December 2020 issue "An Unclear Year"
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Reviewing a One-of-a-Kind Year in the Latest Issue of Hail Varsity

December 17, 2020

The December issue of Hail Varsity is on its way to newsstands and mailboxes now. To preview the December 2020 issue, here’s the letter from editor Mike Babcock. Make sure you don’t miss any of what we have to offer by subscribing today.

Eric Crouch, Nebraska’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in 2001, offered some encouragement in a tweet following the Huskers’ 24-17 loss to Minnesota: “Tough loss today #Huskernation Let’s be positive and believe Frost will get it done.”

There were plenty of tweets before, during, and after Nebraska’s seventh and final regular-season game, of course, in a season we know has been anything but “regular.” And plenty of those tweets were on the opposite end of the spectrum from Crouch’s.

But positivity is never a bad thing, particularly in times such as these. And managing editor Brandon Vogel provides the basis for some with a look at what the numbers have shown during the bulk of this irregular “regular” season. Brandon is a student of such numbers, which provide insight without the passion of winning and losing that attends every fan base.

And with Husker fans, it’s not just winning. Rather, it’s winning “enough,” something that hasn’t happened since, well, let’s just say for a while—speak in generalities for now.

Another applicable generality is “trust the process,” something that can be difficult when a program is dealing with a third consecutive losing season under Frost.

Again, Brandon’s story provides some basis for trusting the process.

“I love how our mentality has changed and how the kids are caring about each other,” Frost said after the Minnesota loss. “I love the feel around the building. It’s the best it’s been. But you’ve got to stack those things on top of each other and practices on top of each other.”

That’s been an underlying theme throughout this season. More practices, more repetition, more becoming accustomed to the system he and his assistants are trying to teach.

The process also includes recruiting, and with early letter-of-intent signing for the 2021 class at-hand, Greg Smith’s notebook provides some insight into how it appears the Huskers will do.

Basketball season has begun, and this issue includes Jacob Padilla’s men’s notebook and Derek Peterson’s Q&A with Husker women’s newcomer Ashley Scoggin.

It also includes the final installment of a four-part series on Nebraska’s 1970 national championship season, the way I remember it as a graduate student—which is why it goes off on tangents about Kansas State’s Lynn Dickey and Oklahoma’s Joe Wylie, opposing players who drew a lot of attention then.

Only two years before that unlikely title run in 1970, Husker boosters in Omaha circulated a petition to dismiss coach and athletic director Bob Devaney, in the wake of back-to-back 6-4 seasons and Devaney’s loyalty and unwillingness to replace assistant coaches.

Though the situation was dramatically different in terms of winning and losing, it was an example of the need to trust the process.

Crouch was asking for that.

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