You can open your eyes now.

The nightmare that was the Mike Riley era finally ended on Friday. Well, at least it ended on the field. We think.

Who am I kidding. We know.

At this point, Mike Riley’s chances of keeping his job are slimmer than a Nebraska fan cloning Tom Osborne to take over the program.

We knew that well before the latest Black Friday massacre in Lincoln. From the second Shawn Eichorst was fired as Nebraska athletic director, it was only a matter of time before Riley followed him out. The question was simply “how bad could it get?” Or maybe “is this Nebraska’s new low?” It seemed like that question was asked every week.

The Northern Illinois loss? Definitely.

The Wisconsin beatdown? Yeah, probably.

The Ohio State drubbing? Well…you could make the case.

The Minnesota annihilation? Without a doubt.

What about the Iowa demolition? Yes. Yes. A billion times yes.

A new low was achieved in Memorial Stadium on Friday, wherein Iowa fans drowned out the sellout crowd (361st straight, by the way) with chants of “Let’s go Hawks!” Never mind the fact that Nebraska actually led the Hawkeyes with 30 seconds left in the first half. That felt like a lifetime ago by the time those chants busted out, which was only in the middle of the third quarter.

For the Nebraska fans who didn’t leave the stadium at that point, they were treated to 28 more Iowa points, and ultimately, a 56-14 loss.

And naturally, a new low.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Friday’s loss clinched a 4-8 campaign for Nebraska. That was the program’s worst season since 1961, which was a year before its nation-leading sellout streak began.

Amazingly, that sellout streak survived the Riley era. There were plenty of points in which it could’ve ended. Shoot, it could’ve ended on Friday. After all, the Huskers knew they weren’t going to a bowl game for the fifth time since that sellout streak began. That’s a credit to the Nebraska fan base, which truly is unlike anything you’ll find in college football and perhaps all of sports.

That’s been the common denominator in the rough patches of Nebraska football. And believe me, there have been plenty in the post-Osborne era.

History will suggest that Riley was in the same neighborhood as Bill Callahan, who went 27-22 in his four seasons. It was Callahan who contributed to half of Nebraska’s bowl-less seasons after 1962 (two of four at the time). The comparison won’t be an easy one because Callahan of course coached the Huskers in the Big 12 while Riley coached in the B1G.

RELATED: Scott Frost on Nebraska rumors: That’s totally false

Still, against Nebraska’s then-rivals (Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma), Callahan was 4-6 in regular season games. His teams were -21.

Against Nebraska’s now-rivals (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin), Riley was 2-7. His teams were -112.

In 2017 alone, the Huskers fell to all three of those teams by a combined score of 148-52. The worst of those losses was the 42-point loss to a 6-5 Iowa team on Friday.

Ironically enough, it was the exact same final score (56-14) that the Huskers lost to Ohio State by back in October. It was after that loss that even the biggest Riley apologists had to know that his days in Lincoln were numbered.

Riley had to know it, too.

Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Odd it was to hear him talk about “next year” in his postgame press conference. Perhaps Nebraska should’ve done what Arkansas did with Bret Bielema. That is, fire him minutes after the clock hit zero on his final game. Why delay the inevitable?

Bielema could now become one of the top candidates to replace Riley. Before Bielema fell apart at Arkansas, he built Wisconsin into a team what went to three straight Rose Bowls. He certainly knows how to win in the B1G, whether Nebraska fans are willing to accept him as a candidate or not.

The obvious candidate is still Scott Frost, who wasn’t able to catch Riley’s final game because he was too busy leading UCF to a thrilling victory against USF to clinch an undefeated regular season. Frost’s squad became the first FBS program to ever go from 0-12 to undefeated in a two-year stretch.

If Frost is the guy, he’ll have a new mess to clean up. He’ll have to fix the shortcomings that plagued the Riley era, many of which were on display on Friday.

RELATED: Ex-Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema fired by Arkansas

Against an Iowa team that struggled to win the battle at the line of scrimmage all season, Nebraska had no such luck. When adjustments needed to be made at halftime, the Huskers looked like they lost interest instead. Would any of that had changed if Riley showed some emotion on the sidelines? Perhaps not, but his sideline silence didn’t earn him any sympathy points from the Nebraska faithful.

Oddly enough, Riley didn’t implode like Bo Pelini. His Corvallis-calm demeanor probably bought him even more time than it would’ve for others in his position. Riley was indeed a nice guy, through and through. He just wasn’t the right guy.

Anyone who watched Nebraska on Friday would’ve made that observation. Anyone who watched the three years of the Riley era would’ve told you that the Iowa loss was depressing, but not surprising. After Nebraska reached its peak under Riley (remember when the Huskers were ranked No. 7 last October?), it went 6-12 in the next 18 games. The 12th and final loss of that stretch also happened to be the worst.

But there was a silver lining to Friday’s loss. In the midst of the Iowa chants and the sideline shots of a befuddled Riley, reality sunk in.

Now, it’s finally over.