Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Open Letter to Nebraska Fans: Fear Not Husker Faithful, Better Days are Coming

From 1969-2001, Nebraska won nine or more games per season every single year. In 20 of those years, the Huskers won 10 or more games.

And it's not just those years that Nebraska football has stood out. They are #6 all time in victories for Division 1 schools. The only teams with a higher winning percentage all time join the Huskers in being college football royalty.

You all know these teams in the highest division of college football. Decade after decade they represent best that NCAA football has to offer. Not counting this season, those teams are:
  1. Michigan  - .729  winning percentage, 943 wins
  2. Notre Dame - .729 wp, 907 wins
  3. Ohio State - .725 wp, 898 wins
  4. Texas - .705 wp, 897 wins
  5. Nebraska - .695 wp, 893 wins
The next five teams on the list are also golden examples of the best in college football history: Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State, USC and Tennessee. 

Some folks seem to think that Nebraska has been down for a long time. For sure, they had a horrendous year last year with a 4-7 record. But in the ten years prior to that the Huskers won 10 games three times and won nine games in four of those seasons.

It's a measure of the success and standards that Nebraska has long held that winning at least nine games seven times out of 10 years qualifies as a bad stretch.

There's a new sheriff in Lincoln, and his name is Scott Frost. He is absolutely the right man for the job.

He's not new to Nebraska, of course. He's a local QB hero who came back home after playing at Stanford for two years. He had the brains to get into Stanford and the skills to lead Nebraska to the national championship in 1997.

After five years in the NFL, Frost got into coaching. It quickly became evident that he learned a lot from his coaches. And what a list of coaches he had to learn from: Bill Walsh (3 Super Bowl wins), Tom Osborne (3 National Championships), Bill Parcells (2 Super Bowl wins), Bill Belichick (5 Super Bowl wins). 

He also learned a lot from offensive guru Chip Kelly, who led Oregon to a 46-7 record in four years as head coach. In fact, Frost's offensive philosophy and style probably most resembles that of Kelly from his coaching tree.

Here in 2018, Scott Frost has returned to Lincoln, and Chip Kelly has returned to college football at UCLA. Their combined records this year so far is 0-3. That won't last for long. Kelly has to change the culture at UCLA and Frost has to introduce a new style of playing to Nebraska. The change is coming.

After the Nebraska players learn what their new coach has to teach, the next national championship that Nebraska wins will be with Scott Frost at the helm (that is, if the "fans" are patient enough). 

It won't be this year, and it might be several years. The Big 10 is the toughest conference gauntlet to get through for any team in the country. Last year, the top five teams in the conference had a combined record of  56-11. Getting through the Big 10 unscathed is incredibly difficult, and doing so pretty much guarantees a spot in the four team playoffs and a real shot at the National Championship.

One of the keys for Nebraska will be get more and more wins over the top teams in the Big 10. Changing conferences is tough. There's no more Oklahoma and Colorado on the schedule. It's going to take time and wins to build those new rivalries. But as college football royalty, history says Nebraska football will get over their bad year and get back to doing what they do best -- winning.

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