Nebraska Football Fans’ Sense of Entitlement Comes From History, Media

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Over the weekend, Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Tom Shatel called Nebraska’s loss to Minnesota “unthinkable.”

Now I get it.

For years, I’ve been trying to figure out where the sense of entitlement that Nebraska football fans carry around comes from. I thought I had it pinpointed to history and a general ignorant understanding of the same. I guess I was only half right.

In addition to Nebraska’s winning history creating certain expectations for fans, the people who cover the Cornhuskers are just as much to blame. Maybe they don’t realize they are doing it, but little things like the word Shatel used to describe Nebraska’s loss feed an unreasonable way of thinking that makes losses to programs like Minnesota unthinkable.

Why is it unthinkable for one college football team to lose to another college football team, especially given the fact that the two have similar geography, a similar recruiting base and the exact same number of scholarships? Why it is unthinkable that programs who turnover 25 percent of their personnel every year might yield different results from year to year. Why is it unthinkable that these programs made up of 18-22 year old kids might perform differently from week to week?

It’s not unthinkable. And this is why Tom Shatel’s choice of words was ridiculous.

College football fans have this irrational thought process that says “if it happened before, it should always happen.” Nebraska football fans could be the poster boys for this school of thought. Again, a school of thought fed to them by the media who produces all content not on the actual field of play from which the fans form their opinions.

On Friday, a local talk radio show was asking callers to call in and give their predictions for the Minnesota game. It was a Husker fan circle-jerk, with high fives all around as caller after caller predicted a double-digit win for Nebraska. Then one caller chimes in with what was apparently an “unthinkable” prediction. He said the Huskers would win by less than a touchdown.

You know that record-scratching sound in movies where when someone who doesn’t belong in a room or a bar walks in and everything screeches to a halt? That’s pretty much what happened on that radio show. One of the show’s hosts immediately replied “YOU THINK IT’LL BE THAT CLOSE?” I like to picture him almost falling out of his chair in the studio, papers flying everywhere. Imagine if the caller had predicted a Minnesota win. Would the station have spontaneously combusted?

When the Nebraska media isn’t busy trying to convince the fans what to think, they are busy asking the fans to think about questions that either don’t matter or can’t be answered. Jon Nyatawa, another Omaha World-Herald writer, published a piece after the game asking fans questions like “Nebraska lost the line-of-scrimmage battle to Minnesota. Is the lack of physicality a sign of things to come?” I don’t know Jon, but I know it’s a good indication of how things are right now.

Nyatawa also asked “How does NU rebound mentally? The road to a potential title game berth gets only more difficult from here.” Win lose or draw, the road to a title game was always going to be tougher after the Minnesota game. Again, the media trying to convince fans just how good Nebraska is or is supposed to be. Rather than look at the loss as a gauge of the team’s shortcomings and overall talent level, the media focuses on it being an unexpected hurdle on the way to a place they are good enough to get to. Maybe they aren’t good enough to get there? Maybe they couldn’t beat a team that Iowa beat a couple of weeks ago on the same field.

*GASP* MAYBE NEBRASKA IS NOT AS GOOD AS IOWA!

No, no, no. That just can’t be. This is Nebraska. Nebraska’s standard is national titles in football (five in over 123 years). We are supposed to rise to the top of this Big Ten conference every year, just like we did in the Big Eight and kind of did in the Big 12. We are better than Iowa…because…because…well, we just are.

Actually, probably not. From what I’ve seen in terms of offense, defense, coaching and just flat out being prepared to compete, Iowa is the better team in 2013. That’ll all sort itself out on the field later.

What doesn’t appear to be anywhere near sorted out is this illogical belief in a football team — a belief that goes well beyond being die-hard fans, blasts past the realm of being a homer and settles right into borderline religious extremism. This belief is such that a minimal amount of historical championship success has dwarfed and eclipsed what it means to be a winning football program (which Nebraska is). This belief has Nebraska fans ignoring and blowing off nine and ten win seasons because the team hasn’t won a conference title recently. This belief has a current head coach on the hot seat —  a coach with a higher winning percentage than the overall winning percentage of the program throughout its history.

That belief is almost the textbook definition of “sense of entitlement.” You want more specific examples? Check out some of these responses to a question asked on Facebook by another local talk radio show. The question was “So what is your immediate reaction to today’s game?” Now, naturally you are going to get some heated, knee-jerk reactions, but some of the responses were very telling of a deeper problem.

Sara says “All I can say is that I really wanted Bo to succeed and I’ve been supportive of him, but after this I’m done. This isn’t working. Time for a new coaching staff.”

WOW. What isn’t working? Your team is 5-2. Your current head coach has won 71 percent of the games he’s coached. Tom Osborne won just over 83 percent. Basically, Bo wins seven of every ten. Tom won 8 of every ten. Does every coach need to be Tom Osborne?

Tom (not Osborne) says “Complete regime change Monday morning. Let the world know we do not tolerate this in the land of the husker!”

Good idea, Tom. Let’s let the world know that we don’t accept coaches who win 70 percent of their games.  Let’s let every head coach out there know that if you want this job, 70 percent is not good enough in a place where our team has won…70 percent of its games historically. Wait a second…

And perhaps my favorite comment, coming from a fellow named Matt. Matt says “Angry, frustrated and depressed. I miss the Nebraska football I grew up watching. I no longer look forward to Saturday’s in the Fall.”

So hold on there, Matt. I’m going to assume you grew up watching Nebraska during the 1994, 1995 and 1997 championship run. So basically what you are saying is that if your college football team doesn’t win all of its games and the national title, you want to take your ball and go home because this isn’t fun anymore. Hmm…there is a word for that…hang on, it’ll come to me. Is it ENTITLED???

What happens now is we sit back and watch a fanbase cannibalize itself in a civil war over what the Nebraska program was, is and shall become. Steven M. Sipple, columnist for the Lincoln Journal Star, seems to have fired the first shot in the latest battle. He wrote an article following the loss to Minnesota with the title “Husker Fans Should Expect More From Pelini’s Program.”

Of course they should, Steve. Why not? After all, you are telling them they should, right?

Gimme a break. There are 125 teams in FBS Football. All of them, unless they are on sanctions, have the same scholarship limit. All of them play on TV. All of them are essentially playing for the same prize. It is unreasonable for any fan or group of fans, regardless of the history of a program, to expect their college football team to win ten and eleven games every single year while competing for conference and national titles annually. If and when it happens, GREAT! Enjoy it. But as soon as you make that the standard, you set yourself, your fellow fans and your team up for a huge letdown every time, even if it’s only 3 out of 10, you don’t come out with a win.

That is where Nebraska football is right now. A group of college kids is expected to perform at the same level that a bunch of guys did years ago, regardless of the fact that the playing field and rules have changed. Those expectations come from an unreasonable and entitled fanbase, fed those ideals over time by an unreasonable and entitled local media.

I suppose expecting that to change anytime soon would be unthinkable.

BY J.P. SCOTT ON OCTOBER 28, 2013

Follow @KIAFootball on Twitter.

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158 thoughts on “Nebraska Football Fans’ Sense of Entitlement Comes From History, Media

  1. October 29, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Interesting. While I’m not sure I agree 100%, I find your arguments thought provoking. Good stuff!

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Thanks! That was the goal.

      1. Adam
        October 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        According to forbes nebraska is the 11th most valuable football program in the nation and minnesota isn’t on the list. That being said the boosters and fans that support the progam are the ones that provide the money to put nebraska on the list. With that financial support they should be able to put more money toward recruiting and facilities(helping recruiting). They should also be able to offer more money to a better more experienced coaching staff. With that extra financial support that minnesota doesn’t have they should be able to recruit a better athlete and game plan better than minnesota thus beating them on the field. With the aurgument that they have 85 scholorship players and nebraska has 85 scholorship players, your telling me that an 0-8 miami ohio team should compete with a undefeated and defending national title team from alabama.

        1. Brian
          October 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

          Lately, Nebraska wins 70% of its games, while Minnesota wins 40-50%. So yes, the Huskers do get a return on the money their boosters give to the program. Your Miami, OH vs Alabama example is extreme this year, but 2003 Miami, OH could have probably beat 2003 Alabama. These things run in cycles and Nebraska football is not immune to that fact (see Oklahoma vs Boise State and Michigan vs App State).

          1. Adam
            October 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

            Yes and that michigan loss to app state led to the exit of Lloyd Carr at the end of the season, because like neb fans they expect not to lose to teams like app state. And yes miami oh might have been able to beat bama in ’03 but according to the article they could have beat LSU that year also considering both teams have just 85 scholorship players.

        2. November 3, 2013 at 9:32 am

          “Nebraska is the 11th most valuable football program in the nation and minnesota isn’t on the list.” to bad that doesn’t mean squat on the field. Ha, Ha, Ha

  2. Shane
    October 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Good read and a sensible approach to watching football in general. Take a step back.

    The thing that some fans, which we know is short for fanatic which means any ‘sensible’ response is already out the window, will point out that as abrasive and derogatory as Bo can be towards the people who pay his salary he hasn’t built enough good will when his team underperforms the way it did.

  3. Mike
    October 29, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I do think there are a lot of entitled fans but for me it’s not how many times Nebraska loses. It has a lot more to do with being competitive in those losses. Why is it too much to ask to not give up 60+ twice in one year or not get our doors blown off two times a year? Now granted I do know upsets happen but Bo has lost to an unranked team every single year he has been here. I think with Nebraskas resources its not too much to ask to consistently be a top 15 program.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I see where you are coming from Mike, but what resources, outside of history, does Nebraska have that everyone else doesn’t? Money? You can’t pay players. Facilities? Everyone has weights and practice fields (unless you are Grambling.) The landscape has changed.

      1. Trepper
        October 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

        I think it’s kind of ignoring the facts to say that all teams have the same facilities. As well as saying doesn’t play a role in a teams success. If that were true why does Alabama pay so much for a huge recruiting department. I agree with some of the things you said but it seems instead if addressing counterparts you prefer to play them off like they don’t matter.

      2. howard
        October 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        The corn and their fan are completely in the dark. The fans care not to see that facts and the piece is completely correct. I live in this state and every year these fools get bent out of shape over losing. They beat Missouri for 46 or 47 years in a roll. The tigers win One Game and the fans walk out the stadium on nation TV. They beat Texas Tech for almost the same amount of years. Tech wins and females are sent to the hospital with black eyes. You can not Win a title every year in sports you have down years, the pirates finally made it to the playoff, the cubs….well you know that story.

        1. Cameron
          November 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

          “and females are sent to the hospital with black eyes.”
          I would LOVE to see a source for this….

      3. Riley
        October 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

        I agree to a point that as a fan base we are guilty of entitlement. With that said, it derives from tradition and heart of not only the fans, state, but also the players that just isn’t there anymore… The kids do not respond to adversity like they used to nor do they want it as much. As a player or fan you expect to win and when a player or coach is content with meritocracy, its unacceptable… With the amount of money this program receives and spends on its football program, yes its expected to be towards the elite year in year out… You cant expect to run a dime or nickel package against a rushing program and be successful with it. Granted the team is young and its not only their fault but the fact that you hold no one accountable for the losses we’ve suffered is also unacceptable, the wins we have so far are from average teams and yes we’re an average team this year but if the attitude to accept it and not want more is down right shameful if and disrespectful to the tradition of this collegiate program… if you can accept a sub par season year in year out and not want more its the exact noncompetitive attitude no program needs… the big ten is not a just for fun league they’re granted scholarships to get a job done not accept losses and work harder for their spots… the only positive thing I see right now is the walk on program taking off, it’ll bring back the heart and competitive edge to force the more athletic athletes to work harder rather than being “entitled” to keep their position!

  4. Jake
    October 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Thank you very much for this article. You went out of your way to get facts and figures and show the holes in the logic.
    This is everything I’ve been trying to tell people for years. Thanks!

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 8:49 am

      No problem, Jake. Thanks for reading!

  5. Guy
    October 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Great read great insight! That comes from a avid husker fan!

  6. October 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

    It seems to me that you are advocating that Husker fans accept mediocrity. Why is Mack Brown on the hot seat this year? He has a .800 winning percentage. Texas fans do not accept mediocrity, nor do Cornhuskers. That said, you make some valid criticisms of the unrealistic expectations of the fan base. These are probably the same fans who blame losses on the officials.

    Bo’s winning percentage means little if it doesn’t take Big Red to a conference championship, and the big 30+ point losses are what led to Solich and Calahan being relieved of their duties.

    I am not defending Shatel and Sipple across the board, but you can’t fault sport’s writers for not wanting to accept mediocrity. There is a difference between Husker Nation and the Iowa Hawkeys, though maybe not this year. They do not accept mediocrity at Michigan, nor Ohio State, nor Penn State. Those programs will be back. Will Nebraska? I would say yes.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Maybe they will. If they do get back, like I said, enjoy it. But to saddle the program with expectations based on what happened in a different time is unreasonable. Nebraska is a winning program. They are a good program. 9-10 wins a year is only mediocre of you set a false standard for yourself.

      1. October 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        I will agree it is unrealistic, especially in the mega conference, super program world or any fan to think their team is going to a championship every year, but as a Husker fan I see an issue of discipline with the program. When a coach throws a tirade on the side line, slobbering in the face of a referee, and the next play a player from the defense gets personal foul call, or blows a coverage, you that the discipline has eroded based on the coaches actions. When Mr. Osborne was the coach we all complained “he is too cerebral”, “why isn’t he fighting the call?”. Now that I am a little older and greyer in the temples I understand. The LEADER of the team, the COACH must keep his wits about him at all times, even when things are not going well. Bo Pelini does not do this well at all, and it costs us big games, close games, and creates a discipline issue that manifests in giving the refs the opportunity “rob” us.
        This program is undisciplined, and the fish stinks from the head first. They are under conditioned, lack fundamentals, and make huge mental mistakes. This is why I as a Husker fan am ready to see Bo replaced, not because of a 10-2 season.

        1. tim
          October 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

          What you fail to see is that Tom hired Bo so it is definitely all the savior Tom Osborn s fault.

    2. October 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

      You’re right. There is a difference between Nebraska and Iowa. Iowa has been more successful over the last decade.

      1. October 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        Boom, roasted.

        On a serious note, though, the superiority complex of Nebraska’s fanbase is another direct cause of the unrealistic expectations, even among the media. Yes, Nebraska dominated in the 90s. The college football landscape was a lot different then. Nebraska and Iowa and Michigan State and Wisconsin are all pretty even programs, fighting for their spot in the Big 10 pecking order. Nebraska fans refuse to acknowledge this, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces.

      2. Gary
        October 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        that’s a false statement….Nebraska has more wins and a higher winning percentage than Iowa. Sure you went to a BCS bowl game but lets be honest. You didn’t have to play the best team in the conference either year they did. How many conference championships has Iowa played for? Answer: zero. How many *conference championships* have they shared as a consolation prize for not playing the best team? Answer: two.

        Your perspective is skewed. Nebraska has played for 4 conference championships in that time span. They just didn’t win any when they played the best team in the conference. I’d personally rather play them and not win than not play them and get a ribbon anyway.

        1. Torbee
          October 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

          He said “over the last decade”. Iowa won a Big Ten championship in 2004. (Also 2002, but technically that was 10 and a half years ago, so I guess it doesn’t count?) And Iowa PLAYED for the conference championship in 2009 in a de facto playoff game in Columbus – winner would win championship and Ohio State squeaked by (i.e. did not completely embarass like Wiscosin did to NEB) Iowa in OT.

          So yes, factually, the statement that Iowa has been the better program over the past 10 years is true.

          And I’m not saying Nebraska is a bad program. As the blog writer said, very nice winning percentage and 9-10 win seasons. But you are in the same group of good-but-not great Big 10 teams, right along the Hawkeyes whom you dismiss so blithely.

        2. Joe
          October 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm

          Two BCS bowls, actually, and they played Ohio State in 2009 on their way to one of them. Not sure where your information is coming from. Questions for you: how many times has Nebraska won when they “played for a conference championship”? And how many times did they play for a conference championship while representing a horrible Big 12 North division? If you care about playing the best, I guess you don’t appreciate the division titles over Iowa State, Colorado, non-2008 Kansas and Missouri…

        3. October 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm

          Nebraska has more wins, yes. They are consistently around 8,9, 10 wins whereas Iowa is not, but would you rather win an average of 9 games every year and never win anything meaningful or lack that consistency but occasionally win conference championships and BCS Bowls? I’d take the latter. As for playing the best teams in the conference, Nebraska basically got a free pass to the Big XII championship game every year by playing in the Big XII North and still couldn’t win the conference, so don’t give me that excuse.

      3. Shawn Stultz
        October 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        In the last ten years, 2003-2012, Nebraska has won more games than Iowa and lost fewer games than Iowa. Not sure how you can make the claim that Iowa has been more successful than Nebraska. The numbers don’t lie. Nebraska is 85-46 while Iowa is 78-48. Well?

        1. Blake
          October 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

          Looking at this since Ferentz took over at Iowa, Wins? Sure, Nebraska takes that (Which probably has a lot to do with the Big XII North being terrible). Conference championships and BCS bowls? That goes to Iowa. Which would you rather have?

    3. Travis
      October 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Not so fast. Regarding “husker nation” and the Iowa Hawkeyes being different. You are right, they are, but you’re wrong in why. Iowa has not accepted mediocrity by keeping Ferentz on staff through the end of eternity, and not flipping the program upside down every time they lose 4 games. When your Huskers lose, they get embarrassed (consistently over the past 15 years), when Iowa loses, they’re always in it. Between 2007 and 2011, every loss was within one scoring drive for Iowa (2008-12 points from being undefeated, 2009, 10 points, etc.). In fact, with all the losses in the last decade, there is a very small number of times they’ve been completely dominated. A large percentage of Nebraska’s losses have been those “unthinkable” collapses that just happened last week, as well as a couple of times last year. I can see why the fans are upset with the program, but they’re openly walking out on the team they love, because they don’t like what it’s doing. Aside from entitlement, that’s also called being a fair weather fan (didn’t coach Bo say something about that recently?).

  7. MayWoww
    October 29, 2013 at 9:11 am

    YES!

  8. Andrew
    October 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Nebraska standards are high. Unreasonably so? Yep. I’m diehard but I get sick of people talking about Tom and the titles. People called for his head for years until he finally won his. Pendulums swing. It doesn’t mean we have to be happy with where we are, it means we have to be patient. It’s easy to look back to the 90s through rose-colored glasses and breeze past all the bowl losses in the 80s and Oklahoma losses in the 80s. Remember when Oklahoma sucked in the 90s? When Texas was never going to lose ever again in the 00s? Where was Alabama before Saban? Nothing lasts forever.

    That said. Nebraska hasn’t cornered the market on entitlement by any stretch. Lane Kiffin, Mack Brown, Gene Chzik, hell, even Kansas with Turner Gill…this article could be written about a number of programs with long traditions who are in a comparative slump. If Bret Bielema isn’t producing results in a few years at Arkansas they won’t put up with it either. The programs with the most at stake are typically the ones in places where the local identity is closely tied to college football.

    Well written, piece. Lately the Huskers have lost games they “should” have won at least once per season. That’s where we are currently. Changing coaches is going to reset that process.

  9. Jed
    October 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I understand the point but what a huge swing and miss. Did you write this when Michigan was calling for Rich Rod’s head so fast? How about when Florida was calling for Zook’s head so quickly? How about with Mack Brown now? USC and Lane Kiffin? Any coach at Notre Dame? John Cooper at Ohio St? The list goes on. In sports you want your team to win and win big. Especially if you had tasted it before because it tastes so good. There is nothing wrong with it.

    The biggest swing and miss was with the media. Maybe it is a chicken and egg situation, but the radio and newspaper media want listeners and readers. That is how they make money. Why wouldn’t they talk to the people that will get them that? Your hack on Nyatawa is awful. He simply asked a reasonable question about the mental mindset of a team that got whipped up physically on the road. Then he stated a fact that everyone knows about how hard November is going to be. How does the team pick itself back up for this tough stretch? Is that really that horrible to say? Your misguided interpretation on what the media is saying and supposedly portraying to its readers and listeners is what you missed on the most.

    “Know it all football”? Now that is pure comedy.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for the read!

      1. Jed
        October 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Thanks for the laugh

      2. Justin
        October 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

        9-10 wins a year dosent get you top recuits , especially how we loose. You apparently dont live here in nebraska. This is our 1 and only major sport that we have in the entire state. People are passioniate about football, sometimes unrealistick yes, but when you pay a guy almost 3 million dollars to produce. We want results that is how sports are these days . I really think people are more upset by who we loose to and how bad we loose, if we lost to say ohio st. , michigan every year and they were ranked , people wouldnt like it but thats not a bad pill to swallow. When we loose to bad teams people get the sense the program is taking a step backward.

        1. admin
          October 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

          I do live here and your comment sums up what I’m saying. Who you lose to shouldn’t matter. You are basically saying we expect not to lose to certain teams based on what some guys did decades ago, some who are dead. It doesn’t make sense.

          1. howard
            October 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

            This is the only major program here because they KILLED the UNO program. The sports talk here is terrible. The fans here only support the corn they can’t handle more than one thing at a time. You just have to open your mind, You have Creighton basketball, Soccer, Baseball…oh sorry that’s Creighton not UNL…

          2. Ben
            October 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

            It should matter who you lose to. Losing to Minnesota if they were a ranked team would be easier to understand. Similarly, if Nebraska lost to an unranked Ohio State, fans are going to be more upset than losing to a top 5 Ohio State team. Maybe you didn’t understand what Justin was getting at. Your reply doesn’t really make much sense.

        2. Me
          October 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

          It’s LOSE! Seriously, spell check is readily available on any computer and you should know the difference anyway.

          Great article J.P. I listen to the local sports radio out of Omaha and it is very hard to stomach. I know exactly what you are describing about the media.

        3. Josh
          October 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm

          Unrealistick? Loose? Is it unrealistic to think you loost your English manual? FRANK SOLICH!!!

        4. JayPak
          October 31, 2013 at 1:29 am

          Wrong… Not the “one and only major sport.”. Thank goodness there’s Creighton basketball now!

    2. Phil
      October 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Amen.

  10. Mike
    October 29, 2013 at 10:06 am

    J.P.,
    I am a Pennsylvania native and Penn State fan that has lived in Omaha for most of his adult life. From almost day 1 living here I sensed the entitlement that Husker fans feel. I had coworkers insist that I “must” route for the Huskers since I now lived here. I then asked her…. If you moved to Pennsylvania would you then become a Penn State fan? She of course told me “No. Why would I do that?”. I liken it to parents forcing their kids to try foods. Their fans are not sensible. My second favorite college football team will now forever be what ever team is playing the Huskers.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Thanks, Mike. I grew up back East. Love it here, even root for Nebraska. But it’s the fans, the ones I talk about, that make it difficult. You can have passion and still be reasonable. It’s rare in Nebraska.

  11. Rick
    October 29, 2013 at 10:17 am

    No different here than Oklahoma, Alabama, or most other long standing ” elite ” programs. Same thing with hoops at Duke, North Carolina etc

  12. John
    October 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

    This would be the same thing at Oregon, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama or anywhere else. If Alabama wins 8 or 9 games the next 5 years, loses by 30 at least twice a year and then loses at home to a team it was favored to beat, the same thing would take place. Look at Texas this year. It’s no different. For anyone to think Nebraska is the only place this would happen is nothing but insane. See how Urban Meyer lasts if Ohio State loses 45 to 20, 39 to 10 and then loses at home to a team with a losing record for 5 straight years. Ohio State fans would be livid. It’s easy to point the finger at Nebraska until your team goes through the same thing for 5 years.

  13. C
    October 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I think what fans are worried about is becoming another Minnesota. If we accept having decent seasons and they become the norm, eventually, it starts to slip, and before long, the schools who are trying just a little harder to bring in the recruits, pay the coaches, upgrade facilities, start winning the games you should win. Before long you are minnesota. Once great, now a doormat. I think the fans just want to stay on top, and by not winning at a high level, we are accepting that fact that its OK to be that way. After Alabamas current run on NC dries up, should we expect them to not want to get those days back? Will their fans settle for 9 and 10 win seasons for 6 years after just recently being so dominant? Once you show a fanbase what its like to be on top, then take it all away in a blink of an eye, they will fight with everything theyve got to get it back. That being said, I completely agree with the article. I do want Bo to stay on. I know I am in a growing minority here, but I think he is a man who can get the job done.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

      It hasn’t happened in the blink of an eye. BTW, I dig you guys’ music.

    2. Craig
      October 29, 2013 at 11:57 am

      C

      I was born and raised here in Nebraska so i grew up in the 90′s and saw some great football. I also remember some heartbreaks over those years. I love the huskers because my family watched them. That will never go away even if they start going the way of what you called “Minnesota”. Its only fair to say that that mediocre “Minnesota” beat our beloved Cornhuskers this weekend. I wouldnt call them a doormat because then what are you calling our team? The cement under the doormat? In college football anybody can pull out a win on a certain day. I agree us Husker fans do feel entitled. Also yes if Ohio St. goes downhill theyre fans will want blood, same with Alabama. But we have to wake up and realize that the teams Nebraska’s been fielding the past few years couldnt hang with the top five teams right now anyway even if we lucked out and made it to the championship. We need to wake up and realize that it is just football. Be happy when they win. Get pissed but move on when they lose. Will Nebraska return to prominence one day? I dont think it’ll be any time soon.

  14. Tim
    October 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I believe expectations are the same at most historically successful program. ie Texas, USC, Alabama, MIchigan, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Oklahoma. Those fan bases all have a level of superiority. The difference here is that there is nothing else to distract from the Huskers. Our year revolves around the team and its successes and failures. I am a east coast transplant who grew up as a PSU fan. I still cheer for the Lions except againt the Huskers. Just my 2 cents.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:27 am

      I agree with it being the same at other places and that is part of my point. I used Nebraska as the example because of my locale and what is currently happening here. The mindset of the college football fan is what drives this. What was is no more and what’s now is all that matters. Boise State, TCU, Oregon, college and conference TV networks…they’ve changed the game. IF you saddle any program today with expectations from decades ago, you’ll always be disappointed. The disappointment is the result of expecting something and not getting it, when in reality your expectations are no longer reasonable.

  15. Nick P
    October 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    i like this – its truth at a time when the fans dont wanna swallow the truth. but a true fan sticks with you through thick and thin. hell look at pro teams – they all have their ups and downs but for some reason its easier for us to ride that wave than it is to ride the one in our own back yard. view this from twenty thousand feet and listen to how ridiculous we sound. losing is part of the game. on any given day any given team …..

    i think part of this was created in the 90′s – remember when we didnt 3peat? the deflation in this state – you could hear everyone go. “awwwe man!” – in the end we still made it, lose or win we still made it there. thats something to be proud of in and of itself. but yet there was this cloud hanging around after that. the beauty in college football is you got four years to create a team. and there are guys coming and going all throughout those four years so you’re constantly changing, acclimating to a new roster of guys and thats what makes it exciting.

    its fall here with the children of the corn….win or loose its still the greatest time in the state to be a football fan. you get to sit down and root on your team on a sunny crisp fall morning with family and friends (and a cold one) and hang on every play, every run, every sack, every pass – its exciting to say the least.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Thanks, Nick. Good insight.

  16. John R
    October 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Very well written.

    Are we a dominant program a la 94-95-97? No. Are we a winning program? Absolutely. There’s nothing at all with having high standards and expecting excellence. But howling for the coach’s head with every loss speaks to the sense of entitlement.

    We got rid of a guy who went 9-3 because of unrealistic expectations. A guy who was trying to make some positive changes in the program and in his coaching staff. Nope, we wouldn’t give him that chance. So off with his head and away he goes. We never gave him an adequate chance. I’d like to not see us repeat mistakes and just can Bo. Let’s see if he can make the changes to help us keep getting better and vault from just a winning program to a dominant one once again. It took Tom Osborne 21 years (I think) to win a national title. And the landscape of college football has changed significantly since then.

    Finally, do we really want to be known as a coaching revolving door? Good bye Bo, hello new guy. You have three years to win a national championship or back to the rabble you’ll go! I don’t think that’s what we want to be either.

    Thanks for the perspective here.

  17. Ryan
    October 29, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Just last week, OWH Dirk Chatelain did several rants about how the B1G was down and he let Husker fans voice their opinions about what they thought of their move to The B1G 3 years after the fact. 9 out of 10 of them shared one common opinion. The B1G’s pathetic teams and performances were holding Nebraska back and they all missed how it used to be. They complained that adding Rutgers and Maryland was just gonna make the conference worse and nearly every post I read was riddled with entitlement about how much The B1G was a bad conference and the Huskers were some how above it. Whoops. Fact is they fit right in.

  18. October 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I’m about as hardcore a Husker fan as you’ll ever find. And I’d tend to agree with what you have written here 100%.

    I’m disgusted by the number of people that call for Bo’s head after every loss. Just like I was disgusted that Solich was fired after a 9-3 season because “production had fallen.”

    Thank you for writing this. And know that there are at least a few of us Husker fans that feel the same way.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

      At least I know the brick coming through my window won’t be from you ;) thanks!

    2. October 30, 2013 at 12:05 am

      I’ve been going to Husker games for 40+ years. You’re right on. I love Husker football…and you can’t keep calling for the coach’s head.

      Any given Saturday…

  19. Mike
    October 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Spot on. I used to drink the Kool-Aid. I still bleed Husker Red, but am embarrassed by the majority of the fan base. The masses calling for Bo’s job is insane. If you think about it, if the majority of the fanbase starts calling for the firing of the staff every time we lose, good luck filling the position with a big-name hire. Who in their right mind would want to come work in such a toxic environment?!?!?!

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

      My thoughts exactly. Your program wins 70% of its games. You current head coach wins 71%. WTF do you want?

  20. Roland
    October 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I’m an TAMU fan that was raised in Nebraska and I understand your critique on Husker entitlement. I applaud it as well; it is something a majority of lay fans need to hear. I had a few issues though. Any fan of football with a good sense of the game knows there are issues in Nebraska’s program that goes beyond entitlement. When a fan says that Pelini should be on the hot seat, it’s not always because they want the 0 in the L column. It’s because Pelini is a poor recruiter and the defense is uncoordinated. Any fan that has football knowledge can see this. So, to lump all Husker fans together as entitled because some are is incorrect.

    As a sidenote, you bring up history a lot in your article. It is in my belief that a program’s tradition should work in its favor towards recruitment. Better recruiting means better teams and a more likely chance at winning a championship. I don’t think it’s entitlement to use a schools history to recruit. It is entitlement to use a school’s history as an excuse to just win.

    All in all, a good article. Slightly directed towards lay Husker fans though, I believe.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for the read and comment, Roland.

  21. John
    October 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I don’t think it’s a sense of entitlement. I would also argue that Nebraska is not the only program that has a fan base that believes that their team should not lose to other particular teams. It comes down to expecting a certain play from these players that have been given scholarships to play football. Yes, these are 18-22 year old “kids” who, like everyone else, are entitled to have a bad day or sloppy performance. But, the fan base, unlike you, is following their play, not just the final score. They are not having a bad day, they are having bad DAYS and that is why Bo Pelini’s seat is getting warm.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Every team Nebraska plays has kids on scholarship.

  22. October 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

    You make some valid points. I have been a Husker fan since the late sixties, and have seen all the up and downs of our program and others. I believe there are standards that we as fans expect from our coaches and players, and most of the time they meet and/or exceed them. Is it wrong to have these standards or expectations? No, you need to have goals such as having the players attend classes, stay out of trouble, and excel on the field, and strive to reach these goals. We expect the coaches to do what they can to help these young men succeed. The great majority of fans do not expect or feel entitled to win all of our games. We root for this, just as our coaches and players have goals of championships and strive to win them all. There is no reason not to expect play as hard as the opposing team, whether we win or lose. As far as the entitlement feelings that you bring up are concerned, when the team plays an opponent, I expect the team to play hard, and as a team, the coaches to put the players in the best position to win, and for our fans to be loud, supportive and good sports, win or lose. That’s Nebraska football, the way it was before the titles in the nineties. I have never felt we should be entitled to win all of our games, and have never met or spoke with any fan who has, even back in the nineties. And with all the fan support, money donated to the program, talented players coming to Nebraska, facilities available, the coach’s job is to have the team be competitive with any other team. It’s not entitlement that we feel, it’s a hunger for victory.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

      And they are competitive. Just because they get blown out or lose once in a while doesn’t change that.

      1. Josh
        October 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

        Did you really see a Nebraska team competing at its hardest to beat Minnesota? I didn’t. That’s the difficult thing for a fan.

  23. October 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Where does thes sense of entitlement come from? Whether you agree or disagree it all starts here.

    #4 on all time wins (836-345-41)

    And this….The Cornhuskers are the winningest college football program over the last 50 years, by winning percentage and wins as of 2011.

    Or this….from 1970 to 2009, the Cornhuskers won 393 games. They appeared in 9 National Title matches (winning five of them). They had a minimum of 9 wins in 36 of those 40 seasons and finished ranked in 35 out of 40 AP polls. They produced not a single losing season in 31 consecutive years (1970 to 2001 — part of a 40-year stretch beginning in 1962). They appeared in 38 bowl games. They produced (by wide opinion) the two best college football teams of the 20th Century in 1971 and 1995 and established a contender for greatest college football dynasty of all time in a 60-3 stretch from 1993 to 1997.

    Its a winning tradition no other school in the country can match and will never equal. So your search for entitlement can start and end right there.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Right, with history. If history is all you have, you have a problem. At present, Nebraska is a winning football team. Enjoy it. Many are not.

      1. October 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Your article is comparing the Nebraska sense of entitlement with schools like Minnesota and Iowa. If you cant figure out where it comes from…..Ill help you out. Nebraska has 50 years of winning at a high level. You cant ignore that….so yes history is important in your quest to figure out why Nebraska fans have a sense of entitlement.

        Nebraska…at present….isnt a winning football program….like you claim. The last conference title was in 1999…..winning 9 games a year and not winning a conference title at minimum is not a winning program. What have they won exactly?

        1. October 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

          “What have they won exactly?”

          9 games a year. 70% (52 wins, over 22 losses) under Pelini.

    2. lol
      October 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      You basically just tried to argue that Husker fans don’t feel entitled by saying “we are entitled, look how good we once were!”

      1. October 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        The author said….”For years, I’ve been trying to figure out where the sense of entitlement that Nebraska football fans carry around comes from.”

        lol….I never said in either post that “fans don’t feel entitled”. I said in both of my posts they have a sense of entitlement. And they have a right to it.

        Its not that hard. 50 years of winning at an elite level will give you a sense of entitlement. And they deserve to have one. They also deserve better then simply winning 9 games a year. They deserve more then getting embarrased on national TV several times a year. They deserve better than not winning a conference title for 14 years. They deserve allot more then they are getting at the moment.

        1. admin
          October 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

          So does Oregon NOT deserve their current success because they haven’t had it historically?

          1. October 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm

            That response make no sense. You should really scale it down when comparing to Nebraska since no one has had that kind of success for 50 years.

            Maybe you should look at 10 years like USC from 2000-2009. They were very dominate and everyone in SoCal wants those days back. USC hires Kifin who is horrible and fired accordingly. The folks in SoCal want to get back that glory from 2000-2009.

            The folks in Nebraska want to get back the glory from 1970-2001 +/- depending on how you view Solich.

            Go ahead with your snarky comment now.

  24. Katz
    October 29, 2013 at 11:20 am

    You’re just a NE hater like a lot of other national media types. Basically you say, you’re NE, so settle for what you got. Now, on the other hand, if you’re Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida St., etc.. (the list could go on) you should always expect perfection. I know others have basically communicated the same thing in other posts, but I get a laugh when I read crap like this. My co-worker found this and sent it to me. He’s a Iowa State fan, so there are no expectations, but he likes to jab at NE fans. There are other rabid fans in the nation, but somehow you’re not supposed to be if you live in NE. If you’re not a NE hater, then include all the other programs in your article too. Doing that wouldn’t be as much fun for you now, would it?

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 11:23 am

      I actually root for Nebraska every Saturday. Then, when they lose, I turn off the TV and go play with my kids and think to myself “Welp, ya can’t win’em all.” Apparently some people think you can or should.

      1. chuck
        October 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        i hope you don’t think this article is insightful. its been said a zillion times by a zillion people who don’t understand college football. good posts have been made in reply that completely discredit your article. since, you have claimed that this piece is meant to represent college football in general, not just nebraska……back pedal. then you pulled the “when they lose, i turn off my tv and play with my kids and say oh well, can’t win em all”. …….back pedal. look moron, we all turn off the tv and say oh well, what does that have to do with the argument. you just spent, which was probably 3 days composing this dribble, so you care. such a cop out. nebraska fans aren’t the only ones who thought we would win by 13, vegas did. the spread was 13. and everybody knows 10 win seasons aren’t what they used to be. big time programs expect a good product on the field. do i think we should fire pelini? no. do i think there are some idiotic husker fans? hell yes. but don’t act like you know anything about the culture of this university, team, and sport when its clear you don’t.

    2. Doug Hall
      November 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      I knew someone would eventually play the “you’re a hater” card. These are the type of fans I can’t stand. Someone voices a well thought out, objective opinion and someone else who feels themselves a “real fan” wants to evict them from the state. It’s the same kind of person who, if someone where to predict a Husker defeat against an NFL team would whine about them not supporting the team.

      Being a fan, even the most rabid fan, doesn’t mean you have to check your brains and ability to reason at the door. I’m a long time fan. I used to study the media guide and could probably have told you what the favorite color was for every player in the entire two deep rooster. At the same time, I wasn’t blind to some of the negatives the existed in the program. Does that make me a bad fan? If you think so, you’re an idiot. If fact, I have more respect for someone who sees where improvements can be made in a program and STILL roots for the team than for someone whom sticks there head in the sand and pretends problems don’t exist.

  25. Josh
    October 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Two things…
    1. There are 125 FBS teams
    2. No program loses 25% of its roster every year. Just because players have 4 years of playing eligibility doesn’t mean that they lose 21.25 players a year to graduation. Some lose more, some lose less and it is dependent on the year to year basis.
    3. The issue with losing to Minnesota is not about the “way” past it is about the recent past. Nebraska played in the B1G title games last year and Minnesota went 6-6. They have the same number of scholarship players yes, but not all scholarship players are the same. On paper, Nebraska has MORE talent THIS year. That’s why you shouldn’t lose to them. No because of what happened in 1997.
    4. Should the coach be fired? No, not yet. But like it or not unreasonable expectation are part of college football. That’s what makes it so great. Every major fan base is entitled. Look at Miami’s carousel of coaching, or Notre Dame, or heck even Bama before Saban. To act like this problem of “entitlement” is only endemic to Nebraska fans is flawed.
    5. Fan is short for fanatic… unreasonable comes with the territory. Now it is up to the administration to figure out what is reasonable.

    I agree with a lot of what you said and while your logic may seem on point at face value it really doesn’t take in a number fo factors. I could go on, but I do appreciate your points.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Actually it’s like 126 or 127. I’d ask who is counting but obviously you are ;)

  26. dan
    October 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

    You nailed it with this article. As a life long Florida State fan living in Nebraska, i watched my team be good, then bad, then decent, then bad again. I could never quite grasp why Nebraska fans just automatically assumed they were national title contenders damn near every year. I go into each year simply hoping the Seminoles will do well. That is it. If they win 5 games, whatever, if they win 2 games, bummer. Teams play games, they win some of them and lose some of them. Any team can beat any other, that is why we watch the sport.

  27. Tyler
    October 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hit the nail on the head! I laughed when they got rid of Solich 58 wins-19 Losses 75%?????????
    They were doing the same thing then, we can’t stand for this!!!!!!!!!????????

  28. Gary
    October 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Yet another swipe at Husker fans from this guy.

    Don’t you get it? Wait….I know the answer to this question. NO! YOU DON’T! It’s been how many years of patting yourself on the back because you’re “more tolerable” to listen to than any other “fan” of Nebraska FOOTBALL (note, this doesn’t say just Nebraska, ’cause I know that isn’t the case)?

    Look Jesse, we get it. You’re not from here. You didn’t grow up a husker fan, so we don’t expect you to be one now. Yet, you still buy the husker gear. You still go to football games. You cuss the tv when they shit the bed. However, you poke and prod the fan base you have no understanding of, and you really need to stop. If you aren’t knowledgable on a subject, you should write your thesis on it. Yet, for some reason, you always try.

    This is the last time I am going to try and push this into that forcefield protected dome of duh that rests on your shoulders. It’s unique here in Nebraska. Moreso than ANY other place. Nebraska has one team, in one sport, that garners the attention of a majority of people that live here. I will give you a clue, it’s not badminton, it’s football. For a person that runs a site called ‘know it all football’, it amazes me that you have such a hard time understanding this, but more importantly, coming to terms with this fact. Any other state that harbors a collegiate football program with an equally rich tradition of success, also has other sports to deter some of the population’s focus. Whether it’s a professional team or another major university with more than just football to occupy it’s rabid fans, the state definitely has more than we do here.

    So, for those husker fans that you speak of with so much ill, just keep in mind that there IS far more invested interest in the program than you could ever comprehend. Nebraska football is a year round sport in this state. It’s one of only a handful of university athletic programs that is financially solvent because of the football program. You can count on a single hand the number of programs that put 60,000 to 70,000 people in seats for it’s spring game. You can find an 80 year old lady from Holdredge that could tell you the number of yards Mike Rozier rushed for in 1983. Season tickets are a thing of mystery here. For the average middle class worker in this state, it’s simply a dream, ’cause not everyone can afford the $750 donation (cheapest possible) on top of the $50+ ticket price per game just to get them, completely discounting the 20+ year waiting list you’d have to wait to get your chance at ‘em. Compare this to another team of similar interest. Green Bay. Where most every newborn’s parents put their child on the Packer season ticket waiting list. In a town of 150,000, where they don’t accept mediocrity because they have a tradition of winning and when it isn’t happening, they figure out a way to remedy it.

    Sure, we could all just accept that we’re not going to win, but what is the fun in that? That’d make us like you and I can’t imagine living my life changing my team affiliation more than I change my underwear.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      but that lady in Holdredge couldn’t tell me the name of the Minnesota quarterback who just beat them ,because he doesn’t matter.

      Thanks for reading, Gary.

    2. Scott
      October 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Gary, this is actually the first article I’ve read from this guy but I can’t say I see anything wrong with what he’s saying. And before you start, I’ve lived here all my life. Built Husker rooms in my basements, watched games with my late Grandpa, and bonded over games with my Dad and my Brother. I’ve spent untold amounts of money on all kinds of memorabilia, punched holes in walls after Oklahoma losses, and celebrated with the crowds at 72nd and Dodge in 94 and 95. I’m as much a fanatic as you’ll find. But I also completely agree with what he says in this article. I’ve become embarrassed by how some of the fans of my team have acted recently. These are the same “Greatest Fans” that taunted a distraught Kenny Bell as he sat in a Vets office with his dog that was recently hit by a car. All over a football game. Being the only game in town doesn’t excuse people from being mindless A-holes. To steal from another article, clapping for an opposing team we just beat or buying a bear for some fan from Indiana doesn’t get you magic karma points to allow you to act like a jerk later on. You don’t have to live here your entire life and be a die hard fan to see that we only seem to be classy fans when we’re winning. We might as well sandblast those words off the side of the stadium and burn all copies of TO’s “More than Winning” because we’ve obviously forgotten what they mean….or simply don’t care.

      In short, don’t try and suggest you speak for all die-hard Cornhusker fans, because you don’t.

      1. admin
        October 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        Gary knows me personally Scott and has read other articles I’ve written in the past (mostly on Bleacher Report). Friendly banter. He actually came to my defense when I said Ameer Abdullah was a better fit for the offense than Burkhead and half the state wanted my head on a stick.

    3. chuck
      October 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      well put, my man. this jesse dude is the worst kind of dumb……he thinks he smart and insightful.

  29. October 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I really enjoyed this article, and I think it can be said for more than just Nebraska, perhaps programs like Alabama, Florida, Penn State, etc can all take notes on this. I know that Iowa fans are facing a similar problem, and there are a lot of factors that play into it. There are good seasons, and bad seasons, one of the big things you said in the comments was that Money doesn’t really matter, and it doesn’t; you can’t pay players, but you can bring them TO the college, but you can’t give them money (more than a scholarship) to come to the school. The athletes are student-athletes, meaning that every experience is a learning experience (this can be said for regular athletes too), you won’t win all of the games in a season, and if you do, you probably won’t do well LATER because you’re not learning to fail and come back from that failure.

  30. gary
    October 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The quarterback didn’t beat Nebraska, Minnesota’s entire team did, and the old lady from Holdredge knows the difference. Someday you may grasp onto that reality and the notion that actual Nebraska fans are more tuned in than you’ll ever be, and that’s due to your clearly documented perspective of a program that you’re just being being born into as a 30-something year old man. Until you can, stop pretending to be the football Bhudda. You’re just another fat guy with a smile on his face. Only problem is that your smile comes from the misery of others and that’s really no way to treat a population of people that you’d find more happiness through admiration instead of belittling at every turn.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      If what I write causes people MISERY, that’s their issue, not mine. Misery is a laughable word in this context.

  31. gary
    October 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Okay, maybe misery is too strong a word. How about “disappointment”? Either way, you’re still just being a dick.

    As usual.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Go Big Red!

  32. Gary
    October 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I thought you had your creighton basketball hat on today. Don’t you mean, GO JAYS!?!

  33. Brian
    October 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    While reading this blog I understood the direction of the topic until one part. I completely agree that the media feeds the frenzy in college football and national news as well. We are constantly spoon fed what to believe in this country by media professionals who have been taught to operate that way. There needs to be a reform of journalism programs in higher education where they specifically teach how NOT to lead the public with “news” stories. It has spiraled out of control over the past two decades and it doesn’t seem to slow down. Now back to the blog, I was completely understanding the direction of the writing until the author brought in an irrelevant point. This writing had to do with a Nebraska college football team, fan base, and coach along with their recent loss to Minnesota. What does the University of Iowa have to do with the local media leading the Nebraska fans to a sense of entitlement? It goes to show that this blog was 100% biased toward a specific fan base and also leads the reader to believe that Nebraska fans have some sort of problem with Iowa fans. He is doing exactly what he is writing about. Typical Iowa writer trying to get recognition by flaming up his favorite team fan base.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      I’m a Husker fan, believe it or not.

      1. Gary
        October 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        husker fan being open to interpretation…..

        I prefer to call him a husker spectator

        1. Bill
          October 30, 2013 at 5:16 am

          Nail on the head Gary!! If you can watch your team lose and come away with, “Well, you can’t win ‘em all.”, then you indeed are a spectator and not fan.

      2. October 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        You blaming one other outlet for the reason a fanbase feels a certain way is just the same as the fans blaming the coaching/players for not winning games.

        One way or the other the blame has to go somewhere. Is it the media that Husker fans want to win championships? Our history why we want to win championships? Its because we are fans of our states football team. Not one fan of any sport will say ‘gee, I sure hope we win enough games to be close to going to the championship, golly – its okay though, maybe next year’ – no, fans want their team to win championships, regardless.

        You make good point as others have noted – but for you to mock other writers, whom I assume you admit yourself are in the same profession, is just ignorant. You’re as bad as the rest of us ‘entitled’ husker fans, looking to point the blame at someone – you truly ARE, as husker fan.

        GBR.

  34. Anthony
    October 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    You are spot on. Born and raised in NE. Die hard husker fan, but u are absolutely correct in everything you said.
    Our expectations as fans are the same as the coaches and players every year NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!! But that cant always happen so u take the wins you get and build off the losses. Yes we are a winning program, and we have lost to some teams “we should have beat”, but we also bet some teams we shouldnt have, michigan, ohio st in a come back win ” when all the fairweather fans had left then came back” (words from bo). Which by the way i agree with. So remember the good wins not just the bad losses.
    If any one in husker nation thinks that this staff of coaches accepts things the way they are, you are plain stupid. Also do not judge until u have walked a mile in the mans shoes. Trust me they want to win as bad as anybody, and so do the players.
    And if anyone out there thinks that a kid on iowas football team ,minnesotas team or any other team doesnt think they are going to win before they step on the field or a championship before the first game, that they accept an average season, you are sadly mistaken. Every team, every year, every game thinks they can win, its when u look past a team, thats when u loose. And no matter what a coach tells you or trys to motivate you with is it going to change. Sometimes the blame has to be spread accrosseverything not just pointed at 1 or 2 people. Great article. Good articles get people talking and thats what husker nation needs is another veiw to look at instead of the local media.

  35. Seth
    October 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Interesting article, but I think you’re ignoring the fact that 9 or 10 win seasons aren’t meaningful when 4-5 of your games are against extremely over-matched teams (e.g. South Dakota State). Simple put, a 10 win season isn’t impressive anymore (unless you schedule a few quality non-conference opponents). Add this to the amount of blowout losses incurred over the past 5 years, and I think there’s a strong case for questioning the current leadership and coaching staff.

    I think that you ignore many confounding variables when giving reasons why Nebraska and all other programs in the region should expect the same amount of success year-to-year. Instead you surmise that teams within close proximity of each other are the same in terms of facilities, TV exposure, geography, and recruiting base; therefore, they shouldn’t be surprised when beaten by a seemly worse team. This is a gross over-simplification, and does not explain the reasons for perennially successful programs.

    Overall I’m glad I read this, but as a reader I found it too combative. Selectively including Facebook quotes to make a point is lame and shows a lack of confidence in yourself as a writer to provide a convincing case for whatever it is your trying to prove. Frankly, I find it insulting to the reader as well. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    1. admin
      October 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      And you are entitled to it. Thanks for reading.

  36. October 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    After reading this, I’d have to agree that there is too much of a sense of entitlement. However, I think that some of the disappointment recently has stemmed not from how many games we have lost, but from how we have lost them. For example, the Big 10 title game where we got blown out by Wisconsin, not to mention the Wisconsin loss earlier that year. It seems like we would get blown out against Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The there is also the poor bowl performances over the last few years. Again, I understand your argument and it makes sense, but I was just trying to show where some of the frustration might be coming from.

  37. Ryan
    October 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    The entire premise of your article is based on “Nebraska’s standard is national titles in football (five in over 123 years).” Which is false.

    No one with reasonable expectations of any football program expects to win a national title every year. However, there is a reasonable expectation of being able to contend for a national title every year.

    A more reasonable number to use instead of 5 National titles is 43 conference championships. Nebraska hasn’t won a conference title since 1999.

    70% winning percentage. You rail on Husker fans for living in the past, but yet you take a number like 70% and equate it to the same 70% that Tom Osborne had. Coaches now a days have the luxury of facing FCS schools, and 14 game schedules. The current schedule is ranked 120th or something equally awful. 9 – 10 wins is great…if you’re not getting blown out every time you play a good team. Of Nebraskas worst 20 defensive performances over HALF are from Bo Pelini, and 6 of the top 10 worst performances belong to him…the so called defensive genius. Beating South Dakota St every year means nothing if you lose to Minnesota, or a 7-5 Wisconsin team by 40 points.

    Nebraska is one of the true blue bloods in college football. Top 5 in wins all time. And yes money is considered in what we have that other programs don’t. You think Oregon isn’t happy to have all the Nike money?

    If you think our facilities are equal to a school like Temple (hey they both have weight rooms!) then I guess there is no helping.

    1. Mike
      October 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      43 conference championships? How many of those came during the Big 6/Big 8 days, when the conference was a 2-horse race every year? Here’s a quiz: which former Big 8 team has 44 conference championships? I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

      Add up how many of Nebraska’s amazing wins are over Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. All of a sudden that total win figure doesn’t look so impressive.

      1. Ryan
        October 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Oklahoma, and thanks for helping prove my point.

        Gibbs cleaned up their program and was 44-23-2 in his tenure there, but OU was unhappy that they weren’t winning anything so they fired him…based on their expectations of conference and national titles.

        Now your quiz…Which program has been nationally relevant in the 2000′s…definitely not Nebraska.

        Nebraska has 4 wins in 2013 against FBS schools…their combined record? 8-21…4 are from wyoming…take them out…and it drops to 4-17…

        Lets build Bo a statue!!!

        1. Mike
          October 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

          My intent was not to prove your point, though I see where you’re coming from.

          Yes, Oklahoma also has an unreasonable standard when it comes to football, and if anything, they could make a better claim to entitlement than Nebraska, since they are superior in nearly all historical categories. Their statistics are vulnerable to the same arguments as Nebraska’s: 100+ years of wins over 4 to 5 historically terrible football programs. Not really something to hang your hat on. The point is, lifetime wins don’t mean much. Ask Yale.

          My point was to show that using “conference championships” as a metric means very little when the odds of winning the conference were essentially a coin flip for a century. Since the Big XII came into being, Nebraska has won 2 conference championships. I wonder if that has something to do with facing more than one good team a year?

          I agree that Bo deserves a statue, but it will be difficult to immortalize flying spittle in bronze. Bas relief, perhaps?

          1. Ryan
            October 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm

            Possibly, but it could also be related to coaching failures the past 3 times. After Osborne recruits were gone Solich was arguably awful.

            Even the 2003 team got destroyed by the good teams on that schedule…who was the DC then? hmm…

            Nebraska has been in a football purgatory since Osborne left. Much of it, in my opinion, is self induced. Our fans are so stuck in the “nebraska way” mentality in that anything or anyone from the outside is considered evil and the wrong way to do things. Nebraska won’t be good or relevant again until we can purge our program of this nepotism and thinking that the only way to get back to being good is to go back to the 90′s.

  38. Jerad
    October 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I wouldn’t call the Nebraska Fan base entitled. Instead, i would say that the football programs suffers from the sports equivalent of the curse of competence.

    Reading your article, I also couldn’t help but draw some parallels to Dunning–Kruger effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    Basically:
    “Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
    tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
    fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
    fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
    recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.”

  39. James
    October 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    My experience with the university is pretty lengthy. I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s wanting to play for the Big Red. My parents have had season tickets for about 50 years. I have gone to a lot of games when we played like Nebraska should play. I then attended the university and became a student athletic trainer for the football team. At Nebraska, your standards were for excellence and character. We worked harder, because everybody else in the nation had better football players. We represented the state of Nebraska and it’s people. The people of this state take great pride in the athletic teams that the university puts out. When we are successful nationally, then those people on the west and east coast and the media can’t say “there is nothing” in the middle of nowhere, such as in Nebraska. Nebraska kids, which most were walk-ons, played for the Huskers to make proud their family and the state. Yes, it is different here in Nebraska. The university and their teams unify the people of the state. We all have a common bond. As fans, we appreciate hard work and passion. We don’t like head coaches yelling at their assistants, the very people that work so hard for the head coach. We don’t appreciate a coach cussing out the fans of this state, who contribute greatly to his salary. We just wish he would grow up a little and quit quarreling with his assistants on national tv when something is not going well. Thanks for the time.

    1. Scott
      October 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Except when his name is Bob Devaney….which often yelled at his assitants and refs. While there is no record of him cussing out the people of the state, I have no doubt he probably did at one point while one of his drunken stupors. Of course, we didn’t have round the clock social media and cameras on our pocket phones back then either. How easily we forget as long the wins come. No, we’d rather quarrel with our own beloved players over twitter, facebook, and their voicemail when they lose a game. Yes, we’re much more classy then our coach.

  40. Rich
    October 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I loved your Article. I live in Omaha and I am not a Husker Fan (WHAT?). I am an outcast because I don’t believe that the “BIG RED” is the best football team ever created. It might be like this in Tuscaloosa but I don’t live there. Your article is spot on and it is what I have been trying to explain to people who don’t live here. I am a college football fan and it amazes me that every year they are expecting National Championships with no facts or reasons to why. To steal your line” JUST BECAUSE”! The Football team has an effect on the local economy. Not the way you may think. The Huskers loose and everyone leaves the establishment’s they are at and go home. Restarts & Bars loose Business It is astonishing. GREAT READ!!!

  41. Brian
    October 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I am a native Nebraskan who has also lived in Chicago for the past 25 years. I can tell you that the same sense of entitlement exists for many Chicago Bears fans as well as Notre Dame. People look at me cross eyed when I tell them I don’t care about the Bears or the Irish.

    I think the biggest concern most Husker fans have is that the program seems to take 2 steps back from every one step forward. I believe most Husker fans understand that the 60-3 run of the 1990′s was a once in a lifetime occurrence. At least I hope they do.

    Husker football is part of my DNA and I will root for them no matter what. I refuse to let it consume my life though. The playing field has changed and Nebraska needs to adapt.

  42. Vagas
    October 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    While I do think a lot of what you say is very dead on and I agree with a lot of it here are a few little things to consider. If they’ve been mentioned in prior posts, sorry. I didn’t read them all. We do have a “right” to expect better. We are currently 5th in all time wins behind, Mich. ND, Texas and Yale. Bo has won 71% of his games. However, he is 35-22 vs. BCS schools and a mere 15-10 vs. B1G schools since joining the league. Just, food for thought. Thanks for the read.

  43. Ted
    October 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    A couple of things seem to elude Husker fans. First, a fan base cannot will its team to victory. How much you care about your team does not directly impact its on the field play. I suppose it does have an indirect effect of increasing revenue through ticket sales, donations, and apparel sales, but this leads us to the second important point to consider.
    Nebraska’s football program has a substantial amount of resources, but nothing that separates it from the pack. Nebraska’s athletic department’s revenue is on par with Wisconsin, South Carolina, Iowa, and Washington. Those are your peer programs with respect to resources.
    Another painful reality is that he competition for top recruits is much more competitive than it was in the 90s. Several teams have been able to weather this by relying on locking down their strong, naturally bountiful, recruiting area. Classic examples of this are Alabama, USC, the Florida schools, and Ohio State. Having a strong local recruiting base does not guarantee success, but it is becoming an ever more important condition precedent to having a truly top tier program. It goes without saying that Nebraska does not enjoy this advantage.
    Every one of these points, with the exception of strong local recruiting, cut the other way for Nebraska as recently as the 90s, and Nebraska was able to make up ground on the recruiting front by capitalizing on national recruits when competition for these types of players was nothing like it is today. Your success back then has little bearing on your likelihood of success going forward. Nebraska fans can keep their head in the ground and continue to be the laughing stock of college football due to their delusions of grandeur, or they can appreciate what they have and support their team. Based upon what I have seen over the years, I’m guessing Nebraska fans will go with former and keep their heads firmly planted, in not in the ground, than in another hole where the sun does not often shine (that is unless it is being gaped by Minnesota!).

  44. Chris
    October 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    This is factual… I am a pretty die-hard Husker fan, but realize that we are not in the 90s anymore.

    My issue with the program as it is, and by the way, I am happy with 10-11 wins a year, is the way we lose. Yes, I know it’s an “even” field now, but 63-28, 41-21, 70-31, 45-24, 45-17, etc… scores are not fun to go through. And it’s the way Nebraska loses. One bad thing happens, and it just snowballs. The team / program are mental midgets. No mental toughness. You can see it happening. I saw it earlier this year against UCLA. When Brett Hundley escaped the sack on 3rd and 13 in the first half before halftime and the Bruins went down and scored, you could physically SEE it happening.

    That is my issue. Trust me, 10-4 is a good season with a shot to play in the Big Ten title game and possible BCS game. I would take that every year in the landscape that is college football… But just make the losses a little more competitive, Please!

  45. Scott
    October 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I agree with many points in your article, and I do not speak for all Nebraska fans, but I have been a fan since 1963. First of all, anyone who gets on the players, either via tweeting, blogging, or even confronting is not a real fan. I do not feel entitled, but I expect a Husker football team to play with passion and heart. My disappointment with Coach Pelini is that the defensive players seem confused on their assignment, and they don’t seem to have heart. I lay that at Coach Pelini’s feet since his expertise is defense. All of the previous Nebraska coaches had losses, that I understand, but in my opinion the Devaney and Osborne teams always played hard. I understand my team will lose games, but they should never give up. I don’t think Coach Pelini needs to be replaced, but I believe he should examine some of his staff. The coaching staff seems unable to make adjustments, and to me it looks like they are not properly coaching the players. Well that is my mini rant, and I don’t expect anyone living here to become a diehard Husker fan.

  46. Being Honest in Nebraska
    October 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    As a born and raised Husker fan, I have to say this article is Spot on. Don’t get me wrong I love My Huskers and always will, but this state and fan base is so locked in to the History and feeling of good times that we refuse to accept that we will have down times. To be honest at this point in our history we are a middle of the road team in a middle of the road conference. The college Landscape has changed and the Days of Nebraska mowing through everyone to a Conference Championship are over. Our fans need to accept that Osborne is gone and so are the glory days. Plus how short are there memories, Back in the 80’s everyone was calling for T.O.s head, yet now we as a state revere him as a GOD. We as a fan base need to realize that we will never have it good 100% of time and need to learn how to act with Class and dignity when we are down.
    I am not a Bo Hater and believe that if we give him the same time and patience that we ended up giving Osborne, He will right the ship and deliver a National Championship to the Big Red Faithful.
    Look what he did so far, in 6 seasons he has taken us to 3 Conference Championships in 2 different Conferences, Give him the time to grow and learn just like we did with T.O and Bo will get us there.
    If he was Good enough for Tom Osborne to Hire and I trust Tom Osborne, then He deserves our faith and respect to get the job done but if won’t happen overnight and a few bumps in the road will be good for the Nebraska Fan Base.

  47. Hugh Wiley
    October 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Husker fans have no greater “sense of entitlement” than Alabama, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame or USC fans. We can accept mediocrity as you suggest or expect excellence from a head coach that is well paid to get results. Beating a team from St. Mary’s home for the blind to get to a 9 win season isn’t like competing for a conference or national championship. I don’t think anyone expects the Huskers to play for a conference championship every year, but when the team is getting blown out by teams they should be able to compete against then something needs to be changed.

    1. Ted
      October 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      “Alabama, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame or USC”

      This may feel a bit like when your parents told you Santa isn’t real, but brace yourself because it is time you learned this: NEBRASKA IS NO LONGER AN ELITE FOOTBALL PROGRAM and given its complete lack of a strong local recruiting base, it never will be again. Be thankful for every 10 win season, and truly relish those rare years when you are competing for conference championship and a national championship is a real possibility at the end of October.

      1. Gary
        October 30, 2013 at 10:56 am

        I love it when people become fortune tellers and can predict what Nebraska will do. WTF do you know that everyone else doesn’t? More importantly what tool do you use to see the future? Do you have a crystal ball jammed up your ass where your head is?

  48. Bri
    October 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I am assuming that you are an Iowa apologist and generally a husker hater. Which is fine but at least keep in mind that it shapes your regional bias.

    From your argument every program that expects to win is now entitled because of fan and media expectations? I suppose you could say that Tennessee firing Fulmer, Ohio State firing Cooper are two examples of entitled fans under your premise. I would think that instead of accepting a sub par coach in Kirk Ferentz Iowa fan should demand a better winning percentage than 57% Chizik got fired for 57% win percentage and he won a National Title 2 years ago. If your not winning your loosing it really is that simple. So Auburn fan must be entitled as well.

    If you look at any program with a tradition of winning a common theme appears -They don’t accept anything less than winning championships or at least being competitive against the elite. Nebraska has this mindset. I would take that mindset on any team be it business or in the sports field over one that accepts mediocrity.

    One thing we can agree on is that the term “Unthinkable” is probably an overstatement given that Nebraska was barely a double digit favorite. But the fact that Nebraska loss to a perennial doormat is unthinkable and accepting this kind of under performance is a defeatist mindset which should be Unthinkable to any program that wants to be successful.

    Your bias is also apparent when you compare two programs based on geographical location. In that same logic then we can compare any two universities that are geographically close should be equal. Perhaps you don’t understand the prestige component in a programs history. Which is why teams like Illinois historically fail to compete with the Ohio States of the world. I guess under this logic Penn State should be ok with losing to Pittsburgh. Or that Iowa should be ok losing to Iowa State. Or that Texas should be ok with losing to TCU. OR god Forbid Alabama losing to Miss State.

    1. Ted
      October 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      “If you look at any program with a tradition of winning a common theme appears -They don’t accept anything less than winning championships or at least being competitive against the elite. Nebraska has this mindset. I would take that mindset on any team be it business or in the sports field over one that accepts mediocrity.”

      Point to one thing about the Nebraska football program, besides its success in the 90s and earlier, that would lead an impartial observer to believe it has a competitive advantage going forward over teams such as Washington, Arkansas, South Carolina, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State or Wisconsin? And no, Nebraska fans really, really, really wanting to win does not count.

      1. Ryan
        October 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

        Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

  49. October 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    As a die hard lifelong Iowa fan, I have come to hate the Huskers. Not the team, the fans. While NE wasn’t in my wheelhouse until I moved to the Omaha metro (2006), I never thought the entitlement would be at this level. I know OU fans, OSU (Ohio) fans, Bama fans, and Husker fans. I can tell u from experience, Husker fans are the worst of the entitled programs. While one commenter got it right “{we have nothing else to get distracted by.}” Iowa fans don’t either. Yet there we are, every week, cheering our team. Whether it be football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, volleyball, or swimming! We have the same passion for all! Where are these rabid fans when volleyball or wrestling shows up? Yes there are some, but not near the amount that claim fandom of the “greatest football program EVER AND ALWAYS! Please. Be realistic fans. There are better teams out there. YOU WILL NOT WIN EVERY GAME! Accept it.
    Iowa should have been blown out by ohio state. The Hawkeyes were leading at half! Yes, they did lose. But what a game! I was happy with it. I was happy with them losing to UNI on week 1. Why? Because QB Ruddock was green and losing the game that u started and got your first snap ever on will hopefully give him the incentive to work harder and succeed. Success in failure. Husker fans should be mindful of this. Sometimes, failure is a good thing.

    1. Ted
      October 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      I am friends with fans of most of the Big 10 and Big 12 schools. In fact, I have attended games at 13 different venues in those conferences, and Nebraska fans are by far the most pigheaded fan base I have ever encountered. Pride in your program is awesome, but the disdain that Nebraska fans show for other programs coupled with their completely irrational belief in their superiority is, quite simply, revolting.

      1. Gary
        October 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

        Ted, you call nebraska fans pigheaded yet you spew your verbal diarrhea on multiple comments. You’ve hated on multiple people here while patting yourself on the back at every opportunity. I find your comment submerged in irony and coated with a layer of bullshit.

    2. October 30, 2013 at 5:06 am

      When Iowa even gets close to breaking in to this list then maybe you can try and make a comparison.

      http://voices.yahoo.com/ranking-top-25-college-football-programs-over-6659816.html?cat=14

      And yes we do have pride in our team and believe we are “greatest football program EVER AND ALWAYS!” Thats called being a fan and having pride in your team. Its obvious as an Iowa fan you are conditioned to losing and you accept it.

      And we dont expect to win every game. We do however expect to be competitive in every single game and not get blown out, embrassed, or out coached.

      Hats off to Minnesota……they played like they wanted to win and they did. Nothing wrong with that. I just dont think Nebraska is playing or being coached at the level they should be.

  50. Ashley
    October 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Here’s the deal: to all the people who think our “entitlement ” as nebraksa fans is too much for them. We are one of the longest running football programs in the nation, one that is known for not only our amazing support of our team with our fan base, but other teams as well. We were known for our play hard on the field, leave the blood on the green, play until the last whistle defense with our black shirts. AND WE ARE ALLOWED TO BE UPSET! In the past couple of years the blackshirts have continually not lived up to their potential and have been mediocre. We are allowed to be upset when the team and coaches are not playing at 100%. We are, as a fan base, dedicated to those “boys” in many ways. Our state has great pride in them. We are allowed to want them to live up to their potential!

    We are entitled. We are entitled to watch the cornhusker be the best they can be. And they weren’t. It was an amazing win for Minnesota. But let’s get real…it was an upset. No one expected it to happen. We as fans want our team to be the best they can be. Maybe not always the national champions but we expect not to let a team who has hardly completed 100 yards passing all year to walk all over us in the air and on the field.

    And let’s address the Iowa thing. GET OVER IT. You do not have the name that Nebraska does. You don’t have the reputation. You’re jealous. Get over is and focus on yourselves. Look within! I watch many Iowa games out of love of the game and I would estimate that 70% of your loses aren’t because of the players it’s coaching! You as a program are okay with mediocrity. It’s evident in the fact that you pay your coach so much and he is so terrible. Are you going to beat our team? Yes probably. But the fact that we have a problem with that and want to know how to fix it so we can win next year is was makes us fans thee fans that sell out a huge stadium every game for years on end and what makes you drunken fans that yell at people for wearing their red gear to the bar.

    1. admin
      October 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

      “We are one of the longest running football programs in the nation.”

      You are right. Only these schools have been around as long or longer than Nebraska, who started in 1890:

      Rutgers (1869)
      Michigan (1879)
      Navy (1880)
      Minnesota (1883)
      Cincinatti (1885)
      Penn State (1887)
      Miami(OH.) (1888)
      Notre Dame (1889)
      Ohio State (1890)
      Army (1890)
      Colorado (1890)
      Syracuse (1890)

      Oh look, there’s Minnesota!

      “We were known for our play hard on the field, leave the blood on the green, play until the last whistle defense with our black shirts.”

      Who doesn’t do all of that. And you realize that the black shirts don’t actually give them more ability, right?

      “In the past couple of years the blackshirts have continually not lived up to their potential and have been mediocre.”

      Potential? What potential? Look at the rankings of the recruiting classes. It sounds like you want them to be one of the B1G’s best defenses, which would be EXCEEDING their potential.

      “We are allowed to want them to live up to their potential!”

      Again with the potential.

      “We are entitled. We are entitled to watch the cornhusker be the best they can be. And they weren’t. It was an amazing win for Minnesota.”

      What if it was the best they could be on that day against that team and it just wasn’t enough?

      1. Ashley
        October 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

        Oh come of it! You yourself “knew” that the gophers didn’t stand up to Nebraska when you wrote about it last week. If Nebraska Would have shown up there would have been no way that game would have been played that way.

        We as fans aren’t upset with the number of losses but how they were lost is important. They looked like they didn’t care if Taylor got knocked to the ground of if some guy ran past him after they half attempted to tackle him by his ankle. The black shirts might not have magical powers but they meant something. They meant power and strength. And they did have a real life power for recruiting. We are upset to see that leave to the fault of a man we thought was a defensive coach.

        And please stop with the everyone deserves a trophy crap. You know fair well that if espn was talking about power house football schools or football programs of legend Minnesota wouldn’t even be thought of. While Nebraska would. Should they be with the puss poor performances in the last 10 years? Most likely not. But it is a powerhouse and you know that. So stop the bias.

        1. Mike
          October 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

          Minnesota has 7 national championships.

          You knew that, right? Just because it happened before Nebraska football mattered to anybody (circa 1970) doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. Minnesota fans are also capable of having an argument without immediately resorting to “SEVEN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!” as the be-all end-all of the conversation.

          You’re in the Big Ten now. Lording your tally of NCs over other programs doesn’t hold much weight when there are several with more.

          And no, Nebraska is not thought of as a powerhouse football program, and hasn’t been for at least a decade. Not sure what ESPN you’re watching.

          Frankly, your comments are puss poor.

          1. Gary
            October 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

            You can attempt to discount Nebraska because they haven’t been a national champion in 16 years. Then again, only 11 teams have been. However, you can’t discount that Nebraska’s success of the last 50 years is unmatched by any team in the country. However, Minnesota’s success of the last 50 years must just be undocumented. So while you’re attempting to use the argument that Nebraska isn’t a powerhouse program, maybe you missed the point of the article and it’s many comments where people express their desire to change the program to become relevant like they once were. I’d also argue that no matter how loud you yell it, they’re still far more relevant than 75% of the schools in the NCAA FBS landscape and that includes Minnesota. Good teams lose eventually. Nebraska has been fortunate enough to be one of those schools in which they don’t have to say that often.

            …and FWIW, being an asshole doesn’t make your “opinion” any more valid. It just means you’re an asshole. See, I can be one too.

          2. admin
            October 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

            “You can attempt to discount Nebraska because they haven’t been a national champion in 16 years. Then again, only 11 teams have been. ”

            Gary, that statement is the entire point of my article and you made it for me.

            Over 120 teams. Only one team can win it all. Only 5-6 teams can really matter. Being one of those 5-6 teams today is being elite. If only 5-6 can be elite, than yes, I am asking the fan base to accept 4 losses a season, no matter how they happen. 9 wins is not mediocre and it kills me that countless people who have replied to this post think winning nine games is mediocre. Six and Seven is medicore. Nine is a winning football team. Nebraska has a winning football team. That said, no team outside of that elite 5-6 should EVER be surprised when they lose, especially to a conference opponent on the road.

          3. Gary
            October 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

            You’re confusing the classification of being mediocre completely. What these people are saying is that they’re not champions. That’s what they want. You’re telling them it’s okay to not have it, and more importantly, that them wanting championships is unattainable and a foolish frame of mind.

          4. admin
            October 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

            No, the phrase “we will not accept mediocrity” is used repeatedly. Even when Sam McKewon said yesterday and then Nick Bahe again this morning that they should win a B1G title every four years, that’s not reasonable. There are 12, about to be 14 teams in the conference. You think Rutgers and Maryland are joining with the intent of remaining doormats? 14 teams with the same or similar resources playing for the same goal is going to yield different results almost every year.In the last 20 years, nine different teams have won a share of the Big Ten title. Asking or expecting one team to cut that stat in half is unreasonable.

          5. Gary
            October 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm

            Many of the other B1G schools don’t set themselves up for the level of success that Nebraska sets themselves up for. Period. You can try to tell me until you’re blue in the face that Indiana invests more into their football program than Nebraska does. Coach pay? No. Facilities? No. Stadium upgrades? No. Marketing? No. The same can be said for all but 3 other schools in this conference. I agree that they should compete for a conference championship at least every 4 years and to maintain success should win 50% of those games. They’re above that mark in earning the chance to play for it, but in 14 years haven’t. So, in essence, a team in a conference of 14 teams should’ve won at least one conference championship since the last time they won it. Since they invest more for better results than other schools that return should increase.

            Parse words all you want, fans haven’t seen a conference championship and because of that higher level of investment, don’t accept your notion that it’s just not in the math.

            The notion that 9 teams have won it is smoke and mirrors. They shared conference titles until nebraska joined. Both of Iowa’s conference championships are crap. In 2002, they didn’t play the team they “shared” it with and that team won the NT. In 2004, they lost to the team they “shared” it with. So far in the land of actual conference champions, 3 teams have played for it in two years and the same team has won it.

          6. Ted
            October 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm

            Garry, you are delusional!

            “The same can be said for all but 3 other schools in this conference.” Two, perhaps 3, Big 10 programs have a decided advantage over Nebraska with respect to resources, and another 3 or 4 programs are on par with Nebraska. You are going to need to come up with another reason why Nebraska is going to dominate the Big 10.

          7. Gary
            October 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

            Who said they were going to dominate? Those are your words, not mine. So if anyone here is delusional, it’s you. In this order:

            Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, and finally Indiana.

            and I would put Nebraska closer to equal with Penn State and could even make an argument for them to be ahead of them. Stadium size is about the only thing they have that’s better than Nebraska. Facilities? Nope. Marketing? Maybe. National brand? That’s going to be tainted for some time.

            I tell you what, dickface, why don’t you do a little research before you go spouting off with your cocksucker. When you can come on here an make an argument for why The most successful program over the last 50 years (and yes that includes the past decade) shouldn’t expect to be a top tier school in the football landscape, then maybe I will cut your clueless hack commentary some slack. Until then, STFU.

          8. gary
            October 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

            …and spell my name right, asstack. Got it, Tad?

          9. Ted
            October 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm

            Gary, I apologize for misspelling my name. I do most of my posting from a tablet, which is not ideal from the perspective of typos.

            With respect to resources, I assess programs mostly from the perspective of their yearly revenue, while making small adjustments here and there for special circumstances. Using revenue is especially appropriate when discussing the strength of a program going into the future. Based on athletic department revenue (which for practically all programs is entirely attributable to football), Nebraska is down quite a ways from Penn State, on par with Wisconsin and Iowa, and slightly ahead of Michigan State.

  51. Jan
    October 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    We really need to quit worrying about mediocrity!! Let’s all remember we won national championships in the 70′s. Bob steps down and Tom steps up. Then along come the 80′s and everyone was saying trash Tom “he can’t win the BIG ONE”. Bring on the 90′s and wow we are sitting on top of the world again and we have all put Tom on our shoulders. Best coach in history is what I believe you all proclaimed. Does any of this sound familiar???!!! Come on fans cheer them on and quit tearing them down. How would you feel to have people you don’t even know call you every name in the book in front of the world of social media?? Ya most of you who are throwing that garbage out there are to ashamed of yourselves to even sign a name to it!!! Cancer like you need to go elsewhere or find a mirror and stare in it to see “perfection”. Get a life “fairweather fans” and either get behind the team and the coaching staff and lift them up to do the best they can and quit stepping on top of the pile and crushing them to the ground!!! BORN A HUSKER FAN, DIE A HUSKER FAN AND THERE IS NO MIDDLE FOR ME!!!

  52. Kyle
    October 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Being a life long fan of Nebraska I love the fact that someone has come out and called out what seems to be a growing base of fans that are delusional in the belief that THE program (not OUR program) is not going to be like it was in the 90s every decade. Most forget how they wanted T.O.’s head when ‘he couldn’t win the big one’, or even beat Switzer. But thanks for the article

  53. Hannah Katz
    October 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    The switch from the Big 12 to the Big 10 is really hurting recruiting. It used to be, the Huskers could tell a recruit in Texas that he would be visiting the Lone Star State several times a year to see family, etc. No more. Good luck recruiting slow guys in the Great Lakes region and maintaining the same level of talent. They still get virtually all talented Nebraskans, but there are not enough. Maybe South Dakotans? Both of them.

  54. T
    October 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    You make some points. I do think that there are a lot of “fairweather” Husker fans. However, your article seemed to draw upon a certain constant sneer that some Iowa fans always seem to exhibit towards Nebraska, where they appear to care more about commenting negatively on Nebraska than commenting positively on their own team. Nebraska has a unique fan base, and much of it is positive (there *is* a lot of history and tradition, and those are not bad things). I would like to see the Big Red fans focus on those positive attributes rather then obsess over the fact that the team hasn’t been as good as they would like over the past few years. That said, it seems to be very popular to bash them now that the team is not winning. If that’s the case, why the heck are we not picking on Notre Dame, Miami, or (insert other former football dynasty’s fans here)?

  55. Jeremy
    October 31, 2013 at 9:39 am

    So, what SHOULD we expect from our team, oh wise and great football guru? How should we act when we get rolled by Minnesota? Please give a detailed list of the do’s and don’ts, please, so I know if I’m being a good fan or not.

    And get real. A vocal few are calling for Pelini’s head. Most of us aren’t – we understand it’s a process, and we’re rebuilding, etc.

    But we understand what good football looks like. We understand what it looks like when a team is playing to its potential. Playing with heart and fire. This team is no where close.

    Minnesota deserved that win because they wanted it more. Way more. And they played with heart. We’re thinking ‘what happened to the Pelini-coached teams that played that way?’

    That’s what we’re frustrated about, so cut us some slack.

    1. admin
      October 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

      How do you gauge potential? Does the color of the uniform they wear dictate how good they are supposed to be? If they played to what you think their potential is, what record should they finish the season with and why?

      1. gary
        October 31, 2013 at 11:55 am

        Jesse, why do you insist on asking loaded questions that you know the true answer to but are waiting for someone to serve you up a softball.

        Potential hosts many factors:

        investment dollars
        recruiting scores
        coaching staffs
        training tools
        academic status
        and yes, fan support

        Quit pretending like you don’t know this and that stupid remarks like uniform color is just a sneering response to something that you really could give a rats ass about. You just want reads.

  56. Jon
    October 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Completely agree. I’ve been trying to make this argument to my Husker friends for a while, but the denial is too think to cut. Just yesterday (before reading your spot-on post), I sent the following to my brother. I swear I sent this BEFORE I read your rant. Great minds… :)

    The disease isn’t the problem. The problem is the ACCEPTANCE of the disease. The astounding national championship run of the 90′s is the biggest source of Husker fan pride and identity. Over the past decade and a half, this pride has mutated into a curse and statewide hysteria and delusion. Husker fans seem to genuinely believe they simply have had 16 “off” years. If they only had a new coach… If they would bench that bum Taylor Martinez…If they would have run the ball more, etc. etc. It’s easier to blame a coach or a player or a scheme than to face the sharp stinging slap of acceptance.

    That acceptance is this: You Are No Longer Elite, and It’s O.K. Join the club.

    The Nebraska Cornhusker football team is as nationally relevant as Boyz II Men (who ironically had a big hit with, ahem, “End of the Road”). Tommy Armstrong, the freshman QB, who Husker fans are anointing as the savior to “Restore the Order” (no pressure there, right?), was born in late 1993. He is too young to recall a single snap of football from those storied glory days. You may as well be talking about Nute Rockne and The Gipper.

    The national landscape of college football has shifted seismically since Dr. Tom’s reign. It’s the Western and Southern tiered teams world to rule now. Ohio State is the exception because it is the third largest university in the U.S. with an enrollment of over 40 thousand more students than UNL. That massive enrollment equates to millions of more dollars used to lure in coaches and talent. Columbus is now a bustling, attractive metropolis with a population of over 800,000.

    Sure Notre Dame captured lightning in a bottle last year, but Alabama exposed them in the championship game, and they have slunk back into the shadows with all the other cold weather teams located in quaint, little burgs that the 5 star recruits don’t want to live and play in anymore.

    The Nebraska Cornhuskers are a good team with the potential to be great…every once in a while. And, having a great season will RARELY result in a national championship appearance.

    What has transpired in the past 16 years that makes Nebraska any better than Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas State, Michigan State? In the past decade Nebraska has had zero top 10 finishes. Iowa has had four. And, as a Hawkeye fan, you’ll never hear me say they’ve been elite. This is the cue where Husker fan cries, “We’ll NEVER be Iowa! Our goal is a National Championship!” The delusion and hysteria are once again perpetuated, and the unrealistic and crushing pressure on the recruits, players, and coaches builds. How long before the entire works simply collapses and is left in ruins?

    My advice to Husker fans is to do something that was also very popular back in the 90′s. Take a Chill Pill.

    Relax and enjoy the ride. Appreciate the incredible atmosphere at Memorial Stadium on Saturdays. Recognize there is no Conspiracy Theory, and the players and coaches are working hard with what they have to be the best they can be. Be proud of the past, but quit being mired and deluded by it. Strive for your team to be better, but stop fantasizing on a future that will likely never come to fruition. Finally, enjoy the game at hand. College football is a thrilling, captivating, mysterious, maddening and intoxicating thing of beauty, and you are sadly missing it.

  57. Mike
    November 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    No serious Husker fan is saying we will return to the 90′s. Modt of us just want something better than what we have now. Nine and ten win seasons are good and I don’t have a problem with losing. It happens. What pisses me off is the way Nebraska loses. Losing to Minnesota can happen but getting physically beat? That to me is unacceptable. Similar recruiting base? That’s it Husker fans for so long I thought Nebraska was a hotbed of talent until this troll pointed it out for me. I understand and will now be a “true” husker fan and just accept the card that has been dealt to Nebraska. Thanks for pointing this out!

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