As I mentioned on Monday, it was good to connect with Mekka Don in Berkeley; one of the things we talked about was his new album, which drops soon. He released the first video for it today, and you can check it out on his YouTube channel and pick up the single on iTunes or over at Amazon.
Commentary- Coaching Expectations
I’m going to admit up front that I’m a bit different than many fans in this perspective.
Most fans want their coach to make sure that there favorite squadron wins every single game. Hell, as St. Woody said, “Without winners, there’s be no civilization”.
But what made Woody different than many was the fact that winning, while important, was defined for him both on the scoreboard and in the lives of his players off the field and beyond graduation. Most coaches will give that lip service, and many fans will support those ideals, but ultimately they want the scoreboard successes.
We loved Coach Tressel’s speech, but if he would have had a few less successes against TTUN I’m not sure he would have been long for Columbus. And that’s where I’m a bit different- I’ve always felt that graduation rates and playing by the rules (as stupid as they are, and as much as we should work to change them) are as important to the mission of a program and a University as trophies and titles. It’s why Tressel’s “downfall” hit me so hard.
The reason I bring this up today is due to the recent news regarding a Buckeye captain from the past, Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. After his team collapsed in the second half against an inspired UCLA many who had been criticizing his leadership continued to find ways to wonder if Big Red would be better led by another coach.
After all, Nebraskans are used to winning titles… or at least playing for them. But they also have a legacy of doing things “the Nebraska way”, which is about pride on and off the field. Coach Devaney and Coach Osborne instilled the highest values in the program and sought to do the same in the players and those around Big Red. And many Huskers still feel this way… but their voices are being drowned out by a vocal minority and a media circus that loves controversy.
So this week’s controversy, which has now been responded to by the University, only highlights the challenge that fans face- is it scoreboard success that matters, or something else?
At a very pragmatic level, this would be a terrible time for Nebraska (or anyone) to start a search for a new head coach- with Southern Cal and Texas likely involved in replacement efforts, the market will certainly be skewed towards copious amounts of cash for people making moves. Heck, I’ve read semi-serious posts saying that Texas should throw $10 million a year to bring Nick Saban to Austin.
Plus, the last time Nebraska replaced a solid coach, they ended up with the Bill Callahan experience.
However, the larger issue that Husker Nation finds themselves discussing is the same one that we’ve been talking about for months and months and months now, and is something that all Universities and fan bases need to determine for themselves. What’s the ultimate purpose of their program?
Because, in a game where there are often obvious winners and losers, success can be incredibly difficult to define.
Where Credit Is Due
Last week in this space, I wrote about the frustration that Ohio State fans feel about members of the mainstream media’s response to the Johnny Manziel/Oklahoma State/Alabama/Tennessee/Mississippi State situations. Specifically, that the people who crucified Ohio State for similar (and lesser) issues now were defending the players, challenging the NCAA, or feigning indifference.
Well, as is often the case, another Ohio State writer did a much better overview of the situation than I was able to muster.
As such, you should go and read this article by Ramzy, one of the best in the business. And by that, I mean “sports writing”, not just “Ohio State-centric sports writing”.
Around The NCAA
We’re not going to be able to see the Marching 100 on Saturday due to some unfortunate incidents that FAMU is working to move beyond. But, this performance from 2011 will give you just a taste of what we’re missing… Gene’s decision almost makes sense: