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No place like Nebraska

The bar at Nebraska is set high. Bo Pelini appreciates that as much as anyone but as the Cornhuskers coach prepares an injury-riddled team for Friday's Heroes Game match-up, he found himself spending time today as his weekly news conference talking about his future. It's a situation Pelini found himself addressing even before Nebraska won in overtime last week at Penn State after being approached by players on his team questioning the validity of rumors that were circulating that their coach had submitted his resignation. Pelini dismissed those rumors as "crazy talk,'' and then watched his team improve to 8-3 withi the road win. That, though, is life in Lincoln. Pelini understood that when he took the job and while he has a 57-23 record in six seasons at Nebraska, he shares concerns of fans as the Cornhuskers have endured a three-loss season including a 41-21 setback to UCLA, a 34-23 loss at Minnesota and a 41-28 loss at home to Michigan State. "Am I happy with 8-3? No. I'd be lying if I told you anything else,'' Pelini said. "We have goals of championships and the standards will remain high as long as I am the coach here." Pelini has a new boss in athletic director in Shawn Eichorst, who replaced Tom Osborne a little over a year ago. Eichorst has said he won't discuss the status of Pelini or any of the coaches on his staff while their season is ongoing. That is not uncommon, but in this instance it has only added to the speculation about what may or may not transpire at the end of the season. As for Pelini, he's concentrating on the present, which this week means Iowa and putting together another patchwork lineup. The Cornhuskers' offensive line has been decimated with injuries this season and with Taylor Martinez out and Tommy Armstrong questionable, it is possible that senior walk-on Ron Kellogg could become the third quarterback to start for Nebraska this seaosn when it kicks off against Iowa at 11 a.m. Friday. Pelini will approach the game as he approached the 11 which came before it. "I'm not coaching to save my job. I do want to be here, but if they do not want me to be here, I'll move on and go on my way,'' Pelini said. "But until that day happens, I'll do everything I can to make this team as good as it can be. "I will say this, I know I can look myself in a mirror every night and feel good about what I see for the program.'' Pelini believes the Cornhuskers "are close'' to competing at the championship level that both he and the program's fans want. He believes the experience younger players have received this season because of injuries suffered by veterans will only help the program in future seasons. "These guys are giving me everything they've got,'' Pelini said. "That's all I can ask.''

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