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A Roller Coaster Ride Called This Volleyball Season

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We go up, we go down. There may even be a loop de loop ahead, but the ride keeps going just as long as the volleyball season continues. Nebraska’s two loses this week to Wisconsin and then Minnesota were no fun. Then Purdue, who Nebraska beat in four, goes off and beats Wisconsin in four.

Volleyball is never an equation that we can easily balance, but this season is particularly hard to pin down as we try to guess who is better than who.

Based, first, on how great Nebraska looked against Purdue and second, how amazing Wisconsin looked against Nebraska, I NEVER would have predicted that Purdue would beat Wisconsin in four sets, but they did. What are the transitive properties of wins? In this particular triangle, Wisconsin beats Nebraska who beats Purdue who beats Wisconsin. Whaaat?

Purdue and Wisconsin play again on November 12th. What will happen then? My prediction is the Badgers come in laser focused, like they were against Nebraska, and dismantle the Boilermakers...but maybe this is the loop de loop we don’t anticipate; maybe Purdue is matched up better than Wisconsin than Nebraska is, even though Nebraska is better than Purdue.

And, how does this all relate to the tournament? At least for the B1G, it appears that our conference’s championship hopes rest as much on favorable match ups as they do seeds. In other words, for example, it’d be far better for the Huskers to be a lower seed in Purdue’s bracket than a higher seed in Wisconsin’s.

Come out of the woodwork mathematical geniuses. Tell me how an equation with this combination of variables works. Here are the top teams in the B1G and their losses this season i.e. variables.

Purdue Losses:

October 1st Illinois in five sets
October 15th Ohio State in four sets
October 20th Michigan State in five sets
October 23rd Nebraska in four sets

Wisconsin Losses:

September 24th Maryland in five sets
October 31st Purdue in four sets

Nebraska Losses:

October 27th Wisconsin three sets
October 30th Minnesota four sets

Minnesota Losses:

October 1st Wisconsin three sets
October 8th Michigan five sets
October 22nd Penn State three sets

Ohio State Losses:

September 24th Purdue five sets
September 26th Penn State three sets
October 22nd Wisconsin four sets
October 24th Minnesota four sets

Penn State Losses:

October 8th Nebraska four sets
October 17th Purdue five sets
October 23d Wisconsin five sets
October 30th Illinois four sets

2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifier - Game 6: Great Britain v. Israel

All I know is that the ride isn’t over so I am staying on until the end. I might hate some of the downs but those ups are great and overall I just enjoy good volleyball and the ride.

Nebraska continues its road stretch on Thursday, November 4th at #25 Illinois. The Illini are ranked this week after beating Penn State, Michigan, Rutgers and Northwestern since Nebraska beat them in three sets on October 16th. They are playing better than mid October.

First serve is set for 8 pm at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill., and the match will be televised on BTN and streamed via its digital extension on the FOX Sports app. John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.