Huskers don't want to fire Bo Pelini, instead give extension

Huskers don't want to fire Bo Pelini, instead give extension
March 7, 2014, 9:45 pm
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Vinnie Duber

"If they want to fire me, go ahead."

Those were the words of Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini after his Huskers dropped last year's regular-season finale to Iowa, a 38-17 blowout that sent the Huskers to 8-4 on the season.

Well, it turns out that Nebraska doesn't want to fire Pelini.

The Huskers instead gave their head coach — who's amassed a 54-27 record in six seasons — a one-year extension last week, as first reported by CBS Sports, an extension that will employ Pelini through the 2018 season.

Pelini's comments came at the conclusion of a season that seemed to constantly focus on his job status as a poor defense and an injury to starting quarterback and team leader Taylor Martinez sent the Huskers to another less-than-ideal campaign. A years-old recording of Pelini ripping Nebraska fans that surfaced midway through the season paired with an embarrassing loss to UCLA — in which the Huskers blew a 21-3 lead — poured gasoline on the fire for the "fire Bo" folks in Lincoln.

[MORE: Wes Lunt finally competing for Illini QB job]

The ire stemmed more from the fact that Nebraska has yet to make a BCS game under Pelini and that the one-time national power isn't so much of one at this point in time.

But what those calling for Pelini's job won't quickly bring up is that not only is it no longer the 20th century but that Pelini has led the Huskers to nine wins in every one of his six seasons at the helm, including an appearance in the 2012 Big Ten Championship Game. A Gator Bowl win over a ranked Georgia team on New Year's Day was one of the conference's bowl-season highlights and evened Pelini's bowl record at 3-3 at Nebraska. The Huskers haven't won a conference title — in the Big 12 or Big Ten — in 14 seasons, but never under Pelini has the team been a conference bottom-feeder, reaching double digits in wins in half of his years in charge.

The Tom Osborne Era is long over, and it appears the Bo Pelini Era is going to last a good deal longer.