The lovable Coach Riley is embarking on his third season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Riley, who is highly regarded by practically everyone associated with college football, was a surprise hire three years ago following the release of “he who shall not be named”. Although the fan base was initially divided both by Pelini’s (shit, I said it) firing and Riley’s hiring. Coach Riley for the time being, has appeared to win over a majority of the Husker faithful with his likable personality and great character. Mike Riley has a mild mannered demeanor and offered a drastic change of pace from Bo Pelini. Which is something the University was desperately in search of. However, whether we like to admit it or not, and I do, we all know the only thing that matters in the world of college football is winning. Yes, Program image is very important, but it doesn’t pay the bills and college football is Big Business.
The debate over Coach Riley’s win/loss record is nothing new. It fact, it quickly became the main talking point when the former Oregon State coach was hired. The consensus among most “in the know”, which tend to be overly politically correct for the sake of playing nice with the University, was that Riley would thrive given the resources Nebraska has to offer. That is still yet to be decided. What we do know is that Coach Riley’s success has been a touch over .500 the entirety of his career. In 25 years as a head football coach Mike Riley has only achieved 11 winning seasons. That in and of itself, tells us quite a bit. Winners win, cut and dry. Take Timothy Tebow for example, he lead the Broncos to the playoffs while lacking the physical ability to throw a football in the highest level of of the sport. Which I don’t have to tell you, but I will, is bananas. Prince Tebow is a winner through and through. Some people have it, some don’t. Riley over the course of his career hasn’t had it.
Now before I get murdered for saying that, here me out. Coach Riley is an amazing person and a great leader. The guy just radiates happiness, a la Mr. Rogers (R.I.P. in peace). Can he become a winner? History and my brain tells me no, but my heart and the fact that we all have no choice but to sit back and watch tells me yes. If he continues to be diligent in putting the right people in place. Which thus far, he has shown he is trying to do by letting two coordinators go this off season. Most notably being defensive coordinator Mark Banker. Riley sending Banker down the road shows that he puts winning over unabashed loyalty, which is something Bo struggled with. F*cking Papuchis.
The 2017 football season will be very telling for the future of the program. Which is currently trending at a mid-major levels right now. The Huskers look to be very strong offensively and time will tell if the defense can learn and execute Bobby Diaco’s 3-4 scheme. P.S. the off season is brutal. Love you guys.