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Who Weeps for Frank Solich?

Here's another post from omahadomer that deserves some attention (don't they all?)

For all of the thrashing about regarding the perceived unfairness of the firing of a former ND coach (who is 9-19 at his new school, taking over a program that was 10-18 for its last 28 games) who weeps for Frank Solich?

Solich, the quintessential Nebraska man from the time he was a 155 lb. fullback, was 58-19 as head coach of the Huskers. He finished #2 one year and played in the national championship game less than two years before he was fired. He was axed at the end of a 9-3 regular season and coached by his new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini the team won the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.

Nevertheless, progress is progress and Solich had to go and was replaced by Bill Callahan. Callahan, taking over a program that was 17-10 the prior two years proceeded to go 13-10, (actually only 11-10 against I-A opponents) his first two years.

No matter, recruiting was taking hold and all the JUCO's, transfers and stud freshmen would pay off the next two years. In his third year, Nebraska arguably inched forward going from 8 wins to 9 (though not improving its record as the Huskers went from 8-4 to 9-5) but managed to win the terribly weak Big 12 North and then lose to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship and Auburn in the Cotton Bowl.

But this would be the year for Nebraska. The Huskers started off ranked and were a dark horse pick by some to win the NC especially with strong-armed ASU transfer Sam Keller at QB. Well the Huskers were right about Keller, he is a good player. And after opening the season with a rout of Nevada, Callahan (then 23-15) was inked to a 5-year contract extension.

But Nebraska is no better. They are 4-2 after having suffered a 49-31 beatdown at USC's hands (it was 49-17 in the middle of the 4th quarter) and a 41-6 thrashing at the hands of Missouri last week. Nebraska has given up over 600 yards twice so far this season (once to MU and the other time in an impossibly lucky 41-40 win over Ball State) and are allowing over 440 yards per game on average.

So now here stands Callahan at 26-17 and suddenly all six of the remaining games look to be competitive at best for Nebraska: Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, at Texas, at Kansas, KSU and at Colorado. Nebraska could quite conceivably wind up 6-6 or even worse.

And what of Frank Solich? Well, he might not be the greatest coach in history but he's 15-16 at Ohio University taking over a program that was 9-22 in its previous 31 games. He took them to a bowl game for the first time since current Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe coached the Bobcats.

So here's Frank Solich whose new team is 6 games better and his old team is 4 games worse (Solich was 30-13 in his last 43 games) yet there will be no national columns about the unfairness of firing him or the perceived excesses of his former employer in its treatment of the new coach.


Anonymous Fighting said...

Why must have the password, when I will read the NDNation/NdWorld post?

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a ND grad and fellow Nebraskan, I needed to voice an opinion on this outlandish article. First of all, why are you talking Nebraska football on a ND fan website? Secondly, get your facts straight before you write such a biased bashing of Callahan and the Nebraska program. Yes, Nebraska has underperformed after a lot of hype going into the season; however, this was not national media, only local coverage. Solich was fired not because of his record, but because he couldn't recruit. Callahan is an incredible coach and will prove himself with time - you can take that the bank. Both programs are on the rise and I only wish they would be playing each other in near future. Go Huskers and Go Irish!

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is has a very valid point. ND gets overly criticized for its coaches hiring and firing for bein a national school and we accept that. Where was the hub-bub about Zook being fired after 3 seasons at Florida? He can recruit and coach. His defensive players won a national championship, not Meyer's. UW will continue to play in mediocrity since the coach before Ty left nothing and Ty's not going to bring much else in.

To the previous post, Nebraska is a fairly well known program. Do they produce national stories? Yes. What facts are you talking about?

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was not bashing Callahan or Nebraska in any way. Calm down man. He was trying to show that there is all this national attention brought about the "unfairness" of Willingham getting fired after 3 years yet Weis will not be after the same time with a similar record. However, Solich was fired and since then the team has gotten worse yet no one is up in arms about the fairness of Solich's firing.

It is all a commentary of the stupidity of the hate that some people have for Notre Dame and how other teams can do far worse things yet somehow Notre Dame is the one talked about and shown in a bad light.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous atepesm said...

Anonymous 0
Omahadomer 1

Callahan has no historical precedent to lead me to believe he is an "incredible coach".

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the truth lies somewhere inbetween these two posts. I'm a Nebraska resident but NOT a Husker fan, so here's an objective viewpoint: First, Solich's recruiting had fallen off, much like that of Willingham at ND. His final 9-3 record looks good on paper, but the three losses were blowout losses.

The statement of Callahan being an "incredible coach" hasn't played out as of yet, and if you make that statement anywhere in this state today, you'd be laughed at like Britney at the VMA awards.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous TerryB said...

Dear Anonymous,

OD is not talking about Nebraska football. He is talking about the parallel between Solich's firing and Ty Willie's firing and the subsequent state of the ND and NU programs. Do you not see that?? What bashing of Callahan is in the article?? Exactly what facts are incorrect?? Not the won/loss records, not the coaches' records. I don't see bashing, but correct facts and opinions that he is entitled to write.

But since your reply talks of Husker football, I'll chime in. I live in Omaha and am an ND grad too. But I am not a Husker fan. But many in your fan base sure don't see Callahan right now like you do. NU can have Callahan, I'll stick with Charlie and watch ND rise to the top again. Meanwhile, NU won't surrender the Big 12 to Oklahoma or Texas, because they have already surrendered it to Missouri and soon to Kansas, Colorado and K-State. A series between NU and ND would be welcome news to me too, a couple more wins on Charlie's ledger.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Solich was fired after his 3rd season following a relatively close loss to Missouri at Columbia. Callahan is in his 3rd season and just got smoked by Missouri at home. Stay tuned.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You miss his point. It's not bashing Callahan. It's contrasting the bashing of ND and NU by the national media. While the stats chosen may seem to bash Callahan, that's the problem with selective stats, and that's probably the biggest issue with how the ND bashing is being done even today. Note the "Ty recruits" vs. "Charlie's recruits" graphic that ESPN put up in the last game.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a little inside secret. Frank Solich was actual fired for getting one of the cheerleaders pregnant. Most people dont know this, the only ones that do have ties to the athletic program at Nebraska. This is a fact! He was not fired for any other reason. Lastly, as a Nebraska fan Callahan sucks, true Nebraska fans hopes he goes soon to get a new coach who brings the option back.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...your first point was why talk about Nebraska football on an ND fan website...and then you continue the Nebraska football conversation on an ND website. Your second point was to get the facts straight. But you have not provided any facts. Atleast Omaha Domer has by providing team W-L records. Your also concede Nebraska has underperformed, agreeing with Omahadomer. Please defend your position with something before attacking a well respected poster. Thanks.

Ryan in SD,CA

1:04 PM  
Anonymous ND Forever said...

Well anonymous, Willingham also couldn't recruit to save his life and Notre Dame did the right thing after two loosing seasons and gave him the boot. All of the sudden ND is a racist institution and is dragged through the proverbial mud by the national media because he wasn't given more time. Rewind to Frank Solich's firing and surprise, surprise, he's fired after three years but there's not so much as a peep by the media as to why he was given the axe so soon. All this article was simply trying to point out is how the media falls all over them selves to slam Notre Dame for how they handled Willingham's firing, but other major universities football programs aren’t held to the same standard.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With respect to the last comment by an anonymous fan (starting with "As a ND grad and fellow Nebraskan"), I would like to point something out. Read your post carefully - you proved omahadomer's point. As I read omahadomer's article, he is essentially drawing a comparison to Ty (Solich) and Weis' getting a new contract (the re-upping of Callahan). If you look at who's making the plays now for the Irish, you can see that like Solich, Ty couldn't recruit either. Solich was (based on record) also a lot better football coach than Ty, objectively. Weis' situation parallels Callahan's in that he was given a big extension after showing improvement, but only in a short period of time. Here's the kicker - ND got blasted for firing Ty and re-upping Weis' contract so fast, but (as you pointed out yourself) the national media didn't have a lot to say about the Nebraska situation. What, may I ask, is the difference between what happened at ND and Nebraska?

2:09 PM  
Anonymous AntiMyth said...

thank you anonymous for proving the point of the article

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article has nothing to do with Nebraska.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment proves the original articles point. The so-called experts love to compare what Willingham did with what Weis did, record wise. But, like your point about Solich, Ty either couldn't or didn't want to recruit. The article was not so much about bashing Callahan as questioning the media's choices in which University it villifies when they are in similar circumstances.

2:31 PM  
Blogger irshboy said...

Anonymous, your stats about Callahan sound freakishly familiar. I can't place my finger on it, but wasn't there a recent coach somewhere South of Chicago in northern IN that got fired a few years ago for something like that?
I may be wrong.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your example is a good one, and there are lots of others. I think Mike Shula got the shaft at Al.--takes over a program coming off of tough NCAA sanctions from a coach fired for a scandal, and in his third season he's 10-2 and winning the cotton bowl. Next year, he gets the ax.

but obviously, facts are irrelevant to the "bash ND" crowd. remarkably, nowhere in all of this does anybody seriously argue that Willingham, decent as he may be as a coach and as a man, had the talent and experience worthy of the most important college football program in the country.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media couldn't seem to get people riled up by saying Solich was fired because he was white, so his unfair firing just wasn't interesting enough.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who ever said Willingham's character was 'decent'. Obviously, insiders didn't...

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Not that we need any further examples of different treatment by the media towards ND, but today Dan Wetzel on Yahoo! writes an artical praising Boston College for exemplifying "student"-athlete. He points out that among the top 10, no one even comes close to BC's 93% graduation rate.

Where was his article last year when ND was highly ranked and had a 95% graduation rate? Annually, ND is either winning the award for highest grad rate or consistenly in the top 10, with grads rates of 90% or better.

If he is biased, it may not be conscious or intentional. But ND more has the best grad rate and competes nationally in football... this year excluded of course.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that someone was allowed to post a lie as fact on this site. Frank Solich did not get a cheerleader, a nurse, or anyone other than his wife pregnant. To say it was fact is incorrect, ignorant, malicious, and destructive to his reputation. Those rumors were started inside the NU Athletic Dept to malign Frank's character. I am in shock that people are classless enough to not only believe such rumors, but also to repeat them as well. And by the way, to everyone who talks about Frank's inability to recruit, please check with all former players, especially those on the 94,95, & 97 championship teams, and ask them who recruited them. They will tell you Frank Solich recruited them. Some NU fans were just plain spoiled and didn't realized how good we had it until they fired Frank, brought Callahan, and watched NU get rolled over by division II teams NU fans never even heard of before. Hopefully Dr. Osbourne can get things straightened out.

4:39 PM  

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