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Editorial: The Grass is Only Greener in an Absence of Hope, Coach

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Scott Frost is mistaking managed expectations for a prolonged blame game.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Nebraska
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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Because it annoyed me enough this morning, let’s talk about this:

For those reading on your phones and Google or Apple stripping out the tweet, Scott Frost went on some TV or radio show yesterday and dropped this gem of a quote:

“Nebraska fans, I think they’re wiser now,” Frost said. “Having nine-, 10-win teams and thinking the grass is greener somewhere else, hopefully they’ve learned their lesson.”

Normally, I’d absolutely love someone taking our fan base to task for inflated expectations and star gazing and all that jazz. But here, it’s completely unnecessary and quite frankly a little fradulent. And I think we’ve finally hit that point that Husker Mike alluded to in his piece on Frost’s staff’s constant assault on the old leadership at Dear Ol’ NU. It’s time for Frost and friends to focus on the task at hand and to stop talking about the past.

Look, we don’t need to rehash it - whatever the conflict between Harvey Perlman, Nebraska athletics, and Tom Osborne was, it was not healthy for Nebraska. And God willing, it’s done with. It’s over.

(And let’s not get started about the difference between Tom Osborne’s nine win seasons and Bo Pelini feasting on Sun Belt teams and shitty conference foes. Admitting those seasons were empty calories doesn’t make Mike Riley a better coach, I promise.)

So why do we have to keep bringing this up? Why talk about a “unity of purpose”, but in the same thought, the same breath, keep rehashing the past? How low of a bar do you want, Scott?

It just seems odd, considering we’re paying him 5 million to sit in the big boy chair precisely because, well, we botched everything we’ve done since Tom Osborne decided to retire early.

Solich waited too long to make changes. Callahan could never figure out college football. Pelini couldn’t control his emotions and his teams reflected that. And Mike Riley allowed too many compromises and too many cooks in the kitchen.

All the while, Nebraska fans believed in these coaches, right up until the moment we realized they weren’t getting the job done. All of those coaches ran out of hope to sell. It became time to move on. That’s how Nebraska functioned before Devaney, and that’s how we’ll function now.

I understand Frost is trying to manage expectations. I get that. We’re trying to avoid blaming the players so they buy-in. Admirable. And if you’re looking at this fall’s schedule, I’d ask for patience. But that’s not what’s happening - we’re basically shaming the fans for, what, having expectations? For questioning whether Tom Osborne’s choices to lead the program?

It’s a little too much to take, in my opinion, as a fan. We’ve put up with the Perlman-Osborne power struggle for 20-odd years while Frost was off seeing the world. We suffered through Callahan, Texas Tech, one second, 70-31, 400 yards rushing, Mike Riley and other grievances while Frost was out of state, and by his own admission, not truly plugged into the program. We’ve been keeping the watch-fires lit, as it were, waiting for someone, anyone, to give us reason to believe again. For this staff to come here and grouse at us about expectations, man. I don’t get it.

Why would you even try and shame the people who put eighty-six thousand butts in the stands for a practice?! A PRACTICE. It just seems absolutely insane that we’re blaming this on the fans again. The fans with how many oompty-squat sellouts? Of multiple sports?! Enough. It’s not our fault we ran out of hope for football.

Put the blame where it belongs, which is on the administration and the 20-year power struggle between athletics and the academic administration. Sure, we could go into Osborne’s role in Nebraska’s struggles, who oddly appears to be missing from Frost’s criticisms of the program prior to the Prodigal Son’s return. But why bother? The time for that bullshit has passed. Time to grow up and take responsibility for the program, as is, and move forward.

Yes, this fall is going to be rough. There is no other way to put it. Adrian Martinez breaking off 4 TDs in practice doesn’t mean we’re suddenly hitting ten wins this fall. It is not a friendly schedule and with questionable QB depth, an under-developed OL, a spotty secondary, and a fragile psyche about the program, it won’t be getting easier any time soon.

SO I’d like to hear more about how we’re going to get back to Indianapolis than about how sad it is that Frank Solich got paid money to go build an also-ran in the MAC. I want to know how we’re finally going to compete with Wisconsin than ask why Pelini’s family can go to Notre Dame on our dime while Pelini sits around and burns through his predecessor’s recruits at Youngstown State. I’d love to hear our plan for matching talent with Meyer and Franklin than getting pissy about Harvey Perlman.

It’s time to let by-gones be by-gones. Move forward. It’s 2018. Let’s finally act like we belong in the Big Ten, instead of playing out some home-sick drama for the glory days of beating up on Kansas.

Scott Frost said Nebraska has the right leadership and that’s why he came back. It’s time to act like we believe in this program. Lowering expectations says we should be happy with bowl games, like we’re Northwestern or Illinois or something. Is that the Nebraska way? Making excuses? Accepting mediocrity? That’s where we are?

Who the hell cares about Mike Riley or Steve Pederson or any of them, any more? Are we Iowa fans, for Pete’s sake? We’ve got an innovative coach and a cohesive staff, something we’ve lacked since 1998. Why lower our expectations? Why ask for less?

No, now’s the time to expect more. Now’s the time to believe in this program again. We put up with the last twenty years, we can put up with a season or two more of bruised hope, Coach. We’ll take care of ourselves. You do your thing.

The grass is only greener elsewhere if you stop giving us a reason to believe, Coach Frost. So stop worrying about fixing Tom Osborne’s legacy and let’s go win the games with the program we have.

GBR

-sc&c