If you're a Husker fan wanting to see some love coming from the preseason college football magazines, you're going to be disappointed.
And who can blame the prognosticators? After three consecutive losing seasons under Scott Frost (12-20 career at Nebraska), no one is giving Big Red much love going into this fall.
Athon is the first magazine of the season I've read and it ain't pretty what they think of the Huskers. They have Nebraska finishing 5th -- in the West Division. Gulp! And they have NU going just .500 for the season. (They haven't included the late addition of Fordham to Nebraska's schedule.)
And if you're a longtime Husker football fan and you look at the teams ranked ahead of Nebraska going into the fall, your jaw is going to drop.
Here's a brief list of those teams receiving more love and respect in the preseason: Louisiana (not LSU) #23, Coastal Carolina (!) at #24, UCF (Frost's former team) #30 and Liberty (!) at #39. The Huskers fall in at a cool #48.
How about some conference love? How does this fall's fourth-year starting QB, Adrian Martinez, rate in the Big Ten?
He doesn't -- at least not as a quarterback. In fact, the top two QBs named to the preseason first and second teams are freshmen! And to find a senior QB, you have to go to the third-team offense and you'll find Minnesota's Tanner Morgan listed.
Okay, so what about Adrian Martinez? AM is listed as the conference's third best returning rusher this fall. Yup. Rusher!
How about other Husker players? Nebraska has one first teamer and that's CB Cam Taylor-Britt. Jojo Domann made the second-team defense at a LB spot. Connor Culp, Nebraska's only first-team conference player (PK) in 2020, was named to the second team as a special teams player. The only other Husker to be named was DL Ben Stille who made the third-team defense.
That's it, folks. One first-team, two-second and one third-team player.
And don't look for any love from the other mags, as well.
If I were Scott Frost and his assistants, I would make sure everyone associated with the Husker football program knows what these "experts" think of the Husker football program. And at every practice, Frost should keep reminding them of those predictions. If the Husker players have any pride (and I think they do) they can do something about it. The players don't need to say anything. All they need to do is just win, baby.
The gospel according to Luke
The Saga of Luke continues. Luke McCaffrey, who was the former starter and backup to Adrian Martinez, transferred to the University of Louisville. And after spending less than one week there, he transferred to Rice University.
Later, Scott Frost commented about some of the college football players who enter the transfer portal, saying that many of them are getting bad advice.
Frost never mentioned Luke McCaffrey by name. But Frost's comments didn't go unnoticed by Luke's older brother, Christian. Christian, who played for Stanford before becoming a running back for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, tweeted this retort to Scott Frost:
"Hold on didn't you (Frost) transfer? PSA to all recruits: take notice of how a coach treats his players once they're no longer useful to him."
And another older brother, Max, who is a wide receivers coach at Northern Colorado, added this tweet about Frost:
"Transfers in college"
"Brings in transfers this week"
Treat all players former and current with RESPECT. Especially kids...C'mon man
Remember that it was Frost who gave Luke McCaffrey a chance to be a starting QB at Nebraska. It was Luke who went 1-1 in his only two career starts last year. It was Luke who in those starts threw 4 INTs. It was Frost who said Luke was the future of the Husker offense. It was Frost who said Luke's future was at QB.
And let's look at some facts about Frost's transfer from Stanford to Nebraska.
A.) Frost grew up in Wood River, Nebraska. Despite heavy recruiting efforts by former Husker head coach, Tom Osborne, Scott opted to play for Bill Walsh at Stanford.
B.) Why? Frost wanted to play QB in the NFL and Bill Walsh's offense (West Coast Offense) was going to be Frost's ticket to the NFL. (Nebraska was strictly an option offense back then and wasn't known for preparing QBs for the NFL.)
C.) Frost played two years for Bill Walsh. But how many starts at quarterback did he have in those two years? Zero. (Note: Luke had two starts at Nebraska.) The most action Frost had was in his sophomore year ('94) when he went 33 for 77 (42.9%) for a total of 464 passing yards. He also threw 5 INTs that year.
D.) Bill Walsh, the main reason Frost signed with Stanford, left after the '94 season to take an administrative position with the '49'ers.
E.) And with the main reason he came to Stanford now gone and a new head coach (Ty Willingham) coming in, Frost transferred back to his home state in '95 where, two years later, he led Nebraska to a national championship.
F.) Scott Frost didn't just leave Stanford on a whim. There was a new coaching staff coming in and Frost went home to Nebraska. Who can blame him?
Moreover, during his career at Nebraska, Luke's head coach, QB coach and most of the staff remained intact. (Former Husker OC Troy Walters was replaced last year by Matt Lubick.) The offensive schemes have remained the same. Luke was given a chance to play QB at Nebraska; given a chance to start two games and would have been Adrian Marinez's backup at Nebraska this fall.
And for Luke to leave Nebraska to play for Louisville is a head scratcher. But an even bigger head scratcher was his transfer to Rice. Rice? Really?
Owl be darned
Rice has an even worse record over the past three years than Nebraska. And the Owls, as members of Conference USA, play in a stadium that holds 47,000 fans. Yup -- about half the size of Memorial Stadium.
It would appear that young master Luke may have been given some bad advice. Or maybe he was given good advice, but he has chosen to ignore it. Either way, transferring to Rice University is a bit puzzling. Of course, time will tell if the move will be a good fit for Luke.
So to Christian and Max: Before you criticize Scott Frost, you might want to do your homework first. The circumstances for Frost and Luke are drastically different.
You readers are the best. I'm very proud of you. Last week, I wrote about the Huskers' latest recruit, five-star CB Tyreke Johnson. I wrote, "I'm not sure if this is Nebraska's first five-star player..." Of course, I should have known better. And several readers pointed out that RB Marlon Lucky ('05-'08) and DT Baker Steinkuhler ('08-'12) were the other Husker five-star players. Thanks to all of you for setting the record straight.