ATLANTA -- Bo Pelini's actions may have said more than his
words on Saturday night.
Minutes after LSU's Southeastern Conference championship victory
over Tennessee, players and coaches surged toward the LSU fans in
one end zone in the Georgia Dome.
Pelini was alone as he jogged in the opposite direction toward
an end zone tunnel, perhaps leaving the LSU team behind as he
reportedly is close to accepting an offer to become Nebraska's head
A 5 p.m. news conference is scheduled Sunday where it is believed that Pelini will be named Nebraska coach.
After the game, Pelini would not confirm reports that he will
step down as LSU's defensive coordinator to take the Nebraska job.
"No, I can't,'' said Pelini, a former Nebraska defensive
coordinator. "We'll see what happens over the next couple of days.
I'm just enjoying this championship. We worked hard and stayed
Multiple sources told ESPN.com's Pat Forde on Friday that barring any last-minute snags, Pelini will be introduced as the new head coach at Nebraska.
A Baton Rouge, La., newspaper reported that a member of the
Louisiana State University system's board of supervisors confirmed
Pelini will take the job.
"I think it's pretty clear and it's our idea that Bo will be
the next coach at Nebraska,'' Charles Weems told The Advocate for a
story on its Web site Saturday.
Nebraska interim athletic director Tom Osborne refused to
comment Friday on ESPN.com's report.
"I have no comment one way or the other," said Osborne.
LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said he talked with Pelini
before Saturday's game about the report.
"Pelini doesn't know anything about that, at least that's what
he told me,'' Bertman said.
"I'll tell you this, he would deserve a head job. He's an
excellent, excellent coach. He's the kind of guy who has been in
the business long enough with all the people he knows to fill a
Before Pelini made his solitary exit from the field, he was
doused with a cooler of water by two of his players, linebacker Ali
Highsmith and defensive end Tyson Jackson.
"We were just showing him that we appreciate him, no matter
what he's about to do,'' Highsmith said.
Said Jackson: "If coach Pelini decides to go to Nebraska, I
wish him the very best. I think he's the best defensive coordinator
out there. If that's the decision he makes, I back him 100
If hired, the 39-year-old Pelini would replace Bill Callahan,
who was fired last Saturday after the Huskers' second losing season
in four years.
Osborne had said when announcing Callahan's firing that the next
coach didn't have to have Nebraska ties. Pelini was only at
Nebraska in 2003, but his no-nonsense, hardworking style of
coaching defense quickly made him a beloved figure.
Pelini was interim coach after Frank Solich was fired following
the 2003 regular season, coaching the Huskers to an Alamo Bowl
victory over Michigan State. As he walked off the field in San
Antonio, Huskers fans chanted "We want Bo.''
Osborne has interviewed Pelini and Buffalo coach Turner Gill, a
former star Nebraska quarterback and longtime assistant, and
reportedly spoke informally with Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe.
Pelini had been a candidate for the Nebraska job after Solich's
firing. Former athletic director Steve Pederson interviewed Pelini
but elected to go with Callahan.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.