|ESPN.com: College Football||[Print without images]|
|Change For The Better?|
When the decision is made to change coaches, usually the reason behind it is painfully obvious (John Mackovic) or blatantly wrongheaded (Tommy Tuberville). But neither describes the decision by Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson on Saturday night to fire Frank Solich.
After going 7-7 in 2002, Solich came under pressure to revamp his staff and he did so. The Huskers finished the regular season 9-3, a significant improvement. If my math is right, that's much better than 7-7. Pederson disagreed, and in a short meeting Saturday night, told Solich that after 25 seasons on the Nebraska staff, he was done.
Pederson may believe that the Huskers' inability to compete with Texas (31-7) and Kansas State (38-9) in the second half of the season indicate a drop in talent that Solich oversaw and can't rectify. But the athletic director's cure may be worse than the illness.
If Pederson decides to hire a Walt Harris from Pittsburgh, for instance, he will be asking a passing coach to take over an offense built for the run. If you want to see what can happen in that circumstance, go watch a couple of Notre Dame game tapes.
By firing Solich, Pederson must hope that he will accelerate Nebraska's ability to return to the place it held among the college football elite for more than three decades. But change doesn't promise improvement. It just promises change.
-- Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com