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Scott Frost, Nebraska and, slightly explainable, optimism

| Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Two important college football games took place this weekend. One of them saw a team punch its ticket to the College Football Playoff and the other saw a team lose on a last-second field goal to wrap up its lackluster 4-8 season.

In those games, Notre Dame secured its spot in the playoff and completed an undefeated season by defeating USC; and Nebraska watched a cute old man, otherwise known as Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz, brilliantly manage the clock and make sure his Hawkeyes came out on top by 3 points after 60 minutes.

If you watched both of those games, I know that you’re thinking what I’m thinking: “I have to put some money on Nebraska. I gotta get on the bandwagon now, so I don’t get called a fair-weather fan next November.”

And, if I hadn’t been on the bandwagon for 21 years already, I would agree with you. Nebraska is the next Alabama, Scott Frost is the next Nick Saban and Lincoln, Nebraska is, in the near future, going to become Titletown, USA.

Yeah, 4-8 isn’t the best record on paper. But neither is the 6-7 record that Scott Frost had during his first year at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Yet one year after Frost’s Knights batted just under .500, they finished their season a perfect 13-0, defeating Auburn in the Peach Bowl and crowning themselves the “unofficial” national champions.

I’m not saying that the Huskers are going to repeat history. But I’m saying that the Huskers are going to repeat history.

Scott Frost has the same coaching staff he had at UCF at Nebraska, he has many more resources to recruit with and he is coaching a team in a Power-5 conference. Sure, getting to that 13-0 season is going to be harder when his games are against Michigan and Wisconsin instead of Memphis and SMU, but Frost also has got a lot more to work with at Nebraska.

And if you look at the numbers behind Nebraska’s 4-8 season, it really isn’t anything to get worried about. With the exception of their 46-point loss to Michigan, the Huskers lost by an average of 6.5 points in their eight losses this season. Rather obviously, that’s less than a touchdown.

As Frost’s recruits keep coming in and Riley’s recruits keep graduating, the Huskers are bound to make up those points in close games. And it’s not as if these losses were all as embarrassing as their loss to mid-major Troy. Nebraska took 19th-ranked Northwestern to overtime and, in many ways, should have beaten the Ohio State team that just obliterated formerly fourth-ranked Michigan.

The Cornhuskers won two national championships in the early 1970s and three in the late 1990s. It seems that it’s about time that they won one or two more, and all the elements seem to be coming together for them to do so in the near future.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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