Is 2013 the Year the Cornhuskers Return to Glory?

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Is 2013 the Year the Cornhuskers Return to Glory?
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Since the turn of the century, the Nebraska football program has had its ups and downs. The program had 10-win seasons four times since 2000 (2000, 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2010), but also had three seasons where the Cornhuskers lost as many games as they won (2002, 2004 and 2007).

Last year many Nebraska fans expected the Cornhuskers to win their first Big Ten Championship in their first year in the league. Nebraska disappointed the fans with a third place finish in the Legends Division.

This year Nebraska enters their second season in the Big Ten Conference with much different expectations than last season.

Usually when expectations are low, the Cornhuskers perform well. Nebraska could surprise their fans with an unexpected trip to the Big Ten Conference Championship game this season.

Nebraska is not the best team in the Legends Division, but many factors are on the Cornhuskers' side this season.

Michigan has a brutal schedule. The Wolverines play Alabama, Air Force and Notre Dame in their nonconference schedule. The week before they head to Lincoln to face the Cornhuskers, Michigan has to play its rival, Michigan State. It will be interesting to see if the Wolverines' star quarterback, Denard Robinson, can remain healthy through such a difficult schedule.

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The other team competing with Nebraska and Michigan for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game is Michigan State. The Cornhuskers beat the Spartans last season in Lincoln 24-3. This year Nebraska must travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State. The Spartans will have one of the best defenses in the conference, but they will be starting a new quarterback this year. That could be the difference for the Cornhuskers in this game.

If things go Nebraska’s way this year, they could end up in the Big Ten Championship game. If the Cornhuskers have another mediocre season, do not panic. A brighter future is not far away.

The 2013 college football season is the last time the current BCS system will be used. It could also be the year the Cornhuskers return to glory.

Everything lines up well for Nebraska in 2013.

After two seasons of having one of the most difficult schedules in the Big Ten Conference, Nebraska has a more favorable schedule in 2013.

Wyoming

@ Southern Mississippi

UCLA

South Dakota State

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Illinois

@ Purdue

@ Minnesota

Northwestern

@ Michigan

Michigan State

@ Penn State

Iowa

The nonconference schedule for Nebraska in 2013 should be easy. Southern Mississippi will lose 10 starters from their 2012 team. Nebraska should have no problem in their trip to Hattiesburg.

UCLA will be a much better team in 2013, but the Bruins will find it difficult to beat the Cornhuskers in Lincoln.

The Big Ten Conference schedule is much easier. Wisconsin and Ohio State are off the schedule and Illinois and Purdue are added. Nebraska will have no problems with either of these teams.

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Northwestern beat the Cornhuskers last season in Lincoln. Although quarterback Kain Colter will be a senior in 2013, I do not think they will win two consecutive trips to Lincoln.

A trip to Ann Arbor to face Michigan is never an easy win. Michigan will lose 11 players at the end of this season to graduation, including quarterback Denard Robinson and wide receiver Roy Roundtree.

The game against Michigan State will decide the division. Luckily for the Cornhuskers the game will be played in Lincoln.

If the Cornhuskers make it through their schedule undefeated in 2013, they will most likely not have to play the best team in the conference in the Big Ten Championship game.

Ohio State will compete with the Cornhuskers for the best team in the Big Ten Conference. The Buckeyes will still be on probation in 2013 and unable to play in the Big Ten Championship game.

If Nebraska makes it to the Big Ten Championship game in 2013, they will most likely play the second-best team from the Leaders Division.

A win in the Big Ten Championship game would send Nebraska to their first BCS game since 2001.

Nebraska’s roster sets up nicely for a title run in 2013. Nebraska will have senior quarterback Taylor Martinez leading the team. For once in his career he will have two talented quarterbacks backing him up, Tommy Armstrong and Johnny Stanton. This will allow the Nebraska coaching staff to release Martinez and let him run the football more, like he did in his freshman year.

Nebraska has not been able to sign many five-star recruits. What the Cornhuskers have been doing is adding depth at each position. By next year most of these young players will have experience. This will make Nebraska a much better team in 2013.

Cornhusker Nation may not have high expectations for their team this season, but keep your heads up Nebraska fans, the future looks bright for the Cornhuskers in 2013.

 

Follow me on Twitter @HuskerMagic

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