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Nebraska Baseball: Toughest Schedule In The Nation (So Far)

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Our beloved Nebraska baseball team takes on the Western Carolina Catamounts this weekend, the team that ended the Huskers’ season last year.

Gallery: Nebraska Baseball Wraps Up Regular Season

Did you know that according to Boyd’s World, Nebraska baseball has played the toughest schedule in the nation so far? ‘Tis true. Ohio State is at #2.

Boyd’s has Michigan State’s schedule at 94th, Michigan’s at 72th, Minnesota’s at 171st, and Iowa’s at 62th. Considering that and those winning records, well, things aren’t nearly as bad looking for Nebraska as you may have previously though.

Here’s how the Big Ten currently looks in baseball standings.. well, in non-conference anyway:

Your beloved Husker baseball team stands at 5-6, having just started playing at home this week against perennial doormat foe Northern Colorado.

This weekend they’ll face the rotten no-gooders that eliminated them from last year’s NCAA tournament, the Western Carolina Catamounts. The whosee whatsee’s? Yes, the Catamounts, who won their only other meeting against Nebraska in an elimination game in the Clemson regional, 4-1, and ended the Huskers’ season.

The Catamounts come into Lincoln with a 5-7 record, having played the 13th toughest schedule nationally, again, according to Boyd’s World.

More from the Nebraska AD:

The series opens on Friday at 1:35 p.m., which is earlier than previously announced. Due to impending weather on Friday night the game from was moved from 4:05 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.

All three games this weekend will be carried on 1400 AM in Lincoln and 590 AM in Omaha. Fans can also listen to all three games on or the TuneIn App on the Husker IMG Sports Network channel. All three games against Western Carolina will be video streamed live on BTN Plus (subscription required).

In case you’re wondering, “What is a catamount?”, here you go from Western Carolina’s website:

Webster's Dictionary defines "catamount" as "any of various wild cats such as a cougar or lynx." Cats of the catamount variety, including the bobcat, have roamed the southern Appalachian Mountains, where Western Carolina University is located, for years.

In case you’re interested - here are the rankings. All of them. I think they’re about worthless. Each ranking tends to have its own bias, and in the end, they’re only useful as much as preseason football rankings, which is to stir up interest for casual fans of games between ranked teams.

The Weatherbug forecast on my phone shows temperatures running from a low of 16 degrees on Friday to a high of 42 on Sunday with an 80% chance of snow on Saturday and 40% chance on Sunday. That doesn’t exactly sound like great baseball weather, but what the hell. Get out to Haymarket anyway, you pansies.

Here are your starters, taken from the Catamounts game notes:

GAME No. 1

FIRST PITCH: Friday, 1:35 pm CT
WCU: Sr. LHP Bryan Sammons NEB: Jr. RHP Jake Hohensee

GAME No. 2

FIRST PITCH: Saturday, 2:05 pm CT
WCU: Soph. LHP Tristan Baker NEB: Sr. RHP Derek Burkamper

GAME No. 3

FIRST PITCH: Sunday, 1:05 pm CT
WCU: Jr. LHP Brendan Nail NEB: Jr. LHP Jake Meyers

Around The Big Ten

(Some of this is cut and paste from the perspective school’s press release because I am lazy. The last two days have been nasty headache days, and they tend to suck my energy.)

These are in no particular order.

Illinois plays at three-games series at Coastal Carolina this weekend. Illinois has yet to win a weekend series, and taking on the Chanticleers, last year’s CWS winners, on their home field probably isn’t the best way to go about it.

The University of Iowa baseball team heads to the Sunshine State for four games at the Snowbird Baseball Classic from March 10-12 . The Hawkeyes face Villanova at 12:30 p.m. (CT) Friday and Bucknell at 10 a.m. Saturday. Both games will be held at Charlotte Regional Park (Field 3) in Port Charlotte, Florida. Iowa closes out the weekend with a Sunday doubleheader, facing Lehigh at 12:30 p.m. at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Ohio State is at #24 Florida Gulf Coast for a three-game series this weekend. Did you know that Buckeye head coach Greg Beals obtained his 450th win last weekend? There’s one for the trivia board today.

Indiana has their home opener this weekend with a three-game series vs Middle Tennessee. Here’s a bit from IU AD: IU's pitching staff is second in the Big Ten in runs allowed (47), ERA (3.78), earned runs allowed (40) and third in fewest walks (35).

Maryland takes on Bryant at home for a three-game series. Maryland swept its three games at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic in Cary, N.C. The Terps took down Notre Dame, then No. 6 NC State and Dayton. The win over NC State was Maryland’s first over a top-10 team since it defeated No. 1 UCLA to win an NCAA Regional title in 2015.

Minnesota is playing Missouri State at US Bank Stadium in a three-game homes series. I should head down there and see what college baseball is like in the new Vikings dome. Missouri State comes in at 10-2, should be a good series.

Armed with a 9-3 record and on a two-game win streak, the University of Michigan baseball team will head to Nashville, Tennessee, this weekend to face off against Lipscomb in the Wolverines' final non-conference road series of the 2017 season. The Wolverines capped off their west coast trip on Sunday (March 3) with a win over San Diego at the prestigious Dodger Stadium. Michigan went 7-1 on the spring break trip, losing only to UCLA in a 1-0 heartbreaker.

Michigan State has a big series this weekend against South Carolina. Check this: Michigan State opened the season 9-1 for the second-straight year and tied for the second-best start to a season through 10 games. In addition to this season and last year, MSU was also 9-1 through 10 games in 1971, while the best mark in school history was the 1946 squad that went undefeated through its first 10 games.

Purdue has a four-game series at Cal State Northridge.

Rutgers has a four-game series vs North Florida.

Northwestern has a four-game series against Portland. The first game was already rained out. The Wildcats have the 202nd toughest schedule in the nation. Wooeee.

Penn State, whose schedule I’ve complained about in the past, is ranked 20th by Boyd. They’re taking on Sacramento State in a series, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at their web site.

Wisconsin does not have a baseball team.