Another nine-win season puts Nebraska in elite company in college football. Only Alabama and Oregon can match the Cornhuskers' streak of winning at least that many games every season since 2008.
But the debate for Nebraska fans — and what athletic director Shawn Eichorst must decide — is whether that's good enough for a program with the proud history of the Cornhuskers.
Pelini is 66-27, the highest win total for a Nebraska coach through his first seven seasons and one more than Hall of Famer Tom Osborne had.
But the Huskers (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) still haven't won a conference championship since 1999, and they've had a habit of losing high-stakes games by big margins the past four seasons. Also, Pelini hasn't come out of a season with fewer than four losses.
A fan base that has sold out an NCAA-record 340 straight games since 1962 is splintered. Some argue Pelini has hit a ceiling and isn't capable of taking the program further. Others argue that Nebraska would be crazy to fire a coach who is winning 71 percent of his games.
Pelini said after Friday's 37-34 overtime win at Iowa that he hadn't had any conversations with Eichorst about his future. "That's the furthest thing from my mind," Pelini said.
Pelini added, "I know what we have going. People can make their deductions any way they want. And they're going to say whatever they want. I couldn't care less."
The Huskers went into Iowa City off back-to-back losses in conference games for the first time since 2008, and they found themselves down 17 points after the Hawkeyes' Drew Ott returned a punt that bounced off the back of an offensive lineman 12 yards for a touchdown.
Nebraska scored 21 straight points, with De'Mornay Pierson-El'ls 80-yard punt return giving the Huskers their first lead. Iowa went ahead again, but Drew Brown's 20-yard field goal sent the game into overtime.
Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s career-high fourth touchdown pass, a 9-yarder to Kenny Bell, won it for the Huskers. Bell became the third Nebraska player ever to record 20 career touchdown catches.
He said it would have been easy for the Huskers to fold, especially with injuries having taken a toll on the offensive line and other positions.
"There's no Big Ten championship, there's no accolades or awards for winning this football game," Bell said. "We just rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We kept fighting like we always do."
The 17-point comeback tied for the largest road comeback in school history and for the second-largest overall comeback in program history.
Now Nebraska will wait a week to find out its postseason destination, with the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27 a good possibility. The opponent would be from the Pac-12.
Between now and then, the debate over Pelini and the direction of the program will undoubtedly continue.