It's actually beginning to feel like college football season around here, or at least close to it. 

Nebraska's Zoom session with media Monday helped matters.

Some takeaways: 

1. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost "announced" his starting quarterback in a distinctly understated manner. 

"Adrian is going to be our quarterback," Frost said calmly of 21-game starter Adrian Martinez, whose dynamic freshman season was followed by a generally lackluster sophomore year. 

Many Husker fans will yawn and say this is the decision they expected all along. There are plenty of fans who were skeptical that there was even a legitimate competition for the job. I strongly disagree with those folks. I believe it when I hear NU coaches and players say Martinez has been pushed hard by redshirt freshman speedster Luke McCaffrey.

"Honestly, if he's behind us, there's really no drop-off," Nebraska senior offensive guard Matt Farniok said.

Whatever the case, Frost's low-key approach Monday struck the right note. A quarterback competition has a way of breeding hysteria. There's no reason for a head coach to contribute to it.  

2. That said, Frost's most revealing quote about his quarterbacks came when he was asked what ultimately was the separator that allowed Martinez to be the No. 1 guy. I don't know about you, but the coach's comments raised my eyebrows. 

"First let me say, I don't know how much separation there is," Frost said. "I think we have two first-string quarterbacks. That's the way we feel about them. I really believe if Luke would've been the one that had already been playing, and we would've had the same camp, it'd probably be Luke (as the starter).

"They both had tremendous camps, and we see ourselves as having the luxury of having two starters." 

In this day and age, when an increasing number of student-athletes enter the transfer portal when life doesn't go exactly their way, it makes sense for a coach to ease the sting for a player who finishes runner-up in a position battle. Again, I don't think that's necessarily what Frost is doing here. Oh, there may be some of that going on. But my read is McCaffrey is a genuine threat to take over the position if Martinez were to falter. 

In other words, Martinez's leash may be much shorter than it's been for the vast majority of his college career. That's my read. You wonder how well he'll respond to that sort of pressure. I'm still betting he'll have a season that more closely resembles his play in 2018 than his struggles in 2019. 

As for McCaffrey, it's hard to imagine Nebraska keeping him on the sideline all season. His speed and talent are formidable. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he has a couple packages of plays for Ohio State. One would think he has to be on the field at some point.

Have fun with this situation. It doesn't have to be a controversy. Right? 


3. Big Ten teams are staring at nine straight weeks of action, assuming COVID-19 doesn't interrupt proceedings. That seems like a big assumption, actually.  

But I really appreciate Frost's can-do approach. He's had it from the get-go (without being reckless), and it says a lot about his spirit for the sport and life in general. 

"I think there's concern," Frost said. "(But) I think if you want to play, then you find ways to play. If you find ways and reasons not to play, I think you can accomplish that goal, too." 

My concern with the Big Ten several weeks ago was it was looking for reasons not to play while conferences like the SEC, ACC and Big 12 were aggressive in looking for reasons and ways to push forward.  

Of course, Nebraska and Ohio State wanted to play all along. Frost gave the Buckeyes most of the credit. 

"We might've been one of the sounding gongs in this that were saying we wanted to play, (but) I don't think it would've gotten done without their doctor taking the lead and figuring out a way to present it to the conference presidents to get football back," Frost said. "Dr. (James) Borchers deserves a lot of credit."

4. Nebraska is a 26-point underdog last I checked (for entertainment purposes only). That total seems high. I think prognosticators are underestimating the impact of Ohio State losing all but three starters on defense, and basically the entire starting line. 

I asked Frost how he would respond to my suggestion that the Buckeyes aren't quite as strong up front this year. 

He didn't totally dismiss the notion — at first, anyway.

"Well, Chase Young is about the best pass-rusher I've been on a college football field with, so I'm sure it's not easy to replace a guy like that," the coach said. "But they get four- and five-star guys every year, and have a lot of them. The guys who played besides Chase beat us last year, too. 

"So I'd probably have to argue with you if you told me they weren't as good."

5. I can only speak for myself here. But I'm not sure I always fully appreciate the fact Nebraska has players from a couple of the most famous football families in America.

Junior receiver Kade Warner's comments about his father's guidance, starting as early as he can remember, were striking.

"To this day, my dad (former NFL star Kurt Warner) texts me all the time," Kade said. "He sends me videos of concepts he sees in the NFL, or routes he sees. He's constantly trying to teach me, and I always reach out to him, too." 

Don't forget moms in this conversation. 

"She doesn't care about my stats. She doesn't care about the route I run or anything," Warner said. "She just always asks me, 'Did you do your best work?' I think that's resonated throughout my entire career."

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