Nebraska’s schedule and issues could make this season a whole lot worse
As bad as the loss to Northern Illinois was, Nebraska’s season could get even uglier.
Week 3 Five Thoughts: 3) Nebraska’s Season Could Get A Lot Worse
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Apparently, that whole consistently winning thing under Bo Pelini got old.
Where are the playmakers at Nebraska? Where are the sure-thing NFL draft picks, the All-Americans, the fear felt in the hearts of the college football world?
Where’s the edge?
Nebraska has always been known for having relatively nice fans, and Tom Osborne was always the fine, upstanding figurehead, but from the rumors of how all those talentless walk-ons off the farm magically transformed into college football superstars, to the relentlessly soul-crushing offensive system, to the way the program took a left turn in terms of character flaws in the 1990s, there was always something bad-ass simmering behind the scenes.
Mike Riley is the ultimate good guy head coach, but all that seems to be simmering is a warm cup of Bosco.
3 Things That Matter: Nebraska-NIU
Riley is the coach you root for. He’s the one you want to see succeed at a place like Nebraska, if only to prove that it’s possible to win without life being totally miserable.
But it isn’t working.
A questionable hire to begin with, the now-64-year-old Riley was coming off a mediocre run at Oregon State – going 5-7 when he took the Husker gig in 2015 – and he wasn’t exactly seen as an inspired choice in a day and age full of young, smart, innovative minds getting big-time gigs.
And now, Nebraska just seems like it could be any college football program.
Making things even worse considering the track record so far in Lincoln, Riley was given a contract extension this offseason that goes through 2020, meaning it would take over $10 million to launch-and-look.
The argument is that the stability of the extension helps with recruiting. You know what helps when it comes to hitting the trail for talent? Not losing to Northern Illinois.
But there’s hope.
Fortunately for the Huskers, they get Rutgers and Illinois up next. Hit those two layups, and with Wisconsin and Ohio State both home games to follow, the season can turn around in a hurry.
Or, if Tanner Lee can’t stop throwing interceptions, and if there isn’t some semblance of positive consistency, losing to Illinois isn’t out of the question, dropping both home games to the Badgers and Buckeyes is possible, losing at Purdue becomes a coin-toss, and Northwestern, at Minnesota, at Penn State and Iowa would make life a nightmare in November.
If this team is bad enough to lose to Northern Illinois – who, to give the Huskies credit, aren’t miserable – and almost drop a home date to Arkansas State, could 4-8 be shooting too high considering what’s coming?
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