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Could this be the season Nebraska returns to the conference championship game or even a spot in the BCS?
Predicting Nebraska to earn a spot in a BCS game may be a year premature. Next year Nebraska will have the talent and a much easier schedule that will provide the Cornhuskers an excellent opportunity to return to the BCS.
It may not be that farfetched to believe Nebraska could win at least 10 games this season and end up in the BCS. Nebraska’s non-conference schedule is more difficult this season, but the Cornhuskers should win each game.
The stretch of five games in the middle of Nebraska’s schedule will determine the season. During that stretch, Nebraska plays Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. The Cornhuskers should be able to win at least half of these games.
Wisconsin will not be as good of a team as they were in 2011. The Badgers still have Monte Ball, but quarterback Russell Wilson will be missed. The Cornhuskers will be motivated at home in new uniforms to seek revenge on Wisconsin.
It will be difficult for the Cornhuskers to beat Ohio State in Columbus, but it could happen. Nebraska should be a better team in 2012, but I cannot say the same thing about the Buckeyes. If the Cornhuskers lose any of the four games in the middle of the season, the Ohio State game will be it.
Michigan is the popular pick to win the Legends division. The Wolverines play an incredibly tough schedule this year and I am not sure quarterback Denard Robinson will make it to the Nebraska game injury-free. If Robinson is injured, Michigan is a different team. The Wolverines' first trip to Lincoln will not be successful.
Michigan State has the best defense in the Big Ten Conference, but they will struggle on offense. Nebraska has always had the Spartans number, and I do not think that will change in 2012.
Nebraska finishes the season with games against Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa. Each of these games should be easy wins for the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska will finish the season 11-1, play in the Big Ten Conference game and earn a trip back to the BCS.