A Husker Thanksgiving: Give Thanks Thursday, but Remember Black Friday.

Josh KleinCorrespondent INovember 24, 2009

There are plenty things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend. Not only as a person but as a Husker fan.

We can be thankful for a myriad of things, from rebounding after a heartbreaking loss to Iowa State to take four straight games, to the fact that Ndamukong Suh came back his senior season to prove that he is the best defensive lineman in the game.

Yes there are things that might garner some criticism this year, the play-calling, lack of offense, defensive busts at inopportune times etc. But why focus on these things when we have so much to be thankful for?

For starters, Nebraska has beaten two of its three Big 12 South opponents, not something many North teams can say they have done. 

Also, Nebraska has improved so remarkably defensively that people across the nation, and yes, even on ESPN are starting to take notice.

The list does go on, from starting off a paltry 4-3 to getting to an 8-3 record and asserting themselves as the team to beat in the Big 12 North once again.

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We can give thanks for the return to Northern aggression as a whole or to the Blackshirts rise to dominance, not only in the Big 12 but in the nation.

We can, and should give thanks for all of these things this Thursday, but we mustn't look past Friday.

It's known as Black Friday a reason. Oh you thought I was talking about shopping? No I'm talking about the Colorado Buffaloes.

As any Husker fan knows, come Friday, you can throw out the records because it doesn't matter if Colorado is 11-0 or 0-11 at this time in the year, you can bet on one thing: They will come to play against Nebraska.

Last year the Buffaloes were heavy underdogs again in Lincoln, but that all changed on the first possession of the game. Nebraska was handed one of their most difficult tests of the season that day, and barring a 57-yard miracle of a field goal from the always clutch Alex Henery the Huskers may have been looking at a 7-5 season instead of 8-4. 

What difference does a game make? Try thousands of dollars. Instead of going to the Capitol One or Insight.com bowl Nebraska got the invite to the Gator Bowl, in January.

This year the Huskers are guaranteed at least an eight-win season, they are also guaranteed the title of Big 12 North champion, but Friday holds a bigger prize for Husker nation.

What could a game against a 3-7 Colorado team possibly offer? Nebraska has clinched the North no matter what and will be playing Texas in the Big 12 championship game no matter what, so what does Friday have to do with anything?

I would argue that this Friday may be the next most important game on the schedule.  From recruiting potential to national recognition. But most importantly Bo Pelini's second nine-win season.

If Nebraska can beat the pesky Buffaloes this Friday, they will move to 9-3 on the season and 6-2 in the Big 12. We could play the what-ifs for ages and state that Nebraska could be 11-1 and in the middle of National Title talks, but that's crazy.

If you are who your record says you are, then I want to be that 9-3 team with a shot at Texas. A win against Colorado all but hands Nebraska a national ranking in both the Coaches and the AP Polls.

Going into that Big 12 championship game as a ranked team may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Because when you are ranked, everyone is forced to recognize that you have a chance.

So yes, let us be thankful for all the things this season has brought us. For the ups and downs and for the winning of the North. But let us not forget or overlook Black Friday, because Colorado is where the next win lies.

9-3 sure does sound better than 8-4, it's time to send Dan Hawkins out the way he came in. Give us one more thing to be thankful for this weekend Nebraska. Give us a win over the Buffaloes going into the Big 12 Championship game.


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