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.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.
"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.''
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.