LINCOLN, Neb. -- Working to avoid the program's first three-game losing streak in six years, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Monday he continues to overturn "every stone" in a bid to guide the Huskers back to an elite level.
"The bottom line is, this program's about winning a national championship," Pelini said. "Are there challenges in there? There are. There are different challenges no matter where you go. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't know that we could get it done."
Speculation about Pelini's job status has again started as Nebraska takes an 8-3 record and third-place standing in the Big Ten West into its regular-season finale Friday at Iowa.
The Huskers lost 28-24 at home to Minnesota Saturday after a 59-24 defeat at Wisconsin on Nov. 15.
The two-game skid is the first at Nebraska since the end of the 2012 season. Nebraska last lost three straight games in September and October 2008, Pelini's first year in Lincoln.
The coach has won no fewer than nine games every year in Lincoln. The Huskers also stand one loss from a seventh straight four-loss season. Nebraska last won a conference title in 1999.
"I'm not going to feel sorry for myself," Pelini said. "I'm not going to make excuses. I'm not going to do anything remotely like that. I'm here to serve these players, and I'm going to keep coaching as hard as I can."
The coach grew weary several minutes into his weekly news conference on Monday with inquiries about the Huskers' direction as a program.
"Could we talk about Iowa, please?" he said, interrupting a question.
Athletic director Shawn Eichorst, per his policy, has not discussed the football program during the season. Last year, he released a statement of support for Pelini after the Huskers' 38-17 loss to the Hawkeyes in their annual day-after-Thanksgiving game.
Noted for his loyalty, Pelini hedged Monday when asked if he would consider changes to his coaching staff.
"Would I fire somebody to save my own job?" he said. "No. Would I fire somebody who I thought deserved firing? Yes."
The seventh-year coach said he embraces the high expectations at Nebraska.
"That's one of the great things about being here," Pelini said. "People aren't going to be happy until we win them all. And you know what, neither am I. I'm really not. That's how I'm wired, too."