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Time for Pelini to go

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 11:51 p.m. CDT
(Nati Harnik)
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has not endeared himself to Cornhusker fans. That relationship soured more after a tape of Pelini ranting about fans was released on Deadspin.com.

It’s a reality of life in a high-profile job: Sometimes there are things you just can’t say.

If you’re the president of Ohio State, you can’t make a disparaging “joke” about Catholics.

If you’re running for president, you probably don’t want to say that 47 percent of the country believes “they are victims.”

And if you’re the coach at Nebraska, you can’t fire back at Tommie Frazier, no matter how treasonous his Twitter rant seemed. (Your team just gave up 38 straight points to UCLA. Be humble.)

And you really can’t rip the most loyal fan base in college football.

Bo Pelini is the victim of someone who sent his off-air, off-the-cuff comments to Deadspin.com, but that still does not excuse him. The “fair-weather” fans can kiss his what out the door? The same ones who have packed Memorial Stadium for every game since 1962?

Pelini made the remarks after his team rallied for a 34-27 victory over Ohio State in 2011. Makes you wonder: What does the man think and say after losses?

Pelini and Nebraska need to go their separate ways. Actually that should have happened years ago.

It has been a bad marriage for a while, with the parties staying together for the sake of … who knows what?

Pelini didn’t handle it well when legendary coach Tom Osborne, who had hired him attended practice and made suggestions while serving as athletic director. Osborne admonished Pelini in 2010 for sometimes appearing to be a lunatic on the sidelines.

Sources insist that Pelini tried to get the Penn State and Ohio State jobs. Last offseason, he went after Tennessee and Arkansas.

Pelini, for his part, said Tuesday that if he did not enjoy coaching at Nebraska, he would have departed by now: “I’ve had opportunities to leave. I enjoy it here and my family enjoys it here. … I have never pursued a job. I’ve had people pursue me.”

That contrasts to what many insiders assert, that Pelini does not want to be at Nebraska long term. The Cornhuskers should bite the bullet and make it mutual.

This is a perfect time to make a change: Nebraska’s next 6 weeks go like this: South Dakota State. Off. Illinois. At Purdue. Off. At Minnesota. My sister could go at least 3-1 coaching the team.

The issue, though, is that Nebraska’s coaching staff has no obvious “next guy.”

So here’s a semi-ridiculous suggestion: Reach out to Barry Alvarez.

Alvarez was an all-Big Eight linebacker for the Huskers and helped broker the deal that connected his alma mater to the Big Ten. Alvarez, the athletic director at Wisconsin, coached the Badgers in the Rose Bowl last season after Bret Bielema left. Like most of us, he can be tempted by a large paycheck.

And Nebraska does not play Wisconsin this season, so if he serves on an interim basis, he would not have to game-plan against the coach he hired, Gary Andersen.

Because that would truly be awkward.

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