January 2, 2007

"We must bring change, so that nothing will in fact change."

"We must bring change, so that nothing will in fact change." - Burt Lancaster in Il Gattopardo (1963)

Let's hop in Doc's Delorean if you will, and head back a few years to November 30th, 2003. In case you've been living under a rock, I'll set the scene once again for you. Frank Solich, a lifelong Husker who gave his best years to the football program he loved, was fired by Steve Pederson for finishing 9-3. To paraphrase the dictator on 10th street, Peterson claimed that he would not withstand Husker football finishing in such a manner that would embarrass the greatest fans of all time. It would be his duty to his fellow Husker fans to find a coach that will take the program into a new direction...away from horrible 9-3 finishes to a place they rightfully belong.

Four years later, apparently 9-5 finishes are OK.

The 2006 season is in the books with yet another close-but-no-cigar loss for the Huskers against a superior team in both personnel and coaching. As I stated a few weeks ago, I am not about to get into the daily pissing match you people get into with each other in regards to Bill Callahan vs. Frank Solich. However, what I will do is not tell you where you are going, but tell you where you are in relation to where you've been. All week long and now after the Cotton Bowl, I've read and heard nothing but positive spin regarding the future of your program. One guy in my offic stated this morning over the coffee pot, "We're in such a better place now."

Really? "better"?

Let's go back to one other time when you ended an era...namely the great Husker era of Tuner Gill, Irving Fryar and Mike Rozier. The 1982 and 1983 Husker teams, regarded by many as the two greatest college football teams never to win a National Title, led into an age of ineptitude seldom acknowledged by those in Husker circles. Perhaps you remember those days following those two teams.

Tom Osborne's team finished 10-2 in 1984 with wins over #8 UCLA, #12 LSU and #9 Oklahoma State. That team only had four games in which the opponents scored 10 points or more. In 1985, a down year by Husker standards, the Hicks still finished 9-3, yet beat #5 Oklahoma State (again), and lost to all three other ranked teams they played. (#5 Oklahoma, #5 Michigan and #17 Florida State). For many years, this was considered one of Osborne's worst teams. The 1986 team finished 10-2, beating 2 of the 3 ranked teams they played that year, including a 30-15 win over LSU in the Sugar bowl. The 87 team finished 10-2 as well, beating 3 of the 5 ranked teams they played, falling to #3 Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl. That team averaged 38 points a game, giving up just under 14. The 1988 and 89 teams went 11-2 and 10-2 respectively.

And this was the DOWN period of Husker football, prior to Tom Osborne recruiting criminals, thugs and rapists. But that must leave your head filled with questions.

"Hey Asshole, why would you go into such detail about how great we were back then. We know how great we were."

That's the whole point. Now let's look in a historical perspective at the 2006 team who finished 9-5. Yes, they won the Big 12 North, (How many of TO's teams would have won the North if it was divisional? All but twice in 89 and 90 by my calculations in 20+ years.) but they also lost 5 games. Something that had only happened twice since 1961. TWICE.

And yet you're in "such a better place now"? Are you freaking kidding me?

Look, I'm not about to get into an argument about how great you used to be, because you people do just fine on your own. However, for you to even compare your team now to what your teams used to be a complete joke and a slap in the face to those who played for you during that time. 5 losses for only the 3rd time since 1961? Yes, you must be thrilled. Think about it this way, if you were located in the state of Oklahoma, you'd be the third best team in the state this season, and I'm not so sure you would beat Tulsa if given the chance.

But wait, you can counter that?

"Hey asshole, we lost to Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Auburn and Okie State...not exactly cream puffs."

Well sure, but how much of that is "talent gap" and how much of that is the fact that your NFL coach plays not to lose big in those games? Look, Clownahan isn't stupid. He knows that he was nearly lynched a few years ago for trying to bring you people back from the stone age. The last thing he can do is get destroyed 70-10 again by anybody. So what does he do? He uses the NFL mentality of grinding it out...stick around...and hope you have a chance to win at the end. That's EXACTLY how NFL teams win on the road. In fact, in Callahan's history at NU, I can only name one game where his team went out and blew the doors off of anybody (not named Troy or Nicholls State), and that was Colorado, whom as we've mentioned before...completely quit on their coach by that point in the season. In every other instance since that 70-10 game, he NFL genius has gone out and played it safe. (How else would you explain the rushing game this year getting about 180% more touches than previous years?)

Again, I'm not saying it's bad. I"m just stating that Tom Osborne wasn't exactly a gunslinger with a headset on, and he managed to beat the living shit out of people for 25 years.

So what's my point? My point is, you are so far from "order restored", it's not even funny. I never thought I'd see the day where NU fan was satisfied with 3 point Cotton Bowl losses and 5 loss seasons, but I guess it's happened...especially without a single Frank Solich player on the roster. Perhaps it takes a fan of a team whom you crushed for so many years to remind you just how dominant your teams were and just how far you've fallen in the meantime. You will never ever win National Championships anytime in your lifetime again, because you haven't even learned how to beat ranked teams yet. (I believe Callahan has beaten only four, but I could be mistaken. (CU, Michigan,A&M and ISU for some reason who was #23 in 2003). Four ranked teams? Your old team used to beat four ranked team in DOWN seasons...let alone in 4 year spurts.

Or is that it? Couldn't it also mean that the old Big 8 was really really shitty, and Tom Osborne did nothing but run it up on patsies and cripples until the chips were down at the end of the season?

I guess we have 9 whole months to discuss it.

Congratulations on your fine five-loss season. I hope you can find room in your trophy case for that all-important Big 12 North Participant ribbon. With the way things are today, it's about as lofty as your expectations should get.

PS - Fire Mike Kemp


Blogger Husker Mike said...

Without descending into the never-ending argument about whether Steve Pederson was right or wrong, let me say there are a few players from the Solich era still on the roster. Mostly on defense (Carriker, Moore, Ruud, McKeon, Bradley, Shanle, Green), though a few offensive players (Herian, Patrick).

As to whether Callahan can ever coach a team to more than 9 wins because he's going to screw up a few games along the way? It's starting to become a concern. I think the Kool-aid drinkers are hoping that talent on the field will somehow offset the inevitable coaching snafus. (See Mack Brown...)

4:16 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

My mistake. Thanks for the clarification.

Look at it this way...look at all the talent Mack Brown has...and even he only won a title (by 3 points) because of a guy named Vince Young...who everyone will agree isn't the type of player who comes along that often.

It's tough to do.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous bhg said...

According to JP, those guys sucked anyhow because they weren't recruited by Callahan.

Overall, I see the defense has gone backwards since the change, the offense has become improved but inconsistent, and the play calling about the same.

Huge gap between where we really are and where Callahan apologists think we are. The pinnacle used to be a player of two away, now we talk about "full recruiting classes".

5:36 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

It's pretty crazy that I call you guys every name in the book for 2 year, including calling Tom Osborne a beastiality obsessed pervert..and yet you bash each other.

Either I'm losing my touch or you guys really really disagree with each other.

Ahhh well.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aj while I think the jury is still out on our coach let me remind you that Ousborn almost went to CU because he could not "WIN THE BIG ONE". Once again you can eat a mile of my corn ridden shit and kiss my husker ass.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous oviedol55 said...

It was a frustrating season, no doubt. Callahan's only been here 3 years though. And he's beaten 5 top 25 teams I believe. 05 ISU, 05 Colorado, 05 Michigan, 06 Missouri (you were ranked 25th at the time) and 06 aTm. Now are any of these great wins? Absolutely not. Are any of them good? Michigan and aTm given the circumstances. I don't think that many real Husker fans would say that they're content with how we did this season, but why start all over again and become another Alabama?

7:52 PM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

Today's moment of perspective.. Brought to you by BHG's Nail Salon:

The year is 1979 - Nebraska loses the Cotton Bowl to Houston.

Here is how NU's opponents ended up that season:

Utah State - 8-2-1 (losses to NU and ASU and played no one else any good.. tied San Jose State 48-48)
Iowa - 5-6
Penn St. - 8-4 (Beat Tulane 9-6 in the Liberty Bowl)
New Mexico State - 2-9
Kansas - 3-8
Okie State - 7-4 (no bowl game.. Jimmy Johnson's first season)
Colorado - 3-8
Missouri - 7-5 (Beat South Carolina in the Hall of Fame Bowl)
Kansas State - 3-8
Iowa Sate - 3-8
Oklahoma - 11-1 (Beat NU 17-14)
Houston - 11-1 (Beat NU 17-14)

In 2006 Nebraska played 4 top 10 teams and next year will play Nevada, Wake Forest, USC, Missouri, Okie State, Texas A&M, Texas, and Kansas State. Yes folks, that's 8 bowl teams they'll be playing next year.

Ozzy had a HUGE advantage back in the days of the Big 8. Look at all the crap-worthy teams NU could count on beating every year. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Okie State, sometimes Colorado and Missouri.. You can't take a week off in conference these days.

Yessir.. The times have changed. The Cornhuskers are no longer the biggest kid on the block (who usually got whupped on by the faster Oklahoma kid). All the neighborhood sissies are growing muscles and getting faster.

9 win seasons kept a ridiculously mediocre Tom Osborne's job for 10 years until he figured out you HAVE TO RECRUIT SPEED on defense.. And really that took Osborne 20 years to fully understand and do.

It isn't going to happen overnight for Callahan either, but the recruits in the fold and the young talent already in place is a great place to start. The fastest recruit in NU's 2007 class is a linebacker. That tells me Callahan knows what it takes to compete in today's college football. He has room to improve from a coaching standpoint, sure.. What coach doesn't? I'm just thankful that no matter how hard the BHG's and Husker Mike's of the world strain on the shitter, Solich ain't coming back.

Go Big Red!!!

8:14 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

"Eat a mile of my corn ridden shit" is one of the greatest lines ever on this blog.

I'm in awe.

Well done. Very well done.

PS - JP cracks me up as well as usual.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous bhg said...


I'll bet you're happy we mainstream people like yourself.

Comparing 1979 to 2006, wow, if that's not a stretch. Really getting desperate to try and prove a point.

Hey how did that 1997 Nebraska team do? I think 10 of 11 starters on offense were from Nebraska, should we give that one back because we didn't recruit the speed out of Texas and Florida.

You go back to T.O.'s 1979 record and tell us how it was and Huskers had the patience back then. Wrong again, T.O. kept his job when others were calling for it because Bob Devaney stuck by him you retard. Go back and read the World Herlad oped's you dolt!!

The arguement you used to tell us why we should keep Callahan could be used to tell us why we should have kept Frank.

JP, I know this point goes well over your head, but Pedersen promised us the best recruiter in the world, and not to have the program slide into mediocrity, what the program has gotten is just that, mediocrity. (Which as I recall got Frank fired, but somehow Callahans mediocrity is better than Franks mediocrity.)

8:23 AM  
Blogger JGerardi said...

Just checked our official site archives and press releases, CU was not ranked when NU beat us in 05. We were #22 after the Missouri game going into Ames. We lost to Iowa State and dropped out of the polls, putting us at 7-3 going into the Nebraska game. You can also check the poll/ranking archives at ESPN.com.



8:40 AM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

You'll never get it.. Move on.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous bhg said...

Hey JP,

How many Div I teams made bowl games this year? Half of them, so playing 8 bowl teams doesn't mean what it used to back in 1979 when you were limited to 11 games (take a couple pre-season games and the big 12 cahmpionship game out of Callahans record and you're 8-4), not that you'd notice. How many of the those wins you listed against top 25 teams were still in the top 25 at years end?

Here we have a dilema, a retard tells us that a win against ISU who was ranked in the top 25 at the time counts as a win against a top 25 opponent, but yet, how did ISU end up? Not in the top 25, and not even invited to a bowl game, yet JP has the mental fortitude to try and pass ISU off as a "quality" win for the retard known as Callahan.

"You can't take a week off in the conference now", I'd say it's more due to Nebraska packing a 60th rank defense, and a inconsistent offense more than anything else. Nebraska didn't go into those "cream puff" games in 1979 with those types of offenses and defenses. Congratulations you've successfully compared apples to oranges my friend.

Callahan is really knowledgable on the recruiting front, that why he recruited Beck, just so he could leave the program. That's why we have what?, a one year wonder at quarterback next season, so why the heck did we recruit Joe Ganz? So maybe he could sit on the sideline and run the practice squad. Why don't we have a quarterback in this program, I mean Rose told us that kids that want to get to the NFL would be flocking to this program. How many kids are leaving for the NFL early?

Callahan has shown that he can bring kids here, but performance on the field is something entirely different. The defense is poor, and Solich's recruits carried the defense, the offense has good potential but inconsitent to date. The program has no player that is a finalist for any awards, (you would think being the master recruiter the program would have one or two up for honors).

The proof is on the field, and so far, the proof is that this program has gone no where in three years.

Callahan apologists need to drop the "Frank" excuse for Callahans poor performance. Guess what, Frank is gone, he's not poisoning the water from 1000 miles away. Callahan is in charge, not Frank. It's amazing that these Callahan apologists give Frank so much credit in his absence, yet at 10-3 gave him so little credit at the time. Wake up, we're not concerned about Frank and his feelings, Frank blew his shot by letting a Heisman crybaby control his destiny. Frank bet all his chips on one horse, and the horse lost the national championship game. Too bad for Frank, but he should have spent some time focused on life after the crybaby, he didn't, and he paid the price.

The Callahan apologists are so busy deflecting how Frank did this and Frank did that, and avoid how Callahan is actually doing. Go ask JP, he'll tell you the depths that Frank took the program to. The offense was ranked about 60th and the defense about 5th in the country when Frank left. Now we have a top ten offense, and our defense is 60th. So if those numbers were death sentence for Frank, why are you judging Callahans backward slide on defense in a different light? It's called hypocritical, and more people are catching on, proof, a Cotton Bowl not sold out.

10:28 AM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

Like I said.. You'll never get it.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous DT said...

"I"m just stating that Tom Osborne wasn't exactly a gunslinger with a headset on..."

This single sentence underscores your general understanding of the whole babbling point you're trying to make.

I guess you're just beefed because the construction of a trophy case for Mizzou's participant ribbon is still pending.

12:06 AM  

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