Article in The Athletic

I believe a person has to have a subscription to The Athletic to read this but sometimes they will offer some free viewings to potential subscribers. I would recommend The Athletic. It is very good and the last I knew it is only $2 a month to subscribe and it can be cancelled anytime,

This article is tough to swallow as it hits at the heart of things. Most, if not all, of this is are things we already know. In my opinion it is way too early to evaluate Rhule. I felt that way about Frost his first season but it never got any better. Rhule still has time.

One place I have disagreed with a great many fans is it seems people feel the Huskers have top quality talent and if they don’t win it is on the coaches. I am not saying the coaches don’t bear their own responsibility. I just don’t feel the talent level the last 5-7 years is/was at the level some people do. But, hopefully I will be proven wrong as the season progresses.

John Papenhagen

Nebraska opened the 81 season 1-2 and many were calling for TO to be fired immediately (which was a constant demand from many fans following the Devaney championship years). Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and it shouldn’t happen now either (for obvious reasons).

I believe the insanity of those who are calling for Rhule to go (now, after 2 games) is a good indictment of their overall poor judgement, and I for one am glad I don’t work for someone like that, or live anywhere near them. They’re certifiable.

As far as the referenced article is concerned, as Mike has often said, they’re selling paper (albeit electronically). Their opinion is worth what I and most others pay for it (which is exactly zero).

What I WOULD like to know, is what is discussed between Rhule and TO the next time they get together. Perhaps such a meeting might happen this week.



‘Top quality talent’? Naah, they have SOME good players, but not enough of them – yet. The OL and DL need rebuilding, and that’ll take at least 2 years to show results. Sims is a one-year plug-in, and was probably the best Rhule could do given the magnitude of the rebuild needed. He’s been turnover prone and that’s still the case. Is Haarburg capable of starting in 2023 or 2024? I haven’t seen enough of him to know what he’s got. Hopefully he’ll get some good snaps in over the next two games.

My goal for this season has always been to see Rhule rebuild the culture at Nebraska to the point where it looks like the players belong in Nebraska uniforms. They aren’t there yet, but I did see some good things in both of the first two games (and, yeah, a lot of the same old mistake-prone crap), so I’m looking for incremental progress in small things over the course of the season, enough so that recruiting yields a better player pool for 2024 and again in 2025.

They should be 2-2 when Michigan comes calling, that’ll be a good measuring point. I don’t expect them to win that game, I do expect them to perform well enough to look respectable. I don’t want to see a 5 TD blowout.

If MSU is in turmoil, then the 4 games after Michigan will be the key to the kind of improvements I want to see: Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue and MSU could present an opportunity for a 4 game winning streak.

Rhule is rebuilding with a proven track record:

  • D is much improved
  • O is limping behind a ‘meh’ OL with no depth and a QB that they probably now feel was the wrong one to pursue
  • The goal remains 6 wins, but that may not be reality in the current Year 1 prospectus

This will sort itself out:

  • I have much more faith in Rhule than the prior coach
  • Some of the assistants are also learning and growing on the job

NE started out with 2 tough games – both on the road:

  • There was no easy game to begin at home to iron out kinks
  • Look for the team to gel and improve
  • The obvious biggie is a QB with issues being accentuated by pressure coming through the line

New players, new coaches, new culture:

  • Give it time
  • It will pan out

On the surface this all sounds reasonable. Rhule, I believe, is a better fit than was Frost.

However, we’ve heard this year after year for the past two decades and I’m frankly, exhausted. Every year we get told how things will get better, the play will improve, we are on the road back, etc.

After being fooled time after time, it’s hard to be optimistic.

Greg Zimmerman, UNL '75
Overland Park, Kansas

Maybe they can get Zane Flores to transfer back to Nebraska next year. He buried on the OSU roster. Two redshirt freshman ahead of him.

Good Nebraska boy. Frost overlooked him.