Nebraska's problems can't be blamed on Pelini anymore

Nov 3, 2015 3:00 AM

Just over a year ago, Nebraska fired head football coach Bo Pelini, who had a 67-27 record.

The general consensus was he just didn’t win the games that mattered. He had won 9 games each season but apparently that was not enough to satisfy the university. Following his termination NU is contracted to pay their former head coach close to $8 million.

I continue to be amazed at the matrix of college football. What on earth would I do with $8 million? Maybe I might use a portion of it to bet on the upcoming matchup between Michigan State and Nebraska.

Nebraska is facing a team that’s just coming off a bye week and is undefeated thus far in the season. I was sure Nebraska was in a “must win” situation last week against Purdue and thought they would score about 45 points and win by at least 10.

Afterward, I noticed Vegas oddsmakers seemed to be right in alignment with my expectations. What I did not know at the time I chose to go with Nebraska was QB Tommy Armstrong was injured against Northwestern and would not play against Purdue.

It’s not as though Armstrong’s absence had much to do with the Nebraska “D” giving up 55 points in a 10-point victory by the Boilermakers.

After the loss, one report posted by Sports Illustrated, said NU has sunk to a “new low.” Would I have bet the farm if I knew Nebraska’s starting QB was not going to play? I’m not so sure, but it matters not.

That’s the trouble with betting futures. Anything can happen between the time you make your choice and game time. So maybe the lesson here is to wait until closer to game time when there’s a better understanding of what the rosters will look like.

As for this week’s test with Michigan State, it’s unclear whether Ryker Fyfe makes his second start or if Armstrong’s injury heals. Even if Armstrong starts, will his team be any match against the Spartans’ Connor Cook?

Michigan State seems to be pretty stellar and looks to be one of the teams that might just have what it takes to go all the way, despite being a bit under the radar of the national media. After its game against the Huskers, MSU will travel to Maryland, then head to Columbus, and end with a home game against Penn State.

My gut tells me Michigan State will head in to Nebraska and dominate the Huskers, but that doesn’t mean a win by the Huskers is impossible. The Huskers will have home field advantage. They also might be looking to “save face” and a win against MSU might give them something to feel good about.

Despite which QB starts for the Huskers, either one should be capable of scoring because Fyfe improved toward the latter part of the game against Purdue and he’s likely to be a bit more comfortable. Armstrong, on the other hand, has something to prove as well, and he’s been quoted as saying he wants to beat MSU just once before he moves on from NU.

Last year the Cornhuskers traveled to East Lansing and made a last ditch effort for a comeback after MSU held them at bay during the first three quarters of the game. The final score was 27-22. This year, as I said, anything is possible.

Perhaps the best play would be MSU to win outright or, depending upon the points involved, go with Nebraska if it’s more than 15.

Pay attention to the injury reports, keep an eye on the odds, and definitely do your homework. Whatever you do, unless you have been graced with a departing salary similar to Pelini’s, if you are even thinking of siding with the Huskers, do not bet the farm!

Michelle has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University (2009) and was working toward a PhD in Public Policy Administration/Law when she took a detour via Vegas. She is now a freelance writer and has her own business, specializing in sports social media. Check out her blog at Email: [email protected] com.