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Author said do with it what we want.
It is a great compilation of stats etc.
As we approach the end of Bo Pelini's fifth year at Nebraska and head into another winter filled with questions, anguish and a number of tragically predictable outcomes on the horizon, I thought it might be interesting to take a quantitative look at why some Husker fans (like myself) are so frustrated by the current state of our program. I'll do my best to be brief in my analysis, instead focusing on the numbers themselves to tell the story.
Some of the statistics will be good, some will be bad and some will provide more questions than answers. By the end, though, I believe they will tell a story that should provide a bit of context as to why fans like myself believe Nebraska is at a dangerous and not altogether impressive plateau.
Overall record: 48-19 (.716)
Conference record: 29-11 (.725)
Overall record vs. BCS opponents: 33-19 (.634)
Win/loss record vs BCS opponents from Aug 2008 to Kansas 2010: 19-9 (.678)
Win/loss record vs BCS opponents since Texas aTm 2010* to present: 14-10 (.583)
Bowl record: 2-2
Most wins in a season: 10
Fewest wins in a season: 9
Most losses in a season: 4
Fewest losses in a season: 3
(*Rather than being an arbitrary date, the aTm game was selected because it seemed to be the game where a major change occurred in the trajectory of the program. One could argue that the loss, coupled with the distractions caused by both Pelinis, along with the subsequent losses at the end of the year marked a significant change in the course of the program)
Year by year final poll position (highest): unranked, 14th, 19th, 24th, unranked (pending bowl outcome)
Highest ranking achieved: 5th - prior to 2010 loss to Texas
Highest rank in 2012: 12th
Currently: 16th pending outcome of Cap One Bowl
Offense - year end rankings
2008 - 12th total offense, 17th scoring offense
2009 - 72nd total offense, 73rd scoring offense
2010 - 44th total offense, 38th scoring offense
2011 - 66th total offense, 50th scoring offense
2012 YTD - 25th total offense, 29th scoring offense
Defense - year end rankings
2008 - 55th total defense, 81st scoring defense
2009 - 7th total defense, 1st scoring defense
2010 - 11th total defense, 9th scoring defense
2011 - 37th total defense, 42 scoring defense
2012 - 22nd total defense, 56th scoring defense
Recruiting Rankings (2008 excluded due to staff change)
2009 - 28th
2010 - 22nd
2011 - 15th
2012 - 25th
2013 YTD - 43rd
Average finish - 26th
2008 Gator Bowl (W)
2009 Holiday Bowl (W)
2010 Holiday Bowl (L)
2011 Capital One Bowl (L)
2012 Capital One Bowl (TBD)
(*No BCS bowl berths)
8-10 vs. ranked opponents (.444)
No seasons of record over .500 vs ranked opponents (best record - 3-3)
Wins vs. Top 15: #12 PSU (2011), #9 MSU (2011), #7 Mizzou (2010)
Overall record vs Top 15: 3-8 (.272)
2008 Gator Bowl
2009 Big XII North championship
2009 Holiday Bowl
2010 Big XII North championship
2012 Big Ten Legends division championship
(*No conference championships)
In great company - consistent performances
Since 2008, only four teams have won 9 game each year: Nebraska, Oregon, Boise State and Alabama
Combined BCS appearances: 9
Combined national championship game appearances: 4
BCS appearances by Nebraska: 0
National championship appearances by Nebraska: 0
Blowouts - a troubling trend
8 losses by 17 or more points
Average margin of defeat in blowout losses - Opponents 50 - Nebraska 21
Average blowouts per year: 1.6
Number of times opponents scored 40 or more in blowouts - 6 (4 since 2011)
Number of times opponents scored 60 or more in blowouts - 3 (2 in 2012)
Nationally televised blowouts by 17 or more points: 7 (TTU in 2009 was ABC regional)
Some will suggest that these numbers don't tell the whole story - that there's a qualitative aspect that's not being taken into account. Or that numbers like Academic All Americans add in another dimension. Perhaps they do. I would simply counter with a question: if you had been told back in January of 2008 that following the conclusion of year 5 of the Bo Pelini era we would have no conference championships, no BCS appearances, no 11 win seasons, no top 10 finishes, no top 10 recruiting finishes, and a spate of nasty losses on national television to peer programs, would you have been happy with the hire? If you had been told in January of 2008 that the momentum of our program would peak in 2009, would you have been happy? As fans of the fourth winningest program of all time, I would hope the answer would be no
I would say your point of view is clear in the statistics you chose to show and how you chose to present them. That's absolutely fine -- you're trying to make a point -- but let's not pretend it's a wholly objective analysis.
Here's the tricky thing about statistics -- especially in football -- you have to have an awful lot of data to draw any serious conclusions. For instance, one might point to our 0-3 CCG record as a cause for concern. While a thorough analysis would probably show our expected outcome from those three games was 1.1 wins (I'm making up that number, but you get the point) -- that's the more important number. Now, there's a flip-side to that. One, on the other side, might point to our 10-win regular season as reason for hope, while analysis would probably show our expectation to be 8 wins (meaning we "ran good", to borrow a poker term). Statistical misuse cuts both ways.
In the end, I don't think raw data makes a very convincing case for either side. And as much as it pains me to say -- being a statistically-oriented person -- subjective analysis and debate seems like the only fair way to evaluate the state of the team. My personal feelings are that it's kind of a wash at this point. I'm not thrilled by Pelini's performance, but it's a marked improvement over Callahan. I think 2013 is a very important year. Pelini gets a fresh start on defense. His first Big Ten recruits are entering their third year. The schedule lines up nicely. His offense should be clicking. If this team isn't clearly the best, overall, that he's fielded, I think it'll be safe to say the program is in a state of stasis.
I will say this: if this team succeeds, they will be legendary. One thing that is beyond debate is the character of this team off the field. He's put together a good group of kids, who work hard in their classrooms and communities. If they win big, there will be no asterisk or black mark. I'm not convinced this team can pull it off, but believe me, I'd love nothing more. They're a quality group of people.
And to answer your question, given where my head was in 2007, yes, I think I'd say "hire Pelini" -- especially if I saw the opportunity that would be presented in 2013. *That answer is subject to change after next season
... so very good of you to post your conerns about whether Pelini should be retained and his questionable level of competency. Given that he has only - 48 - wins in 5 years. I'm sure potential recruits will be impressed with your diligence and schools we are competing with for these players will very much appreciate you eagerness to be so forthright.
I can hardly express how I feel about your willingness to do this at this critical juncture of the recruiting season. Almost unimaginable that a NU fan would be willing to go to this amount of trouble to get the 'real' truth out there. Bravo.
// EDIT ADDITION //: Since it is possible some might not understand my post to be sarcasm let me be very clear about how I feel about the value of meyerskids offering on a NU recruiting board..
Monkey puke and pig crap have more value and stink less then this post. I trust that is clear enough.
This post was edited by 16 months ago
I only care about the future. Let's talk about recruits, the bowl game, and 2013 season.
Goal in life is to make the Huskers Illustrated Hall Of Fame
Nice shot. Clever, well done.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Zonie87 16 months ago
...It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.
W. C. Fields
For starters, while I appreciate your concerns, I only copied and pasted so I personally didn't take more than 2 seconds to put this together
Second, monkey puke and pig crap is high end stuff
Three, 48 wins in 5 years is meaningless when you can't win a meaningful game, beat a team with a heartbeat, or finish inside the top 15. whoopty bleeping do
Four, when your best teams are with the previous coaches players and 5 years in your talent level has gone down, that is a sure sign that you are not succeeding at your job.
Five, getting to the CCG in one of the bottom conferences in the BCS and then getting pasted 70-17 by the 3rd place team, I mean 70-31. I forgot about the last 2 touchdowns when our starters finally did something against Wisky's #2's
Six, when you have to resort to bashing someone with a differing opinion, or blindly looking past statistical information because what you see scares you, then we are in a bad state.
You all have your opinions. You are Husker fans through and through. I have mine, and it doesn't make me any less of a husker fan. I love the Huskers, I just don't think our coach deserves his job. When you are paid 3 million plus a year and you are earning about a third of that, then we have problems. Pelini's success or lack thereof would not fly in any normal, results oriented business. It shouldn't fly hear. He can't win a big game. Out of his own mouth he has stated he doesn't know how to fix the problems at hand. He doesn't recruit well enough to compete with the best teams in the country. he doesn't develop players.
I am sick of the 9 or 10 win excuse. Thank the Lord we play in a conference without a pulse. Can you imagine what the discussions would be today if we actually had to play more than 1 or 2 real teams in our conference. It would be down right awful.
So take your monkey puke, and pig crap, put it in your pipe and smoke it. Take the blinders off. or dont. go ahead and continue to be completely content with 9-4 or 10-3 records with 2/3 of your losses being total ass kickings in front of a National Audience.
Nebraska is a unique program. USC, Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, and Florida are in positions where they can fire their coach, hire the best available replacement, and move on. Nebraska doesn't have that luxury. Unfortunately, contrary to what many want to believe, Nebraska isn't a top-10 job. As supportive as our fans are, as rich as our history is, as wonderful as our facilities are, we are still a mid-sized school, in a small state, on a recruiting island, with fans that (for the most part) have inflated expectations on a year-to-year basis. Pelini may not be the answer, but everyone calling for his head has to recognize our only way to get back to the top is to continue to take shots on up-and-comers, to give them ample time, and to hope they turn out to be the next Chip Kelly, Chris Petersen, or, if we're really lucky, Tom Osborne.
I just have a question- what is ample time?
also i agree we are not a top 10 job. but top 25?
also the game has changed a little bit. and by that i mean if you want proven head coaches you better shell out the dough. historically we dont do that. Bo is making pretty good money and right now is not earning his pay check IMHO.
Also an important stat- 3-16 vs teams that finished ranked
cool picture from space
Ample time? I'd say a minimum of five years, barring unusually bad performance (which Pelini has obviously gotten), but possibly longer. My statement wasn't meant to be pro-Pelini (or anti-Pelini).
I'm skeptical that we can go out and hire a top coach, even at above-market value. As stated in my previous post, Nebraska has some serious drawbacks. Add to that a habit of firing 10-win coaches (if we fire Pelini) and a less-than-astronomical staff budget. I worry if we aim for proven quantities, we'll just wind up with the Callahan search 2.0. That's why I think we need to keep taking shots on up-and-comers who have something to prove.
My only point is this: if one thinks firing Pelini is the best way to go, that's fine; but one must also have realistic expectations about the ensuing coaching search/staffing decisions. That's my two cents -- though, perhaps I'm off-base.
As for the 3-16 record: It isn't good, but you have to take into account the fact that beating Nebraska necessarily increases the likelihood that a team will finish in the top 25. Conversely, losing to Nebraska necessarily decreases it. No doubt I'd like to see that record better than 16%, but it's a marginally useful statistic (at best) that is naturally biased to the negative in all situations.
This post was edited by MikeCaramba 16 months ago
Those are some interesting "facts" you have there. Can you show me where you got this information that Nebraska is not a top 10 job, and that they don't have the luxury of going out and hiring the best available coach? TIA
cool thanks for the response. we can do worse than bo. i do think that we can do better.
one of the drawbacks when we were looking for a coach post frank was coaches knew they were stepping into a situation that lacked talent. the search post callahan was hindered because it appeared tom wouldnt open the check book. could be wrong on this but think it is accurate.
i have no problem with up and comers- i think though they need to show an ability to recruit.
before bo got here it was known that he didnt like recruiting. it really hasnt changed.
There are several lists out there that have actually come up over the last month in threads on this forum.
If I made my own list, Nebraska would be a top 20 school I would want to coach at. That is clearly just an opinion.
Ill try to find the thread with links to all those lists.
I also encourage you to make your own list so we can all see where you stand. If you want I'll do the same.
This post was edited by beardown2489 16 months ago
Teein' Off on Links
I think your responses in this thread are among the best I have seen on the subject of Pelini.
I am not sure how many know that when T.O. came down to his last two choices for HC it was between Turner Gill and Bo Pelini and Tom preferred Gill. He had to be talked out of that choice. So it was not like we had a lot of big name coaches competing for the job.
Pete Elliot was probably the biggest name coach that we ever hired to come in and "fix" things, and he was an abject failure. Devaney and Osborne were not, by any means, considered among the top ten prospective head coaches in America when they were hired. We got two coaching geniuses in here one after the other and that just does not happen, ever.
I have been in a business for many years that is science/technology/engineering oriented and I have little use for statistics. Personally, I have found that inductive reasoning and insight are much more useful in solving problems and finding successful ways to move forward than deductive, statistically-based analysis of data.
The problem with this team, as with all the teams in the Pelini era is that it does not have exceptional football players at all position groups. A great team does not have to have elite players at every position on the team, but it must have at least one exceptional/very good player in every major group (QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, DB). It also must have at least average D1 talent at every position. I think it is a given that all our players who see the field are D1 level players. However, for example this season, we have no exceptional players in the DL and at LB. The groups without an exceptional player have moved around from year to year, but there has always been a weakness in one of the major groups in every year Pelini has coached here. The early teams in his regime were undermined by weak play at QB. Lee could not cut it, Green could not cut it and Martinez could not cut it when he was not healthy.
I do believe that Pelini thought that he could take mediocre talent and develop it into elite talent. After losing Suh he was famously quoted as saying the D would be "five times" as good the next season. His belief in his ability to transform mediocre talent into exceptional talent, was, of course, absurd, and it has caused him to underestimate the need to recruit at the highest level to field a team that plays at the highest level. Here we must keep in mind that even the great Devaney had two teams in the late 60's that were mediocre. He admitted that he had been lazy and done a poor job of recruiting.
The question now before us is can Pelini recruit the exceptional players at all position groups? I do think he is now taking the job of recruiting very seriously. That does not mean that he will be successful but at least the effort and orientation will be there. I do not buy the argument that no one can recruit to Nebraska at all. The effort has to be greater than it is at USC or Alabama, but it can be done.
As MC has noted next season we catch a break in our scheduling. I expect all of our major position groups to be improved and there are exceptional football players at all our major groups except DL and LB. It is possible that one of the JUCO guys comes in at DT and can be that exceptional player and that one of our younger LB's steps up there. If so, we should return to the CCG and finish in the top ten. I think that, along with a strong finish to this season's recruiting class, will show that Bo has made real progress and we can at least imagine that he will take us back to the top.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by ElCaminoHusker 16 months ago
Ha! I'm glad you liked my "facts".
I suppose Exhibit A would be the 2003 coaching search. People like to blame the AD, but the fact remains we were two years removed from a NC appearance and still had to go way down our list of coaching targets. After that, I'd point to the (relative) quality of Nebraska high school football. Then the large geographical void between us and the closest recruiting hotbeds. Then the disparity in staff salaries between us and the top-level programs. Then probably the fact that two of our last three coaches (again, if Pelini were fired after this year) were let go after ten-win season -- that's the definition of instability.
Please, please don't take that the wrong way. First of all, it's only my opinion. Second of all, even though I don't regard Nebraska as a top-ten coaching destination, I absolutely regard it as the best -- and my favorite -- football program in the country. However, it's clear to me that coaching at Nebraska is an extremely difficult task -- not the kind you take on when you have nothing left to prove. However, it presents a great opportunity for an up-and-coming coach or coordinator to become a legend. That's why I think any future coaching hires will require good doses of risk and patience, rather than (again, my opinion) futile attempts to "buy" our next great dynasty.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by MikeCaramba 16 months ago
I've had this debate with my best friend a dozen times. We've kind of come to the conclusion that we're stuck in purgatory (at the moment) with Pelini. I think it'd be hard, if they fired him today, to hire an experienced coach who is clearly better. Personally, I think the way to play it is to give him a couple years more and hope he makes a jump (crazier things have happened seven years into a tenure). And if that jump doesn't come, I think we hit reset and take a big risk on another top coordinator (I know, I know -- it sounds crazy).
No doubt, it's a difficult situation. I honestly see valid arguments on both sides. I really do want Pelini to succeed, because he's done wonders putting together a high-character team. At the same time, I don't think treading water for another five years is a great solution.
Wow. Great post. Huge UV.
C'mon meyerkids. Why post this now? To , this is the sort of crap that pushed me and others away from Rivals. Well timed negative posts meant only to serve your interests. Maybe you didn't notice our newest commit has someone close to him on this board? It's not crazy to think other recruits have similar situations. You and your post are so incredibly selfish as to remove any sort of credibility that you may have had. I'd ask you not post drivel like this again but it's pointless to ask a troll for a favor. You honestly disgust me.
It must be nice to think that only yourself and a select few possess the intellect to understand such complicated information. I mean, no one on this board is aware the Huskers record since 2001, 2002, 2003, or any of Bo's seasons. Lord knows we didn't understand the CCG games. I'm still not sure how none of the o-line are 1st team All-Americans. Goodness with these blinders on they all look like NFL'ers. Thank God you and some of the braniacs from Rivals really know whats going on. It surely couldn't be that the rest of us understand that we're not head coaches at D1 schools. That we're not privy to all the information that you must sit in on. Does TO still wear tighty whities? Hell, you would know.
Of course you did say that you didn't write this but were merely kind enough to copy and paste some other enlightened individuals work for us blinder wearing fools. Thank god you're a great Husker fan because I worried that something other than a Husker fan would take the time to put together the antithesis of a recruiting news letter and post it during this crucial recruiting period. Hey, if you get time could you go back over to Rivals and let Captain Obvious know how thankful I am for this info? And please don't leave bread crumbs to find your way back.
Been reading your posts for some years, ECH. This is one of your better contributions. Thanks, UV for you!
Yes, well I really like to talk football, and it is wonderful to watch this site reach "critical mass" in terms of football talk. There are a number of really good posters on this site.
RSS has a lot of great contributors, some of whom post here as well, but, frankly, there is a lot of "noise" over there. Too many posters with too little to say.
,,,same old thread; classic revisionism. 'Am depressed not impressed; 'am not interested!
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Khoolshady 16 months ago
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