I think I’ve been talking about this Husker football season since the last one ended. Steve Yost, a friend and coworker, and I have seemingly talked about this upcoming season every time we cross paths at work. We know the schedule frontwards and backwards, and yet when we have time one of us pulls out our pocket schedules and we go over the games…again. We speculate about the potential strengths and weaknesses of the offense. We laud the Blackshirts. We lament missed opportunities of the past two seasons. We wonder what the scene will look like when the Huskers play at Camp Randall or in the Big House. We look forward to the Buckeyes coming to Memorial Stadium. We speak in awe of recent Huskers, like Ndamukong Suh and Alex Henery. We text each other when we find out the Huskers have secured a recruiting commitment. We have been planning our tailgate for the Iowa game months in advance. We are a reflection of your stereotypical Huskers fan.
In looking over the 2011 season, I was more optimistic than Steve. I think we balanced each other out and arrived at the same prediction, 10-2. I find this amusing because I’m still the optimist despite the questions surrounding the offense and special teams. I’m hoping that consistency will finally come to an offense that has been in the Blackshirts shadow for awhile.
I’m thinking the Huskers will win their first four games over Tennessee Chattanooga, Fresno State, Washington and Wyoming. 4-0.
Then the Big Ten schedule begins in earnest with a trip to Camp Randall to play Wisconsin. I think the Huskers will battle valiantly, but this will be one of those games where they’ll miss Alex Henery. The Huskers lose their Big Ten opener. 4-1.
Ohio State visits Memorial Stadium the following weekend. With the Buckeyes expected to have a down year, and the Huskers wanting to rebound after the loss, I expect Nebraska to win. 5-1.
A bye week and then a trip to Minnesota. One of my earliest Husker memories is from 1983 when Nebraska beat Minnesota 84-13. This is a win. 6-1.
Then the grind of the conference schedule with Michigan St, Northwestern, Penn St, Michigan and Iowa. I think the Huskers lose one of these games. Which one? Who knows. In order of likelihood, I’d say Michigan St, Penn St, Michigan, Iowa and Northwestern. Regardless, I think they’ll come out of the season with a record of 10-2.
Nebraska plays Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, and wins. They qualify for their first BCS game in ten years.
Ever the optimist before the team has played one play. Check back with me during the season!