Nebraska is my team to beat in the B1G this season. Scroll down to find out why.
: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska
2011 Overall Record: 9-4
2011 Big Ten Record: 5-3
Sept 1Southern Miss
Sept 8@ UCLA
Sept 15Arkansas State
Sept 22Idaho State
Oct 6@ Ohio State
Oct 20@ Northwestern
Nov 3@ Michigan State
Nov 10Penn State
Nov 23@ Iowa
Do Not Play
If things play out the way they should and Michigan takes care of business against Little Brother on October 20th, then that sets up a huge showdown one week later between Michigan and Nebraska in Lincoln and in prime-time on ABC. Michigan played maybe their most complete game against Nebraska last season. I suspect that loss has been itching at Pelini (OSU grad) all off-season.
But should that game not go our way, then Michigan fans will need to cheer on Sparty the following week when the Huskers visit E Lansing. Oct 20, Oct 27 and Nov 3 will define who takes the driver's seat the legends division.
The trip to Pasadena on Sept 8th is really the only non-conf threat on this schedule. Although I think Nebraska takes care of business.
It's a Trap!
I think there's a couple places where Nebraska could be tripped up. Last season Northwestern came into Lincoln and beat Neb 28-25. That game comes after a trip to Columbus, then a bye-week, and before the showdown with Michigan. Lots of distractions.
Also, possibly @ Iowa at the end of the year.
The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
Idaho State on Sept 22.
Once again, Nebraska gets probably the toughest conference slate in the Big Ten. The season will be defined by how they perform against legends rivals Michigan and Michigan State. I have no doubt the Huskers will have the skill players to compete, and most of the statistical leaders from the offense are back. They will have to replace 3 OL starters from 2011, but the bulk of the defense returns.
I, like many, thought Nebraska would make a bigger splash in the B1G last year and possibly contend for a league title. That never materialized, but I think 2012 could be a big redemption year in Lincoln. This team is better than 9-4.
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 4-1
Crossover Record: 2-1