What Are Your Expectations for Nebraska In The College Football Playoff Era?

Tom Pennington

With the change in the college football post-season format, let's examine how the program's expectations should be determined.

Love or hate the BCS, it's dead and done with. We now move into the creatively named College Football Playoff era.

As with most changes in life, there comes a time to reset expectations and this holds true here.

At the very minimum, the gold standard for most programs in the BCS era was to qualify for a BCS bowl game. One could safely assume that the new standard would to be to qualify for the College Football Playoff every few years or so.

What should we expect from our program moving forward?

Thanks to a comment by Corn Nation member masne09, I think I came up with a quick way to come up with a starting baseline to begin all talks of expectations. Don't get me wrong, this is a VERY high level approach to determining what we should expect from the Huskers in the new post-season format, but it's a start.

Let's play a game. Take a look at the list of schools below and determine which schools you think Nebraska is "better" than. Use your own criteria for "better".

  • Alabama
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • FSU
  • USC
  • LSU
  • Texas
  • Miami
  • Oregon
  • Auburn
  • Florida
  • Virginia Tech
  • Michigan
  • TCU
  • Stanford
  • Tennessee
  • Kansas State
  • Washington
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Penn State
  • Cincinnati
  • Oklahoma State
  • Notre Dame
  • Michigan State
Now write down which schools you think Nebraska is better than.

Are you done?

Ok, now take a look at the list below. You'll notice that the list is almost identical with the exception of a number next to each school and the inclusion of Nebraska. What's the number you ask? Well, that's the number of playoff appearances each school would have had if the College Football Playoff was in place during the entire run of the BCS.*

*The assumption is the CFP Committee would have selected the same four teams that finished in the top four of the pre-bowl BCS rankings.

  • Alabama: 6
  • Ohio State: 5
  • Oklahoma: 5
  • FSU: 4
  • USC: 4
  • LSU: 4
  • Texas: 4
  • Miami: 3
  • Oregon: 3
  • Auburn: 3
  • Florida: 3
  • Virginia Tech: 2
  • Nebraska: 2
  • Michigan: 2
  • TCU: 2
  • Stanford: 2
  • Tennessee: 1
  • Kansas State: 1
  • Washington: 1
  • Colorado: 1
  • Georgia: 1
  • Penn State: 1
  • Cincinnati: 1
  • Oklahoma State: 1
  • Notre Dame: 1
  • Michigan State: 1
Remember that list of schools you wrote down? Take a look at that list and see how many times each school would have made the CFP from 1998-2013 (16 seasons).

In the next 16 seasons, do you think Nebraska should have more CFP appearances than the schools listed as "worse" than the Huskers? Why or why not?

What about the schools you ranked as "better" than Nebraska? Do you think we should appear in less CFP games than the schools you ranked higher?

Why am I asking so many questions?

As manse09 commented in my Can Nebraska Win A National Championship In The College Football Playoff Era? write-up, "...program and expectation analysis is sorely lacking in Husker nation."

Once we figure out the "what", we can focus on the "how" the "who" and the "when".

How often do you expect Nebraska to make the College Football Playoff in the next decade?
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