March 31, 2017
Welcome, everybody, to another Fast Friday edition of the Carriker Chronicles, where each and every Friday I keep it quick and easy! I saw some articles come out that are projecting toward next college football season, and they pertain to the Huskers so I want to talk about these and dive into something else at the end.
The first article I saw said that the Huskers have the third toughest non-conference schedule in the entire Big Ten, right behind Michigan and Ohio State next season. The next one I saw had the Huskers ranked number ninety, according to the Athlon rankings, as far as the starting quarterback position. I suppose that’s better than 110th, Husker fans might be interested in who is ranked 110th, but they’re assuming that Tanner Lee starts when they created that projection or ranking.
The next thing I saw was on Hail Varisty, where we are projected to finish fourth in the Big Ten West, and a lot of this is due to the rough end to last season and having to start a lot of new, young guys this year. They don’t even have us going to a bowl game, they have us finishing at 5-7. So this begs the question, what will the Huskers’ final record be next season? Let’s break it down, shall we?
The first thing I’m going to do is go through the games I think we should win. I’m going to start with Arkansas State, this is year-in-year-out one of the best teams in the Sun Belt Conference. Our non-conference schedule is no gimme this season, it’s a little challenging, but we should beat Arkansas State. I’m going to come back to Oregon at the end, I’m going through the games I think we should win.
Next up is Northern Illinois, every year this team could be playing for a MAC Championship, win 9, 10, 11 games, so this is not a gimme, but a team we should beat.
Next up, Rutgers, I see as being Rutgers, next up at Illinois. This is a road game, on a shortened week on a Friday night. Not going to be an easy game but a game we should win. I’ll come back to Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Next up is Bye Week, I don’t see us getting an ‘L’ there, following that is at Purdue. I don’t see a repeat of two years ago against the Boilermakers, I think we get the ‘W’ there. Next up, Northwestern, the Wildcats always play us tough, but we get them at home, I think we get another win.
Next up is a game that admittedly has me a little bit nervous, at Minnesota. This is a tough team that plays us tough, I do think we get this win but this is, again, not a gimme.
Now let’s talk about these games that are a little bit more debatable in my opinion. At Oregon, the Oregon Ducks, this is a team that’s not going to be as bad as they were last year and we’re going to play at Autzen Stadium. This is a stadium that is very loud, I’ve been there many times growing up, and this can be a raucous crowd, and we’re going to be starting a new quarterback at this point. But this Oregon team and this program are in a little bit of disarray. From their strength coach getting in trouble, to other coaches getting in trouble, they’ve got to right their ship a little bit, so I like our odds up in Eugene so we get that big win.
Next up, Wisconsin, which is going to be following the Friday night game on the road against Illinois. So we get Wisconsin at home, we get an extra day to prepare, we are due against these boys, we’ve only beaten them one time since we joined the Big Ten Conference. I think we get the win over the Badgers.
Next up is Ohio State. I would love to pull the trigger, and predict that we’ll beat the Buckeyes, I just can’t do it at this moment. I think they hand us our first ‘L’ of the season, but you never know what can happen.
Going down to the next game I did not cover is at Penn State. The Nittany Lions this past season won the Big Ten Championship, they almost won the Rose Bowl, a great game, and they were one of the youngest teams in the country and they have a lot of those key players back this year. It’s a road game, so I gotta give the Nittany Lions the edge in this game, but I do think this will be a close game so they hand us our second loss.
Next up is them Iowa Hawkeyes, Friday, at home, day after Thanksgiving, we owe them boys a little bit of revenge, I think we’re going to get it. So if I stop right there, we are 10-2, pretty good season right?
Here’s the problem, I have to be as objective as I can. Over the past nineteen years, ever since 1997, there’s only been one season that the Huskers have won every single game they were favored in, that was a year ago. But eighteen out of nineteen seasons they lost a game they were favored to win, odds are it’s going to happen again this year. I don’t know, maybe it’s at Minnesota, that game makes me a little nervous. Maybe a ball bounces wrong in one of these games, you never know. So I have the Huskers losing a game that they otherwise should not have lost, but I have them going 9-3 which is a whole lot better than 5-7, whole lot better than not going to a bowl game.
I want to hear your predictions, what are your way-too-early predictions for the Huskers’ final record next season? Hit me up in the comments below, especially on my Facebook and Twitter, I’m extremely interactive on my social media accounts. Until Monday, enjoy your weekend, Go Big Red and always remember to THROW THE BONES!