Yesterday’s 55-45 loss to Purdue has left the state of Nebraska wondering whether its beloved program is at an all time low. I mean c’mon, it’s Purdue! They are not a good football team to lose to. While it’s undoubtedly true that the football program has seen better days (as the ESPN announcers were so keen to point out), never fear Husker fans, I have found some positive news! According to one metric, this season isn’t the worst season ever (or even the worst season of the last 20 years).
According to College Football References’ SRS scoring, the 2015 Nebraska team has a rating of 4.34 through 9 games this year. SRS or “Simple Rating System” is a rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. The rating is scored with a points above/below average, where zero is average. Nebraska’s 2015 rating is good for #56 out of 128 teams in Division 1 college football – right in the middle.
Okay so I’m definitely not saying that’s a good score… but it isn’t the worst score in recent years. The Callahan error (err I mean era) were bookended by historically low ratings of 1.32 and 1.48 – the two worst Nebraska teams of the past twenty years. That being said, Riley isn’t in the clear just yet. Nebraska still has to face it’s two toughest opponents (Michigan St. and Iowa) and lopsided losses would have dire consequences on Nebraska’s SRS rating. So cheer up Husker fans! The Mike Riley era may be off to a bad start, but he’s no Callahan…. yet.