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

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So Bo Pelini can take a 5-7 Callahan team that played a difficult schedule, and lost a lot of blowouts because the effort level of the players (especially on defense) waned significantly by the end of the year, and turn it into 9-4....

 

But thinking Frost, who has been a head coach and has had more success than Bo, can't take a very similar situation and turn it into more than 7 wins is crazy?

 

I can tell you this, I think it is fool hardy to put a ceiling on anything Scott Frost does.  All he had done is be successful everywhere he has gone.  He improved a team that DIDN'T WIN A GAME and took them bowling.  You don't think he can't get us to 8 wins next season?  Come on.

 

Also, stop comparing this to Saban going 7-6 in his first year.  Pretty sure Frost isn't coaching in the SEC West.  The B1G West is not the same animal.

Edited by In the Deed the Glory

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3 minutes ago, In the Deed the Glory said:

So Bo Pelini can take a 5-7 Callahan team that played a difficult schedule, and lost a lot of blowouts because the effort level of the players (especially on defense) waned significantly by the end of the year, and turn it into 9-4....

 

But thinking Frost, who has been a head coach and has had more success than Bo, can't take a very similar situation and turn it into more than 7 wins is crazy?

 

I can tell you this, I think it is fool hardy to put a ceiling on anything Scott Frost does.  All he had done is be successful everywhere he has gone.  He improved a team that DIDN'T WIN A GAME and took them bowling.  You don't think he can't get us to 8 wins next season?  Come on.

 

Also, stop comparing this to Saban going 7-6 in his first year.  Pretty sure Frost isn't coaching in the SEC West.  The B1G West is not the same animal.

 

1 hour ago, yort2000 said:

 

That 2008 team won a grand total of 2 games over teams that made it to bowl games.  Western Michigan that got boat raced by Rice in their bowl game and Kansas that went 4-4 in the Big 12, beating the same crap teams NU feasted on.

 

The 2018 schedule is comprised of 9 teams that made it to bowl games in 2017.  Now, I know that a 2017 bowl team may not be a 2018 bowl team, but for hypothetical sake let's say they all are 2018 bowl teams.   Then in comparison to 2008, beating the 3 non bowl teams plus 2 bowl teams gets you to 5 wins.

 

 

 

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Honestly I don't have a Floor OR Ceiling for a win total for year 1 under Frost.  Too many variables.

 

Year 2 and beyond, I think 9 wins is the floor.  This coaching staff will do great things at Nebraska, I just wouldn't be surprised if it takes more than 8 months.

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5 minutes ago, yort2000 said:

 

 

There are 10 more bowl games now than there were then, that's 20 more teams making bowls than did in 2008...

 

Not a good comparison.  

 

Also, Frost is better than Pelini.  

 

Also, I'm tired of not having high expectations.

 

Nebraska Football's EXPECTATIONS are to compete for championships.  It has been stated numerous times by many people since we stopped meeting the EXPECTATION.

 

However, I think we need to talk about that as a GOAL and we need to reach short term goals before reaching that.  These short term goals can be met in the first year, or the fifth year.  I am not putting a timeline on the fulfillment of these short term goals as I have full confidence in Frost to right the ship and I don't need it to be done right away.  That doesn't mean, however, that the EXPECTATION of competing for championships should be removed.  

 

That EXPECTATION drives people to reach their GOALS.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, In the Deed the Glory said:

So Bo Pelini can take a 5-7 Callahan team that played a difficult schedule, and lost a lot of blowouts because the effort level of the players (especially on defense) waned significantly by the end of the year, and turn it into 9-4....

 

But thinking Frost, who has been a head coach and has had more success than Bo, can't take a very similar situation and turn it into more than 7 wins is crazy?

 

I can tell you this, I think it is fool hardy to put a ceiling on anything Scott Frost does.  All he had done is be successful everywhere he has gone.  He improved a team that DIDN'T WIN A GAME and took them bowling.  You don't think he can't get us to 8 wins next season?  Come on.

 

Also, stop comparing this to Saban going 7-6 in his first year.  Pretty sure Frost isn't coaching in the SEC West.  The B1G West is not the same animal.

I actually mentioned 5-10 really goodcoaches (Carroll and stoops to name a few)who struggled their first year, not just Saban.  I'm  just saying we can't EXPECT 8 wins in Frosts first year.

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1 hour ago, Redux said:

 

I'm still waiting to hear if you think the 6-6 scenario I laid out is actually progress or if it's actually the ceiling we are capable of.

 

4 hours ago, yort2000 said:

 

I think the main issue, that keeps getting argued back and forth in this thread, is you boldly proclaiming that you expect at least 8 wins and anything less is a disappointment.  That proclamation does not adequately recognize the starting point of this team and the monumental coaching effort and ability it will take to reach those 8 wins.  Now, I think most every Husker fan believes that this coaching staff has that ability and will put in the effort that is required to accomplish that immense challenge, but if all the balls don't bounce our way, I think we're realistic enough to know that 6-6 is not a disappointment based on the status of the team on 1/1/18 and the schedule that they face.

 

 

I guess you didn't read what I wrote earlier.

 

As far as ceilings, I think NU is going to win every game every year.

 

 

As far as progress based on your wins:

 

Wins of the same level:

Akron - Same level as Arky state, needs to be win this year

Colorado - Same level as Rutgers, needs to be win this year.

Illinois - dumpster fire, needs to be a win

Purdue - a little undecided if a win here shows progress or not.  They will be in second year of new coach so they will be better, but the game is at home, so I will just say it needs to be a win.

 

Wins that demonstrate progress:

Northwestern - They lose some key players (RB Justin Jackson and S Igbwuieke (Sp?)) but return QB Thorson, they went 9-3 last year, and beat us last year, so I would say a win here demonstrates progress over last year.

Troy - Better than NIU,  Fourth year of the head coach's regime and they return a ton of depth from a team that beat LSU last year.  I think they have to replace QB and RB though, but this win would be better than any win we had last year.

 

So from the wins you threw out there, I can see 6-6 as progress.  

 

I also think we should beat Minnesota as their QB is gone and it doesn't seem like they did anything that they can build off of from the 2017 season.  I think it will almost be like they are in year 1 again.  However,  I can also see the mistakes and inconsistencies, that show up during the 1st year of a new coaching staff, show up in the Colorado, Purdue, Northwestern and/or Troy games causing NU to lose one or more of those.

 

Getting that 8th win will be tough, especially if we drop one of the above games, because NU was no where near the level of @Michigan, @Wisconsin, @Ohio St, Michigan St. or @Iowa.

 

 

 

Edited by yort2000

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9 minutes ago, In the Deed the Glory said:

There are 10 more bowl games now than there were then, that's 20 more teams making bowls than did in 2008...

 

Not a good comparison.  

 

Also, Frost is better than Pelini.  

 

Also, I'm tired of not having high expectations.

 

Nebraska Football's EXPECTATIONS are to compete for championships.  It has been stated numerous times by many people since we stopped meeting the EXPECTATION.

 

However, I think we need to talk about that as a GOAL and we need to reach short term goals before reaching that.  These short term goals can be met in the first year, or the fifth year.  I am not putting a timeline on the fulfillment of these short term goals as I have full confidence in Frost to right the ship and I don't need it to be done right away.  That doesn't mean, however, that the EXPECTATION of competing for championships should be removed.  

 

That EXPECTATION drives people to reach their GOALS.

 

 

 

OK, so they also beat 6-6 San Jose State.  Either way, there weren't a lot of (any) quality wins in 2008. And though we played and lost to 4 top 20 teams.  The rest of the schedule was pretty lackluster.  If NU could have pulled out a win against Virginia Tech and/or Texas Tech, it would have made the results seem a little more impressive (especially since Missouri and Oklahoma just hammered NU).

 

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30 minutes ago, yort2000 said:

 

 

I guess you didn't read what I wrote earlier.

 

As far as ceilings, I think NU is going to win every game every year.

 

 

As far as progress based on your wins:

 

Wins of the same level:

Akron - Same level as Arky state, needs to be win this year

Colorado - Same level as Rutgers, needs to be win this year.

Illinois - dumpster fire, needs to be a win

Purdue - a little undecided if a win here shows progress or not.  They will be in second year of new coach so they will be better, but the game is at home, so I will just say it needs to be a win.

 

Wins that demonstrate progress:

Northwestern - They lose some key players (RB Justin Jackson and S Igbwuieke (Sp?)) but return QB Thorson, they went 9-3 last year, and beat us last year, so I would say a win here demonstrates progress over last year.

Troy - Better than NIU,  Fourth year of the head coach's regime and they return a ton of depth from a team that beat LSU last year.  I think they have to replace QB and RB though, but this win would be better than any win we had last year.

 

So from the wins you threw out there, I can see 6-6 as progress.  

 

I also think we should beat Minnesota as their QB is gone and it does seem they did anything that they can build off of from the 2017 season.  I think it will almost be like they are in year 1 again.  However,  I can also see the mistakes and inconsistencies that show up during the 1st year of a coaching staff show up in the Colorado, Purdue, Northwestern and/or Troy games causing NU to lose one or more of those.

 

Getting that 8th win will be tough, especially if we drop one of the above games, because NU was no where near the level of @Michigan, @Wisconsin, @Ohio St, Michigan St. or @Iowa.

 

 

 

 

Well, if you think Troy is a real measuring stick I guess I can see why you think we are a 6 or 7 win team at best.  I'm not going to try to convince you othwrwise.

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2 minutes ago, Redux said:

 

Well, if you think Troy is a real measuring stick I guess I can see why you think we are a 6 or 7 win team at best.  I'm not going to try to convince you othwrwise.

 

Unfortunately, as of today, that is the state of the Nebraska football program.

 

38 minutes ago, yort2000 said:

 

Getting that 8th win will be tough, especially if we drop one of the above games, because NU was no where near the level of @Michigan, @Wisconsin, @Ohio St, Michigan St. or @Iowa.

 

 

 

And I'll clarify this a little bit.  I think this coaching staff is capable of getting this team up to the level of at least 4 of those programs in Year 1, but I absolutely don't EXPECT them to accomplish that in Year 1.  If they do, that is just icing on the cake.

 

 

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So, essentially, you're just setting the bar as low as possible so not to be disappointed.  I mean, I get it I really do, but the days of being terriefied when Nebraska plays a team with half a pulse are behind us.

Edited by Redux

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39 minutes ago, Redux said:

So, essentially, you're just setting the bar as low as possible so not to be disappointed.  I mean, I get it I really do, but the days of being terriefied when Nebraska plays a team with half a pulse are behind us.

 

Oh, you caught on to my grand master plan.  I have to protect my delicate psyche.

 

Them Feels you know...........sometimes they can hurt.

 

animation-83.gif

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I'm not being sarcastic.  You said yourself they are capable but you don't expect it.  That's fine.  I expect them to be able to win at least 8 honestly.  It is what it is.  I doubt they lose any sleep over either of our expectations.

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2 hours ago, Redux said:

I'm not being sarcastic.  You said yourself they are capable but you don't expect it.  That's fine.  I expect them to be able to win at least 8 honestly.  It is what it is.  I doubt they lose any sleep over either of our expectations.

 

All that hullabaloo and your goal is 8 wins!!

 

:bang

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3 minutes ago, Moiraine said:

 

All that hullabaloo and your goal is 8 wins!!

 

:bang

 

Pretty sure I said at least 8.  But I'm probably just stupid and don't know the definition of "at least".

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On 2/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, Redux said:

Well, I was called unrealistic and naive for thinking we are capable of winning 7 or more.  If that really makes me naive, so be it.  Last I checked this is Nebraska, not Purdue.

 

I was also told a coach cannot change the culture in one year.  I would say he already has in 2 months.  And I understand the point you're making, many have said the same thing.  But 6-6 is just not a huge improvement, not in my eyes.  If it happens and we lost 6 games by a combined 10 or so points and hung with all those big teams and even beat one......it's 2015 all over again.  A year where we had to convince ourselves less than .500 was okay because we weren't getting blown out, because our schedule was "tough", because it was a transition year, because it was a new system etc.

 

I'm tired of excuses.  The goal is and always has been "win the division".  That's the goal now, as it should be.  If we don't, it won't be the end of the world.  But I don't believe for one second this team is as bad as our last record indicated.

People still to this day are trying justify that season.  Don’t forget Mike hadn’t been able to use the resources yet, and his quarterback was not in place. (We saw what happened when he did). I will never understand the constant blow back on Bo but the free pass Mike the worst coach in America received.

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What season did you watch?

 

Mike Riley didn't get a free pass. He got a lot of hell for that 6-7 season. But since everyone knew he wouldn't get fired in year one, we perhaps looked for some positives going into season two. Super close losses. Played Wisconsin almost straight up. First win against a Top 10 team in ages. Decent enough bowl win. Something to build on. 

 

 Is that what you're talking about? 

 

In Season Two, Mike Riley essentially delivered a Bo Pelini performance with the same Tommy Armstrong at the helm -- and to be honest a ton of injuries.

 

In Season Three, with a hand-picked quarterback for his system, Mike Riley's team generally s#!t the bed and he was fired four seasons earlier than Bo Pelini. 

 

No free passes for anybody.

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11 hours ago, skersfan said:

Yes and he left respectfully, where the other one left trying to destroy the program as he had done the first time.  

 

A "respectful" exit doesn't mean the program wasn't harmed any less.

 

Perlman exited "respectfully" too..... 

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2 hours ago, The Scarlet Pimpernel said:

 

I'm usually pretty pessimistic, but I really think next year will be better than most are predicting. I see us winning 9 games. If we don't I certainly won't be disappointed; I just think we're better than some give us credit for.

 

 

 

Anyone predicting anything right now isn't basing it off much, and therefore the prediction isn't worth anything. Anybody can toss out a number, it's the method that generates that number that is really important.

 

Honestly, the question posed in the OP is irrelevant in year 1. The data is all across the board for wins in year 1. Year 2, on the other hand, sees much more consistent results because that's really the first year most coaches are going to have pieces in place to begin accomplishing their goals. Year 1 is more of a prologue.

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The point Sker, and the reason I hated Pelini from day one was his attitude towards Nebraska.  He caused many problems when he left after Solich was fired, then did the same kind of crap when he was fired.  He did seem to keep quiet afterwards, but I think he had past assistant coaches calling the kids, trying to cause more problems.  I know he did it after Solich.

 

I supported both of them, wanted them both to succeed, but was not meant to be.  I have no hate for either of them, because I truly believe they tried their best to do the job right. I will never believe Pelini ever had the best interest of Nebraska in mind, only the best for Pelini.

Edited by skersfan

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2 hours ago, skersfan said:

The point Sker, and the reason I hated Pelini from day one was his attitude towards Nebraska.  He caused many problems when he left after Solich was fired, then did the same kind of crap when he was fired.  He did seem to keep quiet afterwards, but I think he had past assistant coaches calling the kids, trying to cause more problems.  I know he did it after Solich.

 

I supported both of them, wanted them both to succeed, but was not meant to be.  I have no hate for either of them, because I truly believe they tried their best to do the job right. I will never believe Pelini ever had the best interest of Nebraska in mind, only the best for Pelini.

I totally understood your point.

 

I will never believe Riley had the best interest of Nebraska in mind.  We were his golden parachute.

 

I also believe Riley left the program in much worse shape than Pelini.  Frost is consistently referring to changing culture, and it includes making it known that Osborne had to give him the green light regarding administration.

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On 2/13/2018 at 10:37 AM, HS_Coach_C said:

I don't think it's even fair to be putting expectations on win totals for year 1.

 

This team was a disaster last year, even worse than the 4-8 record indicates.  This is a total rebuild from a culture standpoint, a work ethic standpoint, and a scheme standpoint.  The roster is also going to have a ton of new faces.

 

I think fair expectations for this year are playing hard, playing smart, playing together, and never giving up.

 

Do I think they can win 8 or 9 games, yes.  Do I expect it?  Not at all.  GIVE THE COACHES TIME.

 

No I'm not apathetic, I'm just not impatient.  I believe Frost will do great here, but he's also not a magical genie... that I know of.

There is no time. I am tired of hearing this over and over and over and over.  Frost needs to produce in year 1.  

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9 minutes ago, KingBlank said:

There is no time. I am tired of hearing this over and over and over and over.  Frost needs to produce in year 1.  

 

Or what?

 

What will you do if he doesn't?

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7 minutes ago, KingBlank said:

There is no time. I am tired of hearing this over and over and over and over.  Frost needs to produce in year 1.  

Why is there no time? Are you on your death bed? Did you bet your house that Nebraska would win a championship by 2018? Did a girl promise to go on a date with you when Nebraska won a title?

 

I have very high expectations for these coaches and this team, but they start in year 2.

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On 2/15/2018 at 10:48 AM, Redux said:

 

Winning 6 games likely means this is basically our record:

 

Akron- W

Colorado- W

Troy- W

@Michigan- L

Purdue- W (some .500 folks think this is a loss)

@Wiscy- L

@NW- W

Minny- L

@tOSU- L

Illinois- W

MSU- L

@Iowa- L

 

That's "marked improvement"?  Losing to a team we should beat plus all top 5 teams on the schedule?  Just beacuase we beat 6 cupcakes instead of only beating 4, that's "marked improvement"?

 

It's not.  We are capable of more than this, we will do better than .500

 

 

I know I'm a couple pages behind but when I look at a schedule, I want to believe every home game is a W. Memorial Stadium is a special place and Minnesota next year should not be chalked up as a W in Lincoln. 

 

7-5 is no where out of expectations.

side note... I'm also not setting any expectations.

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12 hours ago, BlitzFirst said:

Or what?

 

What will you do if he doesn't?

The problem with generic "he needs to produce" statements (like the one King made) is they can mean so many different things. And, it's the biggest reason this thread has rambled on for seven pages.

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To me, it all goes back to changing the bodies.  It's going to take more than one year to get back to where we used to be.  With that tough schedule, if we have a winning record and go to a bowl game, I'd be happy enough for next year.

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