I bow to absolutely NO ONE in my love for the Huskers. Bo Pelini is literally the only person who has goaded me into violating the “Grandma rule” on Twitter. I am a grown-ass woman who believes that last year’s loss to Colorado was caused, in part, by the fact that I wore the same shirt that I had worn when we played Oregon in 2017. I am as fanatical a Husker fan as that weird guy who used to paint his torso red and beat a little drum with an “N” on it at games.
Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds and marks. All the Lizzo songs in the world will never help me completely recover from my Husker-inflicted PTSD.
Yes, I know in year two, Scott Frost took a winless UCF team to an undefeated season. But my friends, in case you haven’t noticed, Nebraska plays in the Big 10 where, unlike the American Athletic Conference, the men are men and the trainers are nervous.
Yes, I know that Adrian Martinez is poised to have a breakout sophomore season. But the offensive line is so thin that we are converting Cam Jurgens to center. Championship caliber teams in the Big 10 do not consider starting red shirt freshmen as linemen and certainly not one who is being converted from tight end.
Yes, I know that Mohamed Barry is back at linebacker this year, but who else wearing a black shirt can we count on? Last year’s defense gave up more home runs than the this year’s Detroit Tigers. WE GOT BLOWN OUT BY MICHIGAN FOR GOD’S SAKE.
I have looked up and down this year’s schedule, and I only see 5 assured wins. Assume we steal one back from Northwestern or Minnesota, or that things go better against the Boilermakers than I fear. I think the Huskers go 6-6. We’ll eek out a Bowl invite on the strength of the Big Red fan base and hopefully be able to claim a winning season after we thump a lesser opponent in a December game.
[KSB management has removed all sections of this prediction that it found unlawful, defamatory, or other otherwise objectionable.] 7-5.
I’m a different type of Husker fan, now. Let me explain.
It’s “closing time” in Lincoln, where every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Preseason top-25 in most publications? I’ve had enough of winning during the off-seasons and fall camp hype. I’ve become a more skeptical fan--not, like, fully jaded a la Haase, but I’m firmly in “prove it” territory with Husker football. I’m done with culture articles (though still enjoy them) and promises of “finally looking like a Big Ten team” (whatever the hell that means). NFL scouts at practice? Great, don’t care. It’s time to shut up and put up, and I think the head coach agrees. Frost’s sophomore season will start that process, albeit imperfectly.
I’ve long had the 2019 schedule circled as the “easiest” one of the 5 before and after it. The right teams at home and the best cross-divisional games we could hope for given how much the league’s schedulers hate us, apparently. But then all the sudden Northwestern wins, like, all its conference games and magically Purdue and Minnesota start not to suck? Great timing. And Wisconsin and Iowa seem to turn under-the-radar high school kids from Beerbratsville and Soybeanshire into NFL players at an alarmingly increasing clip.
This season comes down to maintaining critically thin depth at QB, OL, WR, LB, and to a lesser degree, DB. Feel pretty good about RB (aside from those child porn possession charges for MoWash), DL, and TE. Special teams should improve. But you lose Martinez, that’s at least a couple wins. Some combination of Jaimes, Farniok, Wilson, Barry/Miller, Spielman, or Bootle/Jackson go down, and that’s probably another win-turned-loss. We’re still a few years away from avoiding losses due to severe lack of depth.
WINS: South Alabama, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland. I’m being slightly generous putting a late November trip to Maryland in here, because that game could prove trap-like. Their injuries and talent level should still allow that to be a win in any prediction thread.
PROBABLY SHOULD WIN (Nebraska probably favored by 3-7): Colorado, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue. There’s a good argument some or all of these could flip depending on injury or season trajectory the week of the game. I like Nebraska to take 2 of these games, but 3 tops.
PROBABLY UNDERDOGS: Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Gotta like all of them being in Lincoln, and Nebraska may even be favored in the last 2 based on season trajectory. But I’m fearful the depth and other factors mean we only nab 1 of these in 2019, 2 tops. If I had to pick, it would be Iowa. The holidays would be much better for me if we beat them.
Add that up, and I find myself on the bottom side of the Vegas over/under (which is 8.5 and -130 on the unders at the time of authoring this drivel). I get that Vegas sets betting lines; it doesn’t predict the future. But I don’t think they will miss by 2-3 deviations again like the last 2 years. I’m thinking the Huskers are somewhere between 7-9 wins, and in my book, that’s progress.
Well we have started the year off right. We are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2014. Not bad for having a 4-8 record last year. It has to mean something, right? We have to be better than last year and we have to win more games than last year. Another thing in our favor is a lack of a bowl game the last two years. We will win the first few games, win a tough one against Iowa, lose to Ohio State and have a few that could go either way. Hoping for a 7-5 record this year with a good showing at the bowl game.
Notwithstanding last year’s 4-8 record, there was a lot to like about how Nebraska competed and improved over the course of the season. In my view, the Cornhuskers kept getting better and better. They were not really “out” of any of the last seven games, and took a high-quality Ohio State team to the wire.
I expect Nebraska to show substantial improvement in the Win-Loss column this year, now that the team has had a full year under this coaching staff and its strength and conditioning program. I see only two clearly uphill games: Ohio State (the talent is still there), and Wisconsin (because I won’t believe Nebraska is stout enough to consistently stop Wisconsin’s running game until I see it). I may be overly optimistic, but I have the games against South Alabama, Colorado, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Minnesota (“Row your boat outta here, PJ!”), and Indiana already written down as Nebraska wins. I see the games against Northwestern, Purdue, Maryland, and Iowa as toss ups. Nebraska splits those to finish 8-4. I would be pleased (but not surprised) if Nebraska does even better than that. Pass the Kool-Aid!
Oh boy do I love predicting Nebraska football! This year will be an improvement from last, but how can it not be. I believe they will have improved enough on defense to finally stop somebody and with Martinez having a full year with Frosty, they will win 8 games . . . If they are lucky! My prediction: 8-4 GO IRISH!
Last year, Scott Frost rode in on a wave of optimism that swept across Husker Nation. On average, the rest of the KSB Office predicted over 7 wins for the team. But I knew better. After a lifetime as a Detroit Lions fan, I know nothing is more painful than hope. Once again, hope is in the air as national pundits predict an emergent Nebraska will contend for a Big 10 Championship. It feels like deja vu - so I return again to try to temper your expectations. Despite one of the softest non-conference schedules money can buy, it's just not the Huskers’ year. A demoralizing loss to Minnesota after a good (but not good enough) showing against Ohio State will drop them out of the top-25 at midseason. The team finishes 7-5, and rallies for an inconsequential victory in a decent enough bowl game. It should feel good, after last year. But it won’t, because you let hope creep in.
We also wanted to remind you that KSB is having its tailgate party on Saturday, August 31st. We hope you will join us. Please remember to RSVP by clicking here.