After an 0-4 end to the 2023 campaign, some think that Nebraska football under Matt Rhule underperformed, but two analysts believe otherwise.
There was a time this season when the Nebraska football team was 5-3 and looking like an absolute shoo-in for a bowl game. Then November happened, the Huskers couldn’t get out of their own way and the team went 0-4 to finish the season.
Because of how things started – 0-2 including a loss to 5-7 Minnesota and 4-8 Colorado – and how things finished, there are people who are saying that it’s possible that Matt Rhule and his staff underperformed.
However, two Rivals analysts disagree quite vehemently with that assessment. In fact, they believe that the future is still bright for the Huskers and that this season was better for the program than people realize.
Clint Cosgove and Greg Smith both talked about the idea that Rhule underperformed in his first season in Lincoln and why it’s absolutely fiction that he did so.
Cosgrove explained that he didn’t realize the state the program was in when Scott Frost was fired.
"“While I set the bar for a successful year under Matt Rhule as qualifying for a bowl game, I don’t think I truly realized how devoid of talent and depth this Nebraska team was. Despite not making a bowl, I would say Rhule arguably overachieved, considering the hand he was dealt.”"
Nebraska football didn’t underachieve
Smith agreed with Cosgrove that the main reason Rhule didn’t underachieve is because he took over a program in much worse state than people realized.
"“It has to be frustrating that Nebraska entered November at 5-3 with so much to play for only to lose the last four games of the season. That’s 100% fair. But that doesn’t mean Rhule underperformed in year one. It just means he didn’t elevate the program … yet.”"
The analysts both agreed that while it’s frustrating for Nebraska football fans to still be told they need to be patient, neither thinks they’ll have to be patient for much longer.