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Nebraska Football: 5 Big Ten Games the Huskers Must Win in 2012

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Nebraska Football: 5 Big Ten Games the Huskers Must Win in 2012
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead will lead a powerful Husker offense into their most pivotal games in 2012.

When Nebraska announced its intent to join the Big Ten in the spring/summer of 2010, it was welcomed with open arms. "Big Red in the Big Ten" became the slogan.

Thoughts of Missouri, Syracuse and Rutgers joining the nation's oldest and most respected conference vanished. Nebraska brought instant tradition, name recognition and strength to the league. It was welcomed with open arms.

Then the football schedules came out. Wisconsin. Ohio State. Michigan. Michigan State. Penn State. Minnesota was the only doormat on the schedule, and the Gophers were only there because they were in the Legends Division. Indiana, Illinois and Purdue were absent for Nebraska's first two seasons in its new conference.

Welcome to the Big Ten, fellas.

Nebraska finished tied for second in the Legends Division in 2011, and it has aspirations of taking the step up to the Big Ten Championship Game this year. With seven starters returning on both sides of the ball, it is certainly possible.

In order to play the Leaders Division Champion on Dec. 1 (most likely Wisconsin), here are five games the Huskers must win in 2012. They are in no particular order of importance.

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