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Huskers Picked To Finish 4th In B1G West Preseason Poll

Beareye

Scout Team
5 Year Member
Nebraska is actually closer to Purdue at 5th than Iowa at 3rd.
At this point in time 4th is fair and I totally understand it.

That said, the only West team with whom I see a big gap is Wisconsin. Iowa lost a number of key players, including a multi-year starter at QB and an All-American Defensive Lineman, from a team that beat us on a last-second field goal last year (and the year before). Minnesota caught lightning in a bottle last year, but they lose one of their top two WRs, two of their top three RBs, and virtually all of their front seven on defense. If - and this is always a big if with NU - the team can get its act together, we are very capable of beating both of those teams. The problem is we have also demonstrated that we are very capable of losing to Purdue and Northwestern.

In theory, every part of our offense should be better and deeper this year... QB, RB, WR, TE, and O-Line. Defense is where it gets tricky. DB play should be comparable to last season, but it's hard to say we will be better without Lamar Jackson. At LB, the temptation is to say that it can't be much worse than it was last year. If we can get even average (for the Big 10) play at LB, that would be a huge improvement. D-Line is the one position on the team that is probably trending down right now after the loss of three starters who are all in NFL camps. Special teams has to be better, right? We were brutal last year on kickoff coverage, kickoff returns, punt returns, and place kicking.
 

HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
At this point in time 4th is fair and I totally understand it.

That said, the only West team with whom I see a big gap is Wisconsin. Iowa lost a number of key players, including a multi-year starter at QB and an All-American Defensive Lineman, from a team that beat us on a last-second field goal last year (and the year before). Minnesota caught lightning in a bottle last year, but they lose one of their top two WRs, two of their top three RBs, and virtually all of their front seven on defense. If - and this is always a big if with NU - the team can get its act together, we are very capable of beating both of those teams. The problem is we have also demonstrated that we are very capable of losing to Purdue and Northwestern.

In theory, every part of our offense should be better and deeper this year... QB, RB, WR, TE, and O-Line. Defense is where it gets tricky. DB play should be comparable to last season, but it's hard to say we will be better without Lamar Jackson. At LB, the temptation is to say that it can't be much worse than it was last year. If we can get even average (for the Big 10) play at LB, that would be a huge improvement. D-Line is the one position on the team that is probably trending down right now after the loss of three starters who are all in NFL camps. Special teams has to be better, right? We were brutal last year on kickoff coverage, kickoff returns, punt returns, and place kicking.
Questionable (or TBD) with WR -- potential is there, experience is lacking. Otherwise, yes, in theory the offense should be better this season. It about has to be, I'd think (it was bad last season). But it ultimately hinges on Martinez. He's such a question mark until we see him play.

Unfortunately, as you hint at, defense is more worrisome. I struggle to determine how it can be better than last season -- and it wasn't good in 2019. I'd rather be green with any unit on defense other than the line.

Special teams (at least field goal kicking, unsure on returning/covering returns) has to be better, yes.

I'm concerned that to win games is going to require shootouts. And that will put added pressure on AM -- will he respond well?

There is reason for both hope and for reservations.

Granted, we are analyzing without knowing the schedule, if/when the season will start, and if it will finish without a major hitch. It's really kinda weird, but it gives us something to discuss for now at least.
 
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alabamahusker

Junior Varsity
20 Year Member
I actually think this pick is reasonable given what we’ve seen the last few years. It is certainly better than that moron who picked us to finish dead last... While anything is possible, If we finish last, I think I’m just gonna start watching only Curling from now on...
 
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Hooked on Huskers

I'm old as a rock
5 Year Member
Rivals Team Ranking https://n.rivals.com/team_rankings/2020/all-teams/Football

Class of 2020 ......

#17 Nebraska
#28 Wisconsin
#30 Purdue
#35 Iowa
#38 Minnesota
#53 NW
#89 Illinois

2019 ......

#15 Nebraska
#26 Purdue
#27 Wisconsin
#41 Iowa
#41 Minnesota
#49 NW
#73 Illinois

2018 ......

#21 Nebraska
#40 Wisconsin
#40 Iowa
#43 Minnesota
#49 Purdue
#50 Illinois
#60 NW

2017 ......

#20 Nebraska
#35 Wisconsin
#40 Iowa
#48 Illinois
#56 NW
#57 Minnesota
#68 Purdue

I know recruiting battles are over hyped but still ......

On paper, last four years, our Huskers made CCG.

Hot Seat ........ Scott Frost and his company ? Worse than Riley? No bowl, no CCG, losing record. At least MR posted 9 wins and 4 losses in 2nd year helm.

Rehire Bo !!! :eek:
 
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HuskerWeatherman

Feral Cat
20 Year Member
What stuck out to me more than anything is how the West seems to have closed the gap on the East. Outside of Ohio State, I don't see the East being more formidable than the West.
I'd consider Penn State -- who is likely the second best team in the Big Ten. And if the schedule holds, the Nittany Lions will host Ohio State. FWIW, the current preseason poll consensus has Penn State #5 in the nation. In the past four seasons, Penn State has finished in the top ten three times -- winning 11 games each of those seasons. They've also won a Big Ten Championship in that same time span and had two Big Ten East division second place finishes. The only thing that has kept Penn State from being the top dog in the Big Ten the past few years has been Ohio State.

That said, the Big Ten West is probably both deeper and more unpredictable.
 
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