Story Poster
Photo by Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: Nebraska struggling to find reason to believe under Frost

September 21, 2021
4,782

“Nebraska deals with ordinary, down-on-their-luck blue-collar characters who face a challenge or a turning point in their lives… with little hope for the future — or no future at all.”

The above paragraph is a Wikipedia review of the 1982 Bruce Springsteen album, Nebraska.

It could also be a description of the 2021 Nebraska football season.

What began as a hopeful Frost in Lincoln has turned into a full-blown deep freeze.

The Cornhuskers (2-2) have not managed a winning record in three previous seasons under coach Scott Frost. So far this season, Nebraska has posted victories over Fordham and Buffalo.

So, the Huskers are pretty strong in the Northeast. But they’ve lost to Illinois (which then lost to Texas-San Antonio). Then, last week Nebraska gave an inspired effort but still fell to No. 4 Oklahoma, 23-16.

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Frost (r) and Nebraska lost to Bret Bielema’s Illini, who then lost to UTSA.

Nebraska has not beaten a ranked opponent under Frost. Five of the Cornhuskers’ remaining eight opponents are nationally ranked. They travel to face No. 20 Michigan State this week. Later, they face No. 19 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 5 Iowa.

Another losing season appears inevitable unless the Cornhuskers are able to pull off a stunning upset somewhere along the way.

Former coach Bo Pelini, who was fired despite winning at least nine games in seven consecutive seasons from 2008-2014, no longer seems so abrasive.

Heck, Huskers fans probably miss Bill Callahan, who was 27-22 from 2004-07.

No doubt, they pine for the days of Frank Solich, who was 58-19 from 1998-2003 but was fired for not winning enough.

It’s gotten so bad that Nebraska’s record streak of 375 consecutive sellouts was at risk before the Sept. 4 game against Fordham. But the streak got a reprieve when anonymous donors bought about 2,400 tickets to distribute to underprivileged youth.

Frost, who quarterbacked the Cornhuskers to a share of the 1997 national championship, was supposed to be the Golden Knight to rescue Nebraska from the doldrums. He had led the Central Florida Golden Knights to a 13-0 campaign in ’17.

As a result, he was widely hailed as the best hire among new 2018 coaches, a year in which Texas A&M hired Jimbo Fisher, Florida hired Dan Mullen and Oregon hired Mario Cristobal.

A&M, Florida and Oregon are all currently ranked among the nation’s top 11.

Nebraska might be the 11th best team in the Big Ten. No joke.

The Cornhuskers are in serious jeopardy of suffering a fifth-consecutive losing season for the first time since they went 15-34-1 from 1957-61 under Bill Jennings.

A change was made that year. Bob Devaney was hired in 1962, which began a streak of 42 consecutive winning seasons.

Perhaps another change will enable Nebraska to repeat its past glory. History might not provide much solace to Nebraska fans, but it may be at least one thing:

Reason to believe.

Which, by the way, is the final track on the Nebraska album.

Heisman Watch (If my ballot was due today)

1. Bryce Young, Alabama, QB: Young completed 22 of 35 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-29 victory over Florida. Through three games, Young has completed 68 of 100 attempts for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns.

2. Matt Corral, Ole Miss, QB: Corral passed for 335 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 68 yards and four touchdowns in a 61-21 victory over Tulane. Overall, he’s completed 66 of 96 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 158 yards and five TDs.

3. Kenneth Walker, Michigan State, RB: The nation’s leading rusher, Walker ran for 172 yards on 27 carries in a 38-17 victory over Miami. Overall, he’s rushed for 493 yards and 5 TDs. He’s averaging 8.6 yards per carry.

4. Jaren Hall, BYU, QB: His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he’s played three games against Power 5 competition, albeit Pac-12 teams. Last week Hall passed for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 38 yards in a 27-17 victory over Arizona State. Overall, he’s passed for 561 yards and 7 touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards for the 3-0 Cougars.

5. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia, QB: The nation’s leading passer, Armstrong threw for 554 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 59-39 loss to North Carolina last Saturday. Overall, he’s passed for 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Cavaliers.

Predicted Playoff Participants

1. Alabama: The Tide might be vulnerable, but still defeated a ranked opponent on the road vs. Florida.

2. Oregon: Not really buying the Ducks as the second-best team (that’s Georgia), but they’ve got a great chance to go unbeaten.

3. Georgia: Don’t be surprised if Georgia and Alabama play twice this season.

4. Ohio State: Even with a loss the Buckeyes likely get in if they win the Big Ten.

This week’s best matchups

No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 16 Arkansas: Most of the games played in Arlington have been closely contested even when A&M was clearly better than Arkansas. These Hogs appear to be the best Arkansas team since 2011.

No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 18 Wisconsin: Not only a matchup of ranked teams but a nice subplot: Irish quarterback Jack Coan transferred to Notre Dame from Wisconsin.

No. 24 UCLA at Stanford: Two winning teams clashing in the Pac-12. That won’t happen often.

No. 9 Clemson at North Carolina State: Clemson has not lost to a full-time ACC team since 2017. The streak could be at risk in Raleigh. North Carolina State isn’t intimidating, but Clemson’s offense has been stagnant against FBS opponents.

SMU at TCU: Who can’t get excited about playing for an Iron Skillet? It’s a rivalry game. It matches a Power-Five team against an unbeaten Group-of-Five opponent. Mostly, it shows how mundane this week’s college football schedule is.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: Nebraska struggling to find reason to believe under Frost

3,081 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by TAMU74
SamHou
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Weird headline to lead with considering NU should've beat OU had their kicker not sucked. Frost is struggling, but this was the wrong week to pick on him
TAMU74
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Amazing how far the mighty have fallen...NU, tu, Miami, USC, FSU..who else?
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.