The Nebraska hype seems to grow by the day. The cloud of excitement has stretched beyond Lincoln and is starting to cover a vast majority of the country.
It stretched to ESPN’s studios this week, as college football analyst and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky made a bold prediction for the Huskers entering the 2019 season. He doesn’t just think Scott Frost’s bunch is ready to take the B1G West, Orlovsky believes Nebraska will be in the national championship picture.
“Give me the frosted tips of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, they’re back,” Orlovsky said during ESPN’s Get Up! on Wednesday. “They started 0-6 last year, but in that start, they had four really close games that ended up being losses. Their quarterback, Adrian Martinez, should be on the short list for the Heisman Trophy, 2,400 yards passing, 800 rushing. They got six starters back on defense.
“And guys — I don’t find a tough game on their schedule on the road. Ohio State comes into them, Iowa comes to them, Wisconsin comes to them. Folks, Nebraska can be a national College Football Playoff contender.”
Though the Huskers are coming off a 4-8 campaign, there’s a lot of belief that the program can make a sizable jump from Year 1 to Year 2. A lot of that stems from Martinez, who’s considered a Heisman candidate heading into his sophomore season.
Some of the hype also relates to Frost’s second season at UCF. In his first year in Orlando, the Knights finished with a 6-7 record. The following season, UCF finished with an undefeated record and a Peach Bowl title.
Frost has said that his second team at UCF and his second team at Nebraska are not related in any way. But it’s hard not to believe that the Huskers will make some significant improvement from a year ago.
Championship contender, though? That seems like a strong prediction, even for the most optimistic fan.
We’ll find out soon enough whether Nebraska is a championship-caliber team.