Ellis Johnson’s team went bowling last year, but lost a lot from that squad. While the Golden Eagles shocked NU in their last trip to Lincoln, a repeat seems unlikely.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 35, Southern Mississippi 17.
A dangerous trip west for Nebraska, facing a Bruins team with talent that underachieved, a new disciplinarian coach, and a squad looking to make a statement on national television.
MIGHT WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 20, UCLA 16.
Guz Malzahn took Cam Newton to a national title, and brings a mini-Cam into Lincoln in Ryan Aplin. A dual-threat quarterback usually gives Nebraska fits, so the Red Wolves could make the home return for NU an uncomfortable one.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 41, Arkansas State 28.
The FCS Bengals come in for a paycheck and should provide Nebraska with a comfortable win.
BETTER WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 45, Idaho State 9.
The payback match for Nebraska’s drubbing in Madison last season. But Danny O’Brien is no Russell Wilson.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 28, Wisconsin 17.
At Ohio State
If the Buckeyes’ postseason ban dulls their edge, or if they’re having trouble picking up Urban Meyer’s program, then the game becomes much more of a tossup. But neither seem likely, and Ohio State provides terrible matchup issues for Nebraska.
MIGHT WIN. Fearless Forecast: Ohio State 38, Nebraska 21.
The Purples will always be a challenge, although the road trip will not be Nebraska’s most daunting task. Look for Nebraska to reclaim the “NU” title and get a little payback.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 24, Northwestern 14.
Denard Robinson will bring the Wolverines to Lincoln full of confidence after the drubbing given to Nebraska in Ann Arbor. Again, matchup problems will make this a tough game for NU.
MIGHT WIN. Fearless Forecast: Michigan 35, Nebraska 21.
At Michigan State
Sparty doesn’t lose much in East Lansing. Sparty’s defense should be the best in the B1G. But asking a new quarterback with a whole bunch of new offensive talent to pick up the slack from a division-winner is a tough ask.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 17, Michigan State 14.
The Nittany Lions lost Silas Redd a whole host of talent when the NCAA opened a window for transfers after sanctions on the school were announced. Bill O’Brien looks to be working wonders to keep the program together, but Nebraska should be able to win a talent battle in Lincoln.
SHOULD WIN. Fearless Forecast: Nebraska 20, Penn State 10.
Nebraska’s most dangerous game on the schedule.
MarQueis Gray has the kind of athletic ability that will give Nebraska fits, and Jerry Kill is one of the best coaches in the B1G. If you’re looking for Nebraska’s annual head-scratching loss, this would be the one. Look for Bo Pelini to get that monkey off his back in 2012.
BETTER WIN. Nebraska 45, Minnesota 31.
Take note, Nebraska fans. The rivalry game in Iowa City will be like nothing Nebraska has seen since trips to Norman in the Big 8 days. While Nebraska matches up well against a quarterback like James Vandenberg, the atmosphere in Kinnick Stadium makes this game a tossup.
MIGHT WIN. Nebraska 23, Iowa 20.
Final Nebraska regular-season record: 10-2
With Nebraska losing to Michigan and beating Michigan State, the Michigan-Michigan State game will determine if Nebraska gets a ticket to Indianapolis.
The game is in Ann Arbor, and I don’t see Denard Robinson ending his career without a win over his in-state rival.
The nod goes to Michigan, which would give the Wolverines a tiebreaking win in the Legends Division and send them to face (almost assuredly) Wisconsin.
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