LINCOLN, Neb. — The first, last and only time the Oklahoma State Cowboys won a football game in this Corn Kingdom, 1960, Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. So State certainly would do itself a big favor by winning today in the scarlet expanse of Memorial Stadium, which has been more Dead Sea than Red Sea to the Cowboys over the years. But OSU also could do the Big 12 a big solid. Beating Nebraska, ending 47 years of frustration and domination and absurdity, would enhance the case against NU coach Bill Callahan and perhaps hasten his departure. Which would be a good thing for the Big 12. Callahan has been not so much disaster as dud since taking the Big Red reins in January 2004. Callahan is 26-17 in 3 years, which is mediocre for a college football blueblood. The Huskers this season have jumped the shark: embarrassment in victory. Landslide defeats against Southern Cal (49-31; 42-10 in the third quarter) and Missouri (41-6) were not the low points of the season. That would be a 41-40 home victory over Ball State, last seen losing 58-38 to Central Michigan. OSU coach Mike Gundy spent Monday dodging questions about Nebraska's fall from grace. He finally said, what do you want me to say? "I have a lot of respect for the tradition of Nebraska football, and I think Callahan's a good football coach,” Gundy said. Right on both counts. Callahan obviously is no Bob Devaney, but he did coach the 2002 Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl. That year, Callahan beat Mike Holmgren, Bill Cowher, Jeff Fisher twice, Mike Shanahan twice, Bill Belichick, Herm Edwards twice, Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil. No Ball States in that bunch. But Callahan is not getting the job done at Nebraska. That's not a high crime. Some coaches are bad fits. Howard Schnellenberger at Oklahoma. Ron Zook at Florida. Bill Curry at Alabama. Best to admit it and move on. In a period of Big 12 North mediocrity, a period in which the Cornhuskers should have dominated just by putting on shoulder pads correctly, they have floundered. Nebraska will make a bowl again in 2007, but only because you really have to work at it to miss a bowl game. The North title is unlikely. Missouri has a virtual 1 1/2-game lead over Nebraska, with similar schedules remaining. Callahan has put Nebraska in a bad spot. His teams haven't been horrible; haven't been John Blake-like. But Nebraskans, from defiant athletic director Steve Pederson to the farmers out in North Platte, have to know in their heart of hearts that Callahan is wrong for this job. The sooner Nebraska admits it, the better off the Big 12 will be. OSU today can hasten that admission.