Well, it's finally upon us. The weekend of October 16th, the Quarrel at Memorial, the Battle of the Beef....however you want to phrase this weekend's game between the 4th ranked Cornhuskers and Texas Longhorns, one word comes to mind: Big. No matter how you size this one up both teams are in desperate need of a victory. Texas is reeling after two straight losses, and hasn't lost three straight since 1999. Nebraska has resurfaced as a national title contender after an eight year hiatus. But despite the obvious want that both teams have to win this game, which program needs it more?
First we need to look at where both programs stand from a national perception. Texas has obviously shown it is a player for a BCS bowl year in, year out and Mack Brown has established himself as one of the premiere coaches in all the land. In fact it wouldn't be hard pressed to say that he has the number one gig in the country. Then you have Nebraska, who has finally regained some of the respect it lost during the *cough cough* Callahan-Pederson era. Butttttttt, as much a Nebraska has regained their reputation as a defense-laiden team there are still numerous questions considering the program has yet to win that 'signature' game. Yes, Kansas State and Washington are nice, especially on the road, but if you want to be in the national title discussion and regain all of what was lost in the 2000's you need to win this game.
So who needs it more? I think without question it's Nebraska. A Nebraska loss will end national title hopes and put a severe dent in the current resume of the Huskers. As it stands Nebraska has defeated no ranked opponents and while Texas is unranked themselves, their brand name alone signifies the resurgence of the Huskers.
A loss from Texas simply signifies a rebuilding year. Ohhhh of course they weren't going to be as good, they lost their four-year starting quarterback and had to replace most of their key offensive personnel. They'll be back next year. A loss for Nebraska and everyone will go running for the hills. "See I knew they weren't that good!" Nebraska would drop out of the top ten and would be hard-pressed to find an opportunity to insert itself back atop the rankings for another four weeks.
All in the all, this is it. Point. Blank. Period. This is the game Bo Pelini, his staff, the Blackshirts, the rebuilt offense, the fans, the state of Nebraska, Husker Nation.....this is the game we've been waiting for since that dreaded :01. For a second that created that much pain, the Huskers had better bring it for 60 minutes. The question is, will they be able to be on the other end of the scoreboard after this 60? They need it, that's for sure.