Former Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley once again proved to be a man of character following his dismissal from the position on Saturday.
During his press conference, he showed no bitterness or animosity toward the university or anyone else for that matter. He had nothing but high praise for the fans, players, administration and his coaching staff. What a difference from three years ago when Bo Pelini was fired as head coach of the Huskers. In retrospect, both men were simply showing their true colors as to who they genuinely are.
People describing Riley following the press conference used the word “class” more often than not. I would have to agree with that assessment. The only comments he made at the press conference that had me shaking my head were related to the assessment of where his program was following the Iowa defeat. He stated that “we are on the right track and I would like to see this thing through.” Wait! What? He finished 6-7 in 2015, then started 7-0 in 2016 only to falter at season’s end and finish with a 9-4 record, including lopsided losses to Ohio State, Iowa and Tennessee, then the Huskers finished with a 4-8 record this year, marking the worst regular-season record recorded by the football team since 1961. Making progress? Hmm. That was certainly a head-scratcher. I do sincerely believe that Riley is a man of class and integrity and I certainly wish him the very best in the future, wherever that future may take him.
Whoever inks the next contract as head football coach at Nebraska is either going to have to be a big egoist or someone who is ready to accept a huge challenge with a great deal of confidence. Surprisingly, this disaster of a season presented a user-friendly schedule to Nebraska. Nonconference games against Arkansas State and Northern Illinois and home conference dates against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa brought optimism for a successful season to many Husker fans. But for the new coach and new team, have you taken a chance to peruse the 2018 schedule? It has to be one of the most-challenging schedules in the country. Nebraska is afforded the luxury of three home nonconference games against Akron, Colorado and Troy before heading into a meat grinder of a Big 10 schedule. The crossover games against the East Division are at Michigan, at Ohio State and at home against Michigan State. Toss in trips to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa in the West and the trek toward a division crown or even a winning season seems daunting. I am not here to say that it can’t be done. I firmly believe that Nebraska will have the “right” coaching staff in place and many good players to work with, but we can’t expect a miracle in 2018.
Winter sports begin
If you have not purchased a pass to all of Schuyler Central’s home activities for the remainder of the school year, this would be a wonderful time to do so. After an exciting fall sports season, the winter sports begin this week with a home wrestling dual against Crete at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The following night, the boys and girls basketball teams take the court in the SCHS gym to face Aurora. The girls are set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys game at 7 p.m.
Please show your Warrior spirit and support your local high school heroes as they open their 2017-18 campaigns.