I have stepped foot inside a casino once in my entire life. The atmosphere was everything I imagined it would be. The bright lights and sounds were intoxicating, well.. that was probably attributed more to the whiskey. However, witnessing all that excitement and disappointment in one building is something I will never forget. Although I was intrigued by the whole experience, I did not spend any money that night…

I say this to emphasize the point that I am not a gambling man. However, that may all change very soon. If there is ever a prop bet available on whether or not Mike Riley will be coaching at Nebraska in 2019, I am all in on the under.

2017 needed to be a huge year for this coaching staff. The normal justifications of not having the right personal, changing the damaged culture left over from former coach Bo Pelini and settling into a scheme that is comfortable for the staff to execute are out the window… for the most part. But that is not the primary reason this HAD TO BE the year for success. The real reason is the 2018 schedule. For the sake of this coaching staff, this season was the opportunity to really make their mark and afford them a little more grace from the Husker faithful.

Next year’s schedule is jam packed with very tough games. Including at Ohio State, at Michigan, at Wisconsin, at Iowa and an always gritty Michigan State Spartans program in Lincoln. Even an elite level team would struggle to get through that lineup. Nebraska is not elite, and as of right now they are not even average.

Whether you agree with NU President, Hank Bounds decision to extend Riley’s contract or not, we are all aware that Nebraska does have a threshold of underachievement. Following today’s loss against MAC conference opponent Northern Illinois, the program is currently below it.

So much so that Shawn Eichorst, a man who does not speak about the the program in season, fielded questions after the game.

Nebraska had to win eight or more games this year for this staff to whether the storm of next season. Nine or ten would have been more comforting. They are currently 1-2 for only the third times in 54 seasons. Two of them have been under Riley.

Unfortunately, we are in football purgatory. The state of the program is in shambles. The administration, as of last week, was satisfied per Riley’s extension. Yet we all know that there is a bottom level that even this staff cannot weather.

Based on the current trajectory of the football program, it is awfully hard picturing them contending for the Big Ten West this season. Something that was an absolute must for 2017. It is even harder imagining them etching out eight wins the following season. Given the success of the program over the last three years, 16-13 under Riley, it is certain he will be on a very hot seat following the 2018 season. If not sooner.

If that is the case, which it likely will be, then we are in yet another rebuild situation, with the starting point being even lower than Bill Callahan achieved. For now we wait. And wait. Until changes are made, either by Riley, turning the program around or the administration deciding to go in a different direction. Which will likely include more changes than just the football coaching staff.

We are in a rare situation. Where the future of Husker football is an almost certainty.

Regardless of the decisions being made, or that have been made about the program, continue to support the team as they need it now more than ever. And as always, love you guys.


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