I know what you're thinking, "it's too early to tell how good teams will be next year", and that is true. But in this day and age we are obsessed with trying to see into the future, so we can set our expectations. Now as Husker fans our expectations are usually the same year in and year out, win the national championship.
It's the way we were bred to think, especially after the way the '90s went for us. Next year we could be a very good football team, but we aren't likely going to contend for a national championship. I'm going to go through each game for next year, and analyze each opponent and give my opinion if we are going to win or not. I am accounting for both teams to have all of their players playing in the game.
1. Florida Atlantic
The Owls are better than people give them credit for. They won the Motor City Bowl last year against Central Michigan 24-21. Since it is our first game of the year we will see our new quarterback for the 2009 season, which looks like Zac Lee. We might struggle a little bit in the beginning of the game, but I see us having no trouble beating the Owls. Nebraska (1-0)
2. Arkansas State
These last few years we have littered our schedule at the beginning with some bad teams. The Red Wolves will enter the 2009 season after a 6-6 campaign in 2008. However the Wolves did score the season opener upset against Texas A&M in College Station last year. We might overlook them for the third game of the year, at Va Tech, but I don't see that happening as we beat the Red Wolves easily. Nebraska (2-0)
3. @ Virginia Tech
This is the game that most people think will make or break our season next year. That we need to get out to a fast start and get some momentum going. I'm sorry guys but I think the Hokies are going to be too much for us to handle.
Going into Blacksburg is difficult enough, but then throw in an inexperienced quarterback like Zac Lee, it gets even harder. They ended last season with a win over Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl, and I see them getting better. If they stay away from injuries this will be a top 10 team at the end of the year, maybe even a top 5. I see Nebraska struggling in this game, but keeping it within two touchdowns. Nebraska (2-1)
A huge game for Husker fans next year, not because of the opponent, but because of the longest home sellout streak in NCAA. This game will give Memorial Stadium it's 300th consecutive sellout, a streak that started in 1962.
I hope that they have something special planned for this game, because the game itself is going to be one-sided. Lafayette isn't a good football team, and after our loss in Blacksburg we are going to want to take it out on someone. Nebraska (3-1)
5. @ Missouri
Everyone remembers last years disappointing blowout loss to Missouri at home, and on homecoming too. The thing is, the Tigers lost their three biggest offensive threats Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, and Chase Coffman.
They are going to be extremely young on offense with only one receiver who is an upper class-men. The Huskers will be remembering that game last year and are going to go to Columbia ready to play. Nebraska (4-1)
6. Texas Tech
Joe just throw it out of bounds and then we can set up the next play, just don't throw an interception. Nebraska came so close against the Red Raiders last year, and Longhorn fans are wishing that the Huskers would have pulled off the upset. They lost the best receiver in the country and one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but they always find a quarterback to replace their last one. This time they will have to play in front of 85,000 Husker fans at Memorial Stadium, and a team that will be on a roll. Nebraska (5-1)
7. Iowa State
Last year I thought we were playing USC when I turned the game on, until I saw Helu just tear their defense apart. I mean come on, are your jerseys going to make you play like USC just because you look like them. Iowa State is the doormat of this conference and will be there for quite a while. Hopefully the weather will be nice this game, because Nebraska is going to roll on the Cyclones Nebraska (6-1)
8. @ Baylor
This team is going to be underrated heading into next season. With Griffin at quarterback, they could easily pull of a huge upset next year. Since Baylor doesn't have a strong following, playing in Waco won't be too much of an advantage to Baylor, but this game cannot be overlooked by the players or the fans.
We struggled last year at home against the Bears, and might be in for the same thing next year in Waco. Nebraska (7-1)
This rivalry is one of the best in college football, not because of hate but because of the respect that each team has for each other. Sooner fans are some of the nicest people I know, and they think that of Husker fans as well. We all want it to go back to playing each other every year, because it was a tradition.
One tradition that we don't want to keep is getting destroyed by Oklahoma. With Bradford back the Sooners will contend for the National Championship next year, but with this game being at home Nebraska could give them a run for their money. Nebraska (7-2)
10. @ Kansas
This is one of the three games on the year that really scares me. People are writing off Kansas because they lost their entire linebacker core from last year, but they also have Reesing and Briscoe back. Since this game is in Lawrence, and it will be sold out Kansas could win this game. In my opinion this game is going to be between the two best teams in the North. I see Kansas pulling off the upset. Nebraska (7-3)
11. Kansas State
Freeman is gone and Snyder is back, lets just hope that Pelini runs up the score on Snyder to get back at him. Kansas State isn't going to be very good next year, and coming to Memorial stadium is always a daunting task. Maybe we will get to see Kody Spano get some snaps after we get a comfortable 62 point cushion. Needless to say, I think this won't be close. Nebraska (8-3)
12. @ Colorado
This is another game that scares me, especially after the way the game went this past year. (Thank you Alex Henery) Colorado was a young team this past year, and usually plays us pretty well.
Being in Boulder isn't going to hurt their chances, I just hope that they don't sell the student section things to throw onto the field again. Thankfully they kept this game on the Friday after Thanksgiving, because it's a tradition that needs to be kept. Nebraska clinches the Big XII north. Nebraska (9-3)
13. Big XII Championship
I have Texas winning the Big XII south next year, and ranked 2nd going into this game, with a chance to go to the National Championship game. Texas is going to have the best offense and defense in the Big XII next year, and will be too much for Nebraska in this game. It also doesn't hurt that this game is going to be played in the state of Texas. Nebraska (9-4)
Next season could be great for this program, or it could be an absolute disaster. The Huskers could go anywhere from 11-1 to 6-6 next year. Lets just hope that our offense finds itself earlier this year than it did last year. All I know is that I am looking forward to another great season of college football next year, and cannot wait until August. Go Big Red!