| USA TODAY
No one within the nation was louder in regards to the significance of taking part in school soccer this season amid a pandemic than the Nebraska administration and head coach Scott Frost. Actually, when the Massive Ten initially introduced on Aug. 11 that it will not play this fall, Nebraska took the route of open rebel, publicly blasting the league whereas exploring whether or not it may play non-conference video games on the aspect.
As petulant as Nebraska and its fan base have been by means of this complete saga of 2020 — the complaints have ranged from having to open the season with Ohio State to the league’s choice to not permit them to schedule Chattanooga as a substitute for a recreation that received canceled — it’s true that Frost in the end received his method. Soccer has been performed in Lincoln.
It simply hasn’t been performed properly. And, the truth is, the season has solely additional uncovered Frost to skepticism about his skill to rescue his alma mater from the abyss.
Essentially the most related factor that has occurred to Nebraska this season occurred shortly after its 41-23 loss to Illinois when somebody on the Illini’s social media workers posted the next to their official Twitter account: “Good recreation Nebraska. Thanks for bringing again B1G soccer.”
Winners and losers: Ohio State, Indiana, Nebraska and Northwestern prime Week 12’s listing
Extra: High 10 performances from Week 12 in school soccer
Throughout a season during which group Twitter accounts have develop into more and more saucy, that troll job can be laborious to prime. Actually, it reduce so deep that Illinois truly deleted the Tweet.
However no one at Nebraska can run from the fact that its thirst to play soccer this season has not been met with equal vigor through the precise video games. The Cornhuskers are 1-3 and as not sure about who they’re or have to be offensively as they have been the day Frost received there. There’s now formally a revolving door at quarterback between Luke McCaffrey and Adrian Martinez, and the identification disaster resulted in 5 turnovers towards Illinois.
Frost is now simply 10-18 at Nebraska and 7-15 within the Massive Ten. A number of years in the past, followers have been bemoaning Bo Pelini’s run of 9-4 and 10-4 seasons, which began the downward cycle the applications finds itself in now.
Frost fought laborious to get the season began, however the shortcomings in how he needed to construct this system — beginning with a training workers he introduced from UCF mainly in tact — at the moment are being laid naked in embarrassing vogue. His popularity as a coach has taken a giant hit.
Given Nebraska’s obnoxiousness over the Massive Ten’s meandering highway to taking part in soccer this yr, it’s truthful to query whether or not it was all price it. That’s why Nebraska is No. 1 on this week’s Distress Index, a weekly measurement of knee-jerk reactions based mostly on what every fan base simply watched.
FOUR MORE IN MISERY
Tennessee: It was revealed earlier within the week that athletics director Phillip Fulmer — you recognize, the previous soccer coach who launched a cold coup to put in himself on the head of the athletics division through the soccer teaching search of 2017 — quietly obtained a contract extension in Could. This occurred just a few months earlier than Fulmer took care of his soccer coach, Jeremy Pruitt, whose six-game profitable streak to finish 2019 put him and his agent squarely within the zone to benefit from a naive administration by giving Pruitt his personal pointless and ill-advised extension. And what are Tennessee followers getting for all that job safety on the prime two spots? The Vols’ 30-17 loss to Auburn was their fifth straight double-digit defeat, one thing that has by no means occurred in program historical past. And it’s not as if Tennessee’s streak of awfulness is occurring towards traditionally nice groups apart from Alabama; it’s Kentucky, it’s Arkansas, it’s one of many extra mediocre Georgia groups of the previous a number of years. Now, lots of the similar emotionally invested commentators who’ve steered Tennessee within the improper route at each flip are calling for the Pruitt period to finish. However given the contract mess that Tennessee received itself into this yr, that is likely to be tough. And with the bumbling Fulmer nonetheless on the helm, sweeping out Pruitt might be not sufficient.
Tulane: Zooming out on the larger image of a program that hasn’t gained so much prior to now 20 years, you could possibly interpret the Inexperienced Wave’s 5-5 document as an enormous constructive given what number of heartbreaking losses they’ve had this season. On the similar time, the quantity of unhealthy luck and end-of-game ineptitude Tulane has skilled simply within the area of a number of weeks is actually mind-blowing. Tulane blew a 24-0 lead towards Navy and misplaced on a walk-off discipline aim in Week 2, couldn’t punch it in late to take the lead towards SMU and misplaced in additional time after which suffered the coup de grace Thursday evening towards Tulsa. Main 14-0 going into the fourth quarter, Tulane gave up two lengthy landing drives solely to re-take a 21-14 lead with 1:38 to go. However this being Tulane in 2020, three defenders allowed a Hail Mary on the ultimate play of regulation to zip over their heads, improbably extending the sport. Then, poised to take the lead within the second additional time, Tulane as soon as once more met calamity as Tulsa star linebacker Zaven Collins snagged a cross close to the aim line and took it again for a game-ending choose six. Tulane has yet another recreation left and should properly end with a profitable document, however they’ll spend a very long time questioning what they did to deserve such karmic blowback this season.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies can be a giant litmus take a look at for the faculty sports activities business in how a lot of a COVID-19 free cross a training workers will get. The explanations for Virginia Tech’s fan base to be pissed off on the route Justin Fuente has taken this system aren’t new; the truth is, they’ve been simmering for a pair years now. By the identical token, the explanations for Virginia Tech’s administration to desire stability are additionally not new, as Fuente was empowered to construct a program basis with none shortcuts and given a monetary dedication that may be very costly to terminate. You then throw in COVID-19 — which ran by means of the roster for a number of weeks and crushed any notion of a standard preparation for the season — and it’s a harder analysis than a 47-14 loss to Pitt would point out. However the emotional harm of dipping to 4-5 and sure ending an everyday season below .500 for the primary time in 28 years (the Hokies have two video games left, and one among them is Clemson) isn’t rooted in sanity or fiscal accountability. As an alternative, it’s a rising feeling that Virginia Tech’s popularity as one among school soccer’s large boys has slipped away and that drastic motion is required to stop it from slipping additional down the rabbit gap.
Syracuse: There are many applications slogging by means of the 2020 season however none in such dreary vogue because the Orange. It was actually simply two years in the past that Syracuse was 10-3, ranked within the prime 15 and thought of one of many ACC’s ascendant groups. However that phenomenon may as properly have been many years in the past as a result of that’s the way it feels watching 1-8 Syracuse handle simply 137 offensive yards in a 30-0 loss to Louisville. Actually, all the things about this offense has been a panoramic failure this yr. Syracuse has managed to attain 30 factors simply as soon as in its lone win over Georgia Tech and damaged the 300-yard barrier solely 3 times. It places Syracuse on monitor to complete with its worst season since 2005, when its lone win below Greg Robinson was vacated on account of NCAA violations. There’s no indication that any NCAA misdeeds have taken place just lately, but when one way or the other they might discover some and magically wipe this season from the document books it is likely to be thought-about an act of mercy.
TRENDING TOWARD MISERY
Michigan: It’s by no means psychological area for a fan when there’s uncertainty about whether or not a loss or a win can be higher for the long-term well being of this system. Had the Wolverines misplaced to Rutgers, as they appeared on monitor to do at numerous factors Saturday, there would have been little doubt in regards to the route to take. As an alternative, Michigan gained 48-42 within the third additional time, which isn’t a lot to rejoice for a 2-3 soccer group that is still fairly unhealthy. However by avoiding a catastrophic loss, the ultimate chapter to the Jim Harbaugh period doesn’t fairly appear written. Actually, that’s the worst of all worlds.
Kentucky: By wanting on the 63-3 ultimate rating, you’d by no means know the Wildcats have been aggressive with Alabama for properly over 1 / 4. Actually, they need to have been main the sport as one early drive contained in the Alabama 10-yard line received blown up by a holding penalty and one other ended with a botched snap on a discipline aim try. The sport was just about over as soon as Kentucky whiffed on these drives, however that’s not unforgivable. The bigger context is that Kentucky scored simply three factors this season towards Alabama and three towards Georgia, which is a reasonably large sign that you just’re not coming near the elites with this offensive method. Kentucky can cobble collectively sufficient wins to go to bowl video games, however the ceiling isn’t very excessive.
Penn State: Between the opt-outs and accidents to key gamers, we are able to safely assume that Penn State was by no means going to be superb this season. However wanting again to their season opener, the Nittany Lions have been a 50-50 on the spot replay name away from beating Indiana, which has turned out to be a top-10 sort of group. What occurs if that decision goes Penn State’s method? Definitely not 0-5, which is what they’re after a 41-21 loss to Iowa. Whereas the result was predictable and Penn State’s futility now not beautiful, it’s truthful to surprise what what the result can be throughout the Nittany Lions’ locker room in the event that they have been in a position to vote on simply shutting down the season proper now. They certain don’t look all that concerned with being there.
Kansas State: At one level in late October, you could possibly have fairly made the case for the Wildcats as the favourite within the Massive 12. Perhaps that was overly optimistic, however they have been 4-0 within the convention, had already overwhelmed Oklahoma and appeared to be gathering momentum every week. As an alternative, the underside has fallen out shortly, punctuated by Saturday’s 45-0 loss to Iowa State. Past the final COVID-19 points, of which there have been many for Kansas State, one thing else is happening below the floor. Because the season has performed out, Kansas State is as much as 10 gamers coming into their title within the switch portal, which is the best within the Massive 12. Perhaps you may simply chalk it as much as the bizarre nature of this season mixed with Chris Klieman naturally turning over the roster in his second yr. However with three consecutive losses now, the traits are all getting in a foul route.
TOTALLY REAL AND IRRATIONAL MESSAGE BOARD THREADS
“Pray we at the moment are a Basketball college” — Husker On-line
“We’re the unhealthy information bears of the SEC!” — VolNation
“Want a commerce portal for Coaches with Large Buyouts” — Tech Sideline (Virginia Tech)
“That was a heck of a pillow battle” — The Wolverine
“Franklin mentioned he was going to rewrite the PSU document e-book” — Blue White Illustrated