Impact on Recruiting?
This weekend wasn't going to be the biggest of the year for hosting recruits. If a recruit is going to get a free ticket to a game, you expect that he'll choose home dates versus Northwestern or Michigan State over South Dakota State. So regardless of what was happening with Bo Pelini, a single visitor might not be surprising for Nebraska against SDSU. Still, we're left to wonder whether talk about Pelini's job security might be undermining recruiting.
This weekend's lone visitor (per Scout.com) is undersized Philadelphia cornerback DeAndre Scott. His offer sheet includes programs like Texas, Penn State, and South Carolina. The visit was set up in late August, so it was locked in before any of the hysteria over the UCLA game, Tommie Frazier's twitter comments, or Bo Pelini's 2011 rant.
Down the road, only a single visit is openly slated and that's for a player that's already verbal committed. Perhaps this is exactly how things would look even if the Huskers were 3-0 and there were no controversies. Still, you'd imagine that Bo's nightmare week can't be helping in the recruiting department.
It underscores why the next five games will be so important. If the Huskers can win two at home versus South Dakota State and Illinois, follow it up with a pair of road wins at Purdue and Minnesota, and then survive a home stand with Northwestern, they'll be 7-1 and undoubtedly ranked. A loss at Michigan at that point will be forgiveable, and winning two of the next three hosting Michigan State, at Penn State, and hosting Iowa will put Nebraska back at 9 wins again and probably clinging to a ranking somewhere in the top 25.
Anything short of that could make things tougher for Pelini and therefore tougher for recruiting. This week is the first test, but it's the first of many. A winning streak of at least 4 games seems essentially to keep kids excited about a future at Nebraska.