If there is one thing for certain this year it is that there is no certainty. But that is not the word of the week. The work of this week this week, boys and girls, is “delusion.”
an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument
This is as much a broad observation as it is a cautionary tale.
On the one hand I honestly cannot get over the level of delusion witnessed of a significant portion of the Nebraska fanbase. I get that Nebraska was favored and that Nebraska has been playing better lately. But the utter disbelief that Minnesota actually won the game, it astounds me.
“the bottom line is that Nebraska lost a game they should have won, and to be brutally honest, should have won fairly convincingly.”
Bottom line - this is a team Nebraska should stomp into the ground... maybe.
I’ve looked around at previews and predictions (below is my own) and nearly no one is predicting a blow out. (editor’s note: the delusion definition where it states a firm belief despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted)
I’m not making fun of people’s predictions, just giving concrete examples of what I’m talking about.
Honestly, what has transpired this season with any level of certainty to demonstrate that this game should have been a convincing road win for Nebraska? A team with a 3-4 record who hasn’t had a winning record since 2016. A team who lost to Illinois this season. A team who lost at home to Minnesota last yean when Minnesota was missing a SIGNIFICANT portion of their roster.
Now, I do think that much of this delusion stems from a point of view where you cherry pick the best of what you’ve seen from your team, compare it to the worst of what you’ve seen from the opponent and then it quickly becomes easy to see how this game turns into a Nebraska blowout.
If you take how closely Nebraska played against Michigan & Oklahoma and then compare that to the result of Minnesota’s Bowling Green debacle, then sure, this game is clearly one that favors the Cornhuskers.
But this is leading to my second point, one that I’ve made here many times. One game does not a season make. You absolutely have to take in the entirety of this college football season. A season that has been one of dramatic uncertainty.
Bowling Green 14, Minnesota 10 remains the strangest result of the season, and it won't be topped.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 16, 2021
Minnesota is about to beat Nebraska (after beating Purdue), BG lost to Akron.
This loss to Bowling can could mean a lot of things. Mostly likely, it means that Minnesota played an awful game and lost to a team they should not have because they overlooked the Falcons. This was a failure of the coaches and the players. It also means that the 2021 Gophers are not consistent and still learning throughout this season. It does not define their caliber as a team in 2021.
The lesson here is two-fold. Regardless of what occurs this season or coming ones, please resist falling into the trap of delusion. Secondly, learn from that Bowling Green loss. I mean as fans.
On paper it looks like the Gophers have a nice stretch of games coming up that very well could have them with a 5-game winning streak heading into the Iowa game. DO NOT LOOK AHEAD TO IOWA.
DO NOT LOOK AHEAD TO IOWA
Sure, Maryland is banged up and not playing that well right now. Illinois and Northwestern have both been really bad this season. But this Gopher team is not nearly good enough to beat any Big Ten team just by showing up. The defense has been improving week by week and the offense finally looked to have some rhythm and balance after the bye. But the 2021 Gophers need to continue to get better. There are many flaws and plenty of times they are lacking in execution.
Please keep getting better. This team still has many opportunities to make this a great season, but it has to get better. And we have to be patient as there are still going to be bumps in the road.