Nebraska Cornhuskers: Overrated at #16?

Ever since Bo Pelini took over the head coaching position in Lincoln, Nebraska without any prior experience at the position, many questioned if he could get the job done. As the Nebraska Cornhuskers prepare for season number five under their top man, fans are still questioning whether the Huskers can get it done.

Many fans do not question the talent or coaching skill. No, they question the consistency that Pelini brings to the program. Sure, he has won 9, 10, 10, and 9 games in his first four seasons, but the Cornhuskers have been inconsistent throughout the seasons. Big wins versus Michigan State were followed immediately by duds against Northwestern.

Predicting the early season rankings really is a crapshoot. It is a combination of last season’s play, how much improvement the players have made (or how much people think they will), and what recruits the teams have brought in, though many will not make an impact.

The USA Today Coaches Poll was released earlier today, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers were ranked #16 in the country. The Cornhuskers are surrounded by the new and old of their former conference, the Big XII. Texas came in just ahead of the Huskers, while the Horned Frogs from TCU were just behind.

To me, I think that this ranking for the Huskers is too high. Before you come out and scream and say how dare you, hear me out.

The Cornhuskers are unproven almost everywhere on the field. The only really solid positions for the Huskers are running back, offensive and defensive line. Taylor Martinez is Taylor Martinez, you never know what your going to get. Kenny Bell and Tim Marlowe were in and out of the spotlight at the receiver positions.

Will Compton and Sean Fisher had a lot of playing time, but who is taking over that starting middle linebacker position? The Cornhuskers secondary last season was pieced together as the season went on; we never really knew who was going to start opposite Alfonzo Dennard or how they would play. And now that Dennard is gone, the Huskers have no true lockdown cornerback.

None of these problems are going to get fixed overnight, but they will be key questions as the season drags on.

I do appreciate that the coaches think highly of the Cornhuskers, but after four up and down seasons under Pelini, I think the Cornhuskers have too many questions to answer before I put them above #20.

Paul Troupe is the lead writer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and San Antonio Spurs, while covering many major sports for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter @gamin4HIM

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  • Ken Beed

    How many times since the early 1970s have the Huskers finsihed out of the top 20? Not many! I find no reason to think this season will be one of those rare occurances. Bo has them on the right track! I say 16 is underestimating the team and the coaching staff. My prediction: they finish with 2 losses, a bowl victory and in the top 10! GO BIG RED!

    • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-troupe/48/320/163 Paul Troupe

      Many of Callahan’s years. A couple of Pelini’s. I wish I could be as optimistic as you Ken, but I cannot see that happening this year. Road games at Michigan State and Ohio State, with Wisconsin and Michigan coming to Lincoln. I’d like to think we can go 3-1, but I just don’t know.