The starting quarterback got benched during the big game, then stood sullenly alone on the sidelines. Several weeks later, he went to the locker room for treatment during a game but apparently phoned home instead.
The head coach had a near meltdown, unleashing his fury on the referees and his quarterback, then chasing after one of the officials before going to the middle of the field for the postgame handshake.
The big boss called out the coach in the media before having a do-better talk with him.
Sounds like the Oakland Raiders.
It's actually the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
A program long known for its solid reputation and its winning ways has lost its luster. Oh, the Cornhuskers are winning again, returning to the Big 12 championship game, preparing to face Oklahoma on Saturday night and aiming for their first conference title this decade, but the shine is off Nebraska.
Truth be told, this was a team that seemed to be in total disarray the second half of the season.
It started with the Texas game in mid-October. Taylor Martinez came into the game as a potential Heisman Trophy contender, but the quarterback was pulled in the third quarter for ineffectiveness.
He was off. He was abysmal. And that was after his benching.
Martinez spent the rest of that game all but ignoring his teammates. He wasn't in the offensive meetings on the sidelines offering encouragement. He wasn't in backup Zac Lee's ear giving support. Remember, too, that was a hard-fought game won by Texas by only a touchdown.
I understand that Martinez was disappointed, but as the starting quarterback, he is a team leader.
He needed to act like it.
The person Martinez might've talked to most during the second half of that game was his father. Late in the contest, Martinez's dad made his way down to the bench from his seat in the stadium, and father and son spent the last minute and a half of the game talking.
Is it any wonder that a month later, local media reported that when Martinez left the game at Texas A&M after aggravating his left ankle sprain, he ended up calling his dad while in the locker room for treatment?
Not long after Martinez returned to the sideline, Bo Pelini lit into him. The coach yelled at him, pointed at him, even poked at him. He jabbed Martinez just above the quarterback's collar.
Neither coach nor quarterback ever explained what sparked the outburst.
Then again, Pelini spent about as much time yelling that afternoon as he did coaching.
He unloaded on the officials time and again in College Station. Television cameras caught him repeatedly unleashing profanity-laced tirades on referees. His eyes bulged. His lips snarled. His face gave a whole new meaning to Big Red.
He looked like a stark-raving madman.
Sure, we've seen our share of that from coaches in our own state, but that doesn't change the fact that Pelini's antics became a YouTube sensation and a Nebraska embarrassment.
School chancellor Harvey Perlman called out Pelini, something that just doesn't happen in big-time college football. Usually, the coach is the king of his castle. Normally, he answers to no one.
But when you go around acting like a lunatic, you deserve a little comeuppance.
All of this has left the Cornhuskers tarnished. Take the N's off the helmets, and there would've been times during the final weeks of this season that you'd have had a hard time telling this was Nebraska.
Nebraska has long been known as a genteel program. Classy. Polite. Refined.
Not any more.
The Cornhuskers may have returned to their winning ways â€“ heck, they may even win the Big 12 title on Saturday night â€“ but they've definitely lost something along the way.