Yes it's true, a fact all you Huskers fans know. This is no surprise though, the Huskers have always been met with doubt and skepticism by the so called experts of the college football world. Yet time and time again we prove them wrong. But that is for another post.
Proof is in the polls. Let's address the AP poll first. 14th is a travesty, everyone in front of them expect for the top 5 (excluding Boise St.) has no shot against Nebraska and would be beaten worse than Peyton in 97. The Coaches Poll does a little better, still ranking Boise St. & TCU who belong to sub-par conferences ahead of them is no excuse. who do they play, nobody. Then VT & Oklahoma St., I don't think so, neither have a prayer. The Cowboys have no playmakers and while VT beat us, Nebraska has only gotten better, while they idle at their same level they were when we played them last. Yet, the 2 polls that are insignificant actually have it right. Rivals has yet to release their entire poll, however, Nebraska has not yet been announced and their on the 7th team, so it's looking good. While the fans on YahooSports place Nebraska at 5th. Personally, I would rate Nebraska about 3rd or 4th and I still feel they should be #2. But my cause for concern is a re-emerging Sooners team, the defending Crimson Tide. Bottom line, this is a rebuilding year for Texas and Florida, while there are highly overrated teams in Ohio St., and Boise St., to name a few.
But enough b!+(hing and moaning, let's discuss why The Huskers aren't overrated.
They are restored to their former prominence for severalreasons, the first being they have returned to vintage Nebraska football, they way it was under Devaney & Osborne. They have depth at every position, which means no ones job is secure and them must compete for it on a daily basis. Proof this attributes to a team's dominance is the shear beating Florida took in 96, I forgot who, but an opposing player said "in the 4th quarter, we were all tired, but they had fresh legs and kept going, they were 3 deep, it's demoralizing", paraphrased of course. The tradition of Nebraska has been brought back, something that was lost under Callaghan and was a key motivation tool for the players, as well as inspiration. Also the blackshirts, and walk-ons are back, which is a crucial reason why Nebraska dominated for 3 decades.
Aside for that, here's some new things that lend themselves to the argument. First off Pelini is a darn good coach and anyone who can invent a new defense package has to be good, I'm refering of course to the Peso defense, six DBs. Great coaches have all come up with new schemes: Ditka & Ryan-46 defense, 4-3-Tom Landry, Bill Walsh-West Coast Offense & Shotgun, etc... To patten a new defense is astounding and I applaud Pelini. A side note, out of the first year coaches in '08, Pelini ranks 2nd among them record wise @ 19-8
Next is that they have an experienced offense plus depth. For the first time in almost a decade they have both depth and experience on the offensive side of the ball, both of which are crucial to an offense's success. Not to mention those big farm boys on the line of scrimmage. To quote Pelini, this is the best offensive line in all my season at Nebraska". Something Nebraska has and always been know for is lineman, and I thought last year's line was good, but i'll take Bo's word for it. Then you have 3 choices at QB, veteran Lee, dual-threat Green, or super arm freshman Martinez. Take your pick, they're all deadly. Then the RBs, a blend of power and speed in Helu, while you have a power runner who gets you crucial yards on crucial downs in Burkhead, and on top of that you have some other underclassmen backs you have pure speed and adrenaline. a for receiving they are stacked and have experience, led by Niles Paul.Their TEs should be even better and a staple in the offense for those play-action boot plays
As for defense you Baker Steinkuhlerand Jarred Crick shadowing the center and guards and to patrol the outside you have Pierre Allen who is an all-American, along with Crick-who was voted 30th out of 100 players in the nation by rivals. Then you have an enormous amountof depth and leadership when you talk DBs. This secondary is lead by Sr. Safety Prince Amuknamara, who was rated by rivals about 45th or 46th out of 100 college players. Pelinihasto know what he's doing with the secondary, for God's sake, he had the privilege to coach Merton hanks and Dieon Sanders way back when. The only concern is an inexperienced linebacking core, however, in the last two seasons those LBs have matured fast and excelled during game time. Also, ability to run the Peso, speaks for it-self. Not only does it require an oustanding passrush, but depth and raw talent for the DBs. To ad to the list of impressive stats, Pelini's defenses have always been in the top 3 in the nation among in turnover margin and scoring defense, last year they were 1st as a scoring defense and 2nd in turnover margin. THE BLACKSHIRTS ARE BACK
As for the special teams, the super foot kicker Alex Henry returns and they have a faster personnel for kick returns.
The grudge with Texas will be settled once and for all this season, they are motivated to win. Proof, they have wristband's that read "0.01 finish", meaning Texas was a second away from defeat. Nebraska hasn't won in 6 years, but they play in Lincoln and are foaming at the mouth, so chalk up two wins for the good guys, once in Lincoln and again in Arlington.
Therefore, with an offense that that beat you down with the run and then beat you with play action, and a defense that can score as many points as the offense and beat you into submission, and a the amazing kicker Henry, and Pelini's coaching genius and prowess, there is no reason why the Huskers shouldn't;t win a national championship, I accept no less. They aren't a dark-horse, they are a clear cut threat and strong consideration if you talk about contenders.
Every team is either overrated or in a re-building process, whith exceptions of Oklahoma & Alabama. So they might wanna make room for another championship in the trophy room.