This week Ohio State plays host to the Bobcats of Ohio University, led by Head Coach Frank Solich. Unlike the two previous coaches featured in this series, this is not Solich’s first head coaching position. In fact, Solich is far more well-known for his past head coaching position than for his current post. For those who may not be familiar with the man once called Fearless Frankie, let’s take a look at some history.
Solich is an Ohio native, having grown up in Cleveland in the 40′s and 50′s. He was recruited to play at the University of Nebraska (who we will welcome to the Big “Ten” next season) and went on to achieve great success at running back for the Huskers. Post-graduation, Solich began his coaching career in the high school realm, where he stayed for over 10 years before making the leap into the collegiate ranks, signing on with the coaching staff at his alma mater.
Once again, it’s time for a quick tour de farce around the week in college football. You know, in case you don’t have ESPN and this is the only website you read (as it should be). Today’s musical accompaniment: This amazing cover. Good luck getting it out of your head during the TPS meeting.
James Madison, welcome to the BCS championship game! Wait, you have to do something more than beat Virginia Tech? Since when?
Quick comment on the Miami game- I like Randy Shannon, and gained a lot of respect for Jacory Harris as a person during the game (as a QB? Nope). Just thought I’d put that out there, since there seems to be a conspicuous absence of the Miami fans that were so prevalent last week in our little corner of the interwebs.
So, the ACC is back to being a basketball conference, right? This week, all of their ranked squadrons went down, including the JMU upset mentioned earlier and The “Rambling Wreck” falling to a team that only scored three points in their loss to North Dakota State. You want to fix the BCS? One could argue for taking away the ACC’s automatic bid and making them split it with the Big lEast, and then make the MWC and WAC fight over the other one. Problem solved.
That running back that Michigan lets throw the ball is pretty good. Of course, their opponent wasn’t called Notre Ame for nothing… It would be interesting to see how the game would be different with Irish starting QB Crist in for the entire game, especially given what we’ve seen from the Wolverine defense.
With the exciting news that the Big T1e1n has extended an offer to the University of Nebraska, I thought it would make sense to use my “connections” to give Buckeye fans a little bit of insight from the other side of this announcement.
With that, here’s the second installation of “Ask A Husker” (be sure to check out the first). Last time, we got the fan perspective, hearing from a UNL alum. Today, we kick it up a notch, and chat with former Cornhusker Aaron Terpening. A graduate of North Salem high school in Salem Oregon, Terp lettered with the Huskers for four years, and was three time Big 12 academic all conference. His role on special teams and as a Rover (free safety) for Nebraska was an important part of their team from 1999-2002; he played for Frank Solich and just missed the first Pelini era. He also graduate from UNL with a Masters in Architecture, and currently works as an architect in his home town of Salem Oregon.
Here we go:
Welcome to the Big T1e1n! Do you get the sense that Nebraska is a good “fit” for the conference? What are your feelings about this move? What are your former teammates saying about the move?
Thanks for the warm welcome. From what I’ve heard and read, the Big Ten Fans have been very gracious and welcoming. That makes a big difference. Joining another conference could be intimidating and awkward, but I think the Big Ten is going to make this transition feel natural. I heard Delany wore a “N” lapel pin on recent visit. That is a small thing that makes a big impact.
I’m excited and a little sad. It’s hard to think that over a hundred of years of consistent opposition is going by the wayside. But, I think it’s important to remember that before the Big 12 it was the Big 8 and before that the Big 6. The Big 6 had teams like Drake and Grinnell. So, conferences and opponents change over time. To move to another conference is nothing new. When the Big 12 formed and the yearly match with Oklahoma was thrown out, to me, that diminished the importance of continued rivalries for us.
If you read/listen to folks from Austin, Nebraska is the reason that the Big 12 is dissolving, At the press conferences. Dr. Osborne and others were pretty frustrated by this line of thought. As a former player, was there anything that surprised you in the way that it happened?
I know from my experience with Tom Osborne and Frank Solich for that matter, emotion was never a huge part of the equation. There was a time and a place for it, for sure. And that time was about ten minutes before kick-off. Otherwise, decisions on Nebraska’s part under TO’s leadership have always been consistent, thought through, and fair. Nebraska as an institution would never act in a disingenuous manner toward the other institutions within the Big 12. I don’t mind the idea that we were “at fault’ for the crumbling of the Big 12. Who cares?
The fact is, the conference was a mess and there are/were a couple schools willing to do something about it. I sincerely think Nebraska tried to make it work, but they were apparently unable to get any concessions by other members. From the day the conference was formed and they made the headquarters Irving, Texas and moved it from Kansas City, things have been tilted south. I am a bit surprised that the Big 12 didn’t do more to keep itself together. I don’t know who’s fault that is.
Are there specific ways that you see this transition helping the Huskers? Recruiting, television, other sports?
Recruiting is something I am a bit concerned about. I have no idea how that will go. Not playing teams from Texas, Kansas, Missouri(maybe), and Oklahoma every year may make it more difficult to pull players from those states. I just don’t know how that will go.
Basketball may be one sport that Nebraska could really see improvement in due to the realignment. Husker fans have been waiting patiently for years expecting that the basketball program would follow the football programs success somehow. Maybe this move will finally make that a possibility.
The academic part of it seems to be a great opportunity for the University of Nebraska. I don’t know much about it, but the CIC (assuming Nebraska gets to be part of it) will be a good affiliation for the schools. This together with the athletic and monetary parts of the deal will be Tom Osborne’s legacy. This may be bigger than his championships. However, this might not have happened except for the trophies.
What are going to be the challenges for Nebraska in this new conference?
Nebraska will have to get used to larger crowds and different styles of coaching. The Big 10 at the moment has some very conservative styles of football. I think this is why Nebraska is a good fit. But, it’ll be a challenge because their opponents may be strong in some of the same areas Nebraska is strong. When i say ‘conservative’, I mean good defense, a strong work ethic, sportsmanship, and respect for opponents. These are all things Nebraska has excelled at and the Big 10 is known for.
You were a part of Nebraska’s historic “walk on” program- What was that like for you? How did you choose to go that route rather than accepting a full scholarship at another institution?
Being a walk-on was a dream-come-true for me. My family were always huge Nebraska fans. Growing up watching players like Calvin Jones and Baron Miles inspired me. They played so hard every play, they were strong and relentless. I wanted to be a part of that. I modeled how I played after that. So, to get the opportunity to make it happen was an amazing feeling. I enjoyed it from the day I got there. I loved practice, I loved the conditioning, I loved the humid summers and freezing windy winters. It was all part of Nebraska football. I miss feeling like I was going to die from lack of oxygen in 98 degrees with 98 percent humidity at five o’clock on a summer night with the other defensive backs hunched over together. That was why I went there, to be somewhere that valued that work ethic.