Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is out as the university’s head football coach after the Cornhuskers finished a 9-3 regular season with an overtime win against Iowa on Friday.
Nebraska broke the news via the athletic department’s Twitter account.
Pelini racked up a 67-27 career record with the Cornhuskers and took the team to as many as ten wins in three of his seven seasons at the helm. However, the number that matters here is “four”: the number of losses the program suffered in six of those seven seasons, never quite making the program better than “good.”
The Youngstown, Ohio, native was also a divisive personality while he was in charge. College football fans can point to numerous instances of Pelini acting openly hostile, like when he hit a referee with his hat in last season’s Iowa game and told fans, in previously unreleased audio, to “f*ck off.” His team’s several big game blowouts, which include two gouging losses against Wisconsin, surely didn’t inspire confidence in continuing to employ him, either.
Pelini’s firing is the second recent instance of Nebraska firing a relatively successful head football coach. The Cornhuskers canned former coach Frank Solich, who’s since resuscitated the Ohio University program, in 2003 after Solich came off a 9-3 season and two years after Solich’s team appeared in the BCS national title game. While many Power 5 programs would kill for Nebraska’s recent run, the Cornhuskers are aiming to become nationally relevant again after the program’s glory years from the 1960s through the 1990s. Statistically speaking, the team’s been one of the most mediocre in FBS play over the past ten years, which won’t placate the university’s large and fervent fanbase despite the abundance of nine- and ten-win seasons (granted, most of the wins came against inferior opposition).
There is no official word yet on who’s the leading candidate to replace Pelini.