One of the finest things that SBNation produces each year is Bill Connelly’s exhaustive previews of each and every FBS-level team. He reviews analytics, advanced statistics, offensive and defensive radars, returning output, projected outlooks and so on. He’s a good man, and thorough.
This is also a preview series, but... a different one, and I want to be entirely clear on who you can blame for this.
For the record, there were ten teams that won exactly four games in 2017: Syracuse, Cincinnati, Nebraska, Rutgers, BYU, Arkansas, Tennessee, ULM, Idaho, and South Alabama. Today, we’ll be discussing one of the biggest names in that group, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
HOW MANY GAMES DID THEY WIN?
Four. C’mon, keep up.
WOW, THAT’S BAD.
It’s not great, but look at it this way, they could’ve won three.
THEY ALSO COULD’VE WON FIVE.
Crap, you’re right.
WHAT WAS ARGUABLY THEIR BEST WIN?
Don’t laugh, but it was almost certainly Purdue, a statement that would’ve seemed ludicrous a year or two prior. Let’s just say Team A beat a bowl-qualifying division rival “Team B”, with a fourth-quarter comeback on the road. See, doesn’t that sound nice? Nebraska football - devoid of all context, it doesn’t sound so bad!
OKAY, SO WHAT WAS THEIR WORST LOSS?
There’s no truly glaring black mark on their record here. They weren’t good, but of their eight losses, seven were to bowl teams, and three of those were teams that won New Year’s Six bowls (Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State). By this metric, a 54-21 loss to 5-7 Minnesota in America’s Greatest Rivalry Game probably qualifies. Overall, they did mostly what was asked of them, which was very little.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DEFINING IMAGE OF THEIR SEASON, OR AT LEAST THE FIRST ONE YOU FOUND IN GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH?
Probably this “home schedule” graphic where the player depicted looks like he’s thinking “ah, shit, we’re probably gonna lose to Iowa”.
DID THEY LOSE TO IOWA?
Yes, they did.
SHOULD THEY HAVE FIRED THEIR COACH?
Oh yeah. And they did!
HE SEEMS TO BE A NICE GUY, THOUGH
He does! Not the point.
IS THERE A MORAL VICTORY TO BE TAKEN FROM THIS?
Absolutely! Bottoming out enough to admit that the Mike Riley experiment was ill-conceived allowed them to snap up the hottest commodity on the coaching market, National* Championship*-winning* Central Florida head coach Scott Frost, a former Husker player.
IS THERE A BETTER WAY FORWARD FOR THE CORNHUSKERS?
Well, this video suggests you can just microwave the corn in its husk, and then cut off the end to remove the ear without any of the silk.
The guy filming this video also tries to cut an ear of corn one-handed while holding the camera, which is a very appropriate metaphor for the Mike Riley Era. Like, I get what you’re trying to do, your heart is in the right place, but it isn’t working, buddy.
Anyways, I’d probably just husk corn the normal way. It’s not hard. I like it grilled with lime juice, cayenne pepper and some cotija cheese.
ARE WE JUST TALKING ABOUT FOOD NOW?
Would you rather talk about the 2017 Nebraska football team?
NO, I JUST-
Did you bring a snack to work today?
WELL I’VE HAD THIS ORANGE ON MY DESK FOR A WEEK, BUT IT’S GETTING A LITTLE SQUISHY AND HAS SOME SPOTS ON IT
The Syracuse preview is next week.