It’s starting to sound like Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos knows he has to make a change. But the new AD wants to give Mike Riley a chance to finish the 2017 season before the two part ways.
Moos has talked about evaluating the situation at the end of the season and has said that no decision has been made on Riley’s future with the program. So, there’s no guarantee that there will be a coaching change — that’s just an assumption at this point.
Another assumption has been that Moos will cut ties with Riley before the end of the season, despite saying he doesn’t like to fire a head coach midseason. But Moos held firm on that point, saying Riley will finish the year in Lincoln, according to ESPN.
“It’s not like I’ve got a coach to hire this afternoon at 3:30,” Moos said Monday. “Mike Riley deserves to finish the 2017 season. That’s how I operate.”
Nebraska currently sits at 4-6 on the season, needing to win the last two games to reach bowl eligibility. Last weekend, the Huskers were blown out 54-21 by a mediocre Minnesota team.
In three seasons, Riley has posted a 19-17 record and is just 12-12 in B1G play. And as the program has slipped into a middle-of-the-road B1G team, fans have grown increasingly impatient.
“I applaud this fan base,” Moos said, “because they’ve been patient and they haven’t had the product — at least from my observation in the short time I’ve been here — that I feel that they deserve. It’s why we’re taking a real hard look at this and one of the reasons I am out to hear their disgruntled thoughts on the state of the program.”
As much as Nebraska fans want to search process to start as soon as possible, Moos is keeping his word and won’t make a decision until the end of the 2017 campaign.
But it’s hard to imagine Riley has a job after Nov. 24.