Huskers Creep Into Coaches’ Poll, Left Out of AP

Nebraska's win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl appeared to be just enough to push them into the top 25 of the Coaches' Poll.  NU was essentially 26th in the Associated Press poll as the top vote-getter among "others receiving votes".  Let's examine the wisdom of the voters.

 

Washington Worthy
It's hard to quibble with the AP for pushing Washington ahead of the Huskers at 25th in their poll.  The Huskies performed better against UCLA in Pasadena and didn't have NU's home field advantage in beating Illinois.  Boise State was the highest ranked team (at the time) that either team beat.  All of the teams that beat Washington ended up ranked whereas Iowa and Minnesota wound up unranked.  All of NU's defeats were by at least two scores where Washington was within 3 points at Stanford.  All of the U-Dub wins were by at least two scores and NU needed a Hail Mary against Northwestern and overtime to beat Penn State.  Only a bad loss at Arizona State by the Huskies could tip the scales toward Nebraska.      

Vanderbilt a Fraud
Vanderbilt is clearly a less worthy team ahead of NU (in both polls?!).  They beat Georgia by one fewer point than Nebraska and they got to play the Bulldogs in Nashville.  Other than Georgia, their wins came against only losing teams in the SEC.  Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky would be considered mediocre to bad teams in any conference this year and the nonconference schedule for the Commodores was a joke.  It featured Austin Peay, Massachussetts, Alabama-Birmingham, and Wake Forest.  Vandy only managed to beat that 4-8 Demon Deacon team by two points and that was at home in the regular season finale.

What About the Smaller Conferences?
Before getting too irate about Vandy though, NU fans should realize their own benefit from playing in a BCS conference.  Northern Illinois won 12 games including a victory at Iowa but were left unranked.  Fresno State went 11-2 and won at Wyoming 48-10.  That's the same Cowboy team that came to Lincoln and made things far too interesting at 37-34.  While the transitive property doesn't always hold in sports (A beats B, B beats C, therefore A would beat C), it seems fair to apply in rankings, particularly when there's little to no overlap in scheduling.   

In the end, Nebraska's probably no more than a spot or two away from where they belong based on their season.  At least creeping into one major poll can help NU in the recruiting game.  Coaches, players and fans alike don't view a 24th or 25th ranking as the goal anyway.  Hopefully, it's nothing more than a stepping stone to bigger and better things. 

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Comments 26 comments so far

Still hard to understand why Wyoming was able to compete against NU as it did this past season.  I know our defense was rebuilding and full of inexperience; however, Wyoming may have played one of its best games against NU versus the rest of their regular schedule.  NU can’t have that kind of performance in 2014 in its opening game.

25th ish is consistent with our annual recruiting class ranking average(Rivals) since BOP got here.  Bama has also averaged a #1 class over that time—what is it, 2 or 3 NCs for them in that period?

Yea, stars, Rivals, they suck, totally meaningless(according to many).

T Dogg
Do you think it is a hopeless case if we are unable to ever secure a Top 10 ranked class? If we can’t then we have to depend on superior coaching and over the top effort from the kids.

e.g., I’ll take 3 consecutive #15’s over a #5, #30, #22.

One class doesn’t do it, and if you have the right guys in each class to field a great team, it doesn’t matter what the other guys are ranked in that class.

Rivals rankings v final rankings AP
2014 37th  
2013 17th   v   NR
2012 25th   v   25th
2011 15th   v   24th
2010 22nd   v   20th
2009 28th   v   14th
2008 30th   v   NR
2007 13th   v   NR
2006 20th   v   NR
What are the correlations? What recruiting class can be held accountable for which ranking?
I will ask the experts?

Where has sanders been coacching if at all?  My personal opinion is he left and had his chance so….later dude!  Pelini can find a quality coach!

Looked at some preseason polls.  Paul Myerberg Huskers 16, Georgia 17.  3 others ridiculous, putting Georgia at 10, 11 and 12 and not even considering Huskers, yet citing returning non-injured players for Georgia and other teams.  Sorry, but IMO a completely healthy Husker team this year would have been competing for NC - that’s right, I dare say if Martinez toesies were not hurt, even UCLA would have turned out different.  Oh well, gotta play the games!

Gage,

Well, Sparty has proven, at least for a short time, that it can be done with an average of 3* recruits, but I think a team like that has to be a veteran group, with very good coaching, to be a contender.  Even so, a team averaging 3*s recruits and sub 20th ranked classes isnt going to contend year in and year out—not with the Bama’s of the world.

No surprise. The AP has never had much love for the huskers.

On the recruiting classes and rankings Notre Dame #3, Florida #4, Michigan, #5, Ole Miss, #7 Where are they?  Not ranked in top 25 classes, Michigan State, Missouri, Baylor, Wisconsin, Fresno state, Duke, UCF, Northern Ill, I am sure if I had more time I could come up with more.  My point is you can have alot of highly ranked players but if they are overrated, don’t play well in your scheme, get homesick, don’t make it academically, etc.  They need to fit your style of play, your work ethic,etc.  I am not saying that it doesn’t hurt to have a ranked class but there is more that goes into a good football team then just having highly ranked players.  Alabama has a name for itself now just like NU did in the 90"s and kids want to play for winners.  Need a really good quarterback with balanced offense and a above average deep defense.  You will not all keep teams under 28 pts anymore with the style of offense that is being played now.  You need to recruit kids that are talented and fit your teams style

Yo larr go 6 years back, get real

TDogg you get real it is basically the same top 25 teams year end year out with the top classes, you still have Notre Dame, Florida, Michigan, Miami, UCLA, USC, the point I am making is they will always get the top recruiting classes because of location.  That doesn’t mean they will always be the National Champs or ranked in the top 25.  Alabama right now is on a run if Saban doesn’t show up there they are still the same team they were 8-10 years ago.  He has a system that works and developed a name for himself that kids want to play for.  “You build it they will come” How is it that teams outside the top 25 recruiting classes continue to compete with these teams?  Because there is no way that the recruiting gurus can see all the kids that play football in this country.  Therefore there must be a bunch of 3 and 4 star guys that are better than what the gurus say they are.  Case in point Farmer 3 star taking care of business against the 5 stars on the other side of the ball at the camp during the holidays

Internet Fox Sports News has a 2014 pre-season poll with the top 25 teams listed and discussed.  NU is not in that poll.  Am I missing something, or is the NU fan chatter about how the 2014 season will be a really good one appears to be more hype without foundation in reality?  Everyone talks Pelini up and suggest, “just wait until next year” when, in reality, it’s the same o’, same o’.  What is it that NU fans think they know that the rest of the sport world appears not to know???

Look at last years pre season poll and see how accurate that was.  They write these to sale papers, mag, commericials whatever but it isn’t like it is very accurate.  Why do some put so much faith in people that are in the business of making money off of predictions.  If I buy a sports car does that make me qualified for NASCAR?

I don’t see next year being much different either we honestly have the talent to complete but mentally we’re just not there. It’s sad but true. That being said I love this team and wish the best for the players. I’d love to be wrong about this, but i’m usually not.

larr,
buying a sports car doesn’t make you qualified for NASCAR.
Hoever, Making a left hand turn or dressing in a suit that looks like a billboard does.
What a lame ‘sport’.

What is this, the Psychic Hotline, fans reading brain waves now?

“...but mentally we’re just not there.”

No reason we shouldnt get at least 10 wins next year given the vastly imp5roving and potentially badass D.  The U, Sparty, Wiscy are the primary challengers.  If we cant beat Minny(@ home), NW, and Lolwa as a matter of course, we might as well throw in the towel.  The U, I would favor us next year in that one.

P.S, Dullah’s coming back in ‘14.

larr,

So, your going to base your argument of this year’s final rankings on LAST year’s(‘13) recruiting class, really?  Last I looked, all those kids were true freshman this season.  So, I’ll let that one go.

First of all, the UCFs, NIUs, Boise’s, Ball St, Bowling Green’s, Fresnos, etc, of the world play in WEAK conferences and get ‘on a run’ in those conferences and benefit from the relative weakness of the rest of the conference and tally up alot of Ws, but when they undeservingly get in a BCS game or otherwise decent bowl or big boy preseason foe, they by and large usually get their asses kicked.  Also, when’s the last time you saw one of those teams #1—yea, never.  So, I just throw all those “12-1 wonders” from little guy conferences out the window from the get go.  It’s bullshit.

NIU, who did they beat this year?  Nobody, and they lost the 2 final games that mattered.  Last year they shouldnt even have been in the Orange vs FSU—total mismatch.  Fres, UCF, same shit.  You really think Fresno St is going to occupy even top 20 spots in the polls year in and year out?  It’s not going to happen.  UCF just happen to have Bortles and Storm, 2 great players, plus they benefit from FL recruiting big time, so they might be able to “hang” over the medium term, or until those guys are gone, but I have my doubts—think USF, yea, remember those guys?  TCU, waddup w dem, dawg?  Here today, gone tomorrow.


Sparty, how many times have they finished in the top 10 going back to ‘06?  Pause.  That would be once, this year, well whoopty do, they’re ‘on a run’.  I credit them, they had a great year.  If you think they are going to be a top 10 team year in and year out, it’s not going to happen.

Wiscy, finished top 10 3 times since ‘06.  Not bad.  Oh wait, tOSU, remember them, the team that gets the really good recruits:  top 5 finish FIVE times since ‘06, another year @ #9 and this year @ #12 with 12-2 finish and losses to the #3 and # 8 teams—barely.

I could go on down the line, but IF you happened to want to do the actual research yourself, you would find that the top 10 Rivals recruiting classes parallel with top 10 AP poll finish with about 70% consistency.

The rest are just cameo performers.

Hmmmm, there’s this team from FL,  et alot of top flight players, hmmm, name escapes me…oh yea, FSU.  Let’s see, dating back to ‘08 they have averaged a #7 Rivals recruiting ranking, with a high of #2 in ‘11.  In ‘12 they got this guy named, uhmmm, Jameis Winston, pretty good player as per his ranking, uh, which would be number ONE QB, number ONE player in FL and number TEN player in country overall.

FSU dumps the baggage(Bowden) in ‘10 and BADA BING, finish 10th in ‘12 and numero uno in ‘13 with the number ONE FL player at the helm.

I know, probably just a coincidence.

Let’s take a closer look at Bama since ‘07 when they acquired Saban and flavor of the month Sparta since ‘07 when they acquired Dantonio, shall we?  Let’s see if, perhaps, there may be any correlation between Rivals, polls, and wins.

‘07-‘13
Saban:  W/L—74/15, 83%
          AP finish—NR, 6, 1, 10, 1, 1, 7
          Rivals classes ranking—10, 1, 1, 5, 1, 1, 1, ave finish—2.8
          Rivals stars—5*—18, 4*—99, 3*—60
          NCs—3, Top 10 finishes—6

Dantonio:  W/L—64/29, 68%
            AP finish—NR, 24, NR, 14, 11, NR, 3
            Rivals class rankings—42, 47, 17, 30, 31, 41, 40, av-35
            Rivals stars—5*—1, 4*—26, 3*—92
            NCs—0, Top 10 finishes—1

Head to head:  ‘11 Capital One Bowl, Bama 49, Sparta 7

hard to argue that data :-) except the occasional fluke

Tdogg I am not disagreeing with you on that you need to get good to great recruits, the point I am trying to make is that Nebraska will never get top 5-10 recruiting classes here on a regular basis, maybe if lucky 1-2 in 10 yr time.  The teams in the top recruiting classes year in and out are in hot bed areas with lots of kids and talent.  The point I am trying to make is there are teams every year that get top classes and they are not in the top 25 year in and year out.  There are a lot of kids that never get as good an evaluation as they should because of the area they live in.  There will always be teams that don’t have top 5-10 recruiting classes that get into the top 10 rankings at the end of the year.  When Nebraska was in the Big 8 that was the “power conference”, so Nebraska could have 3 losses and still be in the top 10 because of perception, we did that with some top recruits, average players and walkons. That bought into the team and performed above their talent when recruited.  The SEC is the “power conference” right now and will always get more teams in the top 10 based alot on perception, Do you think FSU wins the National title without Winston?  Probably not, that is why I said you need really good QB, balanced offense, and above average deep defense.  Look at the top 10 teams and see if they have a really good QB?  Did they give up some points in the bowl games?

Lets say the about 70% consistency holds true, Rex grade 78, Ciante E 76, Stanley JB NR, Prince A 78. Alfonso D. 77, Ricky H. NR just a few.  Since 2010 we have had 10-15 recruits that rank as high or higher than these NFL (soon to be NFL) players so that means then at 70% we should have 7-10 kids each year going into the NFL.  Things are looking up in the recruiting.

Larr,

Well, I’m not saying there aren’t quality players under the radar, but ya generally cant make a living on those guys, in the long haul.

Also, no reason why NU couldnt recruit perennial top 10 classes—just gotta kick ass more and win the B1G stuff more, Rose Bowl or whatever its going to be with that new fangled playoff thingy.

Also, about 4-5 of Sparta’s few 4* recruits over the past 3 or so years were LBs.

I think 14 will be a much better season than 13 was, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise unexpectedly.  Our Defense finished very strongly, our offense shows great promise, especially with the return of Ameer, and hopefully our QB situation will improve with some fresh talent to provide some serious competition in that critical position.  GBR

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