ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit knows a thing or two about the Big Ten. Besides spending his college football career as the starting quarterback at Ohio State, which is also where he met his wife, Herbstreit is also a member of the beloved ESPN "College Gameday" crew. But his 2022 Week 0 prediction has some fans scratching their heads.
Why? Because it involves what could be the most historic Cinderella run in college sports since NC State's 1983 March Madness run.
Kirk Herbstreit's Big Swing: Does it Shuck or Not?
Ahead of Week Zero, Hirbstreit took to the airwaves to discuss his feelings on what he has called a "wide-open Big Ten West."
"I got Nebraska," Herbstreit said on ESPN's "Herbie Awards" show. "Remember they were 3-9 last year, all nine losses within one possession. They found ways to lose games. I think Scott Frost can have a great year with Casey Thompson at quarterback."
That's right. Herbstreit's Big Ten championship prediction for the upcoming college football season involves Nebraska, who went 3-9 last year.
Let's just jump right to a few points. Michigan is coming off a massive season that ended in a college football playoff appearance, so it's not like Jim Harbaugh's squad doesn't have something to prove. So don't write Ohio State in pen on any prediction sheets.
To be fair, Herbstreit's full prediction for that title game matchup is that the Ohio State Buckeyes will defeat the Cornhuskers, which is less surprising. However, the former Buckeye QB fails to take into account the poor in-conference play that has plagued Nebraska under Scott Frost.
Over their five seasons with Frost wearing the headset, Nebraska has gone 10-25 within the Big Ten, never finishing above fifth in the West. To say that they're your pick to advance to the championship game is a big swing.
This Season Depends on Scott Frost
Under Frost's leadership, the Cornhuskers have not seen a return to the glory days of Tom Osborne or Frank Solich. After finding success at Central Florida, Frost took over a middling Nebraska football program that was spinning its wheels, stuck in the mud. Rather than pull them out, Frost has made more of a mess.
Besides his conference record mentioned above, Frost has led the Boys of Lincoln to a 15-29 record, which equates to a .341 win percentage. The last time Nebraska held onto a coach with that poor of a head coaching resume was from 1957-61 when the Huskers fired Bill Jennings. After that firing, a parade of champions in Bob Devaney, Osborne and Solich came through Memorial Stadium.
Perhaps that's the hope for Nebraska, should Frost once again fail to live up to the most basic of standards expected of a Nebraska head coach. If he can't, he'll be looking for work next year.