Nebraska Cornhuskers Choose Nice Guy over Winning in Mike Riley


This was an emotional hire. There’s no other way around it.

According to multiple reports you can see here, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have hired 61-year old Mike Riley from Oregon State to replace Bo Pelini as their new head coach.

Here are some numbers for you: In seven seasons at Nebraska, Pelini never had fewer than 9 wins. In 14 seasons at Oregon State, RIley has only had four 9-win seasons.

Nebraska didn’t think about shooting for the best candidate here. It went for the anti-Bo Pelini, which is always the wrong move. The comments about Riley since his hire have been about how nice of a guy he is or how a high school coach would want his son to play football for him.

Who cares?

When did winning become secondary? Riley has not been able to take Oregon State to the next level during his tenure there, and since a three-year run of 10-4, 9-4, 9-4, and 8-5 from 2006-2009, he has had three losing seasons.

Again, where do the credentials come in for him to lead the Nebraska Cornhuskers, one of the greatest college football programs in history?

Okay, we’ll take a step back for a minute and acknowledge we’re being a little bit unfair.

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Riley could be very successful. He took over Oregon State first in 1997, and the program was in shambles. He put together a program through recruiting that Dennis Erickson took over in 1999 and was able to take to 11-1 in 2000.

We know that the infrastructure and support to win at Oregon State is not what it is at Nebraska, even though the conference tough.

But when Riley came back to Oregon State in 2003, he was unable to repeat the success he had the first time. Again, this is a hire that at this point makes absolutely no sense.

But Pelini rubbed people the wrong way with his comments and didn’t come across as a nice guy. As a result, Nebraska made the emotional decision, and they put the nice guy over winning.

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