Nebraska Football: The Cornhuskers' Remaining Schedule Power Rankings

Brandon Cavanaugh@http://twitter.com/@eightlacesCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2010

Nebraska Football: The Cornhuskers' Remaining Schedule Power Rankings

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    While a BCS National Championship trophy would look nice in Nebraska’s trophy case, a parting gift from their soon-to-be former conference would be just as satisfying.

    After bouncing back from a loss to Texas, the Cornhuskers are ready to take their ball back to the friendly confines of Lincoln and show their temporary Big 12 brethren just what they’ve learned over the past several weeks.

    Nebraska faces a little bit of everything leading up to a potential showdown in the final Big 12 Championship Game as we know it. Who looms the largest between the Cornhuskers and their crown?

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No. 5: Kansas Jayhawks

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    A familiar face walks the sidelines of the Kansas Jayhawks’ football sidelines. Former Nebraska quarterback and assistant coach Turner Gill was brought in after turning around the Buffalo Bulls. It was the hopes of KU alumni that he could have the same success as he did at his former stop.

    The Jayhawks (2-5, 0-3) haven’t presented any challenge to a Big 12 squad yet this season and at this rate will be lucky to cover any spread set out by Las Vegas.

    Turner Gill and the Kansas Jayhawks will likely get a standing ovation walking into Lincoln, but that’s where the warm reception will end.

    Nebraska needs 51 points versus the Jayhawks to be the first team in NCAA history to score 3,000 points on a team in the series’ history. That doesn’t look like it’s out of the realm of possibility.

No. 4: Colorado Buffaloes

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    If Colorado can take solace in one thing, it’s that Dan Hawkins’ career didn’t end before he made it to Lincoln.

    Senior Day for the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks to be very sour for the Buffaloes as Nebraska looks to put down the “rivalry” that former Colorado coach Bill McCartney tried to cram down the two fan bases’ throats.

    The Buffaloes limp into their matchup this weekend against BCS No. 9 Oklahoma down key players as Cody Hawkins looks to start for Colorado.

    Buffalo medical personnel have reported to the official Colorado football site that there is, “a possibility (starter Tyler) Hansen could return for postseason play.”

    Colorado would have to defeat three teams out of Oklahoma, No. 14 Nebraska, unranked Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State to become bowl eligible.

No. 3: Iowa State Cyclones

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    The Iowa State Cyclones should be very proud of their successes in 2010. Second-year coach Paul Rhodes led Iowa State to an amazing road win in the Cyclones’s first win in school history over the Texas Longhorns.

    Sitting at 2-2 in conference and 4-4 overall, the Cyclones have a good shot to find themselves in postseason play for the second year in a row.

    Rhodes and his charges have shown they clearly believe they can take anyone down, but if BCS No. 14 Nebraska can knock off BCS No. 6 Missouri at home, trouble will be brewing.

    Nebraska hasn’t lost a road game (on a non-neutral site) since Sept. 2009. During the 2010 campaign, the Cornhuskers have looked even more impressive away from Memorial Stadium. This looks to be an unexpectedly crucial Big 12 North showdown.

No. 2: Texas A&M Aggies

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    The Aggies have played up to their Jekyll-and-Hyde preseason predictions. Texas A&M had their chances to impress against BCS No. 17 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Arkansas and No. 6 Missouri.

    Every major opponent that the Aggies have faced, they’ve fallen to.

    Currently 1-2 in the Big 12 conference with their only win coming to hapless Kansas, even College Station hasn’t been a refuge for the Aggies where Missouri silenced the crowd on their way to a 30-9 victory.

    Texas A&M isn’t lacking talent. Jerrod Johnson has always been regarded as an athlete, but one that simply hasn’t put all of the pieces together.

    Johnson has gone 158-for-279 throwing 14 TDs to nine INTs adding 146 yards and two TDs on the ground.

    Leading rusher Christine Michael has 592 yards this season notching four touchdowns. The biggest scoring threat for the Aggies seems to be wide receiver Jeff Fuller accounting for 687 yards and nine TDs.

    The Aggies provide the second-most challenging game left for Nebraska in their regular season schedule at this point because one simply can’t make a true judgment on how effective they are.

    Games versus Baylor, Texas Tech and current BCS No. 9 Oklahoma should help make heads or tails of this Texas A&M squad.

No. 1: Missouri Tigers

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    The final battle for the Missouri-Nebraska Bell isn’t just for pride or a trophy.

    With Nebraska climbing to No. 14 in the most recent BCS standings following a defeat of now BCS No. 17 Oklahoma State, a defeat of a top 10 team in the rankings would do wonders.

    The road to the National Championship needs to be cleared a bit for Nebraska to have a shot at Glendale, but the Cornhuskers will be sitting pretty and likely in the BCS’ top ten if they can topple the Tigers.

    Not only that, but this past summer, both schools were issued ultimatums about whether or not they were leaving the Big 12 conference.

    Allegedly, The Big 12's ultimatum was directed toward Nebraska, according to OrangeBloods.com.

    A defeat by the Tigers keeps their lofty dreams and undefeated record intact, not to mention they take one of the Big 12’s most prized trophies home to Columbia to stay.

    Should Nebraska win, the Bell stays home in Lincoln and the Big 10 gets a little more proof that they made the right choice.

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