Nebraska Football: Reviewing the Cornhuskers' 2014-2017 Schedules

Patrick RungeCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2013

Nebraska Football: Reviewing the Cornhuskers' 2014-2017 Schedules

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    Earlier this week, Nebraska fans learned who their Cornhuskers will be playing for the next four years. The Big Ten released the full conference schedules for 2016 and 2017. Starting in 2016, the conference will start to play nine conference games, which will be a big change for Nebraska fans and fans throughout the conference.

    So let’s look ahead for the next four years and see what Nebraska’s schedule looks like. We will grade each schedule on difficulty, point out the toughest stretches in each schedule and pinpoint the best road game for traveling fans.

    Schedules are from Husker Max, with conference games marked with a hashtag.

2014 Schedule

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     08/30     Fla. Atlantic (Lincoln)

     09/06     McNeese State (Lincoln)

     09/13     Fresno State (Fresno)         

     09/20     Miami (Fla.) (Lincoln)          

     09/27     #Illinois (Lincoln)      

     10/04     #Michigan State (E. Lansing)

     10/18     #Northwestern (Evanston)         

     10/25     #Rutgers (Lincoln)  

     11/01     #Purdue (Lincoln)           

     11/15     #Wisconsin (Madison)

     11/22     #Minnesota (Lincoln)           

     11/28     #Iowa (Iowa City)

     

    Schedule Strength: B+

    It appears that Miami will escape USC-like punishment from the Nevin Shapiro scandal, so the Hurricanes should be a stiff challenge. Nebraska will also face all of its likely West Division rivals (Northwestern, Wisconsin and even Iowa) on the road.

     

    Toughest Stretch: Sept. 20 through Oct. 18

    In the course of four games, Nebraska faces Miami at home, gets a bit of a breather with Illinois, then has back-to-back road games against Michigan State and Northwestern.

     

    Best Road Trip: Evanston, Ill.

    Not only is it in Chicago, a fantastic place to visit, but Evanston is also a charming college-town atmosphere nestled in the Windy City. For those Nebraska fans missing a biannual pilgrimage to Lawrence, Evanston is a pretty good substitute.

2015 Schedule

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    09/05     Brigham Young (Lincoln)

    09/12     South Alabama (Lincoln)

    09/19     Miami (Fla.) (Miami)

    09/26     Southern Miss (Lincoln)

    10/03     #Illinois (Champaign)

    10/10     #Wisconsin (Lincoln)

    10/17     #Minnesota (Minneapolis)

    10/24     #Northwestern (Lincoln)

    10/31     #Purdue (W. Lafayette)

    11/07     #Michigan State (Lincoln)

    11/14     #Rutgers (Piscataway)

    11/27     #Iowa (Lincoln)        

     

    Schedule Strength: B

    Having both BYU and Miami on the nonconference schedule, with Miami on the road, looks to be as tough of a nonconference slate as you’ll see. The conference schedule, though, sets up much better for Nebraska.

     

    Toughest Stretch: Oct. 24 through Nov. 14 

    Nebraska’s 2015 schedule is nowhere near as arduous as 2014, to be certain. But over a four-week span, Nebraska does face Northwestern and Michigan State, although both are at home and with a trip to Purdue in between. After that stretch, then, is Nebraska’s first trip to New Jersey.

     

    Best Road Trip: Miami, Fla.

    South Beach before the summer officially ends doesn't sound so bad.

2016 Schedule

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    09/03     Fresno State (Lincoln)

    09/10     Tennessee (Lincoln)

    09/17     Wyoming (Lincoln)

    09/24     No. Illinois (Chicago)

    10/01     #Illinois (Lincoln)

    10/08     #Northwestern (Evanston)

    10/15     #Indiana (Bloomington)

    10/22     #Purdue (Lincoln)

    10/29     #Wisconsin (Madison)

    11/05     #Ohio State (Columbus)

    11/12     #Minnesota (Lincoln)

    11/19     #Maryland (Lincoln)

    11/25     #Iowa (Iowa City)  

     

    Schedule Strength: A

    The SEC appears on Nebraska’s schedule in 2016 as Tennessee begins a home-and-home with NU. And the even-numbered year brings the stretch where Nebraska’s games against division rivals Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa are all on the road. Oh, and the Buckeyes make an appearance on the schedule as well. Not to mention that Nebraska gets the short end of the five-road-games rotation of the new nine-game conference schedule.

     

    Toughest Stretch: Oct. 29 through Nov. 05

    In back-to-back weeks, Nebraska will face Wisconsin in Camp Randall and Ohio State in the Horseshoe. Yipes.

     

    Best Road Trip: Columbus, Ohio

    The Buckeyes may very well be the B1G’s version of Texas, but Columbus is still one of the iconic locations in college football. Nebraska fans should not miss the opportunity to see the Scarlet and Cream play in the Horseshoe.

2017 Schedule

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    09/02     No. Illinois (Lincoln)

    09/09     Tennessee (Knoxville)

    09/16     TBD (TBD)

    09/23     #Rutgers (Lincoln)

    09/30     #Illinois (Champaign)

    10/07     #Wisconsin (Lincoln)

    10/14     #Ohio State (Lincoln)

    10/28     #Purdue (W. Lafayette)

    11/04     #Northwestern (Lincoln)

    11/11     #Minnesota (Minneapolis)

    11/18     #Penn State (State College)

    11/24     #Iowa (Lincoln)              

     

    Schedule Strength: A-

    Even assuming “TBD” is filled by a tomato-can opponent, Nebraska’s 2017 schedule has plenty of meat on the bones. Mixing in an SEC road trip with a schedule that includes Ohio State should give Nebraska plenty to worry about.

     

    Toughest Stretch: Oct. 07 through Oct. 14

    Once again, Nebraska gets Wisconsin and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. The upside is that both games are in Lincoln, which should make for a mouthwatering week of football for Nebraska fans. I considered adding the Purdue game to the list as a trap game after the grind of Wisconsin and Ohio State back-to-back, but Nebraska gets a bye before its trip to West Lafayette.

     

    Best Road Trip: Knoxville, Tenn.

    Yes, Knoxville is probably not a target destination outside of football. But this will be a unique opportunity to see Nebraska play in an SEC environment in front of more than 100,000 rabid fans in bright orange.          

     

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