It's Monday and for Nebraska fans, it still stings. It still burns. The loss to Colorado was yet in another long line of disappointments over the past 20 years. And yet, there is hope. Because of Scott Frost, his youthfulness and what he brings to the program. But his biggest goal for 2019 isn't as lofty as it may seem. Hold your skepticism until the end, please.
Frost doesn't have to take Nebraska to the College Football Playoff in 2019 like some felt he might. He doesn't have to show up in Indianapolis to represent the Big Ten West. What Frost needs, whether some in the media accepted it or not prior to this season, is time.
The passion of Big Red fans is obvious. These are people who drove across the state and gladly parted with their hard-earned money to flood Folsom Field. As mentioned, it has been decades since they saw a championship of any kind. Yet, they still cheer because that's who they are and what they do.
For Frost to give them what they want, he's going to need what the most revered of his predecessors got. He needs patience. That's asking a great deal from the folks who turn out every weekend in the fall to root Nebraska on, but this is how programs are built. The Huskers' head coach didn't ask for the hype. He didn't demand the world praise Adrian Martinez. He didn't even rank his own team in the preseason Coaches Poll.
The recent loss to Colorado — and the Buffaloes have supplied him with two of the most memorable in his brief tenure in Lincoln ;— no doubt hit him hard. It's the kind of loss that digs into your core whether you're a fan, player or the guy at the top of the food chain.
Frost needs wins soon, absolutely. What he really needs this season — not wants, but needs — is a bowl game. It doesn't matter who sponsors it nor where it's played. The biggest gift he can give his team the opportunity to teach and learn.
A bowl game extends the season, essentially giving him and his staff the equivalent of another spring with his team to stress the intricacies of his plans. Practically another month to show Martinez how to properly read coverage and make those tough decisions. More time for defensive coordinator Erik Chinander to impress the importance of his scheme to these Blackshirts.
No doubt many who read this suggestion will laugh and wonder just where these six or seven wins will come from. It's hard to say with certainty which teams Nebraska can best right now. Especially after watching them struggle to get out of their own way en route to a 34-31 heart-breaker this past Saturday.
Those games are out there, though.
Look to Texas' 2018 season, another program that's been waiting to be dubbed "back," as an example. The Longhorns tanked in their season opener to Maryland but ended the year 10-4. They upended five ranked teams in that span including then-No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
No one's suggesting that Nebraska is Sugar Bowl-bound, though. They could be Pinstripe Bowl-bound. Perhaps the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, or even the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix. When push comes to shove, it doesn't matter if the Huskers play in Detroit's Quick Lane Bowl.
Frost needs time and as annoying, if not insanely frustrating, as it is for them, Husker fans need that precious patience. They want the storybook ending with the former quarterback coming home and leading them to the promised land. But if they want a real shot at that, he to get out of the starting block first.
He proved he hasn't yet in Boulder, but there's still time. It's a long season.