Granted, Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan called some Oklahoma fans "hillbillies," but for as welcome as he is likely feeling, he might as well have directed the comment to the entire Midwest. News bulletin: Cornhuskers fans aren't happy with their second-year coach, who is not a product of the once-dominant program and who overhauled the team's long-successful option attack in favor of the West Coast offense.
Oh, yeah, Nebraska also had played in the postseason every year from 1969 until last year, when Callahan directed the Cornhuskers to their first losing season since 1961. In the six previous seasons, former coach Frank Solich won 58 games, which wasn't enough to keep his job. The good news in Lincoln is that Callahan is only one of a few Big 12 North Division coaches on the hot seat, joining Colorado's Gary Barnett and Missouri's Gary Pinkel.
Callahan overwhelmed his players last season by implementing his entire offensive system. He acknowledged during last month's conference media gathering that coaches first need to establish credibility with their players before they can expect them to grasp schemes.
"Before you get into Xs and Os, you really have to develop a relationship with your players," Callahan said. "I have always contended that players really don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
How sweet. The relationship best improve because the playbook likely won't get less complex. Regarding the first year with the playbook terminology, lineman Seppo Evwaraye told the Houston Chronicle, "It looked like Hebrew to me and a bunch of other guys."