More Phil Steele because as I mentioned Monday, June is Phil Steele month!
Steele has been revealing his Top 40 preseason teams as we approach the release date of this year's preseason magazine, June 18th, and today he revealed Nebraska at #16 and Clemson at #15.
Nebraska at #16 is the highest Western Division team, given that the division's top contenders - Michigan and Michigan State are ranked at #24 and #23, respectively. Other Big Ten teams so far have come in at - #20 Wisconsin and #34 Penn State.
Nebraska at #16!
I have the feeling the general consensus will be that the ranking is too high. To that I'd say - why do you hate your own team so much? Whom else would you pick to win the West Division?
About Nebraska, Steele says:
TY NU has 12 ret sts incl QB Martinez and their top 3 rec's. NU had 3 net close wins LY but on the positive side they were -12 in TO's, had -2 net upsets and their +119.1 ypg was best in the B10. NU's schedule also gets easier as OSU and Wisc drop off and are replaced by Purdue and Illinois. NU has a great shot at getting back to the Big Ten Title game.
- Our offense is going to kick the crap out of people.
- Most of the offensive production returns.
- We had a lot of turnovers (108th nationally). It's unlikely we'll be that bad in this area again this year.
- Our schedule is much easier.
That all translates into a #16 ranking, dependent upon the teams around us.