Nebraska still ‘reflecting’ on Pelini ‘situation’

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In the wake of the release of a two-year-old, profanity-laced tirade directed at Nebraska fans, Bo Pelini has come under a tremendous amount of friendly fire, with some even laughably suggesting that he should be canned for the content of a piece audio caught in a private moment.

Pelini apologized in a statement released through the university Monday evening, while statements released by both the chancellor and athletic director suggested some type of punitive measures could be forthcoming.  A day later, no determination has been made as to what if any punishment the head coach could be facing.

Confronted by the Omaha World-Herald following his annual state-of-the-university address, chancellor Harvey Perlman sidestepped questions about Pelini and the growing brouhaha.

“I’m not going to talk about football today,” Perlman told the paper, adding, “We’re disappointed and we are reflecting on the situation.”

When asked how long said reflection will take, Perlman stated, “Until we decide not to.”

Meanwhile, on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference, a contrite Pelini confronted every question lobbed at him by the media head-on.  Pelini, in his sixth season with the Cornhuskers, again lauded the fan base in Lincoln, but did allow that “I’m human like anyone else. You say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances.”

The audio, apparently recorded without Pelini’s knowledge, came in the immediate aftermath of an Oct. 2011 game against Ohio State in which Nebraska came back from a three-touchdown deficit.  Pelini’s raunchy ire was directed at fans who had left the stadium prior to the comeback.

“I think our fans would understand the situation, the circumstances regarding this,” Pelini said on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. “I might lose some, I don’t know, but I think that I’ve built enough points with our fans over the last five years in how I’ve conducted myself, how I’ve run this program and what we’ve done with this program … to earn some forgiveness for something that, like I said, was made in a private setting.

“I think people will understand this isn’t representative of how I feel.”

Again, it’s laughable to suggest Pelini should be dismissed over this episode.  Fire him for failing to return the football program to the national stage to which they had become accustomed, not for dropping myriad f-bombs on what the coach considered to be “f****** fair-weather” fans.

Ohio State LB Baron Browning ruled out for Maryland game

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For the second straight week, Ohio State will be down a man in its linebacking corps.

Earlier this week, Urban Meyer listed Baron Browning as probable for Saturday’s game against Maryland.  Wednesday night after practice, however, the head coach confirmed that the linebacker will not play against the Terrapins.

Browning is dealing with an unspecified injury that sidelined the sophomore linebacker for the win over Michigan State this past Saturday.

Through eight games in 2018, Browning has been credited with 22 tackles, 3½ tackles for loss and a sack.  As noted by ElevenWarriors.com, Browning has been rotating in with Tuf Borland at the middle linebacker spot throughout the season.

A five-star 2017 signee, Browning played in a dozen games as a true freshman last year.

Western Michigan announces firing of DC Tim Daoust

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Tuesday night, Western Michigan was officially removed from MAC West contention.  Less than 24 hours later, WMU removed one of its top assistants.

Wednesday night, the Broncos announced that they have “parted ways” with defensive coordinator Tim Daoust.  The move comes after WMU gave up 42 points in a loss to a three-win Ball State team that came into the game 99th in the country in scoring (24.5 points per game).

All told, the Broncos gave up 51, 59 and 42 points in three straight losses that knocked them out of the West race and handed the division title to Northern Illinois.

“I appreciate Tim and his family’s dedication to the Bronco football family these past two seasons,” head coach Tim Lester said in a statement. “At this time I felt we needed to go in a different direction.”

This was Daoust’s second stint in Kalamazoo as he was an assistant with the Broncos from 2006-09.  Prior to this two-year stint at WMU, Daoust was the coordinator at Ball State.

Daoust will be replaced for the remainder of the year by defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Lou Esposito.  WMU, which is bowl-eligible for a school-record fifth-straight year, will close out the 2018 regular season against West champion NIU next Tuesday.

SEC lands three of five Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists

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A conference known for its defense is front and center for an award that honors that side of the ball.

Of the five finalists for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy announced Wednesday by the Football Writers Association of America, three of them hail from the SEC — Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, LSU safety Grant Delpit and Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams.  The other two –Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins — come from teams which are ranked in the top four of the most recent College Football Playoff rankings.

North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb was the 2017 winner of the Nagurski.  Houston’s Ed Oliver was a finalist for that award and was eligible again this year, but a knee injury has sidelined him for the last three games and will likely keep him out for a fourth — if not longer.

The 2018 winner will be honored at a Dec. 3 ceremony in Charlotte.

After 53 straight losses, D3 program decides to take 2019 off

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There will be no football played at Division 3 Earlham College in Indiana next season. The school is taking next season off with the intent on returning to the field in 2020, hopefully, with a game plan for improving the football program.

The news of Earlham shutting the program down for a year comes following a 53rd straight loss, an NCAA Division 3 record. Head coach Nick Johnson has already been informed he will no longer be a part of the program but will take on a new role within the university. The last time Earlham celebrated a win was Oct. 26, 2013, according to a Richmond Palladium-Item report.

“As President of Earlham College, I am well aware of the many ways in which a successful athletics program can enhance and strengthen the overall well-being of a college,” interim Earlham College president Avis Stewart said in a released statement. “However, it can reasonably be argued that our inability to field competitive teams has significantly hampered our ability to recruit a sufficient number of student-athletes who seek a positive, quality intercollegiate athletics football experience. Therefore, I have decided that our community needs to take a fresh approach to building and sustaining a competitive football program.”

A year off for any college football program is a difficult decision to make, and at the lower levels of football, it comes with more doubt about the potential return of a program. Fortunately, perhaps, this plan is already mapped out as opposed to when UAB decided to shut its program down for good, only to reverse course and bring the football program back after a brief hiatus.

Earlham College will plan on bringing the football program back in 2020 as long as it is determined doing so will not pose a risk to the school’s academic integrity, the school feels secure in the ability to fund the program, and it can find a suitable head coach to lead the program.

Well, Bobby Petrino is available.