Is Bo Pelini's conduct getting out of line? Big 12 bullet-point observations


As a result of an eventful football weekend around the Big 12 Conference, I've decided to adopt the bullet-point approach for today's blog entry.

I have quite a bit on my mind following the weekend. Bo Pelini doesn't like referees, and his temper flared at Texas A&M. The Big 12 South could come down to a three-way tie (again). The Big 12 North will come down to the last week as well. I went 5-2 in picking Big 12 games in week 12 of Conference ChatterTV, which can be seen below:

Here goes nothing. Welcome to Conference Chatter's Big 12 bullet points. • Nebraska coach Bo Pelini ripped into quite a few people Saturday night. He lashed into the referees, clearly irate on a slew of calls (the Huskers were flagged 16 times for 145 yards) during NU's ugly 9-6 loss at Texas A&M. A roughing-the-passer call against Courtney Osborne enabled Texas A&M to extend a late drive and set up the game-winning field goal. Pelini had a point. The call was dreadful.

But the coach also went berserk on his own players, and starting quarterback Taylor Martinez, in particular, witnessed the wrath of the outrageously livid Pelini on the sidelines.

The way Pelini carried himself was unprofessional and bothersome. He's tried to control his hot temper this season, but his sideline demeanor reached a new boiling point on Saturday.

The whining and complaining, as if the referees conspired to job Nebraska, grew tiresome. Yes, this is Nebraska's last season in the Big 12, and no, I don't think the Big 12 zebras intentionally hosed the Huskers. What good would that do for the Big 12? Nebraska was one of the final conference teams left with an outside chance of playing for the BCS Championship.

Back to Pelini. The roughing-the-passer call on Osborne was terrible. Fair enough. Let's pretend that it didn't even happen. Given the difficulty NU had in moving the ball, it's not exactly a given the Huskers' offense would have marched back down the field and won the game.

Nebraska's vaunted rushing attack, which averages about 270 yards per game, only rushed for 142. Martinez and his backup, Cody Green, had trouble completing passes against a Texas A&M secondary that ranked in the bottom 10 in the country in pass defense coming into the game.

I respect coaches who carry themselves with extreme intensity (see Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin), but there's a difference between extreme intensity and excessive griping. Pelini feverishly chasing down referees seemed desperate and childish.

NU chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Tom Osborne had to have a meeting with Pelini on Sunday morning to talk about his conduct.

I respect what Pelini has done in taking a defense that lacked speed and tackling ability in the Bill Callahan era and turning it into one of the best units in the country. But he's the head coach at one of the most tradition-rich football programs of all-time. Pelini should think more about how his decorum is perceived, because it looked outrageously petulant on Saturday night.

If Nebraska fans have a sky-is-falling outlook, they shouldn't. All the Huskers need to do is beat Colorado on Friday at home and they will represent the North in the Big 12 Championship. Winning the Big 12 is still well within reach. Nebraska likely wasn't going to play in the BCS Championship anyway.

Colorado interim coach Brian Cabral restored last names on the backs of his players' jerseys this past weekend. This season was the first in at least 25 years that the Buffaloes didn't have last names on the jerseys. Colorado won its second consecutive Big 12 game when it defeated Kansas State, 44-36, this past weekend.

Kansas, please take notice. Last names belong on the jerseys.

Should Cabral, who has won two games since taking over for Dan Hawkins, somehow knock off Pelini's Huskers in Lincoln next week, he should immediately be front-runner for the next coach in Boulder. That figures to be a tall order. Nebraska opened as 20-point favorites Sunday night.

Switching gears to the Big 12 South: This division will also come down to the final week of action. Oklahoma State (6-1 Big 12), Oklahoma (5-2) and Texas A&M (5-2) still have a chance to take the division crown. Oklahoma State will face Oklahoma next week in the annual Bedlam series, while Texas A&M will travel to Texas.

Scenario 1: If Oklahoma State wins, nothing else matters. The Cowboys would play in the Big 12 title game.

Scenario 2: If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M beats Texas, there would be a three-way tie at 6-2 atop the South. The tiebreaker would come down to who's ranked the highest in the BCS standings when they're released next Sunday night (in this scenario, probably Oklahoma).

Conclusion: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State will essentially decide the Big 12 South.

The last time the South finished the regular season in a three-way tie was 2008, when Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech all finished 11-1 and 7-1 in the league. The Sooners had the best BCS ranking and advanced to the Big 12 Championship.

Here's the latest edition of the Sorrentino Scale. The number that follows in parentheses is what the team was ranked last week:

1 (2). Oklahoma State (10-1): Biggest game in school history to take place Saturday vs. Oklahoma, likely for rights to Big 12 title game.
2 (3). Oklahoma (9-2): Sooners have won past seven meetings against Oklahoma St.
3 (1). Nebraska (9-2): Will Martinez look as healthy as earlier in year at any point again this season?
4 (4). Missouri (9-2): Tigers quietly having great season. What percent do you give Kansas staging an upset on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.?
5 (5). Texas A&M (8-3): Yeah, I know. A&M beat Nebraska and Oklahoma. But Aggies also lost to Missouri, Oklahoma State and out of conference against Arkansas.
6 (6). Baylor (7-5): Bears finish solid season losing last three games.
7 (7). Kansas State (6-5): 'Cats have lost four of last five games.
8 (9) Texas Tech (6-5): Red Raiders close at home vs. Houston.
9 (8). Iowa State (5-7): Cyclones' season over after losing last three games and chance at a bowl berth.
10 (10). Texas (5-6): Beating Florida Atlantic is nice, but Texas won't climb in standings for rest of season unless it beats A&M this week.
11 (12). Colorado (5-6): Cabral working wonders so far in Boulder.
12 (11). Kansas (3-8): Back to cellar for Jayhawks. Colorado got hot after monumental collapse at KU.

That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.


ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 6 months ago

seriously, does anyone like the names not being on the back of the jerseys? well, besides gill.

bennettcl 7 years, 6 months ago

No one likes the names not being on the back of the jerseys. Unless its always been a tradition not to have the names on the back (Penn St & USC), then I say put the names back on the jerseys. These players are from all over the country and most of them before coming to KU have no clue about KU's traditions and history. They come to play D1 football and make a name for themselves. So as much as they want to play for the name on the front, most want to try twice as hard to play for their name on the back as that is what is going to help them move to the next level.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 6 months ago

I would just like to watch a game on tv and know who is on the field.

Jeremy LeMaster 7 years, 6 months ago

Amen! Until I read the story today about McDougald having a great game at safety I thought it was Taylor Lee (same # (24) as McDougald and is listed as a Safety).

For pete's sake, it is confusing. The only purpose of football is for entertainment and the fans want to know who is playing. It is ok (but I still wouldn't like it) if you take the names off the jerseys if you have a culture of winning the Big 12 and competing for national championships. But being the worst team in the league and trying to pull that crap just looks silly and is embarrassing to the fans and alumni.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 6 months ago

seriously! someone from the kuad marketing department needs to step in and put an end to this. it's not like our players are highlighted on espn and sport ill. weekly, making it easy to learn who is who. and with players changing positions every week. . .

the only way this would be acceptable is if there are no names on the back so we can reuse the jereys for a couple of years and all monies saved go towards a gill buyout!

DXJhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Well said bennettcl. I don't care for basketball teams that don't have the names on it either. Unless there is some kind of overriding tradition, put the names on the jerseys!

Ben Kliewer 7 years, 6 months ago

This is actually something we agree on "ah"... Put the names back on the back...on the back...

Dan Pawlowski 7 years, 6 months ago

Who cares about names. JoePa seems to do ok without them. How to identify the players. Hmm lets see you can get the roster online. Then print roster. Have the roster handy while watching a game and look up the player. The roster listed by KUSports however has some duplicate numbers so that could cause confusion. There are other sources. Televised football games also have people called broadcasters who call out who is doing what. They also have an amazing source of information, the roster. I think with or without names is a non issue.

Nutflush21 7 years, 6 months ago

The Pelini's have serious anger management issues. Bo berating Martinez on the sideline was awful. According to Nebraska message boards, Bo was upset because Martinez called his father from the locker room.

Also, here is video of Carl going after a video camera on Saturday night.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh my gawd. Someone get that to big12/espn fast! These guys are out of control. How great would it be to hit little Bo p and brother with a couple game suspension

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

I do not think Bo was abusing Martinez, but should have done this after the game. I read that the QB called his dad. I heard that he was upset that he was going to give calls from the sideline. I heard he was upset that he was out of the game and said something under his breath to B.P. I heard he supported Cotton for kicking the Texas A&M dude, after the A&M dude grabbed Cotton's junk. So, there are a lot of resons as to the yelling, but we do not know for real what happened as of this moment. Yelling at the Refs were good!!! The Refs made and have made really poor calls that hurt the Huskers all season long. If you are a true football fan you can see this. That being said, when you have a target on your back, you have to step up and play even better and not let stupid calls determine the outcome of a game. But does anyone think the Refs are going to be held for their continued errors on the Huskers? When NU is gone, who will be the Big 12's step child to mis-treat? We know it will not be the teams in the 12 South. So, it will be someone from the North---watch your backs!

kureader 7 years, 6 months ago

Did you accidentally sign on to a KU blog? Go whine somewhere else. ... and you're defending Pelini? He makes Mark Mangino look like Dalai Lama. His treatment of Martinez on national television was disgusting.

There isn't a worldwide conspiracy by all referees to mistreat NU. You just aren't a Top 10 team. You should have lost to Iowa State (AGAIN) last week, and you looked like a junior college against North Dakota just a few weeks ago. Maybe you should give Bill Callahan another try?

As for Texas A&M, you didn't lose because of the refs, you lost because you only scored 6 points!

gchawk 7 years, 6 months ago

kureader, for some reason this person likes our website. Rumor has it that he/she/it keeps buying airline tickets in order to receive the free "pat-downs".

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

As I said, I did not think Bo was right yelling at a player like he did. I also stated that regardless of poor calls, NU should have been able to overcome that with adding points, which they did not. But, I do feel that Pelini or any coach has the right to call out a ref when their errors are so big and repeated over and over and over again. ISU coach has spent a lot of time yelling at refs over the years, but less coverage on him.

Texas A&M player does not have the right to cop a feel like he did. That is just wrong!!

William James 7 years, 6 months ago

Hahaha! Its a vast right wing conspiracy against Nebraska Football. There are always bad calls. The great teams over come them, and the classy ones don't use them as excuses for their failures. Pretty pathetic display first from the football team, and now the fans.

Ben Kane 7 years, 6 months ago

not that it really matters, but I believe we should be ranked ahead of Colorado.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

despite us beating them, it's kinda hard to argue that point considering that they are on a two game winning stream and just beat a team that destroyed us early in the season.

I remember reading all of the preditictions from KU fans and sportswriters on this site all spring and summer saying that we looked like a 4-8 team. I was hopeful that we'd be 6-6 and make a bowl game... but now 4-8 is looking pretty good.

Dan Pawlowski 7 years, 6 months ago

Noted. The key retort you are missing however is "Na Na Na Na Boo Boo"

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Bo will get a phone call from Mark Mangino in Naples, Florida? Conversation might be like this---- Hey, Bo! Yeah you, Pelini. You might want to back off a little bubba. I am living large in Florida, enjoying the sunshine but I really wish I could coach again. I didn't have the tradition at Kansas like you have at Nebraska, so, you probably just get a slap on the wrist by your boss, Tom Osborne. Hey, I been there, done that, so, take it easy, son. Good luck against Colorado---some are calling this the "Outcast Bowl," but that's okay, don't listen to those darn fool media types. One last thing, if you could get Taylor (Martinez) to transfer to Kansas, that would be awesome! Hey, Bo----just messin' with you, Man! Take care!

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

Yelling is one thing. Making someone rub their knuckles on turf until the bleed is something totally different. Nonetheless, Turner Gill is full of class and this will not happen under his watch.

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

LiKilroy.....First off, Mangino did not "make someone rub their knuckles on turf until they bleed." He made them do bear-crawls in turf that was "scorching hot." Thus, creating blisters. Secondly, your comment about the "target on your back." I have watched years and years of Nebraska games where their opponet didn't get a single call and NE benefited from the "generosity" of the refs. So I don't think you have much of a leg to stand on. I personally don't understand why NE puts up with this stuff. It's truly embarassing to the state and to the university. Does NE not think they can do any better than him. Not to mention, LiKilroy....all he's doing is yelling right? Well I saw him grab Martinez facemask (definite no-no). Not to mention thats all we thought Mangino was doing was yelling....wait till they start having 8 win will come to light.

Dan Pawlowski 7 years, 6 months ago

Who cares. I did bear crawls on gravel with the occasional shard of glass in Jr. High Football.

Doug Merrill 7 years, 6 months ago

aviebs51 You are berating LiKilroy because - as far as you know, and you don't know everything - he misstated the heinous treatment as rubbing knuckles to bleeding vs third degree burns of the knees? Both are outrageous acts and unacceptable in today's world, and not compatible with a sustained success in recruiting. It doesn't matter that he "got it right", because the reality was worse than what he was saying. His point was still correct.

Pelini's biggest problem is that Osborne et al will see his behavior ALSO as not conducive to recruiting, which it isn't. Bobby Knight's eventual loss of success was due to losses in the living room, because everyone watched him on TV (and knew he was worse in practice).

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't "berating" LiKilroy at all about the Mangino issue. I personally believe that both are "terrible." It's funny the things you can't do show up late to meetings and you punish them by making them do bear crawls and they end up crying wolf. As a former college player there were bunch of players that cried wolf so how does a coach know when to stop. I'm still not saying what he did was right.

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

I did and will continue to stand behind my comments about Nebraska having a "target on their back." They may have a target on their back from opposing teams but to think the officials also do....get real. They "have a target on their back" from the opposing teams is because they call timeouts inside of a minute when they are leading by 3 poss. so that they can get the right downfield pass in. Thats rediculous. You sleep in the bed you make. Too bad A&M didn't do it to them....

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 6 months ago

Uh, when Pelini yelled at Martinez, he also, poked him in his chest. When Pelini was screaming at the sideline official, he almost bumped into him---that is, a no-no.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 6 months ago

Uh, when Pelini yelled at Martinez, he also, poked him in his chest. When Pelini was screaming at the sideline official, he almost bumped into him---that is, a no-no.

Dan Pawlowski 7 years, 6 months ago

Yea, I saw that and thought that he was going too far. The NCAA could and should do something about that.

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

You are right, as we do not know if more has gone on then just yelling. However, does that mean that just because he is a yeller we should brand him as an abuser? One site had someone stating he was a wife beater too. It is kind of being called a racist for not agreeing with the current President. Strong hurtful words when used incorrectly. Now, I do not know much about the coach before Pelini, just know there the fans were not happy with him. But are you not trying to hang Pelini as an abuser due to your hate of Nebraska and not for your hate of abuse? And yes, all teams have been hurt as well as helped by bad calls. But you really have to have tunnel vision not to see that that NU has had way more of their share of bad calls since announcing their move to the Big 10. Before talks of NU leaving, MU was hoping to get the offer to leave. I think if MU was the one leaving, they would have had Dan Beebe and the referees trying to make plays and wins more difficult.

kureader 7 years, 6 months ago

Time for you to go back to the Lincoln Journal Star Blog ... Goodbye.

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

I couldn't disagree with you more. My hate of abuse? What are you talking about? I'm not hanging Pelini at all. I believe that in the future he will take care of that himself. I have nothing but respect for Nebraska. Ya they aren't my favorite team but in the same retrospect the samething can be said about KU basketball. People don't care for winners. It's natural to want the underdog to win. Now I like to believe that KU wouldn't have their starting 5 in up 20 points pressing with 1:30 left. Thats all that I'm saying is that I don't know if anything more is going on or not as far as the abuse with Pelini goes. I would say that his demeanor on the sidelines raises eyebrows. No where have I said he is abussive. As a matter of fact, other than it looks poor, I have no problem with a coach laying into a player. And I'm in no way saying he is doing anything against the rules. You my friend have "tunnel vision" if you think NE doesn't get calls because of who they are. I havn't missed too many of their games this year and they get more questionable calls than what goes against them. And it's funny how a NE fan has the audacity to comment on Dan Beebe and the big 12 refs. You guys were what 3rd in money received in the big 12? And you want to go after the Big 12 commissioner....laughable at best.....

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

"However, does that mean that just because he is a yeller we should brand him as an abuser?" Actually Mark Mangino got "dismissed" for verbally abusing players....I understand that we can't hear what Bo or Mangino say/said but using that thing on top of your shoulders couldn't you possibly come to the conclusion that he is "verbally abusing" players? I will warn you of this. Everybody said Mangino was an "intense, blue collared coach" until he lost bad last year and all the sudden he was "abusive." Nebraska couldn't stand 9-win years under long before Pelini's antics cost him his job?

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

Verbally abuse and yelling are not the same. I do not know all that occurred with MM while at KU. I am guessing former players are the ones who validated this. At this time, all we saw with NU was yelling. Until proven otherwise, that is all it was. Mangino, from what I understand, was not loved by Lew Perkins(AD) and the team was going backwards, inspite of having some really good players. When on a business trip to Omaha a year or two back, someone stated the biggest reason Solich was let go was due to getting a student pregnant. Also, the AD at the time wanted someone else for the job. From what I have read, LSU loved him and his passion.

kureader 7 years, 6 months ago

Solich was fired because he couldn't beat Oklahoma and Texas. Your infamous AD, Pederson, said Nebraskans would no longer tolerate "mediocrity". And there wasn't a single Nebraskan who didn't cheer the decision. Solich won what ... 10 games? So Pederson hired Callahan who turned Nebraska into a doormat.

If Pelini keeps winning, he'll continue to get away with berating players and refs. Just this morning, Pearlman and Osborne slapped him on the hand with a feather. If Pelini doesn't pull things together, he'll go the way of Mangino and Leach.

By the way, little brother Pelini practically knocked the camera out of the hands of a Texas A&M videographer after the game. The videographer was several yards away. Little Pelini turned around and walked several steps to take a swing at the camera. Looks like temper tantrums run in the Pelini family. But, as you suggested with Bo, I'm sure little Pelini had good reasons. The A&M videographer probably had it coming.

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm confused. Was this directed towards me? Solich won 11 games the year the got embarassed by Colorado, missed the big 12 championship game....yet played in the National Championship game against Miami, of which they got embarassed again. Solich won, but the problem was he wasn't Tommy Osborne.

kureader 7 years, 6 months ago

No sir Mr. aviebs51, it was meant for our Nebraska blogger.

Solich won 11 games? I thought it was 10. Either way, I can't believe Nebraska was so arrogant that they fired the Solich for being "mediocre". Callahan brought real meaning to the term "mediocre" at Nebraska.

I still send copies of autographed photos of Callahan to my diehard NU nephew at Christmas. After decades of losing, I figure it's OK for me to be petty. And, I don't want him to forget that women's volleyball is still Nebraska's best sport.

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

I really don't want to sit here and argue symantecs with you kilroy. Yelling vs. Abuse is very relative. LSU loved him because he wasn't the face of their program. You can be a clown on the sidelines until you are the main man and have the camera on you after every play. Whats the over/under on how long till ABC/ESPN start the Pelini cam. You know similar to how they show Frank Martin after every questionable call. I feel Pelini would suit that well. I have trouble reading his mouth though cuz hes always got gum in his mouth. Should get a gum contract.

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

True dat girlfriend, he is a canidate for TMJ surgery down the road. I just do not feel that you call CPS on a parent who has different parenting rules then oneself. You call CPS when there is real concern.

Scott Smetana 7 years, 6 months ago

Let Bo coach the Basketball team this year. Bo vs. Frank Martin with Hightower as referee in the Octagon would be awesome!!!

aviebs51 7 years, 6 months ago

That sounds like one of those Celebrity Death Match from MTV. Bo "The Cudd Chewer" Pelini vs Frank "The guy I swear is gonna have a heart attack on the sidelines" Martin. And what better venue? The Hawktagon. Maybe special guest referee Don Beebe with the Judges being Mark Mangino, Jim Levitt and the Pirate Mike Leech. That would be an all star cast...The Pelini brothers are the brothers that cryed Wolf. You can only apologize so many times...

waywardJay 7 years, 6 months ago

Could you imagine the amount of Clay it would take to mold Mark Mangino..... You can also Have Brewster from Minnesota be the "card girl"

kusayzone 7 years, 6 months ago

It is too bad when a coach has to go to such extremes to 1) Fire up his team, 2) Take out the crowd influence over the referees on the field trying not to get homered 3) Has a TV camera plastered on his every move and he then needs to justify individual 5 seconds of segments that occur over the course of the game. Those cameras are trained on the sideline...I would prefer to watch the game, but it doesnt sell television! How many people used to tune in to watch Bobby Knight just to see if he would throw a chair across the gym? I am not a Nebraska fan, but they were the victims of such circumstances that I even felt sorry for them. If every football has a defining moment, a turning point, Nebraska was on the wrong side too many times for even the Vegas odds makers to bet on their chances of winning. And no way should have had to survive all those bad calls. Bottom is becoming a marshmallow sport, starting with the NFL. This new school football will soon have a "League Of Their Own",

kureader 7 years, 6 months ago

No one made Pelini behave like an raging maniac except Pelini. And, Nebraska isn't a victim of anything! They lost a game because their offense is impotent without Martinez, and they could only score 6 points.

Nebraska fans seem to think that if they lose, (even after scoring just 6 points), there must be an incredible conspiracy of dozens of dishonest referees and Big 12 officials. Otherwise, how could they possibly lose?

Is it really such a leap to think, after watching NU's poor offensive performance against Texas A&M, and also against North Dakota & Iowa State, that maybe ... just maybe, Nebraska is overrated?

LiKilroy 7 years, 6 months ago

Nothing more then Renminbi mean Renminbi.

KU8084 7 years, 6 months ago

Omaha World-Herald looked at three games worked by the same crew. Against UT, ISU and A&M, the zebras called nine penalties for 103 yards on NU's opponents and 32 penalties for 293 yards against NU.

Two losses and an overtime win.

It may be not so much a conspiracy as Pellini's complaining has become more than counterproductive. What works in college basketball doesn't in football

Anyone think the Big 12 will suspend the A&M player for grabbing the testicles of the NU player clearly shown on the film? Or was he just auditioning to become a TSA agent?

And all this whining about NU bolting for the Big 10 doesn't hide the fact that ANY of the Big 12 North schools would leap at the chance to have gotten that offer. That Mizzou embarrassed themselves like a teenage girl hoping to go out with the captain of the football team is particularly delicious.

westernkshawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't think Bo Pelini's conduct is any worse than KSU's Frank Martin. Tapes of last year's BB games demonstrate all of the above. I noticed this year he has been easier on the ref's so far but NOT any easier on his players whom he berates unmercifully on the sidelines. And has anyone else noticed that KSU fans ae probably some of the worst in the league in that they boo at EVERY call against one of their players. Not just disputable calls, but EVERY call. It is disgraceful.

BIGREDTIME 7 years, 6 months ago

look at all these haters. none of the north teams could handle us this final year. all u have is hate so keep letting it out

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