The 2016 football season is only three days gone — or the 2017 season is only three days old, if you prefer — but the big what does/did it all mean pieces keep coming.
Paul Myerberg of USA Today, one of the best college football observers out there in my opinion, graded all 128 teams based on their 2016 seasons. As I started to scan the list — Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Western Michigan were the only schools to earn A+ grades — I expected the Huskers to get a C+.
Turns out Myerberg has a slightly kinder curve than I do. No team with nine wins earned a grade below B-, which is where the Huskers landed. I can see the logic behind that when you’re faced with grading all 128 teams. Some basic set of parameters become how you pull that off.
CBSSports.com’s Chip Patterson published a final 1-to-128 ranking that was also pretty kind to the Huskers. Nebraska ranked 27th, which is somehow seven spots ahead for Iowa.
Finally (for today at least), Travis Haney of 247Sports wrote about five “sleeping giants” that could be poised for a Clemson-like rise back to the top. Georgia tops the list and there’s probably no better profile match out there. The University of Georgia is basically across the street (70 miles) from Clemson, and, like the Tigers before Monday night, the Bulldogs’ last national title came in the 1980s.
After the Dawgs, Haney highlights Texas A&M, UCLA and Miami. All makes sense. Then, drumroll please, Nebraska. Haney writes of the Huskers:
The lack of a built-in recruiting base makes this inclusion a bit of a reach, admittedly. A staff would have to be dynamic nationally to bring in talent to again push Nebraska toward the top of the sport. Coaches are unsure whether Mike Riley and this staff can do that, though Riley has long understood the need for a national recruiting emphasis, going back to Oregon State.
Nebraska’s inclusion on that list might be the kindest the Huskers will have this offseason.
Bury the Lede
The big news of the week, of course, was Nebraska’s staff shakeup. Mark Banker is out as defensive coordinator, while defensive backs coach Brian Stewart and director of player personnel Ryan Gunderson have left for other oppotunities.
Gunderson, a former Oregon State quarterback, announced on Twitter last night that he will be the new quarterbacks coach at San Jose State. There are reports that Brian Stewart will be the new defensive coordinator at Rice.
The Banker move, however, seemed to come out of nowhere. I wrote about what it means for Nebraska and where the Huskers could look for his replacement here. (Premium)
The Grab Bag
- The American Football Coaches Association came out yesterday in support of adding a 10th assistant (of course) and an early signing period in December (slightly more contentious). Both measures will be voted upon by the NCAA in April.
- The biggest potential change to come form those AFCA meetings, however, is a proposal that would allow players to play in up to four games during a redshirt year.
- P.J. Fleck is seeking the rights, currently owned by Western Michigan, to his “Row the Boat” catchphrase.
- It feels like a forgotten moment now, but Clemson’s decision to go with an onside kick at the end of Monday’s national championship game came with some risk.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.