The hot seat in Lincoln, apparently, was very real. Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has been fired by the university. Nebraska Athletics Director Shawn Eichorst informed Pelini of his decision on Sunday morning. Pelini’s termination is effective immediately, so he will not coach Nebraska in a bowl game.
“Earlier this morning, I informed Coach Bo Pelini of our decision to move forward in a new direction,” a statement by Eichorst released by Nebraska said. “Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football programs transition to the Big Ten Conference. We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University.”
Pelini coached 94 games for the Cornhuskers, starting with one game as an interim head coach in 2003. Pelini was named the head coach of the program in 2008. Pelini took Nebraska to two Big 12 championship games and one more Big Ten championship game, but Nebraska failed to win a conference championship under Pelini’s watch. Pelini coached Nebraska to a record of 67-27 and never lost more than four games in a season. This, perhaps, was the biggest problem.
Nebraska hit a plateau under Pelini. Despite nine wins each season coached by Pelini, Nebraska was never able to get over the hump to relive the glory days of the 1990s. Removing Pelini as head coach despite a tremendous amount of success most programs would be envious of is a clear sign that the leadership at Nebraska expects its program to compete at a higher level. Pelini was a very successful coach at Nebraska, but the bar is set higher than what Pelini has been able to clear.
As for Pelini, what comes next is anybody’s guess. He could still be a good head coach for some other program in need fo a head coach. He would also make for a good defensive coordinator. Nebraska’s defense may not have been great the past few years, but scale back the responsibilities for Pelini and let him focus just on defense and he would likely be a valuable asset to a coaching staff.
UPDATE 3:04 p.m.: Running game coordinator Barney Cotton has been named Nebraska’s interim coach.
Still with a chance to make some rumblings in the Big 12 title hunt, Kansas State will be down a wide receiver as they look to challenge Oklahoma State this week. Dalton Schoen will miss the Oklahoma State game with a reported broken collarbone.
The original report from The Wichita Eagle, the sophomore wide receiver broke his collarbone last week in a game against West Virginia. The injury, if accurately reported, would very likely be a season-ending injury. the chance of returning to a bowl game is unknown.
Schoen has caught 23 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns this season.
On Saturday, the Idaho Vandals will host their final game as an FBS member in the Kibbie Dome, the lovable little domed stadium that had a bit of a cult following. With the Vandals preparing to make an unprecedented move down to the Football Championship Subdivision, the Kibbie Dome is not going anywhere, but the chance to appreciate it for its quirkiness as an FBS stadium is now or never.
What makes the Kibbie Dome unique is it was actually originally constructed as an outdoor stadium. The concrete structure became the home to Idaho football in October 1971 over the site of the school’s previous football stadium. After the 1974 season, however, the stadium was enclosed with a rood that mimics the look of an aircraft hanger. That led to quite a unique atmosphere that trapped the sound inside the stadium and made the gameday scene fell more compact. The stadium only ever held 16,000 fans for football, although it set a record with nearly 20,000 fans for a home football game against Boise State in 1989.
The Kibbie Dome was Idaho’s version of Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, in that it served multiple purposes. In addition to football, the Kibbie Dome has hosted basketball and other sporting events like track and field and tennis. Unlike the Carrier Dome, however, the Kibbie Dome was designed to let in natural sunlight. Some more modern dome stadiums with a larger budget have incorporated similar lighting features in more recent years, which suggests the Kibbie Dome was actually ahead of its time in one way.
For years, the Kibbie Dome has been the smallest stadium in the FBS. That is no longer be the case, courtesy of Idaho’s opponent this weekend. The new title of smallest FBS stadium will belong to Coastal Carolina. Brooks Stadium currently has a seating capacity of 15,000, although Coastal Carolina’s jump up to the FBS will lead to eventual stadium upgrades and renovations that should increase the capacity to some degree.
Farewell, Kibbie Dome. It was fun while it lasted. May the memories continue in the FCS.
For the third time since the 2017 season kicked off, Boise State is losing a player to transfer.
The father of Reid Harrison-Ducros (pictured, No. 27) confirmed to the Idaho Press-Tribune that his son has left the Broncos football team and will transfer. The cornerback met with Bryan Harsin Thursday morning to inform him of the decision to move on, with the head coach granting him a release from his BSU scholarship.
“This tears me up,” Gary Harrison-Ducros told the Press-Tribune. “We love everything about Boise, the faculty, geography, and oh my gosh the community and fans. However, Reid wants to be on the field and he believes he has to pursue that goal somewhere else.
“We will follow and support BSU always. I am keeping my tattoo and we’ll always bleed blue, we’re just expanding the HD family to another campus.”
A three-star member of the Broncos’ 2016 recruiting class, Harrison-Ducros played in 10 games as a true freshman. After starting the first four games of the 2017 season, he lost his starting job and has played sparingly since.
Previously, a pair of little-used wide receivers, Julian Carter and Bryan Jefferson, parted ways with the football program as well.
This certainly makes things interesting.
Earlier this week, Gary Patterson revealed that starting quarterback Kenny Hill and starting linebacker Travin Howard were somewhere between “probable and questionable” for the Week 12 game against Texas Tech in Lubbock. Both players suffered unspecified injuries in the Week 11 loss to Oklahoma.
Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, it’s been confirmed that Hill will not play against the Red Raiders. Additionally, strong safety Niko Small and kicker Jonathan Song have been ruled out as well.
Howard, the team’s leading tackler, will travel to Lubbock but be a game-time decision.
With Hill sidelined, true freshman Shawn Robinson, who has attempted 10 passes in five games this season, will make his first career start in a game that will carry significant weight in the chase for the Big 12 championship tilt.
Unless Oklahoma (6-1), which beat both TCU (5-2) and Oklahoma State (5-2) earlier this season, loses its last two games — ROTFL one of them is against Kansas — the Sooners have all but clinched one of the two spots in the conference title game. TCU needs to either win one of its last two games (at Tech, vs. Baylor) and have OSU lose at least one, or win out regardless of what OSU does in order to claim the other spot. OSU, meanwhile, needs to win out (vs. K-State, vs. Kansas) and have the Horned Frogs lose at least one. West Virginia (5-2), which lost to both TCU and OSU, needs to beat Texas and win at OU while TCU and OSU lose at least one game apiece.