Monday, December 1, 2014

All about the Benjamins

So, still think big-time college football isn't about the Benjamins -- or the Hamiltons or Jackons or Ulysses S. Grants, if it comes to that?

Take a look at what happened in Lincoln, Neb., yesterday.

What happened was Bo Pelini went and got himself fired as the Cornhuskers' football coach, one day after his team staged an epic rally to clip Iowa 37-34 in overtime. And it wasn't really because he was a loser in his seven seasons as the head man.

He was, actually, a winner. In seven seasons, he went 67-27, a 71 percent winning percentage. He won at least nine games every season, and his 67 victories are the most ever for a Nebraska coach in his first seven seasons, beating even the sainted Tom Osborne. As a matter of fact, no coach in a Power 5 conference has ever been fired after winning as many games in the same time frame.

So why did Bo go?

Well, let's look at those 27 losses. And pay close attention to when they happened, and against whom.

Seventeen of them came against ranked teams, as opposed to just eight wins against same.  Three of them came in six bowl games. And none came in a BCS bowl, for the excellent reason that Nebraska never played in a BCS bowl under Pelini.

Which means, boys and girls, that he was unable to hit the big score -- BCS loot -- when the big score was there for the taking. And he was only .500 in money games (i.e., bowls) of any description. That's the significance of the 8-17 record against ranked opponents.

And that's the number that got him fired. Because, no matter how the NCAA likes to carry on about student-athletes and what-not, college football among the Power 5s really is just a business.  If you're not making the corporation money, you can start updating your resume.

Because, like Bo Pelini, you're gonna need it.

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