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Countdown to 2012- Seven days to Saturday

... That's bacon I smell. Has to be. ...
... That's bacon I smell. Has to be. ...

We have reached the home stretch of the Countdown to the 2012 Nebraska Football season here at CN. And it's a big one at that.

This time next week, there will be many things happening across Nebraska, focusing on our old friend Memorial Stadium at 2:30 in the afternoon as the Nebraska Cornhuskers welcome the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles

Tailgates will be booming with music and the smell of burgers and brats on the grill. Football from across the world (Notre Dame vs. Navy in Dublin will be going when you wake up) will be playing on TV's and computers. Cars filled with red clad fans will be coming down I-80 and other roads heading to Lincoln. Pregame shows will hype the day, and there will be 85,000 plus eventually filling into their seats, cheering as Hail Varsity and Mr Touchdown USA is played which follows into the loud "Husker.. Power" chant.

This is when the season is as fresh as it's gonna be. Everyone is undefeated, there is a aura of victory in the air during practices across America, and finally all the hype from Media Days, Phil Steele's mags, drive time talk radio and such finally go out the window and a ball is kicked from one end of Tom Osborne Field to another.

Seven days are left till the 122nd edition of the University of Nebraska football team starts intercollegiate play, and there are multiple storylines. Will Taylor Martinez take the next step? Can a Blackshirts Defense that in '11 was statistically as bad as it's been get better without Lavonte David, Jared Crick or Alfonzo Dennard around anymore?

Can Nebraska survive a brutal 5 game stretch that starts with the alternate uniform game vs. Wisconsin and ending in East Lansing? Will a trip to Indianapolis be followed by a second trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl or another BCS game, breaking a 11 year BCS game drought? Or will it be a disappointing trip to somewhere like Tempe for "The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl"? (yes, it exists, look it up).

No matter what, all of us will be along for the ride. Buckle in and tighten those chin straps folks. For when you wake up tomorrow, it's game week. And, for everyone involved, that's a relief.