Well, now something — or something else — is doubting Nebraska. This time, blame math.
ESPN’s metrics, specifically the Football Power Index, aren’t big fans of Nebraska. Much of that has to do with the Huskers’ schedule so far this season. Of the team’s six opponents, only one is better than .500: 4-2 Wyoming.
Nebraska isn’t alone in being a questioned top-10 team: Baylor is also part of the conversation. Nebraska and the Bears currently rank Nos. 8 and 9 in the AP Poll.
But ESPN’s metrics have Nebraska way, way down on the list — outside the Top 25, even.
Here’s where ESPN’s metrics rate Nebraska:
- No. 75 schedule strength
- No. 12 strength of record
- No. 27 in Football Power Index
- No. 35 overall efficiency (opponent adjusted)
- No. 38 offense (efficiency)
- No. 46 defense (efficiency)
- No. 55 special teams (efficiency)
Because the numbers are opponent adjusted, Nebraska will get a huge boost if the Huskers do well against its top remaining foes. That won’t include Saturday’s opponent Purdue, but the Huskers then play at Wisconsin and Ohio State in consecutive weeks.
In the end, all that matters is winning. If Nebraska keeps winning, the doubters will disappear and the Huskers will continue to rise. We’re only a few weeks away from knowing just how serious Nebraska is to be taken in the College Football Playoff race.
Here’s a rundown of ESPN going through the numbers.