The most anticipated game of the Texas Longhorns' schedule, and one of the most hyped games of the entire 2010 college football landscape.
You could go on and on about the back story. The Texas shocker in 1996 that cost Nebraska a trip to the national championship. The Longhorn upset wins in 1997 and 1998. The 1-8 record that Nebraska has against Texas since the inception of the Big 12. The hate of everything Texas by the people of Nebraska. Big 12 realignment.
And last season's Big 12 Championship game.
The Cornhuskers want this one. Badly. Since early July, Cornhusker nation has been calling for a Red Out on October 16th, the day that the Texas Longhorns come to town. They feel wronged for what happened in the team's last meeting, and they want revenge.
And the Longhorns want it just as badly. They've had to hear all the complaining that has taken place since the one-second "fiasco." They've been made to be the bad guys of the Big 12 realignment. And they want to send Nebraska off with the same result as they gave to Nebraska when they joined the conference - with a big win.
Bo Pelini has the Cornhuskers back on its way to nation prominence by playing elite defense. Other-worldly Ndadmukong Suh is gone to the NFL, but defensive tackle Jared Crick and cornerback Prince Amukamara return to lead the Blackshirts.
Nebraska allowed the fewest points in the nation last season at 10.4 points per game. If they can find a respectable replacement for Suh, the defense will once again be dominant. Easier said than done, though.
The question marks on this Nebraska team lie on the offensive side of the ball. Against Texas last season, Zac Lee led the Cornhuskers to only five first downs and 106 total yards. They have to be better if they want to meet the expectations that many around the nation have for them.
The atmosphere in Lincoln will be hostile. And the defense will be the toughest that Garrett Gilbert will have faced since Alabama in last season's national championship. The good news for Texas is that unlike the Alabama game, Gilbert will know that he is playing. And he will have an extra week to prepare for Nebraska.
Texas' hopes lie with the improvement of the running game, as it is highly unlikely and unfair to expect Gilbert to carry the entire load against this defense on the road. If the Longhorn running game can find some room, it will slow down the pass rush of NU and give Gilbert a better chance at success.