When you hear talk about teams like Nebraska being the best 3-7 team in the country, you're usually going to dismiss it as Pablum. Husker fans are just trying to make themselves feel better about what has been a truly disappointing season. On some level, that's absolutely true. There isn't much to be happy about when you're talking about the Cornhuskers and winning just three of 10 games. People are certainly trying to find a way to feel good about what they've seen this season. The good news is there really does appear to be some things that are worth feeling good about.

The Nebraska football team is currently pulling in an FPI ranking of 58.

Nebraska football gaining power in the season

No Cornhusker fan should be all that thrilled by being ranked 58th in the country, according to the Football Power Index. That certainly isn't a particularly high ranking, when comparing the Huskers to other power teams in the conference. At the same time, the ranking shows that the things Cornhusker fans are seeing on the field aren't an illusion. The team has become a better squad as the season moved along.

When you look at ESPN's FPI, you'll notice that quite a few of the teams surrounding Nebraska have better records. There are even some that appear, on the surface, to be quite a bit better.

They're rating better than a 7-3 North Texas and an 8-2 Army team. They're also ranked better than a 9-1 UAB squad, as well as a 9-1 Buffalo Bulls team. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of those rankings is that the Huskers are better than Colorado and Troy. Both squads beat the Cornhuskers, but they are currently posting weaker FPI rankings.

Offensive efficiency is the key

Troy, despite knocking off the Nebraska football team in Lincoln, is just 78th. A full 20 slots below the Huskers, despite posting an 8-2 record on the season. When looking at why the Cornhuskers have managed to be so good (one spot below 7-3 Houston), despite their record, one need only look at their offense.

Adrian Martinez and the rest of Scott Frost's crew have been trending upward in a big way. They even achieved historic records against Illinois.

When talking offensive efficiency, the Nebraska football team is 36th in the country. Considering the offense was having problems generating points early in the season, that's quite an accomplishment. It also demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's pulling its' weight and then some when talking about FPI. Its defense is 89th in the country. Those problems showed up again on November 10 against Illinois. Despite struggles on the defensive side of the ball, it's clear the Cornhuskers are moving up the ranks.