If you thought that the Nebraska football team was incredibly unlucky to a weird degree, there are now numbers to prove that true.
There’s an old saying that it’s better to be lucky, than good. It’s safe to say that Nebraska football fans would absolutely settle for being lucky. Or even just getting a little bit of good luck every now and then. Instead, it feels as though the Nebraska Cornhuskers have been incredibly unlucky the last few years. One might even say cursed.
Close losses have been a staple of the Nebraska football program since the end of the Mike Riley era. Scott Frost suffered so many close losses that he got at least one more year than he should have because people kept expecting the luck to change.
It’s true that some people might not want to attribute wins and losses to luck. Those people should look away now. As it turns out, there is an actual metric that measures the luck of college football teams and for the 2023 season, the Nebraska football team was officially the unluckiest team in the country.
Bill Radjewski of CollegeFootballData.com recently released his overall rankings of unluckiest teams based on Postgame Win Expectancies. Based on the tools Radjewski uses, the Huskers were a full 3.1 wins under their expected total in Matt Rhule’s first season at the helm.
Nebraska football the unluckiest team in the country
Just how does the Postgame Win Expectancies metric work? Radjewski laid it out like this:
Nebraska’s -3.1 difference in expected wins is matched by UCF (there’s some weird synergy there for sure). Of course the Big 12 team is going bowling this year, so it’s not really a tie.
There is one other piece of data that will make Nebraska football fans either feel better about how cursed they feel, or worse because they might indeed be cursed. Over the last six years, Radjewski says he’s ranked the Huskers at the number one spot three times, in 2018, 2021 and 2023.