We knew it was possible for Nebraska to start out the season 7-0 and be ranked in the Top Ten, and we even predicted it in September. They were faced with multiple easy to average teams. Although the games were ugly and most came down to the fourth quarter, Nebraska persevered. Can they continue this impeccable run?
Nebraska has a tough schedule ahead of them, facing teams like #11 Wisconsin (10/29), #6 Ohio State (11/5), and Iowa (11/25), who is a team that has struggled this year but is still dangerous.
According to ESPN FPI Matchup Predictor, Nebraska only has a 30.7% chance of beating the 5-2 badgers on October 29th. Last year, Wisconsin won in the final seconds at Memorial Stadium off of a 46 yard field goal, 23-21. The Badgers ended the 2015 season ranked 21st in the nation with a 10-3 record and featured the #1 defense in college football. This year however, Wisconsin is an even tougher team, and their two losses thus far are against Michigan and Ohio State, two teams that have proved to be dominant. They also have multiple wins against quality teams like LSU, Michigan State, and Iowa.
ESPN gives Ohio State a 87.5% chance of winning against the Cornhuskers. Ohio State, who just came off a loss against Penn State (21-24), is ranked 6th in the nation and will be facing unranked Northwestern in the week prior to the Nebraska game. If all goes as planned, they should end up with a 7-1 record going into the October 5th game. Last year, Ohio State ended up with a 12-1 record and they have hopes of repeating this feat under Urban Meyer again this year.
Iowa is the last game of the regular season, and currently ESPN has the chances of winning nearly tied for the two teams, with Nebraska having a slight lead at 51.3% chance of winning. Although Iowa doesn’t have a great record right now, they’re still a tough team. Last year, the team went from unranked to being in the Top Ten and having a 12-2 record. This is a dangerous team for anybody to play.
The Nebraska Huskers have been made fun of by many sports analysis, saying they’re the most overrated team in the Top Ten. The Blackshirts have not yet had a quality win, with none of the teams they beat being currently ranked. They have barely skirted past their last 5 teams, with nearly all of them coming down to the 4th quarter. Luckily though, the team has been dominant in the 4th quarter, outscoring their opponents 98-13. The good news in the weeks coming forward is that Husker fans around the country will now know if their team is actually overrated, or if the Huskers deserve to be among the top teams in the nation fighting for a National Playoff appearance.