Bo Pelini - Road Warrior

When analyzing Bo Pelini's performance to date, many have highlighted the month of October as a challenge for the coach. Rightly so, given his record in that month versus the others. But also noteworthy is how well his teams have travelled. After 2 seasons (and the 2003 Alamo Bowl), Pelini's teams have gone 11-4 at home, and 9-4 everywhere else. That's not wildly different when you compare the 0.733 winning percentage at home to the 0.692 winning percentage outside Lincoln. When you consider that home record is padded with the early season nonconference creampuffs, it stands out a little more.

In regular season conference play, Pelini's teams have gone 5-3 in Lincoln and 6-2 on the road, including a perfect 4-0 conference road record in 2009. Not to mention that he's 3-1 in neutral site games (3-0 in bowls and the one loss to Texas last year in the Big 12 championship game), which is especially impressive when you consider those are usually some of the tougher teams that you play.

Compare that to Frank Solich, who went 38-4 at home (a .905 winning percentage) and 16-12 in true road games (a .571 winning percentage). On neutral sites, Solich wasn't any better at 4-3 (again a .571 winning percentage). That's night and day. His teams were nowhere near as good on the road as they were at home. That obviously didn't help Solich in staying employed at Nebraska. If his teams were anywhere near as effective on the road as they were at home, he might still be the head coach.

As much as Husker fans like Pelini, they do want to see more wins out of this team in the future, particularly at home. But even if he can just hold steady in his road performance, he'll be the best coach at Nebraska since the great Tom Osborne. Osborne had a winning percentage of .901 at home (less than Solich's!) and .752 on the road. If Pelini can succeed in restoring the aura at Memorial stadium, he'll be on his way to a Hall of Fame career.

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Comments 8 comments so far

Good read.  I remember when our beloved memorial stadium was at the top of the toughest places to play.  I know Pelini can fix that.  It is amazing what all the BC years have done.  Playing soft in our own stadium!!!  I would be courious to see what the difference in points scored against us at home were between the eras.  I’m on a mission now.  Anyway…good read.

Solich was 0.556 on the road if his record was 15-12.  15 + 12 = 27.  15/27 = 0.556

Mr. Irrelevant was losing home games to Southern Miss by insisting that Joe Dailey pass the football while NU is up!  Where are his numbers?

Just kidding.  As his name implies we don’t need to worry about them.

Harlan, the article said he was 16-12 in true road games. So you would divide 16 by 28 which is .571. The article is correct.

Actually David I’m not one for correcting but the article did say 15-12 when I first read it.  It was changed after Harlan’s post.  It’s actually no big deal either way.  Steve got his point across.

To be fair to Frank, 9 of the road losses were to ranked teams, so it wasn’t like he was getting beat by loser teams. Pelini is doing well, but have you forgotten the loss to VTech last year? Two years isn’t much to make a real good point for Pelini, Steve. I think you’re way too premature in your evaluation. Get a grip.

Pelini’s transformation of Nebraska football has been nothing short of breathtaking. He inherited a dispirited group of athletes who had put up the worst statistics in school history. The defense was among the worst in the country. The team had a reputation for hanging their heads and collapsing.

And then came Bo.

In two short years, NU went from worst to first in scoring defense. Ndamukong Suh went from being an average defensive tackle to being one of the most dominant defensive players of the last twenty years.

These guys can COACH.

If you have the smarts, the heart and the physical tools, Bo and Carl Pelini have the master schematic. Bo Pelini is building GREATNESS at Nebraska.

Haha sorry Harlan, don’t you hate that? They correct it and then your post makes you look like an idiot. They could have at least given you credit for that. Again, I apologize.

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