Homecoming. Nothing in college football is more a symbol of the relationship that fans have to their school and program. Homecoming is about seeing old friends, remembering great times, and reliving moments of the past. That girl you dated your freshman year. The party you drank too much at and woke up somewhere strange. That final you studied all night for so you could go to the game the next day. It's about happy times. Homecoming games were designed to send every one of the memory-drenched fans home with a smile. Happy with the scoreboard like we saw on Saturday in Lincoln. 45-14. Yup, that will do the trick. The home school gets to pick which game is actually "Homecoming" so you understand a blowout game. See - nobody loses homecoming! Well, Nebraska did in 2005 to Tech but that was a one time thing right? I guess not - 45-14 was the losing score on Saturday to Oklahoma State!!!! Nebraska lost Homecoming and with it another record gone. 20 straight wins over Okie St. in Lincoln flushed. 38-0 at HALFTIME. Largest deficit in school history.
Nebraska didn't lose to Oklahoma or Texas - the teams that Athletic Director Steve Pederson called out on the podium that fateful day where he announced the firing of the Nebraska football tradition as we knew it. It was Okie St! A team that couldn't win on the road under Coach Mike Gundy. A team that lost at Troy this year. I spent tonight watching the entire press conference and a single word stuck with me afterwards: "Accountability". Steve Pederson talked about it over and over again with that sly smirk on his face. "Accountability" is why he was making the change because he felt he was accountable for the Husker football tradition. It was on his watch now and he felt like things needed to be changed. Was the program broken? To him - yes. To others - it was a 9-3 football team. Bill Callahan was his hire. He would fix it. Steve is accountable for what his coach has done to this program. And there is a price to pay for it.
We could list the issues that Steve Pederson has created for himself at Nebraska but there really isn't a point because we all know what has to happen. Steve has to go. If he still believes in "accountability" he knows that it's over. He rolled the dice with the firing of Frank Solich and crapped out. 45-14, 70-10, bowl streak, 2-2 on Homecoming etc...- take your pick of horrific stats over the past 4 seasons. My favorite - 0 for 15 when trailing at the half. We can talk about Callahan's future on a different day but today - it's time to ask Steve to do what Paul Myers did. Time to turn in your letter of resignation and walk away. Now.
I fully understand the gravity of writing something like that. People have called me for me to be fired before and it's not a nice thing to have happen to you. However, Steve Pederson is hated by all now. He has no friends left. The football program is a mess. The Head Coach is probably gone. Travis made mention that the money people are offering to buy out his contract. Everyone wants him gone. Everyone has seen the ending to this movie before. It's over.
As the sign says - it's time for Steve to surrender the title of AD at Nebraska before this situation gets even worse. Name Tom Osburne interim A.D. and then deal with the Head Coach and staff. Nebraska fans deserve better than this. You don't blow every tradition and record and escape with your job.
We are simply holding Steve accountable. "This isn't about wins and losses, it's about 5 to 10 years from now" Steve said that day. And we all agree. It will take that long to clean up the mess he has made of Nebraska football.