Phil Steele Expects NU to be Slighted by AP Voters

Let's say your task is to come up with a preseason top 25.  Among your choices of teams is a school that has won 9 or 10 games in each of the prior 6 seasons and has been ranked in the top 25 in one of the major polls each of the last five seasons.  That team is coming off of a bowl victory over a ranked SEC school.  That team also returns an all-conference running back (and Heisman candidate), an all-conference defensive end, and an all-conference kick returner.  Wouldn't that team appear somewhere in your top 25?


Apparently that may not be the case when the AP voters make their preseason predictions.  Phil Steele has gotten very good at predicting what the voters will do months in advance.  He predicts that the AP will leave NU out of their top 25 and will place Georgia 11th.  

Preseason ratings don't mean too terribly much but clearly there's a lack of respect.  If your goal is to guess how teams will finish, wouldn't you want to pick a team that finished somewhere between 14 and 26 each of the prior five years?

Meanwhile, Wisconsin is likely to be ranked 17th despite an identical record to the Huskers a year ago and a worse record the year prior.  This will be only the second year for the team under a new head coach.  The team returns a pair of second-team all-conference players at running back and on the offensive line.  Admittedly, the Badgers do get to host Nebraska and won't face Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, or Penn State this year.  Meanwhile, NU must head to Michigan State for a night game.

When all is said and done, if the Husker tally 9 or 10 wins again against a fairly tough schedule,  Ii seems likely they'll find themselves ranked at season's end.

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Comments 29 comments so far

Did the prognosticators predict Sparta to finish #3 last year, or whatever it was?

I expect us to finish in the 15-20 range, worse case.  Best case, 10-15. 

10 wins will be hard fought wins, well, at least 1/2 of them, or so.

Realistically, it appears non-Husker observers see something NU devotees do not.  That may be the truth coupled with NU hype that doesn’t pan out come the regular season under Pelini.  NU has running backs, but not strength in O-Line and QB situation.  Both are works in progress.  D should be improved overall, but still a work in progress as well.  You can’t expect observers to be impressed with NU inconsistency and error prone play.  Jeckle and Hyde syndrome at work—-  Iowa debacle versus Georgia game last year.  NU was “out-of-control” in the Iowa fiasco.  NU was very disciplined and played within its abilities against Georgia.  NU gets no respect because NU has not earned that respect. 

The only consistency is NU’s predictable 4 losses per season outcome every year.  Despite games away at Wisc, MS, Iowa and NW, NU can realistically win 10 games this fall.  If the team simply avoids leading the nation in turnover margin ratio, that would be a good start.  Pelini’s 7th season will be make or break for him.  We’ll see if BOP is purring like a cat after the Miami game.  Also, don’t underestimate the ability of Fresno to beat NU in that away game.

something to watch, Tommy as he releases the ball will stare down the receiver, that being said he already has the play in his head and knows who he is going to through too. Defenses will catch on like they did last year and he will through picks. However Ryker and Jonny both hit multiple receivers with means they survey the field and find the open man. and both checked down when nothing was open. Tommy will start but will be sidelined due to interceptions.

With the this strength of this years schedule, I think the Huskers will struggle to get 8 wins. I cant recall the last time the Huskers played well against an Mountain West school. I’m afraid the Miami game will be an embarrassment, and once again we will get to watch Bo embarrass the University, but this year I think he will push his temper to far. Maybe he will even bite the head off of that cat during one of his side line acts. Kind of like when Ozzy bit the head off of that bat.

NU Realista,

Pelini’s contract has already been extended into 2018.  This will be the THIRD time I have mentioned this to you…directly.  This will not be a make or break year, but I do expect more production from the team this year.  Yes, there are no gimmies, on Nebraska’s schedule save maybe the FCS team McNeese St.  That being said, the addition of Miami as an OOC game is welcomed.



Nebraska vs. Big West 
9/23/1995 vs. Pacific (3-8) W 49 7
9/24/1994 vs. Pacific (6-5) W 70 21
9/7/1991 vs. Utah State (5-6) W 59 28
9/3/1988 vs. Utah State (4-7) W 63 13
10/1/1988 vs. Nevada-Las Vegas (4-7) W 48 6
9/5/1987 vs. Utah State (5-6) W 56 12
9/15/1979 vs. Utah State (7-3-1) W 35 14

Nebraska vs. MWC
8/31/2013 vs. Wyoming (5-7) W 37 34
9/24/2011 @ Wyoming (8-5) W 38 14

Nebraska vs. MAC
8/30/2008 vs. Western Michigan (9-4) W 47 24
9/22/2007 vs. Ball State (7-6) W 41 40
8/30/1997 vs. Akron (2-9) W 59 14

Nebraska vs SUNBELT
9/15/2012 vs. Arkansas State (10-3) W 42 13
9/4/2010 vs. Western Kentucky (2-10) W 49 10
9/5/2009 vs. Florida Atlantic (5-7) W 49 3
9/12/2009 vs. Arkansas State (4-8) W 38 9
9/26/2009 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6) W 55 0
9/23/2006 vs. Troy (8-5) W 56 0

Nebraska vs. WAC
9/10/2011 vs. Fresno State (4-9) W 42 29
9/11/2010 vs. Idaho (6-7) W 38 17
9/6/2008 vs. San Jose State (6-6) W 35 12
9/13/2008 vs. New Mexico State (3-9) W 38 7
9/1/2007 vs. Nevada (6-7) W 52 10
9/2/2006 vs. Louisiana Tech (3-10) W 49 10
9/20/2001 vs. Rice (8-4) W 48 3
9/2/2000 vs. San Jose State (7-5) W 49 13
9/28/1996 vs. Colorado State (7-5) W 65 9
10/1/1994 vs. Wyoming (6-6) W 42 32
9/25/1993 vs. Colorado State (5-6) W 48 13
9/5/1992 vs. Utah (6-6) W 49 22
9/14/1991 vs. Colorado State (3-8) W 71 14
9/16/1989 vs. Utah (4-8) W 42 30
10/5/1985 vs. New Mexico (3-8) W 38 7
9/8/1984 vs. Wyoming (6-6) W 42 7
9/10/1983 vs. Wyoming (7-5) W 56 20
12/4/1982 @ Hawaii (6-5) W 37 16
9/13/1980 vs. Utah (5-5-1) W 55 9
12/26/1975 vs. Arizona State (12-0) L 14 17 @ Tempe, Fiesta Bowl
9/14/1968 vs. Wyoming (7-3) W 13 10
9/21/1968 vs. Utah (3-7) W 31 0

Any questions?

Nebraska Vs All other conferences.
Short form
Conf—- Wins—- Losses—- Ties  
BigWest—-  7—- 0—- 0
MAC—- 3—-  0—- 0
MWC—- 2—-  0—- 0
SunBelt—- 6—- 0—- 0
WAC—- 21—- 1—0
CUSA—- 5—- 1—- 0
SWC—- 20—- 6—- 1  
BigXII—-  408—- 158—- 15      
BigEast—5—-  2—- 0
SEC—- 17—-7—- 1
PAC-12—- 35—- 22—- 2
BigTen—- 71—- 51—- 4
ACC—- 8—- 7—- 0

Nebraska Vs. Miami
1/3/2002 vs. Miami (Florida) (12-0) L 14 37 @  Rose Bowl
1/1/1995 vs. Miami (Florida) (10-2) W 24 17 @  FL Orange Bowl
1/1/1992 vs. Miami (Florida) (12-0) L 0 22 @  FL Orange Bowl
1/2/1989 vs. Miami (Florida) (11-1) L 3 23 @ FL Orange Bowl
1/2/1984 vs. Miami (Florida) (11-1) L 30 31 @  FL Orange Bowl
10/2/1976 vs. Miami (Florida) (3-8) W 17 9
10/4/1975 vs. Miami (Florida) (2-8) W 31 16
12/15/1962 vs. Miami (Florida) (7-4) W 36 34 @  NY Gotham Bowl
10/17/1953 vs. Miami (Florida) (4-5) W 20 16
11/30/1951 @ Miami (Florida) (8-3) L 7 19

Typically, Miami does not fair well against Nebraska early in the season.

I meant under Bo. Bo has yet to dominate a Mountain West school. An away game against Fresno will be a tough one to win. So were do you expect to see more production out of this team.

Johnny, this is the now. Its not the good old days anymore. I don’t see this program going any were but down.


Bo faired well against Wyoming and Fresno in their last outings.
Well 2/3 of their last outings.  Wyoming played a heck of game
with us this passed year.  However, that is not without president.
Wyoming came to Memorial Stadium Lincoln Nebraska and nearly
beat our Championship squad in 1994.

As for more production.  Offense.  Strong OLINE.  Not abandoning the run for the pass because the run is stuffed.  Issue one.  Issue two, sound football fundamentals.  1 or fewer fumbles / interceptions per game.

Defense.  3 and done.  If you have your opponent’s offense at 3rd in lonnnng, get them off the freaking field!  Essentially, FINISH!

Fresno St.  Absolutely agree.  That is not a gimmie, but it will also show how well we prepare for a relative unknown opponent on the road. (understand when I say unknown I mean by virtue of the fact this is only the second time in history we will be playing them.  Same goes for Rutgers but I think we are hosting them here.)

The Oline has a long way to go imo. I don’t think we are playing Rutgers this year.

Actually, Wyoming has no president; just a governor like all the rest of the states.

Not auditioning to be a grammar cop, just reminding people that it’s hard for others to seriously consider their points while laughing out loud.

it’s hard for others to seriously consider their points while laughing out loud.
So basically it’s hard to take ANYone on this board seriously.

How can “the oline have a long way to go”, they are a veteran group, right, they are supposed to be road graders this year, ‘come into their own’, yada yada.

Y’all are taking the Spring Fling WAY too seriously.  It’s like preseason NFL where they are experimenting w all sorts of new guys.  Doesn’t indicate much to get too concerned about.

We play Rutgers 10/25 me thinks.  Whats that got to do w anything?

Johnny ~ anyone who follows football knows coaching contracts are terminated early all the time.  Colleges have to pay for the cost of doing so, but it happens all the time.  Just look at Callie’s situation.  It is irrelevant, other than cost, that BOP’s contract was extended.  Do you really believe he would coach next year if he had a losing season in 2014?  You work your way up from that losing season outcome to determine exactly how many losses the University will accept under BOP’s reign yet still keep his job for another year.

Reality #1 - Having a contract is irrelevant as to how long a coach keeps his job.

NU Realista,

Reality #2 Bo Pelini has never had a losing season.
Reality #3 Eichorst is not Pedersen.
Reality #4 No one should get a contract extension for beating Nevada!
Reality #5 However, beating Georgia (SEC) in a bowl game is cause for reward.

Cody, sorry, that should read precedent not president.  Damn auto-correct!


We play Rutgers here at Memorial Stadium on Oct 25.

The last time we played Rutgers:
Nebraska vs Rutgers
11/2/1920 vs. Rutgers (2-7) W 28 0 @ New York, NY
10/25/2014 vs. Rutgers (TBD)

You are right. I over looked that. The spring game does give some insight on what to expect in the fall. Last year it was the D, and the D was weak, but the offence didn’t help with all the turn overs. The Oline looked pretty bad. Tdogg you are right they should be road graders, but they sure didn’t look like it. The QB spot doesn’t look good either. Compared to Ohio, MState, and Wisconsin spring games Nebraska looked down.


I can just imagine Rutgers posting the 1920 score on the wall, seeking revenge! :-))

Johnny ~ my point about Pelini’s contract not serving as some guarantee he will be around for many years to come at NU is the fact.  My next point to illustrate that fact was to suggest if Pelini had a losing season in 2014 would likely result in his firing, regardles of the contract commitment lasting to 2018.  Single game outcomes like your Georgia reference means nothing when discussing the fall 2014 season just as you and others tend to discount the NU fiasco against Iowa last season.

The reason Georgia is rated 11th preseason and NU no where close is because: 1) QB situation is questionable at best; 2) O line appears to be a work in progress with lots of uncertainty; 3) will NU have the ability to return a punt?;  4) will NU continue to be one of the worst teams in the counbtry on the marginal turnover rate?;  5) tweeting and kittie cats don’t change a program in need of change; 6) will the coaching staff allow NU to play to its strengths rather than pushing game plans and schemes that work only on paper and in practice?  Will Pelini morph back into the ugly Iowa game mode, or draw on his Georgia game experience to know that coaching within the team’s abilities works best; and 7) for the D to be most effective, the O must accomplish ball control and time off the clock as a primary game plan goal.

Season 7 will either be Pelini’s positive awakening or his swan song.


Yeah, I imagine Rutgers would like to even out the all time series.
Of course so would A LOT of other teams.  The only notable exceptions being Oklahoma, USC, & Alabama.

Heck, I will be the grammar police. Why? Because this is how we communicate to each other via comment boards. So get it right! Admiral, this is directed towards you. Your first comment on 4/16 looks worse than a 6th graders failed English test!

NU Realista,

Again, you must be a very difficult person to shop for.

Johnny ~ again you and others employ tactic of personal attack rather than addressing issues.  Typical diversionary move without relevancy or merit.

Too bad.

NU Realista,

I have already addressed your so-called “issues.”  Your personal attacks on Bo and Co. as well as your incessant need to try and demoralize even our potential recruits is without pale.  Sometimes you are funny.  Most of the time you are not.  You wield absolutely NO power in the University Administrative staff yet you constantly try to predict or declare that “this is Bo’s last year,” or “Bo isn’t head coaching material.”

There are times when we at least try to pay some respect to your view point.  Strained as it is at times.  But any intellectual capital we give you is wasted.  Often times by the very next comment you make.  If you do not want to be “personally attacked” well then don’t do it to others.  You are allowed to have an opinion.  However, don’t be surprised of others don’t want you to share it.  We have already witnessed what the so-called intellectuals can do to our University when left un-checked.  And no, we are not about to let it happen again.

Dear Johnny and others similarly inclined ~ bigotry of soft expectations rule the roost with fans such as yourselves.  While refusing to accept that as a fact, you all decide to rationalize the truth and downplay NU FB mediocrity that is now the norm.  Other schools seem to achieve FB excellence far exceeding what NU accomplishes nowadays.  You all resent criticism when it clearly is needed for those in charge of the football program.  It is also not disloyal to expect better from the same FB program.  There is lots of room for improvement but nothing happening to kick it up a notch.  As long as people accept mediocrity, they will continue to be slaves of low expectations, rationalizations, and excuses for failure.  Too bad and also too sad!!!

The term Bigotry and Racism no longer have any meaning.  They are misused too frequently today by people who simply are too young to remember how horrifying the actions of those who truly fit its description once were.  As for the football program being mediocre…  There are 123 NCAA Football programs that would absolutely-freaking LOVE to be as “mediocre” as we are.

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