It is seemingly not difficult to predict which schools will win the most national championships in NCAA football. Certain schools enjoy nearly impossible to overcome advantages in location, wealth and weather. Bringing recruits to Miami Beach is an easy sell and the number of talented players in the Miami metro area gives the Miami Hurricanes a distinct recruiting advantage over a school in a cold weather state without a football tradition.
Even with those advantages schools seem to rise and fall without reason and areas with almost now natural recruiting base have been traditional powers. Even though the University of Nebraska has only a fraction of the population of larger state and sits in a cold weather state the school enjoys a rich football tradition.
The most successful football programs tend to have the advantages of weather and proximity to talent, but there is no absolute equation to ensure college football success. The University of Nebraska feel on difficult times after the retirement of its legendary coach Tom Obsorne. Obsorne gave way to a member of his staff who enjoyed moderate success but could not match the national titles of his predecessor.
Nebraska fired Frank Solich and brought in Bill Callahan. Callahan was a sexy hire because he had connections to the National Football League, and he was considered a offensive innovator. Callahan promised to bring in nationally prominent recruits and to feature legendary NFL coach Bill Walsh’s West Coach Offense. He delivered on both promises. He brought in highly regarded talent and changed Nebraska from an option offense to a pass happy offense. By the numbers and tradition Nebraska seemed to be on the right track. Except Callahan did not win. The glamour he brought to the program could not match the grit and success of this predecessor. Callahan proved that football recruiting and predicting cannot be reduced to a math equation.