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SI Mailbag: What Are Realistic Short-Term Expectations for Nebraska?

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From @Palmerism: #DearAndy Which upcoming goal is most important for Scott Frost at Nebraska: 1) Measurable improvement 2) Return to competitiveness 3) Bowl game appearance 4) Return to Top 25 team?

If Frost can achieve No. 1, he’ll definitely achieve Nos. 2 and 3 and probably will achieve No. 4. Unlike the question above, these aren’t unreasonable expectations.

Nebraska should be able to do what Wisconsin has done in recent years. That isn’t asking the impossible. It might not happen immediately, but given how quickly Frost turned the corner at UCF and given the quality of the Big Ten West relative to some other divisions in college football, it’s quite possible Nebraska can reach this level in two seasons. Given the buzz in the coaching community about Nebraska quarterback signee Adrian Martinez from Fresno, Calif., it’s possible Frost is already well on his way.

 

https://www.si.com/college-football/2018/02/08/mailbag-signing-day-rankings-notre-dame-nebraska

 

 

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Sort of an oddly phrased question but Staples answers it decently well. This is stuff we've been saying around here for a long time. My opinion: Frost's most important immediate goal is a return to competitiveness. You can lose 4, 5, 6, etc., games next season and it'll be acceptable if the team is playing with toughness and maximum effort. It was pretty clear that toughness and effort were questionable in the 2017 season.

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Effort lacked last year, but it has to be difficult working for a lame duck head coach.  The buy in will produce effort and the coaching staff can get results based on that effort.

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I expect to see good improvement next year, but some people are looking for a miracle.  I am seeing an 8-4 season at best, and that would be a huge improvement.  

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First year 6 wins is reasonable.  Anything more, great, but not to be expected.

Here we go with the first year 10 win or bust guys....

 

Second year different story.

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Short term expectations?  It's pretty simple Mr. Sports Illustrated man!

 

Step 1: Hire Scott Frost

Step 2: Expand trophy room

Step 3: Start filling trophy room with all the new trophies!

Edited by Redux

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19 minutes ago, dvdcrr said:

First year 6 wins is reasonable.  Anything more, great, but not to be expected.

Here we go with the first year 10 win or bust guys....

 

Second year different story.

 

It's pretty damn depressing that people think the bolded is true.  It's not, nor should it ever be.

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Frost once described his first year at UCF as "installing system and culture" and saying "we still had a couple pieces missing".  I assumed he meant players, at the time.  Recently he had a similar quote about Nebraska, saying there were a few pieces missing.  This time I got the feeling he was talking about more abstract "pieces" like S&C, toughness, buy-in, etc.

 

I don't think the roster is going to be a problem for HCSF.  He can install the offense a lot faster than some coaches.  The culture is the part that will take a couple seasons IMO.  Not to say that there is a broken culture, or broken lockerroom, or anything.  Just that it takes time for everyone to get on the same page.  The only thing we will know for sure about year one, is that year two will be better IMO.

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Top 25 is a good place to start, I think its a reasonable year one goal but for sure year two.  In the long run top 15 or better is the place the Huskers need to live.  

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59 minutes ago, mnhusker said:

Top 25 is a good place to start, I think its a reasonable year one goal but for sure year two.  In the long run top 15 or better is the place the Huskers need to live.  

I remember a time back in the 80's when if we dropped out of the top 5 we were greatly disappointed.

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8 wins is reasonable but only IF we can find a way to transform the O line into something useable.   The rest of the team can accomplish 8 wins in my view.  Beyond 8 is really reaching for the stars based on the last couple year's results.  I know we reeled off a bunch of wins to start 2016 but then the balloon burst.   
The players are going to need to work like heck every day and gain vast amounts of confidence and we need a couple QBs to make it through the season.  Do we have 2 QBs that can run his system with a shaky O line?   ?????  That will be the key.  The defense and special teams will have to help make up for the lack of consistency and exceptional play by an offense still in the learning phase.   Year three is when I would expect us to compete for the Big Ten title and a top ten ranking.  

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37 minutes ago, B.B. Hemingway said:

I'd be surprised if Nebraska doesn't win the West by year 2.

 

I hope Wisconsin starts finishing 5th in the division on a yearly basis.

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5 minutes ago, Redux said:

 

I hope Wisconsin starts finishing 5th in the division on a yearly basis.

 

 

I don't want them to finish 5th. I'd rather they finish 2nd, losing to us every time.

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2 hours ago, Kiyoat Husker said:

He can install the offense a lot faster than some coaches.  The culture is the part that will take a couple seasons IMO.  Not to say that there is a broken culture, or broken lockerroom, or anything.  Just that it takes time for everyone to get on the same page.  The only thing we will know for sure about year one, is that year two will be better IMO.

 

I love this recruiting class for several reasons, but none moreso than it contains the pieces necessary to install their schemes in all 3 phases. They got bigger, more physical dbs. They got faster, more aggressive backers and edge rushers. They got a toolbox for the offense. Place kicker and returners. I believe their are even some long snappers amongst the walk-ones. So many times we see a new staff have to make due, especially on offense, and especially at QB. Frost and staff took care of that in the first hour. It's a real benefit because not only will it be easier on the players to learn the whole thing, but by knowing what they have it should make year 2 recruiting that much more targeted and efficient. 

 

The culture issue...at the end of the day it's less about coaches to players and more about players to players. Again, this recruiting class may jumpstart that. The two players I wanted the most were Martinez and Honas, because in their own ways, they are natural leaders. Martinez is a mature, vocal type. I would be surprised if he's not starting day one because he feels like a starting QB, just has that presence. Honas doesn't say anything, but he chews up barbells. He's a trend setter in the weight room and on the field. 

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26 minutes ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

I don't want them to finish 5th. I'd rather they finish 2nd, losing to us every time.

 

I would rather see Minnesota step up and take Wisconsin's place while Iowa and Wisconsin fight to not finish last because screw both of them.

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I would like to know more about the last sentence.  Would be interesting to see what the coaching community has/had to say about Martinez.   We have heard what Frost said about him being the #1 QB in the nation in his eyes but I would like to hear what other coaches think. 

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2 hours ago, dvdcrr said:

I remember a time back in the 80's when if we dropped out of the top 5 we were greatly disappointed.

Top 25 feels like grade inflation, it used to be top 20 that was listed, after that it really didn't matter.

 

Edited by mnhusker
grammer

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5 minutes ago, Redux said:

 

I would rather see Minnesota step up and take Wisconsin's place while Iowa and Wisconsin fight to not finish last because screw both of them.

 

I wish to bestow many more +1's upon you, but alas, i am only allowed one.

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1 hour ago, B.B. Hemingway said:

I'd be surprised if Nebraska doesn't win the West by year 2.

 

Me too. These schemes are really going to attack Wisconsin's weaknesses on both sides. The rest of the division should fall in line. I'm interested in what a team like Purdue may accomplish, but if Frost can just maintain the momentum currently generated, they just won't be able to get the horses to hang with us.

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4 hours ago, Redux said:

 

It's pretty damn depressing that people think the bolded is true.  It's not, nor should it ever be.

 

This might sound depressing ... agreed.  I believe that :bigredn: has lost her way.  It will take more time to clear out the foundational issues in the program.  For me, 6-6 is realistic, especially given the more difficult schedule.  No one believe that standard of 6-6 is the goal or ever should be the goal.   It's far better for the program, for Husker fans, for recruiting and overall perception in this transition if we set realistic goals and then meet and/or surpass them.   It is apparent that Scott & Company are the right folks.  It's all good here for me.

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3 minutes ago, BigRedN said:

 

This might sound depressing ... agreed.  I believe that :bigredn: has lost her way.  It will take more time to clear out the foundational issues in the program.  For me, 6-6 is realistic, especially given the more difficult schedule.  No one believe that standard of 6-6 is the goal or ever should be the goal.   It's far better for the program, for Husker fans, for recruiting and overall perception in this transition if we set realistic goals and then meet and/or surpass them.   It is apparent that Scott & Company are the right folks.  It's all good here for me.

 

Even with the transition year, and the brutal schedule, there is no reason we can't win 7 or 8 or more if things go right.  6-6 is only accepted as acceptable because in the last 3 years we have won exactly 19 games.  6-6 used to be too crappy to make a bowl game.

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The return to competitiveness worries me a bit. Even really good teams get blown out occasionally. I feel that is just the nature of college football these days. When things tilt against you, sometimes they tilt hard. 

 

So while i agree, I worry that some will feel like we aren’t competitive if we get blown out a couple games. 

 

I feel eel like being competitive in most games might be good enough for now. 

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I have been drunk on the kool-aid as of late and I have my reasons. I think SF is working with much more talent than he ever had at UCF. He has a lot to work with (even some all-americans). The most important part is the buy in. The current players on the roster want to play for him. They want to win. Some of the offensive guys were very excited when Moos told them Scott was coming. They can now envision themselves winning a championship, and know they will be given the right formula to get there. That enthusiasm will work wonders, and we will finally see the talent come out. 

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10 minutes ago, Vince R. said:

I have been drunk on the kool-aid as of late and I have my reasons. I think SF is working with much more talent than he ever had at UCF. He has a lot to work with (even some all-americans). The most important part is the buy in. The current players on the roster want to play for him. They want to win. Some of the offensive guys were very excited when Moos told them Scott was coming. They can now envision themselves winning a championship, and know they will be given the right formula to get there. That enthusiasm will work wonders, and we will finally see the talent come out. 

Besides buy in, the conditioning is also very important. Have to change the body type to go with the will to play hard. Based on early reports, I think strides will be made, but the team is a fair bit away from where the staff would like.

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2 minutes ago, caveman99 said:

Besides buy in, the conditioning is also very important. Have to change the body type to go with the will to play hard. Based on early reports, I think strides will be made, but the team is a fair bit away from where the staff would like.

Yes and if they buy in, conditioning will come. 

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1 minute ago, Vince R. said:

Yes and if they buy in, conditioning will come. 

Agreed, but I think between that and getting everyone to fully indoctrinate to the schemes, I think 8-9 wins seems to make sense for year 1. Maybe 10 if they get acclimated sooner. The 6-6 talk seems silly and defeatist to me, but I also think years 2-3 is when SF gets this team consistently challenging for B1G titles.

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3 minutes ago, caveman99 said:

Agreed, but I think between that and getting everyone to fully indoctrinate to the schemes, I think 8-9 wins seems to make sense for year 1. Maybe 10 if they get acclimated sooner. The 6-6 talk seems silly and defeatist to me, but I also think years 2-3 is when SF gets this team consistently challenging for B1G titles.

I totally agree. I feel like we are going to see a real good week to week progression also. 

Edited by Vince R.

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It would be pretty funny if we beat Wisconsin in year 1. They never should have been a team we can't beat. They are basically our new Texas as of now.

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5 hours ago, Redux said:

 

It's pretty damn depressing that people think the bolded is true.  It's not, nor should it ever be.

This the most relevant and correct statement in this entire thread.  6 wins next year is not the expectation.  As is wasn't under Frank, Bill, Bo, or Mike.  Never will it be the expectation nor be thought of as Ok.

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5 hours ago, Redux said:

 

It's pretty damn depressing that people think the bolded is true.  It's not, nor should it ever be.

It is depressing but we've already talked about this.  Remember all those weeks we spent on the Scott Frost Megathread?  We were saying things like:

>I just want us to be competitive again!

>I just want to see our players in good physical shape again.

>Even if we only win 6 games the first year it's ok because we know it can only get better.

  This coaching staff is starting from basically the basement.  The kids aren't in the best physical shape, they are now going to run a new offense, the are going to have to get used to an entirely  (but very cool) new coaching staff.  We have to support them where they are.  They WILL get better but we have to be patient. 

  Everyone would love to win 8 games this first season but if it doesn't happen we know that all is not lost.  Let's stay true to the pledge we made to support this team.  GBR!!!

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Someone go ask Scott Frost if 6-6 would be acceptable in year one, I doubt he would imply that it is.

Edited by Redux

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Realistic has never described a Nebraska fan.  Doubt it ever will.

 

Play hard, do your best is all I ever ask.  I seriously doubt Nebraska could have played with UCF this year.  It took two years, starting with a team that played in a  BCS bowl two years before.  Nebraska has not been near a major bowl in a long long time.

 

For me, just being happy we are on a path that I think is recovery.  Coach Frost has proven he can take what is considered lessor talent and make them winners.  I would love to see 10 wins next year, possible I think, but if we are in every game, don't get curb stomped by Wisconsin, or Ohio State we will have made dramatic improvement.

 

 

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6-6 is acceptable whether anyone admits it or not. People would still be excited for 2019 and expecting big things to come, as long as our losses weren't awful.

 

I don't think we'll go 6-6 though.

Edited by Moiraine

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38 minutes ago, Hedley Lamarr said:

What was devaneys record his first year? 

9-2 his first year, but even Devaney went 6-4 in both year 6 and 7.

 

20 minutes ago, Moiraine said:

6-6 is acceptable whether anyone admits it or not. People would still be excited for 2019 and expecting big things to come, as long as our losses weren't awful.

 

I don't think we'll go 6-6 though.

Correct. For those that don't think 6-6 is acceptable, what do you propose we do if the Huskers go 6-6?

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2 hours ago, Redux said:

 

Even with the transition year, and the brutal schedule, there is no reason we can't win 7 or 8 or more if things go right.  6-6 is only accepted as acceptable because in the last 3 years we have won exactly 19 games.  6-6 used to be too crappy to make a bowl game.

You are exactly the delusional fan that Colin Cowherd talks about.  And God bess you.  Your attitude is what the players and coaches must have.  Yet as an objective observer, yes 8-10 wins is an unreasonable expectation.  

It takes time for a staff to get to know the players, vice versa.  It takes time to build trust and understanding.  It takes time to fully implement new systems.  

 

Meanwhile your competition is merely fine tuning, while you are building from the ground up.  It places you at a real disadvantage.  

 

Our schedule is brutal as well.  

 

We have no developed dual threat quarterback like what the new system requires.

 

We will have a totally new defense scheme, third in three years.

 

Our coach said of our O line "we need to change their bodies".  That doesn't sound like 10 wins to me.

 

But God bless ya, and I will be routing right along side for those 10 wins.  But maybe just a little less disappointed when it doesn't happen.

 

Year 2 though...I am looking for 9 at least.  I feel that this staff is the real deal, and by golly it better start rockin.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, dvdcrr said:

 

Year 2 though...I am looking for 9 at least.  I feel that this staff is the real deal, and by golly it better start rockin.  

 

 

Mike? Is that you? 

 

LikelyInferiorCottonmouth-max-1mb.gif

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2 hours ago, KingBlank said:

This the most relevant and correct statement in this entire thread.  6 wins next year is not the expectation.  As is wasn't under Frank, Bill, Bo, or Mike.  Never will it be the expectation nor be thought of as Ok.

 

You used the wrong word.  I did not say "expectation". I said what is "realistic" for the first year with all the changes and the schedule.

 

8-4 sounds dreamy.  That just isn't realistic, in my opinion.  It is certainty the staff wants to accomplish.  

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8 minutes ago, BigRedN said:

 

You used the wrong word.  I did not say "expectation". I said what is "realistic" for the first year with all the changes and the schedule.

 

8-4 sounds dreamy.  That just isn't realistic, in my opinion.  It is certainty the staff wants to accomplish.  

I will tell you right now 8-4 in year one is no where near what this staff wants to or aims to accomplish in year 1.

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25 minutes ago, KingBlank said:

I will tell you right now 8-4 in year one is no where near what this staff wants to or aims to accomplish in year 1.

 

 

Assuming you're speaking of records only:

 

Almost no one "aims" for something like that, but I'm betting 8-4 is in a range of realistic records in Frost's mind (if he thinks in those terms). Frost said himself we would lose games. And hearing 8-4 is "nowhere near" what they aim to accomplish is just ludicrous. They would have to aim to go 11-1 or 12-0 to be "nowhere near" 8-4. So you're basically saying their aim in season 1 is to get to the playoffs. I'm sure they'll try their hardest to win every game but getting to the playoffs this season is probably not going to be something they talk to the players about.

You can have a national championship as an aim every season. That doesn't mean you realistically think you'll go undefeated every season, even as the coach.
You can have a conference championship as an aim every season. That doesn't mean you realistically think you'll win the conference every season (until you start setting a precedent of doing so consistently).

You're confusing Osborne era based expectations (in season 1, even) with reality. The reality, as Frost has stated many times, is there is a lot of work to do. He's also said the goal is to get better every day. I don't think he's mentioned winning any championships in season 1, and I doubt he will to the players either.

Edited by Moiraine

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On 2/12/2018 at 9:53 PM, Moiraine said:

6-6 is acceptable whether anyone admits it or not. People would still be excited for 2019 and expecting big things to come, as long as our losses weren't awful.

 

I don't think we'll go 6-6 though.

 

On 2/12/2018 at 10:41 PM, dvdcrr said:

You are exactly the delusional fan that Colin Cowherd talks about.  And God bess you.  Your attitude is what the players and coaches must have.  Yet as an objective observer, yes 8-10 wins is an unreasonable expectation.  

It takes time for a staff to get to know the players, vice versa.  It takes time to build trust and understanding.  It takes time to fully implement new systems.  

 

Meanwhile your competition is merely fine tuning, while you are building from the ground up.  It places you at a real disadvantage.  

 

Our schedule is brutal as well.  

 

We have no developed dual threat quarterback like what the new system requires.

 

We will have a totally new defense scheme, third in three years.

 

Our coach said of our O line "we need to change their bodies".  That doesn't sound like 10 wins to me.

 

But God bless ya, and I will be routing right along side for those 10 wins.  But maybe just a little less disappointed when it doesn't happen.

 

Year 2 though...I am looking for 9 at least.  I feel that this staff is the real deal, and by golly it better start rockin.  

 

 

 

.500 is not acceptable

 

That absolutely does not mean we should be pissed and angry if we go 6-6, nor does it mean Frost sucks etc.

 

I can't believe it only took 3 years of Riley's career .500 mind set to not only lower our teams determination, but apparantely lower our fanbases expectations THAT much.  When Bo was brough in the expectations were pretty high and he even took a losing team and won 9 with a brutal schedule.  Riley's expectations were to come in and keep the 9 win machine moving.

 

After his disaster 4-8 year, we will be happy with 6-6?  That's unbelievable to me.  I'll be disappointed as hell if we finish .500 and I'm bettimg coach will be way more upset about it than any of us.

Edited by Redux

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8 hours ago, RedDenver said:

 

Correct. For those that don't think 6-6 is acceptable, what do you propose we do if the Huskers go 6-6?

 

What do we do?  What CAN we do as fans regardless of seasonal outcome?  As fans it's pur job to support and show up and be loud.   That's it.

 

6-6 is not the expectation or goal.  I guaranfreakingtee Frost did not come in and introduce himself "Hi, I'm your new coach Scott Frost.  Let's turn this 4-8 team back into a .500 squad in year 1!"

 

We go .500, so be it.  I think that the s#!t season we all just endured  has messed with a lot of posters heads.  There are way more than 6 teams Nebraska is capable of beating.

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1 hour ago, Redux said:

 

 

.500 is not acceptable

 

That absolutely does not mean we shoul be pissed and angry if we go 6-6, nor does it mean Frost sucks etc.

 

 

That's the definition of "acceptable" in this context. Something people wouldn't be pissed and angry about. Something that wouldn't make us question Frost's hiring or put him on the hot seat or call for his firing.

Edited by Moiraine

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If Frost goes 0-12 I won't want him fired.  There's a difference between acceptable and majorly disappointed.

 

We got the biggest hire in the country and people are talking about 6-6 being an acceptable goal.  That's the definition of apathy.

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12 minutes ago, Redux said:

We got the biggest hire in the country and people are talking about 6-6 being an acceptable goal.  That's the definition of apathy.

It's far too early (and silly) to suggest apathy has set in. This fan base hasn't been this excited or pumped for the future since 2008 and, right now, the excitement level already dwarfs 2008.

 

Most fans are expecting the program to be the west division winner in the next 2-3 years, but, Frost and Co. have a lot of cultural, S&C and personnel issues to work through. Making a bowl game and being a competitive team again should be considered a big win.

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2 minutes ago, Enhance said:

It's far too early (and silly) to suggest apathy has set in.

 

We hired the best coach in the country and are talking about 6-6 being a realistic expectation.

 

That's literally the best example of apathy I can think of.

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