20 for 2020 College Football Topics, No. 19: The five teams that should rebound with a big 2020 after a mediocre 2019.
Let’s give the voters in the two major polls a little bit of credit on this – the 2019 preseason AP and Coaches polls weren’t all that bad when it came to getting them close to the pin.
Granted, it’s not hard to pick Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and LSU to be good – the preseason top six in both polls – but there are always a few misfires.
Here are five teams ranked in the 2019 preseason top 25 that didn’t live up to expectations, but should be a whole lot better this year. The list is based on last year’s preseason ranking going from the bottom up, starting with …
5. Nebraska Cornhuskers
2019 Preseason Ranking
AP 24, Coaches NR (26)
Final Record: 5-7
What Went Wrong?
The expectations weren’t exactly through the roof from the pollsters – the Huskers were only ranked in the top 25 in the AP poll – but there was a whole lot of buzz about Year Two under Scott Frost being the launching pad for a new Big Red Machine.
After all, if Northwestern could play for the Big Ten title like it did in 2018, then why not Nebraska? The schedule didn’t look that bad, QB Adrian Martinez had a year under his belt, the talent level was starting to come together, and …
Both lines were mediocre, the offense was way too inconsistent, the explosive plays were duds, and there were too many mistakes and turnovers as the Huskers dropped five of their last six games.
It was the first time Nebraska experienced three straight losing seasons since a rough run from 1956 to 1961.
Why 2020 Will Be Better: Returning Talent
The defensive line will be the early issue with three starters gone from the front three, and CB Lamar Jackson is going to be a star at the next level, but just about everyone is back on a defense that now has a little bit of depth, too.
It all comes down to how good Adrian Martinez is. If he’s great in Year Three, the offense should finally be what Husker fans have been waiting for with the potential of ten starters returning.
Why 2020 Will Be Better: Schedule
– 2020 Nebraska Football Schedule Analysis
If Nebraska is close to being Nebraska again, the first half of the schedule is a dream.
Nebraska isn’t supposed to lose at home to Cincinnati, or Purdue, or Illinois, and Nebraska is supposed to win at Northwestern. 7-0 is an attainable goal before a brutal finishing kick, but the possibility is there to at least be the Minnesota of last season with a hot start.
At the very least, it’s time to go bowling again.