The past two months have been rough for Nebraska football. The 2017 season was always going to be one of transition – to a new defense, to a new quarterback – but the road has been rockier than most imagined.
As is the case with a passionate fan base and a powerful football program anywhere, this season’s struggles have prompted plenty of questions about the future of Nebraska football. They’re not fun questions. They’re problems a fan base hopes its school doesn’t have to solve.
And that all seems particularly true when it comes to Mike Riley. Given the excitement he showed for the job when he was hired and the professionalism he has displayed throughout, it’s safe to say most Husker fans hoped it would work out. But football is a bottom-line business – a team either wins or it doesn’t – and the evidence that things are working out in Lincoln at the moment is getting harder and harder to find.
That puts the focus squarely on new Athletic Director Bill Moos. It appears he has a decision to make about the future of the program. In an interview with Hail Varsity, we asked him about a variety of topics, from his thoughts on the volleyball program to the best football game he’s ever seen (you probably didn’t see it). We also asked him about what he has learned over his years as an administrator about identifying great head coaches and for his thoughts on next-big-thing candidates versus more established coaches.
“The up-and-comers are attractive to some folks, but are they a flash in the plan? What sort of resources did they have? Is an experienced coach that’s been at this level for 10 or 15 years a better choice? Some people might like to go to a proven assistant, however, there’s risks in that,” Moos said. “It’s a fine science anymore and you better make the right decisions because you’re going to have to live with them.”
You can read the complete story from our interview with Moos in the latest issue of Hail Varsity, which ships this week.
Other highlights from the issue include:
>>Staff writer Jacob Padilla breaks down the Big Ten basketball season with previews of each conference team.
>>Recruiting analyst Greg Smith looks at the challenge of recruiting during uncertain times.
>>Photographer James Wooldridge takes you behind the scenes with the Nebraska rifle team in a gorgeous photo essay.
>>Editor Mike Babcock writes on the current state of Nebraska football and the almost inevitable changes to come in his monthly column.
>>Managing editor Brandon Vogel runs through some computer simulations of Nebraska against a completely random opponent (that happened to be Central Florida).