Before this season began, Nebraska was a trendy pick to win the Big Ten West and even take the conference crown in Indianapolis. Scott Frost's second year in Lincoln was supposed to be a coming-out party in which the big reveal was a new powerhouse in the Midwest. It was going to be a time to turn a 4-8 campaign into an 12-2 masterpiece.
But no one has shown up to this party. Frost and the Cornhuskers let another one slip away this afternoon in West Lafayette to a Purdue team that hadn't shown much life. They now sit at 4-5, irrelevant in any meaningful chase and in real danger of missing a bowl all together.
Adrian Martinez has gone from fringe Heisman Trophy candidate hopeful to someone who doesn't look confident throwing the football. Or, even worse for his particular skill set, running it. The Blackshirt defensive mindset may as well be 40 years in the past as opposing offenses have had field days racking up easy points.
In short, it's been a complete disaster. And while it's far too early to doubt Frost's long-term ability to restore Big Red to greatness, it's fair to point out that a lot of the positive press he received may have been premature.
Nebraska must play Wisconsin and Iowa down the stretch. As currently constituted, they should lose both games and be on the outside looking in for postseason play. And while playing in Detroit or New York City or some other cold weather bowl doesn't seem like a big deal, it appears Frost will have to do some more reconstruction when it comes to hopes leading into next season.
This is a program desperate to return to prominence. To see the favored son come back and stub his toe has to hurt. To see a division foe like Minnesota excelling under a different young, enthusiastic coach has to sting a bit more.
Frost has carte blanche and full support of the fans. This may never change considering how much sweat equity he has invested. But at a certain point the results have to come. And they appear no closer than they were a year ago.