One college football reporter who watched Scott Frost up close a year ago has provided the highest preseason ranking for Nebraska so far this offseason.
Orlando Sentinel reporter Matt Murschel had a front-row seat for Frost's rebuild of UCF, and now he has the Huskers ranked 35th nationally heading into the 2018 season. For comparison Nebraska is ranked 51st in the FPI rankings, 60th in S&P+, 61st in the Massey Ratings and 65th by McIllece Sports.
"It may have taken some time, but Nebraska fans finally got the coach it wanted," Murschel wrote. "Outside of Chip Kelly, Frost is perhaps the biggest offseason move in college football. His return to Lincoln has created renewed enthusiasm for the program, with more than 78,000 Huskers fans in attendance for the team’s spring game.
"But returning Nebraska football back to national prominence won’t happen overnight. Frost wants to transform the offense into a fast, high-scoring unit much like he did at UCF. But he needs to first get the type of players who fit that mold. Then, he’ll have to rebuild a defense that was one of the worst in the country in 2017. He’ll attempt to complete the transformation while playing one of the toughest schedules in the Big Ten."
Based on Murschel's other rankings that have already been published countdown-style that puts Nebraska at eighth in the Big Ten. Other rankings that caught my eye: Troy at No. 39, Colorado at No. 105 and Oregon at No. 75 (behind Minnesota).
First question for Frost during his Big Ten segment was about depth concerns. His answer to that, and a few other questions here, was pretty interesting.
The Iowa Way
Nebraska fans are used to Frost's "reference the past while displaying extreme confidence in the future" aura at this point, but for many outside the state Big Ten Media Days was the first chance to really see it up close.
It caught the attention of Iowa columnist Chad Leistikow, who wrote a column under the headline "Frost-led Huskers Are Coming After Iowa, Rest of Big Ten." I was nodding along with most of it until I reached this record-scratch section.
“We used to build it from within by developing players better than anybody else,” Frost says. “We went out and recruited good players that were hungry and had upside and got to work in the best strength and conditioning program in the country, with the best nutrition program in the country.”
Again … sound familiar, Hawkeye fans?
No doubt an early program measuring stick for Nebraska will be if (and how quickly) it can chop down Iowa … by being a better version of Iowa.
While I agree that's an accurate way to view Iowa, let's not pretend the Hawkeyes invented the form. I don't know that any particular program invented the form. It's just sort of how you have to survive in major college football when your major college football program is located in the middle of the country.
But we know Nebraska was once really good at it. Perhaps the best at it for about 40 years. Let's just leave it at that.
The Grab Bag
- It's time for Iowa and Nebraska to embrace the rivalry writes Scott Dochterman at The All-American.
- Ohio State fired wide receivers coach Zach Smith amid domestic violence allegations.
- Here are ESPN's preseason Big Ten power rankings.
- ICYMI: So much media days stuff that it's hard to quickly recap, but you can find it all here.
Today's Song of Today