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Their Seasons That Were & Will Be: Husker Football, Basketball, Baseball

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This year, we had Husker teams in all three major sports (football, basketball, and baseball) that each had some big-time pre-season hype or expectations. None lived up to the billing. This got me wondering which team got closest and which is likely to reach their goals first?


For context, here are the pre-season expectations and season results.



Pre-season expectations: Finish No. 1 in West Division, Win B1G Championship (land in inaugural CFP)

Season results: Got to #11 in the polls / #9wins, 9-4 (5-3 B1G) / Finished T-2 in West division / Beat Miami by smash mouth run game / Blown out by Wisconsin / Fired Bo / Lost Holiday Bowl to USC



Pre-season expectations: Finish Top 4 in B1G / Enter NCAA tournament and win at least one game

Season results: 13-18 (5-14 B1G) / Finished 12 in B1G / "Heart Over Hype" was all hype / Lost 11 of last 12 / No NCAA post-season



Pre-season expectations: Win B1G regular season, tournament, or both / Host super-regional in NCAA tourney

Season results: 34-23 (9-14 B1G) / Finished 8th in B1G / Had a 15 of 16 Home-stand / RPI reached #12 / Lost 6 of last 7 games / Made the B1G tourney but as last seed and went 2-in-the-cue / No NCAA post-season

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Great thread. I had to think about this for a minute.


I went with football living up to the expectations. 9-4. Its been the expectation and it's been maintained. As big as the failures were in football, I think the let down in baseball and especially basketball were bigger. I don't even think it's due to a lot of fault really.


Baseball started so strongly that expectations soared a little faster than they probably needed to.


Basketball had high expectations from the get go, mostly due to Miles and team blowing the expectations out of the water with that tournament appearance. Either way they fell way short.


I had to go with baseball getting over the hump first. I said that mostly because we kind of know what they got and what they can do. They lose some really key players but I think the foundation is there in the younger pitching staff. Got to get the bats going.


If anything, the unknowns in football and basketball leave me guessing. I don't know what to expect from the new football staff quite yet. If I have any expectations, it's simply expecting a better product. If getting over the hump is winning a west division title, then I say football does it first. If the hump is a Conference title, then Ohio St. stands in our way and I truly don't know who I would take over them right now in a national championship picture. They're freaking good.


With all the turnover in the basketball program between the staff and players, I can't even begin to know what to expect. If I have any expectation there, it's that they put the ball in the hoop a little better than last year. Honestly that could help tremendously.


The best man for the head job was the toughest question to answer because honestly I really like these coaches. I think Nebraska has got some damn good men leading these programs right now. I chose baseball for some of the same reasons as the last question. The unknowns of Riley makes it hard to pick him although what I've seen, I have been completely on board with.


Miles is awesome. I'm a huge fan of his. I think his style needs a bit of tweaking. His reliance on the three point shooter needs to die off a bit IMO, and I know that's kind of been his go to. It wouldn't bother me if we had a three point shooter and he went with that offense, but when nobody can hit a three, for Christ's sake change it up. His positivity and his teaching style is great and his recruiting has been going really well. I also love his relationship with the fan base. He's an affable guy who's not afraid to tell it like it is but can say things in a way people don't get offended.


I chose Erstad as being the best man for the job. He seems to just get it. Why wouldn't he? He knows all about Nebraska, the fans and the expectations. He respects it and he strives to field the team the fans can get behind. He's a fiery competitve guy, but keeps a handle on it. He can motivate without tearing down too much but also takes responsibility. I think when the team fails he takes it personally but he moves forward instead of dwelling. He's detail oriented and doesn't focus so much on wins and losses, but more so the teams effort and focus. He seems like he is going to pull it all together and honestly, it appeared he had it going that direction early this season.

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Erstad has impressed with his coaching style and recruiting. I think baseball has developed some strong pitching depth allowing them to win more mid-week games, but they fell short of their preseason expectations because they have always struggled offensively but unlike last year, the team lacks grinders and a power batter (something I mentioned in another thread). The identity of last year's team as the Cardiac Cornhuskers did not transfer to this year, leading to late season defensive mental mistakes and cold bats. True, your assessment of Erstad as a constant competitor is spot on, so I would expect to see him identify the corrections needed and make those changes. It will be exciting to see if they can get a big bat in the line-up.


For basketball, this season had bust written all over it. They maximized two years ago to get to the NCAA tourney, ahead of schedule. Miles has been recruiting to make up some of their deficits, but I will be interested to see how things turn out. Miles is clearly appealing to the Husker fanbase, but his team has seemed a little disheveled on offense. Maybe the new blood this year will give them a spark.


Football is clearly the bell cow for Nebraska, so Riley will have some lofty expectations starting as early as this season. TA could be a great QB. He has the competitive edge that you want. However, he makes puzzling decisions at times, not just with his throws but also when he decides to run (actually when he decides not to run). Many times, I saw TA throw to no one, which was a product of miscommunication between the QB and WR as Beck's system required both position groups to read the defense to alternate routes. If Langsdorf can simplify TA reads and help him be more decisive in the run game, the offense could really get churning this year. The other big question mark is the defensive scheme, not just how effective it will be and if we have the right players, but how quickly the players pick it up. I will leave the heavy mental lifting to the coaching staff but cannot think we get out of our division without a major change in our run defense. Also, the middle of the field may be soft next year, due to the limited LB depth.


Right now, I have baseball breaking through first. Football is an unknown quantity, but it is clear progress is the standard being set by admin (#9wins will not save your job here). I am a little down on basketball because of the offense, though you could say the same thing about baseball. Still, I think Miles has to prove 2013 was not just a fluke.

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