TIME OUT by Joe Flanagan

What a fun roller coaster ride it was!

Quite a way to ring in the New Year, huh?
It struck me New Year’s Day that Nebraska’s exciting Gator Bowl victory over Clemson was basically a four-quarter synopsis of the entire 2008 season.
Can you say ROLLer COASTer? Or, maybe, it should be rollER coastER since the Huskers finished on a high note!
One thing for certain – Bo Pelini’s first season as Husker Head Coach was a fun, action-packed ride.
Whether it was ho-hum wins over Western Michigan and Iowa State, crushing blowout losses to Mizzou and OU, a heartbreaker in Lubbock or thrilling comeback victories over Colorado and Clemson, there was rarely a dull moment.
The refurbishment of the Nebraska program is far from complete. That was pretty evident in the ugly results vs. the Tigers and Sooners and the difficult time NU had putting away some fairly mediocre opponents.
However, I’d say the rejuvenation of Husker football has been thoroughly accomplished in just one season under the passionate Pelini.
Simply put, Bo has put the fun back in football for Husker Nation.
Pelini and staff accomplished many things in 2008, but none more important than teaching their charges how to battle through adversity and never say die. They restored belief in players wearing the scarlet and cream.
There were mistakes by a first-year head coach and a new staff, no doubt. However, it was impressive to see Bo and his assistants heeding those mistakes, acknowledging them, learning from them and making adjustments – all in the course of one short season!
That’s what seperates great coaches from good (and bad) ones. Make no mistake, Bo has a very good chance to end up in the initial category.
There’s plenty of work yet to be done. It will surely take some more time. But, you get the feeling Bo and the Huskers will eventually get to the mountaintop.
Why? Because they believe. That’s where it all starts.
Coach Pelini, like Devaney and Osborne before him, is still molding the physical and mental aspects of his Husker team. But he’s already restored one crucial element –
The Heart and Soul is back in Husker football.
Go Big Red!