It had been a long month—or season—for Nebraska going into Friday’s season finale against Iowa. Coach Mike Riley’s job had been in question for weeks, with daily speculation about his successor and the timing of his termination. When the school fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst in September, Riley’s fate seemed sealed, but new AD Bill Moos was adamant that he’d let his coach play out the year.
For Nebraska, the year ended in a blowout 56–14 loss. The Cornhuskers’ four wins are their fewest since coach Bill Jennings’s team won three in 1961, and after his third season in Lincoln, Riley looks poised to be relieved of his duties. Former coach Bo Pelini was let go three years ago after a 9–4 season—a mark Riley was only able to reach once and never eclipse in his three years at the head of the Huskers. Overall, he has gone 19–19 in the regular season and 1–1 in bowl games.
For Nebraska, the end of the year should come as a relief. The endless speculation about Riley, who never really seemed to fit in Lincoln, has derailed the season, and the football has been mediocre at best. On Saturday, after taking a 14–14 tie into halftime, the Cornhuskers allowed