The Nebraska Athletic Department released the 2008 Baseball schedule this past week.
Remember that scheduling rules have changed for the 2008 season so that everyone must start on the same date. This keeps the warm-weather schools from getting a head-start on their schedules.
The Cornhuskers will start the season February 22nd with a series at Stanford. The next weekend, Nebraska welcomes UC Riverside to Hawks Field in Lincoln. I can't imagine a California team playing at the end of Februrary in Lincoln, Nebraska and the weather cooperating, but we'll see what happens.
Dave Van Horn's Arkansas team will come to Lincoln for a mid-week series on March 18th and 19th. The always good Wichita State Shockers visit Lincoln on April 15th, and of course there's the series with the evildoers from Creighton.
The Big 12 season starts on March 14th at Kansas State. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas, and Texas A&M series are at home. This leaves us at Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Missouri. That's a fairly tough conference slate, given that last year's order of finish was Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma State.
Last season, it was Nebraska's tough schedule that got them a NCAA berth. The 2007 season was a disappointment and was marred by player suspensions.2007 saw the dismissal of Andy Sawyer and the hiring of Eric Newman as an assistant from Dallas Baptist where he was head coach the previous three seasons.
Tom Osborne has specifically mentioned that expectations are too high for the football team. Perhaps the same could be applied to the baseball team. Husker fans believe that we should be making a trip to the College World Series on a yearly basis, and that's not realistic. Making the NCAA tourney should be a realistic goal every season, but the CWS is just too much.
We will be covering Husker baseball heavily again this coming season.