Huskers Under the Radar in Big Ten
By Ian Hest
The honeymoon is now over. No longer is the talk surrounding Nebraska's exit from the Big 12 and entrance into the Big Ten. Now the focus has shifted to winning the new conference.
Rex Burkhead said, “You know it comes down to execution. No matter what conference you're in, what team you're facing, what type of defensive scheme they have or what not, it just comes down to who's executing better and that determines who wins or loses the game.”
Winning consistently, though, might be easier said than done. The Big Red was picked to finish 3rd in the Legends Division in a media poll released last week… Behind Michigan and Michigan State.
Head Coach Bo Pelini said, “I could care less. It doesn't really matter to me whether they pick us first or last, the champion of this league is going to be determined on the field and it doesn't really matter. I don't even know who it is that's picking that, it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day we've got to line up and let the chips fall where they may.”
Last year, the Wolverines topped Nebraska by 4 touchdowns in Ann Arbor. This year, they come to mMemorial Stadium, just 4 days before Halloween in a game that could determine the Legends Division champion…and haunt the loser for a year.
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke said, “When we added Nebraska to the conference, I think it helped the conference but it also helped Nebraska. Bo does a great job. Those kids are tough. They're going to play hard. They're going to play physical. They've got talented guys and going there is a neat place to play. It'll be a great opportunity and a great challenge.”
The season is just 5 weeks away and everyone starts with a clean slate. It means the Huskers are as much in control of their fate as anyone…
And if they execute, the season could end with one more first… A first trip to the Big Ten Championship Game.