Football Magazine

NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Power Ranking the Huskers' Remaining Opponents

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

Blog post image

By Brian Towle
It’s officially time to address the second half of the 2011 Nebraska Football season. Currently 5-1 and ranked No. 13 in the initial BCS standings, the Cornhuskers have some work to do in order to tally a total of 10 wins and make an appearance in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Let's have a look at the remaining games on Nebraska's schedule from easiest to toughest:
6. Minnesota (Current record: 1-5)
The Gophers are not very good, and Jerry Kill is finally figuring this out. When you are No. 109 in both scoring offense and defense in the FBS, you have issues. This is a team that Nebraska should just dismantle like the 1983 Huskers did (an 84-13 victory).
5. Northwestern (Current record: 2-4)
The senior season of pre-season Heisman hopeful Dan Persa has been marred by injury and an inconsistent defense resulting in a current four-game losing streak. Pat Fitzgerald’s crew currently shares the bottom of the Legends division with Minnesota.
However, they have more upside than the Golden Gophers. They've shown some spark in their last two games (Michigan and Iowa), but at the end of the day, the Wildcats have continue to end up on the losing side of the score.
4. Iowa (Current record: 4-2)
The Hawkeyes have reverted to their usual Jekyll & Hyde ways. One week, they're barely able to move the ball against Penn State. The next week, they score 24 points in the final quarter versus Northwestern. This team has become last year’s Michigan State.
3. Michigan State (Current record: 5-1)
The Spartans have arguably the best defense of Nebraska’s remaining opponents, allowing just north of 10 points per game. That group came to play last Saturday with a well-executed game plan for the Wolverines as they shut down Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins has been good, but hasn't matched his 2010 success. With the attitude the Spartans showed last Saturday, they can’t be taken lightly at all.
2. Penn State (Current Record: 6-1)
Penn State checks in at No. 2 on the list because while the defense has been as good as Michigan’s, the offense has been far more dysfunctional with the dual-quarterback system of Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin.
It seems like McGloin is the better passer, but there is apparently something special about Bolden that causes PSU's coaches to keep him in the game. JoePa’s group still has a few more games to figure things out before a potentially vicious final three contests on the schedule (Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin).
1. Michigan (Current Record: 6-1)
Denard Robinson has been Mr. Everything for the Wolverines this year, already surpassing 2,000 yards when combining rushing and passing yardage. However, the Wolverines' defense has been much better than 2010's, allowing only 14 points per game. This is truly a testament to Greg Mattison’s efforts. Brady Hoke has made the Michigan Men (and Women) happy despite the loss to Michigan State.
Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

Permanent Link to this Blog Post

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog