Another word on Nebraska from Bo Pelini

Sure as you can set your clocks to the prevalence of dumb jokes on Wednesday (check the calendar), you knew Bo Pelini would talk about Nebraska again -- and that when he did, it would be something far from a lovefest.

My only surprise in reading Ralph Russo's Associated Press report on visiting Pelini at Youngstown State is that it didn't include more bitterness toward the coach's former employer.

He took just one shot at Nebraska, in fact, involving the secretly recorded audio of the coach's farewell to his players less than a week after he was fired. In it, Pelini blasted the Nebraska administration.

The talk, presumably taped by a player, was then leaked to the media.

"I think it's sad that it came out," Pelini told Russo of the recording. "That's what wrong with that place."

What's actually sad is that Pelini, 47, felt compelled to voice those thoughts on a December night in a high school gym to an impressionable group of football players, most of whom remain in school at the university.

Pelini's latest comments were relatively tame, yet he offered a look into his new world as an FCS coach back in his hometown.

I believe Pelini when he says he's not driven by ego and he doesn't worry about the size of the crowds or media exposure. In comparison to most who have sat in a chair like his at Nebraska, Pelini appears legitimately grounded and comfortable in his skin.

He never got comfortable, though, amid the culture of intense scrutiny at Nebraska. He saw the noise around the program as a nuisance.

"Nebraska, I thought, was very unique in that way in that there's a lot of things that kind of went with it that were beyond the football," Pelini said in the AP story. "It's just part of the deal."

It's part of the deal at Michigan and Ohio State and Penn State, too, Oklahoma and LSU -- at both of which Pelini worked as defensive coordinator -- Florida State, Alabama and a few others.

And here's what matters for Nebraska as it moves forward: new coach Mike Riley understands that all of the attention is not just part of the deal in Lincoln but essential to the historical success of the program. Riley, the Pac-12 veteran who played under Bear Bryant at Alabama, knows he is not alone, that other coaches operate in similar conditions.

At times, Pelini seemed convinced his situation rated worse than the majority of others in his line of work, when, no doubt, just the opposite was true.

Riley may not win as often as Pelini, which ultimately means more than everything else. But the new coach at Nebraska starts with a lead on his predecessor simply because he recognizes the big picture...

Back at Nebraska this week, the Huskers returned to practice after nine days away for spring break. Here's a look around camp: