LINCOLN -- Nebraska's latest humbling loss - 41-21 at home to UCLA - dropped the Cornhuskers out of the college football rankings for the first time this season. The Huskers' struggle to regain elite status has been a running theme for a decade. Coach Bo Pelini has done a good job guiding the program out of the misguided Bill Callahan era. Pelini is 50-21 since taking over in 2008 and 29-11 in conference. That's good stuff. But Nebraska hasn't won a conference title and hasn't finished ranked in the top 10 during Pelini's tenure. The Huskers seem to be stuck in fourth gear. Good enough to beat most teams and go to good bowls, but unable to be what they were for decades under Tom Osborne: a national championship contender. To put some poll perspective on Nebraska's fall from grace, from 1981-2002 the Huskers were ranked in a record 348 consecutive AP Top 25s. Since then, there have been only two seasons in which Nebraska has been ranked wire-to-wire and its best finish in the rankings was 14th in 2009.