  It was a record-setting day…not only was it the coldest game-time temperature (26 degrrrrees!)  at the stadium in 50 years….it also was the stage for a record-setting performance on field by the Badgers’ amazing running back, Melvin Gordon. It’s not every day you get to watch as an NCAA record is shattered. I’m talking, of course, about Melvin Gordon’s amazing 408 rushing yard performance in the cold and snow in Camp Randall Stadium.  A great day for any true fan of the college game.  Sadly, not so great a day if you love football and also happen to be a Big Red Huskers fan.

This  was my first time visiting “The Camp,” and it was mostly a great trip. The fans were respectful, the Wisconsin student section was loud and enthusiastic, and the stadium itself was beautiful after it was covered in a small layer of snow.

Beautiful Camp Randall Stadium (Photo Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin at Madison)

As a Nebraska fan though, that was about as good as it got.  Sure, the Huskers came out and took what seemed like a dominating lead, 17-3, well into the second quarter.  But then the sky (and the snow) fell in, highlighted by a talented running back who raced around, through and over the Huskers hapless defense.  Not only did the Huskers lose 59-24, but they also allowed Melvin Gordon (after this game he’s my choice for Heisman) to set the FBS single game rushing record of 408 yards. The highlights are below.

While it was a bad day to be a Huskers fan, I’m afraid it must’ve been an even worse day to be a member of the Nebraska football team. As I sat shivering in the freezing, snowy, bitter cold, my thoughts turned to warmer subjects – like the hot seat that Nebraska coach Bo Pelini now finds himself in.  As I fought off hypothermia, I began to wonder about the future of Nebraska’s head football coach Bo Pelini. Even before the season had started he was under fire, and a loss this bad certainly didn’t help his case. Speculating about Bo’s questionable future helped keep me conscious during a few of the Huskers’ repeated three-and-outs. My own prediction is that next year we can all look forward to a new look from the Huskers—starting with their coach!  So….who’s it gonna be? I’m glad you asked, because I present you with the top five candidates to replace Bo Pelini.

 

1) Will Muschamp- former head coach at Florida.

The former Florida head coach has announced that he’ll be stepping down as the head coach after this season. To date, including this season, he has gone 27-20. He’s had good seasons, as evidenced by the 2012 season where his Gators went 11-2 and ended up in the Sugar Bowl. However, the last two two seasons for the Gators have turned out horribly. Last year Florida finished 4-8, their first losing season since 1979. That kind of record simply doesn’t cut it at the University of Florida. What really killed his team is the fact that he just couldn’t get the offense into a groove. With such a dismal performance, what makes him the perfect choice to replace Bo Pelini? Well, look at the offensive stats from last game for Nebraska: 180 total yards, 118 rushing and 62 passing. Apparently Nebraska doesn’t care about moving the ball on offense…..and neither does Muschamp!  It’s a match made in heaven! Or, at the very least, a match made in Lincoln.

 

 

2) Walter White- drug lord, chemistry teacher and all around badass.

I know what you’re thinking: Walter White isn’t even a real person! (then again, neither was Manti Te’o’s girl friend!) And you’d be right, but fictitious figure or not, Heisenberg and his trademark fedora hat would be a much more welcome sight than Pelini’s seedy gray sweatshirt and baggy khakis. An even more compelling reason, though, for Walter White as Nebraska’s ideal head football coach is because of his planning ability. In AMC’s Breaking Bad, no matter what the scenario, White found a way out; whether it was a small loophole or a brilliant plan, there was always a way. For Nebraska, that would be important for two reasons. First, Nebraska may actually be able to close out games and find a way out, much like White if he were their head coach. And second, with Heisenberg as their coach, I’ll bet any amount of money he’d come with a brilliant, sophisticated playbook for both the offense and the defense to abide by week in and week out. Sounds appealing to me!  Can you say Walter White for head coach of the year?

Another prime candidate looking to take over the Nebraska Football Program, Walter White. (Photo by AMC)

 

3) My floor’s Resident Assistant Abe- a guy you can count on when you’re choking.

My RA Abe doesn’t WATCH football, which goes great with the Huskers, because this weekend it looked like the Huskers didn’t PLAY football. My RA plans weekly floor traditions that promote floor unity, that require a certain amount of planning and skill, and that seem pretty good to me. Abe came in clutch when I started having an allergic reaction once – so given the Huskers’ tendency to choke, who else would you want making the calls when it counts? Abe can start next week and would only demand enough to pay for four years of College Tuition…that’s about $188,000 over four years. Pelini is currently making $2.775 Mill. per year. Do the math — that’s over $11 million in four years. As you can see, hiring Abe as Nebraska’s head football coach also makes sense from an economic stand point. An inspiring, charismatic leader you can count on in a pinch, at a reasonable price tag? Seems like a steal to me! I hope AD Tom Osbourne is listening so he can snag Abe before some grad school does.

Would ya look at that? Even my R.A. is making his way into the coaching conversation! You go Abe!

 

4) Ron Swanson- man’s man, Libertarian, bacon & eggs enthusiast.

Ron Swanson from TV’s Parks and Recreation is a confident and strong individual. Those are the exact qualities the Nebraska football team needs for its identity. Plus Nebraska is the perfect fit for Swanson, as Nebraska’s stick-to-your-ribs diet of steak, potato, and corn would be a dream come true for Swanson. In addition, Swanson has two identities: one as Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation department worker, and the other as Duke Silver, saxophone-playing super star. Maybe Nebraska could borrow one of those and finally achieve a strong identity of their own. Just think how cool Herbie Husker would look holding a sax on the sidelines?

Ron Swanson. (Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed.)

 

5) Michael Bublé – singer, song writer, released an amazing Christmas album.

With this second loss, Nebraska is statistically eliminated from the College Football Playoffs. The best case scenario for Nebraska now looks like an invitation to play in the Outback Bowl or the Holiday Bowl. That being the case, Nebraska fans will need something to cheer them up this Holiday season, and Michael Bublé’s silky voice is the solution. I’m not sure how Bublé could write up the X’s and O’s, but if it’s half as good as his Christmas album, we’ll be seeing Nebraska in the College Football playoff real soon.

Michael Buble offers Nebraska fans something to be happy about. (Photo and copyright belongs to Michael Buble)

While it’s true Bo has chalked up a winning record for the Huskers, he did so losing four games a season for the past six years, he simply hasn’t brought Nebraska to the level of winning that the fan base expects: winning conference titles, bowl games, and national titles. That simply isn’t happening with Bo Pelini…and worse, the hard to please fan base has lost faith.  So this season, when Bo either steps down, or he’s forced out after Nebraska loses another game they shouldn’t, look for these five candidates to immediately be in the conversation.

And in any case, the Nebraska team and its fans can look on the bright side. Heck, not only were they on hand, they were actually on the field to play a part in the making of FBS history!  Certainly the way the Husker defenders stood around gawking and missing tackles as Gordon danced by them, you can understand how they must have been overwhelmed by the moment.  And now the Husker team has earned themselves a place in history too: they’ll get to watch themselves on highlight reels for posterity….as the squad that flopped helplessly in the cold and snow of Camp Randall, as Gordon raced his way into the record book.

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