The Nebraska Cornhuskers are in free-fall in Scott Frost’s second year. Have they hit rock bottom? They could if they lose at home to the Wisconsin Badgers.
Scott Frost was supposed to save his alma mater’s football program from dying a slow and painful death into irrelevancy. Long gone are the glory days of the Nebraska Cornhuskers under Frost’s former head coach Tom Osborne. The move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten hasn’t worked out. So far, it doesn’t look like prying Frost away from UCF is working either. Is this rock bottom?
Well, the Cornhuskers are damn close to hitting rock bottom. Nebraska football finds itself with a sub-par 4-5 (2-4) record. After beating the Illinois Fighting Illini back in September before Lovie Smith got his team turned around and bowl eligible, the Cornhuskers have gone 1-4 in Big Ten play since the Ohio State Buckeyes embarrassed them at Memorial Stadium 48-7 on Sept. 28.
Since that Buckeye beating at home in late September, the Cornhuskers have lost conference games at the Minnesota Golden Gophers, home vs. the Indiana Hoosiers and at the Purdue Boilermakers. Their only win since Ohio State turned them into cornmeal was a three-point victory over the Northwestern Wildcats. Only the UNLV Rebels lose to Pat Fitzgerald‘s team this year.
In truth, losing to teams like Minnesota, Ohio State and Indiana this season aren’t horrible losses. Minnesota and Ohio State are undefeated and on a collision course to meet in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. Playing solid ball quietly in Bloomington, the Hoosiers are having their best season since the first term of the William Jefferson Clinton administration in the nation’s capital.
But losing to former their former Big 12 rival Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder and not getting past a struggling Boilermakers team in West Lafayette, that’s unacceptable for a program with as much historical significance as Nebraska. Are we even sure the Huskers are getting to a bowl game this year?
At 4-5 (2-4), Nebraska needs to win two of its final three conference games to even think about going bowling. Is that even remotely possible? The outlook looks bleak to put it lightly. On Saturday, Nebraska will host the Big Ten West rival Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin won’t play in a meaningful bowl game this year with two conference losses already, but that a Huskers loss.
After that at presumably 4-6 (2-5), Nebraska has a game it must win at the Maryland Terrapins. While Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley knows how to lose games at a ridiculously high level, Maryland does play in the tougher of the two Big Ten divisions. Even if the Cornhuskers don’t fear the turtle, that only gets them to five wins. So who would they have to beat in rivalry week?
Nebraska would then host the division rival Iowa Hawkeyes, a team that has been inside the top-25 for most of the year. Do you think Frost will best Kirk Ferentz in a high-stakes rivalry game for Nebraska to go bowling? Me neither.
So would lose at home to Wisconsin be rock bottom? It would be at the asymptote for sure, but it would cross over to horrifyingly bad levels if the Huskers finish the year at 4-8 (2-7) with losses at home to Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as a brutal road loss to the monstrosity that is Maryland football. Does Frost regret leaving Walt Disney World yet? Nebraska has become a laughingstock.