Last Year: 10-4
In a word full of vanilla head coaches, I'm so happy we have Bo Pelini. Well... let me rephrase that. I'm so happy that someone else has Bo Pelini. And that I get to watch. (warning: bad soundtrack below)
Pelini voyeurism is a fairly popular hobby around college football, what with his insane side line rants, ornery personality and freezer full of severed heads belonging to people who have crossed him. I mean there are shoddily made pipe bombs with longer fuses than Pelini. If there is a single coach in college football who is a bad call away from recreating the Wood Hayes What-The-Fuck-Just-Happened Punch of an opposing player, it's Pelini. A well timed insult during a blowout loss could send the guy on a twelve state killing spree, so you just have towatch him to see what happens next. (As an aside, sadly, Clemson is not on Nebraska's schedule any time soon. But in order to set up the possibility of Pelini actually mimicking Hayes, the Big Ten has to make Clemson Nebraksa's new out of state rival. Please. Think of the children.)
All the temper tantrum attention aside, it's really too bad. That's because Pelini appears to be one hell of a coach and recruiter. Since he took over, Nebraska seems to have reclaimed its spot as one of the top destinations for talent in the country and is year-in, year-out a legitimate top 10 program. In Pelini's three years at Nebraska the Huskers have been in the Big XII Championship game twice and garnered top ten rankings at some point during the season. Sadly, in both championship appearances the Huskers have managed to cough up leads and lose in heart breaking fashion. The result: a couple of fine Pelini meltdowns (though the crown jewel of meltdowns was against Texas A&M, and ooooh boy was it grand). It goes full circle.
Pelini reminds me a little bit of Rich Rodriguez, except to the extent that he recognizes there is a thing called defense. He loves grinding his quarterbacks into a fine powder, wearing down his team by midseason, and the soulful strains of Josh Groban (I'm just assuming). But he's definitely his own man. Anyone that can recruit and retain a player whose name means "House of Spears" definitely has a screw or two loose. By virtue of his inclusion in the conference Pelini is automatically the most batshit crazy coach the Big Ten boasts. And with the Dread Pirate Leach's prolonged imprisonment in Trinidad under order of the French Crown, he may well be the craziest coach in the BCS. And he's all ours... er... Nebraska's. (Thank God)