Big Ten newsmakers: What’s next at Nebraska, the potential Ohio State-Wisconsin title game and more
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley walks the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northwestern won 31-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos before an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nebraska will be on the verge of missing a bowl game for the third time since 1961 when it visits Penn State on Saturday, and the Cornhuskers are coming off back-to-back losses to Northwestern and Minnesota. For some in the fan base, coach Mike Riley’s time is up. But for athletic director Bill Moos, Riley will get the chance to finish out the season in Lincoln, according to ESPN.com.
“I applaud this fan base,” Moos said, “because they’ve been patient and they haven’t had the product — at least from my observation in the short time I’ve been here — that I feel that they deserve. It’s why we’re taking a real hard look at this and one of the reasons I am out to hear their disgruntled thoughts on the state of the program.”
It’s not hard to read between the lines and see Riley as a bit of a lame duck coach. Moos is a new athletic director, and it’s likely he’ll want to bring in his own guy to coach the Huskers. And the writing appears to on the wall, too, after top recruit Brendan Radley-Hiles, a four-star cornerback from Florida’s IMG Academy, decommitted on Halloween.
It’s tough sledding for Riley, who is known as a well-liked coach around college football, after he couldn’t really get things in gear for Nebraska. Can he win the final two games and potentially get a reprieve? Or will a loss to Penn State or Iowa — or both — seal his fate?