Callahan is great at bringing in recruits. His problem, and his staff’s problem, is coaching the recruits once they get here.
One of the first things he and Pederson did was get rid of the walk-on program. Essentially, what that did was take the team away from Nebraska. This is not a Nebraska team. They might as well call themselves the Cal Bears.
Nebraska history under Devaney, Osborne and Solich was always about Nebraska and Nebraska kids walking on to the team and becoming football players. Look at the Makovicka’s (Joel and Jeff). That is a small town family from Nebraska and every male kid from that family plays full-back at Nebraska. They didn’t get recruited by any college. They walked on at Nebraska, hit some blue-chippers in the mouth and developed into NFL stars!
When you bring in a bunch of blue-chippers and tell them you are going to teach them how to be pros, what you end up having is a complicated offense and defense that no one understands. You also get a lot of kids whose only goal is to try and learn the playbook and not make mistakes. If a kid is a good athlete and he is trying to think about where he should line up on a certain play, you take all his athleticism out of it. His talent is now rendered useless because he is too busy thinking. Football is a game of emotion and he no longer has time for that (thinking)! If they would throw out the playbooks down there and just tell those kids to go get the football, they would be a lot better off.
What Osborne and Devaney's walk-on program did was bring in kids that wanted to play for Nebraska. Right now, all we have are kids that play at Nebraska hoping on hope that they go to the pros.
Then you have the coaching problem…Texas A&M came in here with a great running game and basically…no passing game. Every team that had success defensing these guys, put 8 defenders up on the line. We never did that once yesterday from what the radio announcer (and former Husker player) said.
On offense, yesterday, we were averaging somewhere between 5 and 6 yards a carry. Not bad!!! So what is Callahan doing trying to pass on 3rd and 2 or 4th and 1??? Are Nebraskan’s too impatient with Bill Callahan? I don’t think so!!!
Nebraskans were way too impatient with Frank Solich. Even Frank knew better than that and Frank was on his way up! He was 9-3 when he got fired, the team just got invited to the Alamo bowl and we had just beaten Colorado at Colorado. The Huskers ended up beating a good Michigan State team in the Alamo Bowl with Bo Pelini as interim head coach.
No, it is not just a defensive problem down there at Memorial Stadium. When you keep your defense on the field as much as Callahan does with his inept play calling, any defense would fall apart. Everybody get discouraged: the offense, the defense, the fans…even the hotel owners.
Yes, the fans believe Tom can do some good. Hell, anybody that knows how to fire anybody could do some good. Any Nebraska football fan could do better than Callahan on game day! What we got in Callahan was a reject from the Oakland Raider’s and we would not have had to settle for him except Pederson fired Frank Solich at 9-3. What kind of a good coach is going to come in when you just fired the guy that was 9-3?
Obviously, you have not been following Nebraska football since you have been in Sacramento. I hope I have been helpful in updating you.
For the future, I look for Bo Pelini or Turner Gill to be the next head coach. It is a good time to bring them on because it should be a short season this year. No Big 12 Championship game, no Bowl game…so, plenty of time to recruit! Tom will help with that too and in the meantime he can re-establish the walk-on program.
Husker football has never been about 4 and 5 star recruits. It has always been about the heart of every Nebraska kid that hoped he could one day play at Memorial Stadium in front of all those fans.
There is still some good football being played at Memorial Stadium here in Lincoln, Nebraska! It’s just not being played by the Cornhuskers anymore.