For Today, A Happy Thanksgiving Wish
And An Honest Look At Bo Pelini’s Record

This week I had intended to share with you only a wish for a happy, meaningful Thanksgiving celebration with family or friends, keeping in mind ways that you might make this holiday season more enjoyable for those less fortunate than you.  A contribution to The World-Herald’s Goodfellows fund would be one way to help the less fortunate enjoy a better Christmas season.

But after reading what The World-Herald’s sports page critic, Sam McKewon, had to say about Nebraska Cornhusker football team’s performance this year, including the 23-20 victory over a favored Penn State team last Saturday, I couldn’t resist a response to McKewon’s assessment of the Husker football program, which a headline over his column seemed to summarize:

“Is it grittiness or sloppiness?  In Huskers’ case, answer is yes.”

Any implication that Coach Bo Pelini’s Huskers slopped their way to a victory over favored Penn State on the Nittany Lions’ home field last Saturday is, as I see it, totally unfair.

Huskers Haven’t Slopped Their Way To Seven Victories

As unfair as would be an implication that a gritty Nebraska team has slopped its way to a 7-3 season record to date.

As unfair as any implication that Pelini’s record, this year or for his coaching career, is overshadowed by the performance of Kirk Ferentz, veteran coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes whom the Huskers play next Friday in Lincoln.

Ferentz’s Hawkeyes are 7-4 this season to date (compared to Pelini’s Huskers’ 7-3).

Is Ferentz’s career record, as coach of the Hawkeyes, good enough to win him a $3 million salary and a contract extension until 2020—with 107 wins and 78 losses, a winning percentage of 58%.  (Remember this is the coach whom McKewon praised in his column.)

The Ferentz record at Iowa includes losing seven of eight contests with Iowa State.

Pelini’s record at Nebraska includes 57 wins and 23 losses, a winning percentage of 71%.

The fact is that an Iowa coach with a 58% winning record at Iowa, while Pelini’s winning record of 71% at Nebraska is not reported by critic McKewon.

There comes to mind an old story about the war correspondents who observed a battle from a safe position in the hills overlooking the battlefield, and when the battle is over, came down and shot the wounded.

But this particular battle isn’t over.  And with only the one exception, all the comments that I’ve heard are supportive of Pelini and his injury-riddled team.

Stay tuned.

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