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Nebraska Football Schedule Roundtable

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The CN staff gives their thoughts on the schedule released by the Big Ten yesterday & their predictions on wins/losses

Vintage Football Schedule Photo by John Kanuit Photography/Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images

We now know who are beloved Huskers are scheduled to play in 2020. What does the CN staff think about the lineup?

Original 2020 Football Schedule

Sept. 5 Purdue Boilermakers
Sept. 12 Central Michigan Chippewas
Sept. 19 South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Sept. 26 Cincinnati Bearcats
Oct. 3 at Northwestern Wildcats
Oct 10 Illinois Fighting Illini
Oct 24 at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Oct 31 at Ohio State Buckeyes
Nov 7 Penn State Nittany Lions
Nov 14 at Iowa Hawkeyes
Nov 21 at Wisconsin Badgers
Nov 27 Minnesota Golden Gophers

New 2020 Football Schedule announced August 5

9/5 @ Rutgers
9/12 Illinois
9/19 Wisconsin
9/26 @ Iowa
10/3 Minnesota
10/10 @ Ohio State
Bye Week
10/24 @ Northwestern
10/31 Penn State
Bye Week
11/14 @ Purdue
11/21 Michigan State


Assuming we get to play these games, what is your first impression of the new schedule? Easier for Nebraska? Harder?

Nate M: Fairer. Not that anybody gives a hoot about fair. Yes, after the first two games it is brutal for a stretch but I would take this over ending the season with Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Not sure how you could finish that season feeling good about yourself.

Patrick: It’s still a bit of a tough schedule. Nice to have Wisconsin at home for a second year in a row. Finale against a rebuilding Michigan State isn’t too bad. That is, if we even get that far into the season. Going half way across the country to New Jersey to start the season doesn’t seem like the smartest move. They’ve already had issues in the state and football team with COVID. It would not surprise me if that game gets postponed/scrapped. I also think that starting the first weekend of September is a good decision by the powers that be. Who knows how much football we will get this season so we might as well get what we can early.

Jon: I was looking forward to starting with Purdue. And playing Cincinnati. So sad. Rutgers and Illinois should be decent warm up games before we get to Wisconsin. I know there’s a lot of gun shy Nebraska fans who don’t want to play Ohio State, or maybe even Penn State, but Nebraska was expected to be good at football, and these SHOULD BE MARQUEE MATCHUPS and could be if Scott Frost gets things going. Keep the faith dammit.

Mike: Taking two body-bag games off the schedule certainly makes it tougher to get to bowl eligibility. But I think Nebraska comes out ahead in the swap between Cincinnati and Michigan State. Cincy was looking a little stronger than you might think, while the Spartans are in a bit of a rebuilding mode.

Jill: Losing the SDSU game makes me sad an a Jackrabbit alum, but I’m sure that one will get rescheduled for sometime down the road. The opening games with Rutgers and Illinois are a bit underwhelming, but at the same time, Rutgers should be like the non-con body bag games. But as I type that, I worry about sounding cocky because Nebraska can lose to anyone it seems.

So, apparently, I’ve reached the acceptance stage of mourning for good Nebraska football.

Evan: My very first impression was cheering that we start with Rutgers and Iowa didn’t get to add Rutgers to its schedule. Outside of that I can see anywhere from five to eight wins on the schedule. Like Mike said, I think adding Michigan State might grant us another win, but they’re our last game so both teams should be in their final groove by then. Honestly all that matters is making it to week four and getting the win.


The new schedule includes numerous changes: opening at Rutgers, flipping Wisconsin to home and Purdue on the road, and adding Michigan State. In addition to the flexibility with the bye weeks and the end to rivalry week, what did the Conference get right and/or wrong with the new schedule as a whole?

Mike: I’m going to point to the game that the national media and the folks in Ann Arbor and Columbus view as “the game”. If you are going to move it from the end of the season (which is the correct decision), you move it to a week where there are other teams sitting out on bye week. If TV is going to clear a timeslot for the Weasels and Bucknuts, then minimize the number of games that are going to get pushed aside.

Nate M: I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about Wisconsin’s schedule. They have a point. It’s like the B1G want Wisconsin and Ohio State at the end. That is of course, assuming that there is a B1G Championship Game. Scheduling is difficult and trying to be fair is impossible. I think they helped Nebraska by letting them start with Rutgers and Illinois (which is a toss up game at this point) before going into the grinder with Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Evan: Something I have complained about since the division realignment was having to play Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Ohio State on the road or at home in the same year. The Buckeyes are an east opponent, but with how the Big Ten has scheduled games they make it so that there’s one cross-divisional match-ups for a few years. When the B1G announced it was going to a conference only schedule I said it would be a perfect time to adjust this so future schedules are more even. A lot of Husker fans have complained about the way the B1G has created our schedules (and how easy other teams have it i.e. Wisconsin), hopefully this is a step in the right direction of making competition more balanced.

Jill: I think Evan brings up a really good point in that the Huskers were going to have a really tough road slate every other year. On the flip side, that makes for a really attractive home slate every other year, but until Nebraska starts winning a few of them, the negatives outweigh the positives for me. Overall, I really applaud the work that went into this schedule and the flexibility built in. If we do actually get to watch football, it seems likely there will be starts/stops and the need to put things on hold at times. This gives us the best chance to see Big Ten football possible right now.


What do you think of the Quadrangle of Hate being mashed all together Sept 19-Oct 3?

Patrick: Bloodbath? At least there’s a chance those game will get played is my guess.

Nate M: We could go 3-0. I think the expectation is to win at least one of those games. We could also go 0-3. I could be talked into 2-1. Heck who knows.

Jon: I could give a shit about the record, although... we damned well better beat Minnesota. And Iowa. I don’t want to hear from them sonsabitches for another year. If we get to play these games, it will be a wonderful, wonderful break from the depression, loneliness, and heartbreak of this life-killing virus. You ever greet some dude, and he responds, “Every day above ground is a great day!” and you know how he feels?

Rather than being all bitchy, whiny, and gun shy about Nebraska football, maybe all y’all should be thankful if we have it at all. Because if we don’t, good lord, are we going to be even more horrible humans than we already are.

Mike: The chances that late September games get played are much better than the chances that late October or November games get played. But don’t discount the fact that if the season makes it to November, the Badgers and Hawkeyes got their matchup deferred to the end of the season instead of three division deciding games in a row.

Evan: Gonna add Ohio State to this stretch. Split them with Iowa being a win and I’m cool with it.

Jill: I’m not making any predictions yet, partly because I’m still skeptical we actually will have football games and partly because we have no idea about attrition due to the virus. Who knows which players will be in quarantine at any given time during that stretch - for any team. This season could become one of the biggest “what if” seasons ever.


It probably changes on a daily basis but at this point what are the chances that Nebraska actually plays college football this season?

Patrick: I would say....70%. At least a few games I imagine. There’s too much financially on the line if they don’t.

Nate M: Yesterday I was at 5%. There are so many programs that appear to not be motivated to play a season. After the release of the schedule I’m back up to 50%. I’m not sure the rationale for the increase but it’s just how it is folks.

Jon: 99% WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Just get on with it! We keep hearing all the doom and gloom crap from everyone all over the place, but we haven’t heard much from players who want to play. If you were 20, 21 years old, what would you want to do? Play football or stay in a closet somewhere?

Mike: That a game gets played? Probably 67%. I don’t think Rutgers will be in any position to go in a month with increasing cases, but I think we’ll see at least one game get played.

Evan: Considering Bill Moos said the loss of two home games will cost the athletic department near $30 million I have high hopes. I think there’s probably an 85% chance we play.

Jill: As I’ve said above, I am skeptical. The damage to the local economy without football is huge and people who have been in lockdown for months are eager for sports and something to cheer for. I do trust that the Nebraska athletic department actually cares about their student athletes and will do everything they can to make it safe enough to play if at all possible. I hope there is a season because that means the protocols and procedures put in place turn out to be good enough to keep the players healthy.


Alright. Time to shoot your shot. It may be a long shot, but assuming they play the entire schedule what is your projected record? You reserve the right to change this in other articles going forward.

Patrick: 5-5 this year. Until I actually see the progress on the field, I am suspect.

9/5 @ Rutgers - W
9/12 Illinois - W
9/19 Wisconsin - L
9/26 @ Iowa - L
10/3 Minnesota - L
10/10 @ Ohio State - L
Bye Week
10/24 @ Northwestern - W
10/31 Penn State - L
Bye Week
11/14 @ Purdue - W
11/21 Michigan State - W

Nate M: 6-4 I guess. I would prefer typing 4-6 and then be pleasantly surprised.

9/5 @ Rutgers - W
9/12 Illinois - L
9/19 Wisconsin - L
9/26 @ Iowa - W
10/3 Minnesota - W
10/10 @ Ohio State - L
Bye Week
10/24 @ Northwestern - W
10/31 Penn State - L
Bye Week
11/14 @ Purdue - W
11/21 Michigan State - W

Jon: 10-0 BABY!!!!!! This is a roster built for a pandemic. We got 5th string guys who would run through a brick wall for Scott Frost. You got all those other teams being all wimpery and our Nebraska boys are ready to rock! YOU CAN FEEL IT IN THE AIR!

Mike: Assuming these ten games get played? 7-3. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State are just in a stronger position than NU. But I think Nebraska reclaims the chair and the supermarket trophy. Yep, that’s a homer prediction. I could also throw a 4-6 if I wanted to Debbie Downer, FWIW...

Evan: I said earlier anywhere from five to eight wins. I’ll go conservative and say 6-4 which will meet Bill Moos’ goal of six wins (even though his goal is probably more like five wins at this point).

9/5 @ Rutgers - W
9/12 Illinois - W
9/19 Wisconsin - L
9/26 @ Iowa - WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
10/3 Minnesota - L
10/10 @ Ohio State - L
Bye Week
10/24 @ Northwestern - W
10/31 Penn State - L
Bye Week
11/14 @ Purdue - W
11/21 Michigan State - W

Jill: I always start these things thinking I should make a gloomy prediction but then talk myself into a much better one that I should. Assuming we have key players available for all games, I’m going to stick with my gloomy 5-5. I could easily see a two-game swing either way but until I see how the Blackshirts perform after losing a lot of players to graduation, I remain unsure that this offense can score its way to a great season.