Bo and Carl Pelini are in stark contrast to Oklahoma’s Stoops brother factory. The Pelini’s are coaching brothers who can’t seem to buy a positive headline. This week was no different. As we discovered this week, the cloud billowing from Nebraska's football factory's smokestacks when the Pelini's were contending for Big 12 titles together weren't of the industrial ilk.
Like his brother Bo, Carl Pelini possesses a gifted defensive mind and while he couldn’t get Florida Atlantic’s vertical offense off the ground, his puff-puff-pass play calling ability was top notch. Ultimately, that may have been what cost him his job.
Or it was an excuse for FAU to start over after his 5-15 record in 1.5 seasons. On second thought, that’s a drastic improvement over his predecessor Howard Schnellenberger’s 1-11 record in 2011. On Wednesday, Pelini mysteriously resigned. It was odd timing for a firing until athletic director Pat Chun revealed that Pelini and his defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis were caught using “illegal drugs” at a party. Until he gets snatched up by a school in search of a defensive coordinator the only thing he’ll be using his playbook for is rolling up.
Besides is there a more ridiculous excuse to fire a head coach in 2013? Bo has a clean legal record. Meanwhile, Tyrann Mathieu was just named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month and Von Miller has been wrecking quarterbacks while trailing a strong kush odor in his wake for years.
Carl’s firing punctuated what has been an unfortunate week for the Pelini family. Carl’s firing overshadowed another awkward interview by Bo on the same day with radio host Billy King. Carl spent four years as Bo’s defensive coordinator at Nebraska would be a welcome addition to the Nebraska coaching staff if he returned. During his four-year span as defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, Carl helped groom Ndamukong Suh and a defense that was ranked 115th nationally was the nation’s stingiest scoring defense by his second season. Since Carl’s departure, the Cornhuskers haven’t finished higher than 50th in the nation.
However, that would require Bo to hold down his current position. The odds don’t appear to be leaning in his favor.
His brother Bo has been under fire at Nebraska since a two-year-old recording of him speaking disparagingly about Nebraska fans conveniently emerged in September.
To make matters worse, he might as well have bathed in gasoline after the Cornhuskers lost to Minnesota last Saturday. Never mind that Nebraska has been rotating an eclectic collection of inexperienced quarterbacks all season because of a foot injury to senior starter Taylor Martinez or that they are still 5-2.
Pelini’s attitude has turned off many alumni including former Heisman Trophy winner Tommy Frazier who has inveighed Pelini any opportunity he gets.
If Carl had taken FAU to a bowl game in his first season, it’s hard to imagine Chun would have arrived at the same conclusion.
Two years ago, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was arrested for driving under the influence. Because of his record of success at Missouri and brilliant offensive mind, Pinkel’s dangerous transgression cost him just a one-game unpaid suspension.
Or it could speak volumes about how our culture considers driving a four-ton motor vehicle at 70-80 miles per hour with impaired senses to be more acceptable than blowing trees socially.
Since Mike Stoops returned to run Oklahoma’s defense after a eight-year stint as the head coach at Arizona, the Sooners have returned to its perch as the Big 12’s stingiest on the other side of the ball. If Carl does get an opportunity for a return to Nebraska, he can help his brother in more ways than devising defensive schemes.
Bo’s stunted social skills stunted and his legendary temper have turned off many including his own quarterback, who nearly transferred after his freshman season. Who can blame Bo? It’s hard enough returning a national powerhouse’s to national championship contention without the added pressure of knives being thrown at him by beloved alumni in the face of unrealistic expectations.
Bo just needs some chill. He needs Carl like Cheech needed Chong. Something tells me Carl’s return to the program could be just the medicine Bo needs.