Nebraska football mailbag: What are reasonable goals for Huskers next season?
Have Nebraska football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Nebraska mailbag to talk all things Huskers. This week, we discuss reasonable goals for Nebraska in 2018, the College Football Playoffs, and more.
What are reasonable goals for Scott Frost and company?
— Keston Oltman (@KO_12_14) January 9, 2018
Great question, Keston. There is one very reasonable goal, in my opinion, for coach Scott Frost in Year 1: 6 wins.
I can hear the groans now. There are people who believe Frost will not only eclipse the 6-win mark, but far surpass it. After a 4-8 season in 2017, I think it’s much more reasonable to hope for 6 wins and a bowl game than to set the bar too high and end up disappointed in the result.
For additional context, Nebraska’s 2018 schedule is a doozy. The Huskers travel to Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa. Nebraska also gets Colorado and Michigan State at home. That doesn’t even include historically problematic games such as Northwestern. Long story short: There are a lot of potential problems on the 2018 schedule and plenty of little landmines, too.
With that said, I don’t expect Frost or the Nebraska football team to have the same reasonable goal I do. I hope they shoot for the moon and far more than 6 wins. They absolutely should. However, my reasonable goal would be 6 wins and bowl eligibility. Meet that and we can readjust for 2019.
Bama & Georgia had Freshman QBs playing in the national championship game…. do you think Martinez can make the same leap to starting QB at Nebraska & play at a high level too? Asking for a friend —-> @ESPNHOOKSY
— Nick Gregath (@Husker_Nick) January 9, 2018
Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez is going to get a lot of hype this spring, but I’m not sure what to say about him just yet. Outside of the Under Armour All-America Game, we haven’t seen him in action since his junior season due to a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing his senior season.
However, Martinez’s junior year numbers highlight what Frost saw in him. Martinez put up 2,562 passing yards for 25 touchdowns and 4 interceptions that season. He ran for 1,462 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games, per MaxPreps.
Outside of that, Martinez is coming to Nebraska with the attitude that he wants to compete right away for the starting position. I think that speaks volumes.
As for playing at a high level, I guess we’ll see what Frost can do to elevate this team. It’ll be a collaborative effort on all sides and hopefully a fun one to watch play out.
With Noah Vederal transferring home does that change the recruitment of another quarterback?
— Rob & Lori Files (@rflf092303) January 9, 2018
I think it eliminates some pressure. Frost and his staff now have quite the quarterback room. It includes sophomore Patrick O’Brien, redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia, junior Andrew Bunch, freshman Adrian Martinez, and incoming walk-on Matt Masker of Kearney (Neb.) Catholic. With Noah Vedral opting to transfer from UCF, it adds even more depth for the future to the group. And even if someone decides to transfer, they’re still in good shape.
With that said, Nebraska clearly wants another quarterback in its 2018 class. Chris Bumbaca broke it down in the Land of 10 Nebraska recruiting notebook on Monday. Frost and his staff just offered 3-star quarterback Michael Barrett. Don’t be fooled that he’s listed as an athlete, either. It appears Frost wants him at quarterback for the Huskers.
Plus, Vedral has to sit out the 2018 season after Central Florida opted not to release him. He’s walking on at Nebraska and will be eligible in 2019. That’s great news for the future, but it doesn’t solve any immediate needs for 2018. It may also mean Frost and his staff don’t have to put too much emphasis on the quarterback role in 2019, but you never know.
Let’s see if there’s any attrition from the current group before assuming either way, though.
Fill in the blanks for next years playoff in college football
— Steven Sugden (@SugdenSteve) January 9, 2018
I see what you’ve done here. I’m not going to get into the whole discussion about whether Alabama deserved to be in the College Football Playoff this season, but it’s definitely something we’ll be talking about for a while. I just have a hunch.
My thought process is that the best four should get in, no matter what. I haven’t felt that’s necessarily been the case since the College Football Playoff was born, but hopefully we can continue to strive for that.
Should there be a new rule instituted for the Nat'l Ch Playoffs that there cannot be two teams from the same conference in the top-4 so as to avoid a repeat of this year?
— Dean Iversen (@Dciversen) January 9, 2018
I don’t necessarily have a problem with two programs from the same conference making it as long as they’re two of the best teams. In the question right below this, I address Frost’s beliefs on playoff expansion. In that scenario, two teams from the same conference could make sense with one earning an at-large bid.
If it stays at four teams, though? Well, I’m just not positive what the right solution is.
Do you agree with @coach_frost that the playoff should be expanded to 8 teams?
— Some call me Matt (@NEOilers84) January 9, 2018
First and foremost, Frost has not been shy with his beliefs that the College Football Playoff should be expanded to eight teams. He personally sees it being the championship game winners from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and ACC, plus three at-large teams.
“I think eight could include five conference champions and three at-large teams. And if one of the Group of 5 teams has a season like we had at UCF, then maybe they deserve to get in,” Frost said on ESPN this week. “I like any sport — and I heard [Alabama] coach [Nick] Saban say this — I like any sport where things are decided on the field, It’s not subjective, the champion isn’t decided by 12 people sitting in a board room.”
I agree. I know there are challenges to an eight-team playoff (especially because it would add more games to an already grueling schedule for collegiate athletes). I think adding more teams brings up the discussion about whether college athletes should be paid for their time, but that’s really a bigger discussion for another time.
Without having to dive into the specifics of how it might work, I do think an eight-team playoff would be great for a lot of reasons.
What was the best stadium food you ate this season?
— Jon Braaten (@lawyerbraaten) January 9, 2018
I have to give it up to the Peach Bowl for the phenomenal hospitality and food. It was more than just Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and sandwiches (although there were plenty of both!) but also a lot of catered food. Game day included breakfast quesadillas, mini-cheeseburgers with unique toppings at halftime, and plenty more.
As for the regular season, Penn State’s approach was the most memorable. It essentially appeared like a potluck, with fried chicken, a plethora of sides, and an entire table of pies. It felt like I walked into someone’s home for dinner with the entire extended family. That was great.
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