As the dreariness of post-season collegiate football wears on, stretching dimly before us like a slate-gray prairie sky, we find ourselves looking for ways to keep up with our beloved Cornhuskers.  One way is for us to complain about shit.  Plain and simple, we didn’t end the year well and we love piling on with worries and doubts.  It’s our neuroticism that makes us such great fans.

Another way we fill the blank page that is the Husker off-season is to wonder; wonder about staff changes and coaching moves and the will they/won’t they banter is enough to make a Real Housewife of fill-in-the-blank wish that the gossip would cease.  At Burnpoetry, I’m never one to quell the flames.  I mean, hell, the word “Burn” is in the sites title.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at a few offensive coordinator candidates that are intriguing to me as possible replacements for Shawn Watson.  Will Watson leave?  Who knows.  He seems to have entrenched himself like a gray-haired tick into the Nebraska program and we might need a smoldering match to burn him out.

Here are the people I’d most like to see, for one reason or another, take over for the failed experiment that is Shawn Watson.

Let’s light that match.

(*Author’s note: I realize that the majority of these are pipe dreams.  Get off me.)

Tom Osborne

Can’t you see it now?  The Huskers have a presser.  The media gathers and speaks in hushed tones, wondering who and when the next O.C. will be at the University of Nebraska.  Instead of Dr. Tom stepping to podium we are greeted, instead, with a grinning Bo Pelini.  Since Bo never grins when dealing with local media, everyone’s ill at ease. 

After a few perfunctory remarks, Bo sweeps aside a curtain to reveal a fountain gushing water.  Osborne then walks across the water, turns the fountain into wine and steps to the podium and announces he’ll be back for one more chance to save our fair state from mediocrity.

A bit much, sure, but let’s be honest: Pelini likes a power run game.  Osborne practically invented the power option at Nebraska and would be a great candidate.  Who cares if he’s in his mid to upper 70’s and would be the most powerful offensive coordinator in history?  Not me.  Can’t you just imagine Bo pulling aside a failing QB and preparing to verbally shred him, looking over and seeing T.O. staring at him with his halo in full glow?  Bo would probably simply pat him on the back and go cuss out Carl.

Mike Leach

I know, I know.  Leach isn’t exactly the ideal guy to give Bo the aforementioned power run game.  But his talents as an offensive coach are such that I believe he could tailor his system to fit what Pelini’s looking for.  As long as we were able to keep Leach from spending all his time watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” and from jamming injured players into broom closets I think we could potentially use him. 

Plus, he’s un-employed and potentially insane.  The comedic value of watching Bo and Carl share the podium for press conferences with Mike Leach would be off the charts.

Mark Mangino

Bear with me, here, because I know that Mangino is not only reviled as a human being but is the punch-line for more fat jokes than even I could stand.  However, what he is/was is a gifted offensive mind who is friends with the Pelini brothers.

During his tenure at KU Mangino played the role of a chunkier Lazarus and rose the Kansas football team from the dead.  No matter that he did it with intimidation, threats, and more swear words than Bo and the cast of “Goodfellas” combined. 

At this point, Mangino surely doesn’t have many other options and offensive coordinators don’t have to be that great of guys.  Look at Charlie Weis, for instance.  So, with Mangino I believe that if we lock him in a room with a playbook, some game film and pay Pizza Hut an annual fee to get Mangino his own private delivery man who’s on call 24/7 then I think we could really see some offensive fireworks.

Scott Frost

Frost, an up-and-coming coach by virtually all accounts, is currently a wide receivers coach at the University of Oregon.  Let’s face it, Nebraska’s offensive coordinator position is not a destination job for many people, but Frost would likely relish the chance to come back to the place of his greatest on-field glories.

Frost is unproven in such a high-profile role, but Watson was proven.  To suck.  So, while I know there’s a risk involved with taking a relatively untested youngster as your team’ O.C. I would think that another man, who was also chosen despite a relative dearth of experience as a defensive coordinator would realize that sometimes it’s not what you lack in years that matter, so much, as what you possess in skill and hard work.  Frost, we have seen, has both.

What the hell else are we ‘gonna do?  Hire Barney Cotton?  His name is Barney, for God’s sakes.


  1. Sue Tolles says:

    I don’t question that Watson has to go. But the first move is to get T.O. to understand that and agree. Scott Frost is a great idea. If Martinez returns as the so-so player he showed at the end of the season, Watson is dead. He needs over-the-top players to make him look good. We only have 7 months.

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