Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you. A brand new Nebraska Cornhuskers coach is hired after some absolutely abysmal seasons. Two years in, said coach has the state buzzing due to not only the players on his team but because of who he is. His personality, his interaction with recruits and fans, the whole package.
This coach has his team prepped for a very real possibility of entering a major postseason event. His squad also beat a top ten team on the road.
If I gave you such a scenario in 2012 and told you to be on the lookout come 2014, surely you’d be thinking about a BCS berth for Bo Pelini‘s boys, right? Instead, following Nebraska basketball’s victory over then-No. 9 Michigan State, these tweets went out:
Wins vs Top 10 teams on the road: Tim Miles 1 Bo Pelini 0 Just sayin… #Nebrasketball
— Corey Labenz (@clabenz3) February 16, 2014
— Tanner Graham (@tjones232) February 16, 2014
Imagine that a team that plays hard for a coach with class. Pay attention Bo Pelini! Pay attention football team — md (@searayhusker) February 16, 2014
Don’t shoot the messenger.
It’s fair to compare coaches across sports, especially at a school as diverse in athletic success as Nebraska. The Huskers have winning traditions in baseball, women’s volleyball, softball, women’s rifle, wrestling and bowling (yes, bowling). This isn’t the first time the football and basketball coaches have been compared. It’s the first that hardcore followers of both sports have a legitimate point, though.
To be fair, what currently looks like a dream season for Nebrasketball could come crashing down. However, if Tim Miles can take the Huskers to the 2014 NCAA Tournament in only his second year, that’s mighty impressive. If he can guide them to a win, he essentially becomes the best coach the program’s ever had.
Even the revered Danny Nee couldn’t do that. What’s most exciting for Husker fans who pack the Pinnacle Bank Arena is that Miles is just getting started.
Pelini, on the other hand, is in year six. Four losses every year, no conference titles, you know the drill. If he can produce a Big Ten Championship and get the Big Red football team close to the inaugural College Football Playoff then this unofficial competition may get tighter. As it stands, Miles is winning by… well, a mile.
He’s pulled fans who aren’t adamant Creighton junkies out of the college football offseason blues.
Hondo Carpenter, one of the best Michigan State journalistic representatives, also sent out an interesting tweet during Sunday’s basketball game.
I said last week on Nebraska radio I thought the Huskers were a BIG concern. I think they OVER Value Pelini and UNDER value Hoops staff
— Hondo Carpenter (@HondoCarpenter) February 16, 2014
There’s no need to pick sides when it comes the Huskers’ football program’s success versus basketball’s. However, it appears that one’s headed in a far better direction than the other and the ceiling could be much higher.