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Everything posted by Enhance

  1. FWIW I don't inherently disagree with what you put in the bold. I've just never looked at Pelini, his tenure, or his firing as an either/or situation. Meaning, that one either supports it or does not. Pelini was a polarizing figure. He did a lot of good things as head coach, and objectively speaking, did some not so great things. Really it's just a matter of perspective as to which direction one leans, and I don't think anyone who disagrees with his firing is completely wrong to feel that way. I think my only real disagreement is with the rhetoric. I think some fans may be benignly influenced too much by the opinions of sports writers or narratives coming out of the AD, but I think most fans (or, at the very least, the average fans) are free enough thinkers to form their own opinions. I just don't really agree with the underlying (perhaps even unintentional) theme here... that if you supported Bo's firing, you bought too much into what sportswriters and athletic officials were negatively saying, and that if you didn't support Bo's firing, you were a free and independent thinker. I think that's disingenuous but, again, that may not be your intent at all. I think it's just being interpreted that way, hence some of the consternation.
  2. I think they do, but I think Jeff's point is he thinks the reporting tends to follow whatever prominent narrative is being pushed by the athletic department and fans, and that they should be more vocally critical of red flags sooner. There's been a natural regression line with this with the last five Husker coaches: everything starts out relatively positive with a healthy skepticism of the red flags, but then by the end of a coach's tenure, the narrative becomes a lot more focused on the red flags and whatever angle is in favor of the general mood of the support base. Personally, I view this as a very normal progression. Having worked in various parts of the media industry for more than a decade now, the media is often a reflection of its readers/viewers. For example, people didn't want to repeatedly hear about how Mike Riley was a career .500 coach with no real clear upside. Most people aren't going to read that after firing a 9-win coach. People wanted to find reason to hope, and hope sells. This is a great point. I think one man's excuses are another man's reason. As I mentioned earlier, it's all about perspective. Like when that first audio file from Bo got leaked. Some fans thought whomever released it was a "snake," other fans were grateful that they found out Bo really thought behind closed doors. Similarly, I look at all the reasons presented for why Bo got fired, and I find them quite valid. Some people still don't.
  3. IMO you're right in some situations about the player either being a) poorly evaluated and/or b) under developed, but another big problem is just talent retention. Another phrase I like to use is the "roster boss." It's not a problem specific to Nebraska, either. It's pretty much a universal issue that's been happening for awhile but got worse once the transfer portal became a thing. Basically, if we go back and look at some of Nebraska's recruiting classes from the last 5-10 years, it's eye-opening just how many players either didn't make a significant impact and/or transferred out of the program. Obviously attrition is going to happen but they just seem to have way more misses than hits.
  4. Good post. That's the one thing that I think at times has gotten lost in translation or even romanticized about the walk-on program around here. It's great to see a walk-on persevere in a strong system surrounded by talent and emerge as a key contributor. But, I think it's another thing entirely when walk-ons earn starting roles out of necessity due to a lack of talent acquisition and development.
  5. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with believing Nebraska sportswriters should be more critical of the program, coaches and decisions made by the Athletic Department as they're happening. That sounds like a reasonable/fair opinion to me and I have felt that way at times, too. Most of the time, the local media frames its narratives around hope and healthy skepticism, but I don't necessarily find anything inherently wrong with that, either. Like, something we may have read back in 2015 was "Riley is a career .500 coach, but he's a great guy known for his development so we'll see what happens!" Not "Riley's an average coach and Shawn Eichorst is a f***in moron." I think a lot of people felt the latter but didn't want to be the one carrying that banner publicly. The local media has long been a bit soft on the program because it's convenient and conducive to their careers, but that's not exclusive to Nebraska. You'll find that in a local news coverage across the country. As for the Pelini stuff leading up to and after his firing, I didn't have much of a problem with the coverage then or now, but that's because I agreed with a lot of it. He was a petulant child on the sidelines. He treated local media like crap pretty regularly. He kept the fans at a distance. His defenses in the last couple years of his tenure were as bad as Kevin Cosgrove's against good offenses (the guy whose defenses he was hired to fix). His teams had stagnated as being above average at a program that expects/expected conference championship contention. So, some people may look at that and see excuses, others will see valid reasons. All just perspective.
  6. The offense is what it is at this point after two starting WR's leaving the program, two RB's getting hurt, the o-line being what it is and the starting QB having turnover problems. That's a lot of adversity to try and overcome in the first year of a new regime. I think the strategy right now is triage what you can and put emphasis on the skills/fundamentals that will translate to future success offensively. I don't think they have many solutions available at the moment for their current predicament.
  7. In a vacuum, I didn't really care that much about him getting mad either. What bothered me was that I'm a firm believer in teams being reflections of their coaches. I think if you have a leader who is prone to losing their composure and temper, and perhaps not practicing what they preach, then you leave yourself open to the team being that way a bit, too. And I think it showed itself quite often under his tenure. But no, like I said, I still to this day have really very little issue with Bo being fired. I felt he and the program had stagnated. Recruiting hadn't taken that next step (I thought he had better talent his first three seasons than his last three) and I felt they were closer to being a 6-7 win team in his last couple seasons than they were an 11-12 win or conference championship caliber team. I just didn't see the growth or vision that would lead them to being better. Perhaps a few new staff members with elite recruiting experience and performance could've made a difference but then you get into a discussion of how much longer you're willing to tolerate stagnation. And unfortunately, it's not the 20th century anymore. Coaches don't get a ton of time to build programs. If you make it 5+ years into your contract at a program that expects to compete for (and occasionally win) conference titles, and you're winning 9 games with blowout losses and a close call to McNeese St... it's a tough look. (That said, there is something to be said for winning close games. Bo deserves credit there.)
  8. I hated that play call, too. I just didn't see why their first offensive play on their first offensive drive was a drop back pass when this offense has shown that it is by far the weakest element of their attack. Start with things you know you can do well. Establish a rhythm. It doesn't have to be sexy or flashy, but 2nd and 7 is much better than 2nd and 17 when you have an inept passing attack. I'm a big proponent of judging play calls based on the situation as opposed to the actual play itself. Basically, I try to separate poor execution from poor play calling. And that, to me, was just poor play calling. And it was presumably something they'd decided early in the week since opening drives are almost always scripted to some degree. Edit - Just FWIW, I did rewatch that play, and it was really just doomed from the start. It was a 6-man rush by the defense. NU's RG, RT and TE all blocked two linemen. Grant picked up the outside rush. Nobody was left to get the middle blitz. Offensively, it was a play action that had only three routes, none of which appear to have been designed to be hit less than three seconds after the snap. I don't know if they could've done much differently in that situation to make the play a success. Maybe the TE could've moved to the outside rusher so grant could get the middle blitz, or perhaps the RG could've picked up the middle blitz to allow Grant to get the outside. That's a bit outside my technical know-how.
  9. I might argue that, potentially. What are the excuses you think local sports writers constantly push on us and what are the things you conversely believe they're not saying? Because I've heard and read tremendous amounts of criticism from local media regarding the program over the last 20 years, and there are many I wouldn't categorize as excuse making. Do people pretend that? Genuine question. Because I would agree that Bo never really felt like a 4-win coach. That's a disservice to the work he did. But, I remember arguing back then on multiple occasions that he was closer to being a 6-7 win coach than he was an 11-12 win coach. So, slightly different thresholds than what you're saying. It's probably all perspective and how we want to analyze the numbers. This might be an unpopular opinion given how the last eight years have gone, but I wouldn't trade what Bo gave us for what we have right now... particularly what Bo was giving us the last couple of seasons. At least one embarrassing blowout loss per season, the bad attitudes/tantrums, the program never really being good enough to be a competitive BCS contender but also not bad enough to worry about missing a bowl game. It was just kind of... repetitive. With no real signs of taking that next step in recruiting or development.
  10. Eh, I think it's tough to say how well a team should/shouldn't do based on a metric like total defense. Early season offensive/defensive rankings are usually a bit of a crap show and can be heavily influenced by quality of opponent. I usually don't look at them until at least the halfway or three quarters of the way through a season. I think early on it's better to look at 3rd down efficiency, turnovers, TFL's, sacks, etc. Things that are a little bit more specific. And then there's the complementary angle of football. If you have a bad offense, chances are your defense is going to be put into a lot of bad positions.
  11. Media and local sportswriters certainly influence the narrative and conversation around a program, but it's always a bit unusual to me when they get blamed or criticized for certain things... like the firing of a head coach. Pelini is probably the most notable example locally. The big bad "media" has always been a punching bag for his firing. Nevermind the facts his program had stagnated, he had an awful/embarrassing temper, he was getting blown out against good competition 1-2 times per year, there had been a noticeable talent drop off compared to his first few seasons, or all of the other rumors that were permeated on places like HUSKERBOARD more than they were in the newspaper or from reputable journalists. Also nevermind the fact that sportswriters often share opinions based on feedback from we the fans (I saw people on here calling for Bo's firing long, long before I ever heard a local media personality suggest it or really talk about it). It's just a weird outlet for frustration. I'm not saying the media can't help shape a story or narrative, but some of us should stop pretending like the "media" is a major reason he or Solich are gone. If Solich hadn't wanted to be in the position he was in, he shouldn't have had a bad '02 season or allowed the program talent/depth to suffer. If Pelini hadn't wanted to be in the position he was in, he shouldn't have been a raging d!(k all the time with a program painfully treading water. Blame the people who actually caused the issues, not the ones covering them.
  12. I agree. Ever since about 2015, I exist in a general state of disbelief that Nebraska will win, unless they're up several scores with a relatively short amount of time left. TBH I didn't even feel great yesterday after the rain delay. They gave up a quick score, up by 14 with 5-6 minutes left? My mind went through all the worst case scenarios. Even the week prior I didn't really take a breath until it was 28-3.
  13. I agree with many of your points overall, but wanted to share one potential silver lining here. Nebraska's pass defense performance needs to improve, without a doubt. But, usually when defenses make a commitment to stopping the run schematically and philosophically (as we have) it opens up opportunities in the passing game, to which LAT ended up throwing 42 times because they couldn't do anything useful on the ground. I don't think Nebraska has the dogs yet to really stop the run and defend the pass well so they're playing a bit to their strengths at the moment, and it has so far proven to work mostly in their favor. So, yes it isn't great, but I think that's part of the strategy at the moment. And really it'll be up to Rhule's recruitment and development program to make them elite at both.
  14. I feel like we (as fans) have spent several seasons disappointed in the lack of holding calls in Nebraska's favor all while acknowledging they haven't consistently been good at getting pressure, so it feels a little bit like we want our cake and we want to eat it, too. Officiating kind of is what it is in this sport. I think the players need to be better and make good on their opportunities more often.
  15. I feel the same as I did before the game. This offensive line struggles to get going and to maintain consistency when they do. (I'll admit, part of the problem here is the lack of a real passing threat. Struggling to throw the ball AND having a spotty offensive line is just an awful combination). Also, they're still having issues getting pressure hat on a hat. And today they couldn't even get much pressure or sacks when they did blitz 5+. Part of that is on La Tech though - they got the ball out quick and did a good job of exploiting some gaps in the secondary. But, they won. That can't be taken for granted with this roster and this program right now.
  16. Nebraska sent blitzes pretty often today. I thought La Tech did a decent job of getting the ball out quickly and finding openings in the defense, particularly when Nebraska rushed 5 or more. Nebraska just wasn't getting good pressure or getting off blocks.
  17. I think the decision to bring in the back-ups after the rain delay made a ton of sense based on Rhule's vision for the program and some of the things he has said about building depth. We have a lot of problems offensively and not many weapons - there isn't much to be gained from just 1-2 more drives that late in this kind of game for the starters. Style points mostly matter to fans and the people who vote in the polls, neither of which are super relevant to Rhule getting this program back to a competitive level.
  18. I agree. I'd like to see them get him involved in the option game this season, something out of the shotgun. Bring him in motion from the slot and make him the second back in the formation. I think it could help with our RB depth issue, too.
  19. Yeah his first instinct appears to almost always be how he can make a move versus which gap he could hit hard. I'd love to see him be a little more intentional on his first couple steps and then start making moves once he gets past the line or into the second level. In his defense though, our line is... not great. It's hard to be an intentional runner when you're not confident in what's going to be there ahead of you and I imagine that's playing a role.
  20. They'd be a lot better if they could figure out a way to get 4-6 yards on a first down run.
  21. Yeah the decision to let him go after the '03 season was (and still is) a wild one, because I agree - he either should've been let go the previous year when they really struggled, or, allowed to continue for at least another season after his staff changes. That said, several signs suggested the program had taken a couple steps back, steps it wasn't clear Solich would be able to regain. And the fact he was a good (not great) coach at Ohio and never worked his way up the P5 ranks sort of justified that perhaps he wasn't the championship caliber coach Nebraska needed. We'll never know for certain. In some ways, I feel similarly about Solich and Pelini - two guys that were pretty good but incapable of sustaining championship caliber programs. So, their fate was probably the right one, but the path to get there was bonkers.
  22. I think you could've mic dropped this post right here because you're absolutely right, but I do appreciate the fortitude you showed in the following paragraphs. Somewhere, 84HuskerLaw is shedding a prideful tear. Jokes aside, I do agree with you regarding the over-arching problem being evaluation and administration. As for all the TO stuff, I kind of get why he has become a bit of a popular punching bag, but I'm not sure I really agree with how much of a scapegoat he has become. If we rewind back to 1997, we would've been hard-pressed to find a Husker fan who didn't think TO should've been involved in the process. TO was an internal hire himself. Solich was the last Nebraska coach to win anything of real substance, and people believed that he would do things the right way. By all accounts, T.O.'s choice was a decent one. Most other coaches probably would've come in and completely nuked the way Nebraska did things, perhaps leading to the downfall sooner than it happened, perhaps not. And I thought he did OK as an AD. The Pelini hire was well-received locally and nationally and for 3-4 years seemed like a great decision. The move to the B1G has been incredibly successful from a financial and security standpoint. Sure there are some bumps and bruises and things TO probably should've done differently, but I'm not sure I can support a full on dunk fest of what he did following his retirement as head coach. It seems like the only way one would come to that conclusion is by exclusively viewing it all through the prism of modern day, and that's not really fair.
  23. That's true. TBH I'm not counting that turnover as a knock against HH in the evaluation process. Most QB's are fumbling that ball in that situation.
  24. TBH I think most people are perceptibly aware of and acknowledge that playing a G5 school at home is a bit different than playing two power 5 teams on the road, particularly a ranked one, when it comes to comparing HH vs. Sims. I think what's pushing people is that HH played competently and didn't turn the ball over, and he did it against a type of team that Nebraska has lost to several times in recent years. So, it's definitely not an apples to apples comparison, but I also think most people appreciate the competition and situations Sims played in. They just don't like that he looked bad doing it.
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