Osborne: Bo's win total worth appreciation

2012-11-30T10:28:00Z 2012-11-30T11:24:46Z Osborne: Bo's win total worth appreciationBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON JournalStar.com
November 30, 2012 10:28 am  • 

It was quite the blast from the past: Tom Osborne talking, football film running behind him, a crowd at full attention.

You couldn't help notice no one left. Usually, and understandably, a few folks walk out of the film session at a Big Red Breakfast.

After all, work and life calls.

But a big crowd gave Osborne its undivided attention as he made perhaps a final visit to speak at the breakfast.

I have a story about it here.

But here are some more nuts and bolts from what Osborne said:

*He was complimentary of the job Bo Pelini has done since Osborne picked him for the job five years ago.

"I think I have ... I don't think I have, I know I have seen some steady progress since that time," Osborne said. "If memory serves me correctly, we've won 48 games to date in the five years under Bo, just a little bit under 10 wins a year.

"And I think it's important that people grasp that if you can average nine or 10 wins a year, that's good. Lots of people don't understand it. (To them) it's got to be 12 or 13 a year, then that's good. But if you look at the Hall-of-Fame coaching careers, you'll see that the great majority of hall-of-fame coaches had winning percentages in the 60-percent range. .... There's a few that are over 70 but not very many. And Bo's around 73 percent right now. ...

"So when you have that, you have to make sure you appreciate it. Because this is a very competitive age where you are competing with teams with more populated space, bigger stadiums. And so we've done a good job of hanging in there.

"I really like what Bo has done with the culture. At the present time, our athletes are well-disciplined. They behave well. They do very well academically. Sometimes that gets kind of lost and people say, 'Well, that's not a big deal.' But it is a big deal."

* Osborne said the Big Ten represented stability at a time when he felt like Nebraska was "getting themselves out on a plank and somebody was sawing it off."

"I think it's been overall a good move," he said.

About expansion, Osborne did not say specifically what he thinks about the additions of Maryland and Rutgers but thinks Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was worried about the ACC locking up the Eastern seaboard.

Osborne said the unfortunate part of this realignment is seeing the longtime rivalries disrupted.

"And you guys can no longer drive down to Manhattan, Kansas, and see a football game, or drive down Lawrence, it's disconcerting."

Osborne said he doesn't know how the Big Ten is going to realign.

"I would hope that they would start over and maybe do a geographical distribution."

* Osborne said he goes to practice most every day and still watches game film. "But I can still tell you unequivocally that I can't tell you which guy should start at center, or which plays we should run, and all the things that you guy know instinctively," said Osborne to laughter.

* Osborne said he really likes this Husker team, highlighting the running backs, wide receiver and quarterback position as spots he thinks Nebraska is very good.

"Believe me, as a defensive coach the thing you hate to face more than anything is a guy at quarterback that has speed and can turn the corner on you, and this guy can do it," Osborne said.

* College athletics have changed a great deal over the years, Osborne said. He listed off some negatives and positives he sees now.

"One negative, as far as I'm concerned, I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't agree, there's so much focus on money," he said. "As you know, salaries have escalated, a lot of stuff with facilities, and most of that's OK. But it seems like when I go to a Big Ten meeting or NCAA meeting anymore, it's more like being on a Board of Directors at a bank than being involved with intercollegiate athletics. So it's easy to lose track of what the primary focus is."

* Osborne joked that there are two times people say nice things about you: when you retire and when you die.

"I've done the best I can," he said. "I don't know that I've done as well as some people say I have. But we've tried to restore the culture."

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Steven M. Sipple

Steven M. Sipple

Steven is the Husker sports columnist for the Lincoln Journal Star.

Brian Christopherson

Brian Christopherson

Brian is the Husker football beat writer for the Lincoln Journal Star.

Brian Rosenthal

Brian Rosenthal

Brian Rosenthal is the Husker men's basketball beat reporter for the Lincoln Journal star.

Brent C. Wagner

Brent C. Wagner

Brent is the Husker volleyball and women's basketball beat reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star.