Days until kick-off:
Going through Nebraska football's schedule is a painful experience for Husker fans. If you're a fan, you know why. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time. The last few years haven't been good. Seasons have been full of letdowns and disappointments. It seems like we've been predicting national championships for a decade. Hopefully soon.
But, for some reason, I keep coming back. I get excited for the season when July rolls around. Fall camp is close, and the tension is building. I don't know why; maybe it's how I was raised.
This is an important year for Nebraska football. It's Coach Scott Frost's 5th season as Head Coach. He is coming off a bad year where his contract was re-negotiated after the season. The team has gone 4-8, 5-7, 3-5, and 3-9 the past four years. Not good by anyone's standards.
The offensive staff is brand new–the old coaches were fired after last year. It will be a hard adjustment integrating four new coaches with the team.
Year five under Coach Frost is do or die. If it goes well, fans will be ecstatic and optimistic. If it doesn't, change is coming.
Nebraska's first game against Northwestern in Ireland is August 27th. This game will determine the season. If they play well, the season will go well. If it doesn't, the wheels will come off the bus early.
If you don't care to read my thoughts, jump to the end for my predictions. Without further delay, here are my 2022 predictions, game-by game:
Fans, players, and coaches are excited about the Northwestern game. It's the first game of the year. It's in Ireland. We have new players and coaches. What else can you ask for? It will be a close game that won't end well. Northwestern is well coached, disciplined, and hard working. That is too much for our new offensive staff to handle.
North Dakota has a football team? They are a hockey school. Nebraska steam-rolls them.
Georgia Southern will put up more of a fight than we'd like to see. It'll be a close game early. But Nebraska wins by at least three touchdowns.
The Oklahoma game is highlighted on schedules across the state. The old rivalry is back. Fans are excited. It's a home game. And Oklahoma has a new coach.
People predict Nebraska will be 3-0 heading into this game. It could be the ultimate showdown, but I doubt it. Coach Brent Venables is a good coach who knows winning.
Last year, Oklahoma went 11-2 and beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. Like it or not, they will have a good team. Oklahoma wins big.
The next three games are toss-ups. Nebraska will win two of the three games against Indiana, Rutgers, and Purdue. I don't know which ones.
Indiana was awful last year. They went 2-10 after two good seasons under Coach Tom Allen. But they'll be better this year. Big Ten teams are cyclical. Nebraska wins in a close game.
Rutgers is usually awful. And that's being nice. This game should be an easy win for Nebraska. But Coach Greg Schiano is a good football coach. This is his second stint at Rutgers, having been the head coach from 2001-2011. He's the only coach that's been able to win there. Now in his third season, the team has improved every year.
I think Rutgers is better than expected this year. Nebraska wins in another close game.
Purdue is a well coached, disciplined football team. Coach Jeff Brohm always have his team ready to play. It's at Purdue. Purdue controls most of the game and wins.
Illinois beat us last year in Coach Brett Bielema's first game as head coach. It was a total disaster. I don't remember Illinois throwing one pass. Nobody wants to experience that again. Nebraska controls the game and wins.
Nebraska fans always expect to care of Minnesota. But we never do. Since 2017, Minnesota has steadily improved. Even with the off-season controversy, their team will be good this year. Minnesota wins in a close game.
You might be thinking I've lost my mind. Maybe I have. If the team is 5-4 at this point in the season fans will be irate. But the season will be tougher than expected. It's hard to put a well-oiled machine together with a new offensive staff. Add a new quarterback and several new faces to the mix and things don't look great.
Michigan is coming off a great year. In 2020, the team went 2-4 and fans wanted Coach Jim Harbaugh fired. But last year they went 12-2 and made the College Football Playoffs. They will be good again. And they'll be too much for Nebraska. Michigan dominates.
Wisconsin is a dangerous team in November. They seem to be built for tough conditions. And Coach Paul Chryst is underrated. The Badgers never get the credit they deserve. They're coming off a solid 9-4 season. This is will a breakout year for Wisconsin. They'll win easily.
Nobody dislikes Iowa more than Nebraska fans. I don't know why. But this black Friday game is always good.
Iowa has been a good team the past five years. They went 10-4 last year, losing a close game to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. That loss put a chip on their shoulder and motivated the team. This is another close game, but Iowa wins.
There you have it. My thoughts on the 2022 Nebraska Football season. I could be completely wrong–the team might go undefeated or not win a game. It's college sports, so nobody every knows.
Although the record isn't great, it is better than past years. Remember: Nebraska hasn't won five games since 2019. Five wins is a successful season.
If fans expect a national championship they'll be disappointed. But if they're realistic, this will be Coach Frost's best season, even with a 5-7 record.
Nebraska is motivated to prove people wrong this year. There have been too many close calls and narrow losses. This team will show up to play. The past several years have shown us a team of hard working teams that hasn't caught the right bounce. They'll catch more breaks this year, but not enough to make a big difference in the record.
But no matter the record, I'm excited for another football season. There is no better time of the year than fall football.
23 days until kick-off.
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