Blog Entry

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:24 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has a reputation for being a bit of a hothead. A reputation that was only solidified during Nebraska's 9-6 loss to Texas A&M in College Station last November. That's the game which most people will remember seeing Pelini lay into quarterback Taylor Martinez on the sideline in the first half.

However, that wasn't the only time during that game that Pelini seemed angry. Just about every shot of him on the sideline that night showed Pelini displaying a face that could only be described as "oh my god that guy is going to kill EVERYBODY." It was a rage that was understandable considering his team was called for 16 penalties totalling 145 yards compared to the two false starts that were called on the Aggies.

Well, for an insight into what really lit Pelini's fire that night, in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel, Pelini said that the refs that night told him his team was going to get the shaft.
I'd been on a late, tight deadline that wild and crazy Saturday night when Pelini cemented his image as a raging volcano. There were 16 penalties against Nebraska. I ripped Pelini rather than the officials. I thought that he brought the chaos on himself. But I had heard plenty of stories since. I needed to ask a question I wished I'd had the opportunity to ask after that game.

"Did any of those officials tell you during the game you were going to get jobbed?'' I asked.

"Yes,'' Pelini said.

What did they tell you?

"I won't say,'' he said. "But it was highway robbery. An absolute joke. I've moved on.''

So while you were yelling all night, were you sticking up for your players?

"No doubt,'' Pelini said. "I have their back. I always will. But if I had to do it over again, I would have done it different.''
By doing it different, Pelini explains that he'd have been just as angry, but he wouldn't have shown the anger and caused so many people to hide behind their couches that night.

Now whether or not Pelini is telling the truth about what the officials told him is another story. If it is, that's not exactly the type of thing that any conference would want to hear about taking place in its games. Whether Nebraska was leaving for the Big Ten or not, the idea that a conference would stack the deck against a team isn't good for anybody.

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:47 am

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

lee3022, you could not be more off base with your comments.  Texas getting a bigger share of the Big 12 money came after Nebraska left the conference, not before.  What Texas got during the time period that Nebraska was in the Big 12 was basically every decision regarding major issues related to the football programs, no more Prop48 partial qualifiers, location of the league offices, location of the championship game, and even the fact that there was going to be a championship game.

You may be correct regarding the timing of Bo Pelini's comments regarding the officiating of the Texas A&M game.  Since NU is no longer a member of the Big 12, the conference can not come back on him for his comments.  what this also means is that he can be honest in his comments rather than having to dance around the issue.  If you think that the guys in stripes are above unsportmanlike conduct, you are sorely mistaken.  The fact that Bo Pelini is as animated and intense on the dielines only played into their hands, making their absurd calls seem justified in their minds.

Also, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that KU, KState, Iowa State and others would get a bigger cut in the new Big12(10).  When you have two fewer teams and the TV contract is a bit larger, someone is going to get more.  What you fail to point out is that Texas and others got an even bigger and unfair cut of those contracts.

There is no doubt that Nebraska and Texas are both premier football programs.  They are two of the top four teams in all-time victories and it takes a long term success rate to accomplish that feat.  These two schools have had some stretches of absolute dominance as well as some down years and at the same time they each have had their share of great people both leading their football teams as well as playing on their football teams.  At the same time there have been a few clunkers on each side.

As for credibility for Bo Pelini's comments, one only needs to watch the game and the evidence is obvious.  If it is not, you are either Dan Beebe or wearing Texas A&M team colors and watching through rose colored glasses, or should I say maroon colored glasses.

Now, so that you understand some of what I have indicated were reasons that helped build the case for Nebraska's move to the Big Ten, lets take a look at each.  Prop48 or partial qualifiers, these are players that did not meet all of the NCAA academic qualifications to play sports in Division 1.  You very acurately pointed out the fact that Nebraska is a much smaller state than Texas, but with eaqually as passionate fans.  With a fraction of the population and thus a fraction of the potential recruiting targets, Nebraska has to recruit nationally and taking these partial qualifiers not only gave Nebraska an opportunity to recruit some talented players, but also gave these kids an opportunity that they would not otherwise have.

Now I do know that some of these partial qualifiers did not pan out in the classroom and some not even on the football field, but others, such as Kevin Raemakers from a small town in Nebraska.  He came to NU as a partial qualifier and left as an Acaemic All-American.  Texas pushed to eliminate this so that schools not located in Texas, nor right next door had a hadrer time rectuiring talent in Texas, which left more for Texas to choose from without taking partials.  Location of the league offices and championship game were both about control as well as more revenue staying in the state of Texas.  Kansas City had been the headquarters of the Big Eight conference for a very long time and if you look back, it was the Big eight that saved the leftovers from the collapse of the Southwest Conference, not the other way around.

As for the fact that ther even was a championship game,  Nebraska's coach at the time and AD now, Tom Osborne argued that despite the financial draw of the championship game what would ultimately happen is that the conference could stand to lose out on better spots in post-season play, I.E. BCS Bowl games.  Now fast forward and one of the comments made with the new Big 12(10) conference set-up is that they can now put multiple teams into BCS Bowls without the risk of having a late-season loss eliminate a team from contention.  Had the Big 12 not had a championship game, they would not have had that revenue, but they also missed out on a 2nd BCS Bowl nearly every year and even a couple of upsets took a potential National Championship contender out of that game.  thus in the long run, was the championship game worth more than missing the BCS opportunities??

Finally, Nebraska is not represented by a whiner.  Nebraska is represented by a very hard working and driven individual that stands up for his team.  Someone that is highly competitive and very motivational to his players.

Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:39 am

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

Actually Nebraska didn't leave because Texas got that much more than Nebraska. They actually were very close to the same amount. The reason Nebraska left was because there was a chance to get more money in the Big Ten. Nebraska will make more in the Big Ten than any school in the Big 12 except for Texas with their new TV contract.

I wouldn't be suprised if a ref said something like that. Sometimes guys have a concious and they feel that if they say they were told to do something that was against their morals or they would lose their job and any chance of getting hired on anywhere else... that might make them feel better. It doesn't matter that they still did the deed it might make them feel better inside.

I've had refs tell me they didn't like my team just because they had a bad experience with another coach in our club soccer program... suprisingly we didn't have any favorable calls in those games... and those were in youth soccer matches.

Pelini should have acted better on the other hand during that game, but if you've ever seen him coach you'll know he wears his emotions on his sleeve. I like that about him. Gets his players more fired up and makes them play better IMO.

So far the only people that don't think that game was thrown by the refing crew and the Big 12 in general are aTm fans and Dan Beebee. Everyone else that I have talked to have told me that they couldn't believe what they saw in that game.

Personally conferences shouldn't handle the refing assignments and employment. The NCAA should. There should just be a huge refing pool, and they should just get drafted for an assignment each week. Depending on how well you've done in your career you get more high profile games if you've doen well, and sent to the Sun Belt conference games if you've done poorly.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:03 am

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

Is it just coincidence that Nebraska left the Big XII because Texas got a bigger share of the conference money than Nebraska? Is it just coincidence that Nebraska has now left the conference so whatever Pelini says will not be subject to a fine? Is it coincidence that every year Nebraska has complained about officiating in losses but never in wins?

I am not a fan of either school but here are the facts: Nebraska has a good football program. Texas has a good football program. Texas is the premier college football program (There are also two NFL teams in the state) in a state populated by 25 million (darned near all of them football fans). Nebraska is the premier football program in a state populated by 1.8 million (also known to be football fans.) Is there any wonder that Texas earns more money for the conference than Nebraska? Now that Nebraska has left there is harmony in the league meetings. Now that Nebraska has left there is more money for Kansas and Iowa State (and equally every other school)  than Nebraska ever earned. So yes, there are plenty of reasons to tune Pelini out. He will be just as angry at Big Ten officials this year. He will be a whiner.

Frankly there is no credibility in this claim. A whiner does not deserve sympathy and Pelini is surely a whiner. No official would risk an open mike picking up such a boast as that they are going to get jobbed. Pelini may have misheard. Pelini may have embellished. Pelini may have lied. But he is simply not believable here. Put a sock in it coach and go win some football games. Your school is too accomplished to be represented by a whiner.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:38 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

"Ed Hochuli coming over and admitting in game the he blew a call. Don't be naive."

@quite white--An official admitting a mistake is a lot different than an official coming over and saying that I am going to intentionally screw you over.  If you cannot see the difference, then you have much bigger issues than being naive. 

Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 1, 2011 9:42 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

Here's some food for thought: 
The officiating crew in that Texas A&M that worked the 2009 Big 12 championship game, where an extra second was placed on the clock so Texas could kick a game winning field goal. The same crew worked the 2010 Nebraska-Iowa State game, where Nebraska needed overtime to beat the Cyclones.
In the A&M game referenced, Nebraska set a school record for penalties, while the Aggies were whistled for their fewest penalties in years.

Some stats:
K. St., Oklahoma State, Mizzou, Kansas games (other officiating crews)

Total Penalties
Nebraska = 25 penalties -210 yards
Opponents = 20 penalties -163 yards

Average penalties per game
Nebraska = 6.25 penalties-52.5 yards
Opponents = 5 penalties -40.75 yards

Texas ('09), Iowa State, A&M games (same officiating crew)

Total Penalties
Nebraska = 32 penalties -293 yards
Opponents = 9 penalties -103 yards

Average penalties per game
Nebraska = 11 penalties -98 yards
Opponents = 3 penalties -34 yards

(Thanks to Heartman)

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:13 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M


"That being said, I highly doubt that any official told him that this was going to happen, whether before, during, or after the game."




Ed Hochuli coming over and admitting in game the he blew a call. Don't be naive.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:05 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

If I was being told that my team was going to be screwed and then forced to watch.  I'm pretty sure I would have taken steps to ensure I got kicked out.  But at the other end, you have to work with your team.  Just because the situation is unpleasant doesn't mean the game stops.  You have to continue to provide leadership. 

Bo's a better man than me.  I would have been throwing slants at the refs all second half.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:23 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

You don't even need to be a husker fan to realize they were on the short end of a gold ole homer job.  The bigger issue is, this game was the culmination of homer jobs...Big 12 officiating, under the trusty arm of Dan Beebe, made sure there wasn't a level playing field.  So much for being a native son Dan. 

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:16 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

I like Bo and it is clear to anyone that watched that game that Nebraska got jobbed.  That being said, I highly doubt that any official told him that this was going to happen, whether before, during, or after the game.  We are not talking about professional wrestling here, but college football.  It does not really sound as if Pelini has moved on either, or he would not have said what he said.  My guess is that we have not heard the last of this. 

Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:08 pm

Pelini: Refs told him Nebraska got jobbed at A&M

@ Dan Beebe, is that you?

This isn't news folks.  Anyone that watched the game knows what happened.  It couldn't be any more obvious.  See:

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or