The December 2019 issue of Hail Varsity is off to the printer and will be arriving in mailboxes and on newsstands this week. To preview the issue, which features a close look at how Nebraska’s 2019 football season turned out the way it did, here is the letter from managing editor Brandon Vogel. Be sure you don’t miss future issues by subscribing today.
The games are over now. The fall games, at least.
Nebraska volleyball, a team that included zero seniors this season, saw its NCAA Tournament come to an end at the hands of a familiar foe. Wisconsin swept the Huskers for the third time this season to advance to the NCAA Semifinal. But the Huskers should return everyone from another strong squad. If you haven’t looked that far ahead, next year’s final four is in Omaha. If it’s possible to have elevated expectations for this program, considering the Huskers’ already high standards, they’ll be there in 2020. Despite the absence of championships in 2019, it was business as usual for Nebraska volleyball.
As it was for football. The wrong kind of business. Nebraska missed a bowl game for the third consecutive season, ending up one win short this year in particularly heart-breaking fashion in the season finale. We put a bow on both seasons in our last issue of 2019.
The football program, however, gets most of our focus here. The questions are bigger there. Nebraska seemed to have as much momentum as one could hope for entering this past season, but it never really materialized after the Huskers dropped their Week 2 game at Colorado. Nebraska won back-to-back games once in 2019. That’s a hurdle for a program trying to find its way back to the top.
“Winning’s a habit, losing’s a habit, and our team, this whole thing, needs some good things to happen so our guys can start building on it,” Scott Frost said after the loss to Iowa. “Momentum’s a powerful thing.”
An elusive thing, too.
That’s an easy question to ask and a hard one to answer. There’s no one thing you can point to, but with that question as the guiding principle our staff set out to look at different aspects to help explain why 2019 unfolded the way it did. There are highlights and lowlights to consider, things we could’ve seen coming in the offseason and things we couldn’t have. Most football seasons are like that and they all follow an offseason of good-faith efforts to really understand what happened in the past to help inform the future. It’s the game we all play after the games are over.
This offseason will be no different, though there might be a little more urgency this time around. We took our turn in this issue, though it’s not meant to be the end of the conversation. It’s just the start of one that will carry us into a new year and a new decade.
The offseason game is a tough one to master. Maybe that’s why we keep coming back to it, like an old family favorite.
Here’s to a new year. Shall we play again?