This Just In…
2017 looms large for Riley
Walking out to the car today I was putting my things in getting ready for the typical daily grind, when a few leaves fell and landed on my seat. Hmmm….it’s August, but I guess fall is right around the corner. Of course living in Texas August and September still mean 100 degree heat and melting humidity.
Seems like just yesterday I was tuning out of another crushing bowl performance, and yet here we are right on the cusp of yet another season-a season where things could cool down considerably, or get hotter than the raging Texas heat for one Mike Riley.
Last year was a mixed bag, and I am not so sure I wasn’t more encouraged with Riley’s first season, despite the crushing losses. Up until the Ohio State game, things were looking up.
Despite narrowly losing to a highly ranked Wisconsin team the week before, NU had every chance to win that game and stay undefeated and in the top ten. Fast forward to the last game and NU looked like….well NU. There is some reason for optimism however.
The Huskers will break in a new QB, one hand-picked by Riley, and one with some D1 starting experience in a system familiar to Riley. There are question marks all over the defense but also a good youth movement and throw in some crafty recruiting (even though we lost a few) and the future doesn’t look so bleak.
To be sure, this will be a proving year for the staff. The schedule is not great, and replicating last year’s record or getting to double digit wins and staying competitive in losses will go a long way to ensure that Riley can look forward to a contract extension.
A losing season and no bowl and suddenly you can hear the rope starting to break. Will he get fired if they perform poorly this year? Perhaps, but unlikely, however it will certainly ensure that 2018 will be the hottest year on record for this staff. I am not sure what the future will hold or how this year will play out.
I am hopeful that they rely on the run more than they throw it around and let Lee get his feet wet. A great rushing attack takes so much off of the QB and also keeps the game pace, and more importantly, the defense off the field for longer periods.
Breaking down the schedule I could see the following best and worst case scenarios:
What is the likely result? I’ll go with 8-4 given the unknowns with this year’s group, and please, please, no more embarrassments on national TV. Is that too much to ask? Maybe I’ll talk to Steve Harvey, he seemed to recover well. Let’s hope the same is in store for the Huskers.Code:Best Case (10-2) Worst Case (5-7) Arkansas State W W Oregon W L (Blowout) N. Illinois W W Rutgers W W Illinois W W Wisconsin W L Ohio State L L (Blowout) Purdue W W Northwestern W L Minnesota W L Penn State L L (Blowout) Iowa W L
Go Big Red!
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