All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker breaks down the steps Nebraska football needs to take to be successful and get back to a winning standard.
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Check out a full transcript below:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
I hope you fine folks at home had a gloriously, stupendously glorious weekend.
So, new offensive coordinator Matt Lubick last week was quoted, and he said and I quote: "Give everything I've got," to get Husker football "back to the standard Nebraska football fans expect."
I know I butchered the quotes and not quotes just a little bit. Basically he's going to do everything he can to get Nebraska football back to the standard that the Husker fans have had long term, and get Nebraska football back there.
Now, here's the thing: To me, and I think Husker fans are much more pulled back now, they're much more like "OK, what's going to happen? We've got to see, you've got to show us, you've got to prove it." Hey, I'm on board with that. I think there was a little bit of an elevator to the top approach maybe in the beginning. Now that's been pulled back just a little bit. Maybe it's more of an escalator, maybe it's kind of a dead escalator. I don't know.
But here's the deal, staircase to success. To me, there needs to be a staircase to success. There is no elevator to the top. You can't jump on a trampoline and just jump over the dead escalator. Okay? Right now, it feels like we're at the bottom of a staircase, if you will. That's just how it feels to me whether that's an accurate feeling or not. It's my feelings. Don't tell me how to feel.
Here's the deal. We're at the bottom of the staircase we're looking at how do we get to the top. You don't go straight to hey, we're going to beat Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State. I think Husker fans are way too smart not to know that.
The first step in the staircase to success: No more losing to Northern Illinois, Troy and Purdue two out of three years. We got to beat those schools year in and year out, and it ain't just about beating them, but we got to get to the point where we're spanking them. We're not there yet, but that's the first staircase to get to the top of the staircase of success.
Number two: we got to consistently and almost be shocked if we don't beat teams like Illinois and Indiana and teams like that year in and year out. I'll never forget when we first joined the Big Ten. Barry Cofield, I played with him with the Redskins. He went to Northwestern, he started talking all this trash to me and I was like: "What in the blue hell is wrong with you?" You went to Stack of Books U, I went to a school where we actually played football. Why are you talking trash?" And they beat us.
Now Northwestern is a good football school, and they have come a long ways since where they used to be in the early 90's where they were arguably the worst power five program in the entire country. So all the respect in the world to Pat Fitzgerald, their head coach, who actually was part of that 1995 Rose Bowl team that played against USC for the Northwestern Wildcats. But the deal is teams like Illinois, Indiana, no disrespect, but we should be beating them year in and year out on a consistent basis. That's step two.
Step three: Every time we play Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, teams that are highly ranked that are nonconference, other highly ranked teams like Wisconsin, Iowa. We need to be competitive in those games. We need to feel like we have a chance to win. We should win hopefully some of them along the way as we're going up the staircase of success, but we need to be competitive. Feel like you have a chance to win when you play the top teams like Ohio State, Penn State, and teams of those nature.
Now the next thing, the next staircase, as you try to get closer to the top of the staircase of success, I hear about: "Oh, we don't have the talent. We had three good recruiting classes, but we can't compete with some of the other schools and the talent they have."
Let me drop some facts for you. In the Big Ten West, because what I'm saying is we need to be consistently getting to the Big Ten championship game way more often than we don't. And if you look at the stars, if you look at the recruiting, if you look at the rankings ladies and gentlemen, some of you know how I feel about those. The Big Ten West since 2017, when it comes to amount of four and five star commits that have come to the schools in the Big 10 West, Nebraska has 28 since 2017. The next highest school in our division is Wisconsin at 11, then Purdue at 10, Iowa at seven. If you add up Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa, it's 28. If you just look at Nebraska alone as far as four or five star commits, it's 28.
Don't tell me we ain't got the talent or more talent than the other teams in our division to get to the Big Ten Championship way more often than we have. We haven't been there since God created Earth. That's what it feels like anyways. I'm sorry to get a little bit riled up. It's the offseason, but I don't give a rat's ass. All right, you got Minnesota with five, Illinois with five, Northwestern with three. I normally don't swear because my kids watch the show, so I apologize. I'll put some money in the swear jar kids. Now here's the deal.
The next step is consistently get into the Big Ten championship game way more than we don't get there because we have the talent, and we have way more talent if you go by these rankings, these are the teams in our division.
And then last but certainly not least is beating teams like Ohio State and getting into these major bowl games and winning the championships and being competitive year in and year out in these championship games. A possible College Football Playoff.
But here's the deal: I think people forget that it took Tom Osborne six years before he ever beat Barry Switzer in Oklahoma. Six years, that's a long time. Heat was reigning down. It took him 22 years before he finally figured out how to beat the teams from Florida, how to win that Orange Bowl, win that big one, beat a top-ranked team.
Before Nebraska beat Miami in that '95 Orange Bowl for the '94 National Championship, they lost seven-straight bowl games. Ladies and gentlemen, there's a learning curve. There's a staircase to success for the greatest of all time, Tom Osborne. It's no different than the Huskers are going through right now. The only difference is we're just a little bit more towards the bottom. We got to work our way up to the top.
Again: By never, never losing to teams like Northern Illinois, Purdue two out of three years and Troy. And consistently almost always beating teams like Illinois and Indiana, and then you build from there. I know I got a little tongue tied today but ladies and gentlemen, that's just how the cookie crumbles.
All right, until next time, go Big Red, and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.