Thursday, June 7, 2012
Most important game: Nebraska
By Brian Bennett
Let's jump back into our series looking at the most important game on the 2012 schedule for each Big Ten squad. As a reminder, these are games that will have the biggest impact on the league race or hold special meaning for one of the teams involved.
Today's contestant is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Come on down.
Most important game: Oct. 27 vs. Michigan
Why it's important: 45-17. That was the score when the Huskers went to Ann Arbor last Nov. 19 and were swept out of the Legends Division race when the Wolverines swamped them in the second half. That game has to stick in the minds of Nebraska players and coaches, especially coming as it did against a division opponent. Had they won that game, maybe they would have been the ones going to the Sugar Bowl. This year, Michigan comes to Lincoln, bringing back memories of their split national title in 1997. The Cornhuskers have talked boldly this offseason about wanting to get in position for a national title; well, first they'll have to win their division, and that will be very difficult if they can't protect their home turf against one of the league's top championship contenders. The Wolverines are a team the Huskers should match up with well. Both place a heavy emphasis on line play and have mobile, play-making quarterbacks. The Michigan game begins a brutal three-week stretch in which Nebraska also goes to Michigan State and hosts Penn State. It is also the team's only home game between Oct. 6 and Nov. 10. All of which makes this game look like a key one to Big Red's entire season, not to mention a chance to atone for one of its poorest performances from a year ago.