Well we all heard it. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost was matter-of-fact this past week in saying “it could get worse before it gets better.”
Guess what? He was right.
Frost was so prophetic he practically foresaw the 56-10 woodshed job that Michigan was about to administer to his charges. The kind of woodshed job that the old school Cornhusker fans are used to seeing their Big administer to other hapless opponents. But this time, it’s not the Jayhawks or the Mildcats or some FCS lambs brought to town for a paycheck and a blowout. This was Nebraska losing by 46 points.
It’s a new reality in Big Red Land. But not all is a lost cause here Husker fans. There is plenty to look forward to; you just have to be patient. Remember, these same Wolverines once lost to Appalachian State.
Here are five reasons for Cornhusker fans to be talked off the ledge.
1. C’mon, it’s early people
Like any good politician, Frost went public last week and essentially said, “Hey, look what I inherited. Give me time.” You have to keep in mind; the former Husker quarterback went just 6-7 in his first season at UCF, after inheriting a squad that went 0-12 the year before. And as the graphic showed during the Michigan game, his 2018 team has 53 newcomers to Lincoln. Let Mr. Frost get his recruits in here and wait till then to pass judgement.
2. The Cornhuskers were THISCLOSE to starting 2-0
A bad break or two — or more appropriately a bonehead penalty or ill-timed turnover — is all that stands between the Big Red from beginning the season 2-0 instead of 0-2. Had those tough breaks, or smarter play, gone their way we wouldn’t be talking so many Husker fans off the ledge to begin with.
3. The schedule is a monster
I don’t think many Cornhusker fans realize this was going to be a tough year, regardless. According to most analytics from the preseason, NU faced a schedule that ranked in the top five for degree of difficulty. In fact, according to opponents’ 2017 winning percentage, only Florida State’s slate was going to be tougher this year. So obviously this was the wrong year for the Big Red to play a rigorous slate, but what can you do about it?
4. There is a long history of Hall of Fame coaches who had rough starts
Bear Bryant’s first year at Alabama was a five-win season. Lou Holtz only won five games in his first season at Notre Dame. Joe Paterno went 5-5 in his first season at Penn State. Mack Brown went 1-10 in his first season as a college head coach. And don’t forget that even Nick Saban was not so holy after losing to Louisiana-Monroe in his first season at Alabama. Bad losses? Bad seasons? Meh, it happens sometimes. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.
5. If they didn’t have bad luck they’d have no luck at all
Could the quarterback situation have been scripted any worse? Adrian Martinez wins the job. Four-star talent Tristan Gebbia immediately transfers out. Of course Martinez gets hurt in the first game. Walk-on freshman Andrew Bunch gets thrown to the wolves before he’s ready and voila, Nebraska loses its first two games. You have to laugh to keep from crying.
All these factors remind us that patience is a virtue. Hang in there Husker fans, the football gods have a way of evening things out. Oh, and yes, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
— Written by Eric Sorenson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He is a college football, college baseball and college hockey addict... and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Stitch_Head.