Don’t allow losing to get in the way of winning. And don’t allow a string of wins deceive you into thinking that victory is assured.
Translation, it’s all about reading between the lines and finding truth.

Don’t allow losing to get in the way of winning. And don’t allow a string of wins deceive you into thinking that victory is assured.
Translation, it’s all about reading between the lines and finding truth.
Second-year Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst will be judged on his reading ability in the fall of 2015.
On Thursday, moments after news broke that Oregon State’s Mike Riley would be the coach at Nebraska, arm-chair quarterbacks state wide didn’t sugar coat their evaluations of the hire.
The reviews weren’t that good.
And those reviews were based on won-lost record alone.
To be fair, it’s the only read that most fans can access. Season and career records are a click away on the internet, but do they tell the story.
Read on.
When Eichorst began his search, he made a list of qualities which the next Husker coach would have, and then he went out to search for a match to those qualities.
Winning records are important to consider and shouldn’t be discounted. But other considerations must be made too.
Coach Jim Tressell was one of the constant favorites of fans during the search. But how many considered the man’s four-year absence from coaching? And what kind of staff would he be able to put together? And that was all before considering any NCAA penalty difficulties that Tressell would be saddled with.
Going down the list of names, from Colorado State Head Coach Jim McElwain to Oregon Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost, there was more to consider.
Was there enough data to judge McElwain or Frost? The first of those men was having his first success as a head coach at Colorado State. The second was having his first success as a play caller.
How do wins in the Mountain West Conference translate to Lincoln? Does a two-year stint calling plays in Oregon qualify Frost to oversee an entire operation?
Enter Coach Riley.
Eichorst pointed out that Riley has been pursued by a number of big-name programs. The Husker athletic director said that Riley had coached both sides of the ball. And that the coach’s travels had taken him across the spectrum of the football universe.
Look at the resume and you’ll see some impressive wins, like 2012 victories over Wisconsin and UCLA, teams that bested the Huskers.
What qualities does Riley have? He’s a teacher. He’s following in his dad’s footsteps as a lifer in terms of football coaching. He’s positive and everyone says that he’s a great guy.
Is that enough?
What about Riley’s losing record this year? And there are other rough seasons on that resume. What did Eichorst see there?
Quite possibly, Eichorst read between the lines when looking at the wins and losses.
Oregon State isn’t positioned ideally to win and Riley was fighting up hill battles against a number of teams in his league.
Those up hill battles were molehills compared to the mountains that faced coaches prior to Riley’s arrival at Corvallis.
Tom Osborne took over at Nebraska after the 1972 season and felt the pressure of trying to keep up with the accomplishments of a coach who had taken the Huskers to the national championship twice.
In the next 25 years, while Osborne stacked up nine-wins seasons, Oregon State struggled mightily. Four wins had been the high water mark for the Beavers during that time.
In two stints at Oregon State, interrupted for three years only because Riley took an opportunity to coach in the NFL, the coach posted 93 wins. Oregon State won 52 games between 1972 and 1996.
In essence, Coach Riley turned a conference laughing stock into a respected program.
The question becomes: What can this man do with the support structure and the advantages of Nebraska football?
More? The same?
Riley’s intangible qualities can’t be seen in Oregon State’s won-lost record.
It takes a deeper read to see that.
Eichorst made that read. And he’s betting Coach Riley’s intangible qualities will be evidenced by wins and championships with the Huskers.
On its face, that seems like a reasonable bet.