The 2007 Week by Week Husker Preview
With that being said, we can finally get a better idea of just how most of your hopes and dreams are going to come crashing down this fall. There's no better way to do that than to stare into my crystal ball and get a glimpse of how the Fraud Express is going to derail. We will obviously touch on all of these games as they come, but here is the entire Husker season in a nutshell as I see it.
Week 1 - Vs. Nevada
Probable odds: Nebraska (-25 to -29)
Possible excuses: Still learning the system, "It's early"
What may happen: Nevada is no slouch. The pistol offense is designed to exploit weaknesses on the fly moving side to side, and let's face it...your cornerbacks suck. The pack put the fear of God into Miami last season, and let's face it...are you REALLY that much better than Miami? They beat Northwestern (let's face it, are you really that much better than Northwestern either?) and fell short against ASU and Fresno. Despite the allure of throwing the ball over crappy DB's, Nevada was very good running the ball last year. Good thing you have experienced and NFL caliber D-linemen. Oh wait, no you don't.
What will probably happen: Husker magic always seems to be it's strongest against mediocre teams at home. Nevada is about the 8th or 9th toughest team you'll face this year, and I'm sure your red-clad thugs will be bouncing around as if they were shot by a taser on O-Street. (Some of them may have on Friday night.) WAC teams always come in wide eyed and wilt like Mark Mangino's BVD's. Nevada isn't La Tech, but I expect them to be timid at the sight of 85,000 rednecks clad in the same t-shirt they got on sale at Husker Hounds.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 27 - Nevada 17
Week 2 - At Wake Forest
Probable odds: Nebraska (-6 to -8)
Possible excuses: Mean fans, 1st Road Game, Too hot
What may happen: We've all seen what happens when Kevin Cosgrove faces a spread offense on the road. We've all seen what happens when a "developing program" takes on the hicks in what is sure to be their biggest home game in years. (If they're not ducking them like Houston). NU may control the ball with JC Keller flipping the ball toward some pretty weak DB's in the D Deacon defensive backfield. Wake was just bad enough against the run last year to have trouble with Callahan's 15-20 flea flickers and HB option passes per game. The Huskers could stick around for a while and make the home fans awfully nervous.
What will probably happen: Wake is going to roll over your shitty DB's like s steamroller. Cosgrove couldn't stop a spread offense (especially one he hasn't seen much of) if he had the 85 Bears dressed in white and red. Wake has played in some huge games of late, and expect JC to melt in the moment. Dude is going to be passing out interceptions left and right, and Wake will remind you that it's not 2003 anymore. This team won a tough ACC for a reason. You'll soon find out why.
Official BEL prediction: Wake Forest 35 - Nebraska 17
Week 3 - Vs. USC
Probable odds: USC (-12 to -15)
Possible excuses: They cheat, "Hey, they're USC"
What may happen: USC receivers may get bored running routes around clueless NU defenders. It's likely to be warm that night, so leg cramps are also a concern. Pete Carroll showed some compassion last year by letting up on the gas, as Bill Callahan turtled up like a 5'5' defenseman going up against Chris Pronger. Carroll may just feel bad enough to do the same this year.
What will probably happen: USC is going to sodomize a putrid NU secondary in new and exciting ways. If you can't handle Adam Barmann...how in the HELL are you going to handle John David Booty? If you can't score inside the OU 50 just once in 19 times...how in the HELL are you going to score on that team? Keller is going to prove that 2005 was no fluke, as he tries to "make plays" and hand out picks left and right. USC will remind you once and again that it's going to take that giant telescope in Puerto Rico to see just how far you have to go to be a great team.
Official BEL prediction: USC 49 - Nebraska 10
Week 4 - Vs. Ball State
Probable odds: Nebraska (-19 to -26)
Possible excuses: Whole team has mono, Refs are BSU grads
What may happen: Despite their 5-7 record last season, Ball State proved to be rather salty at times. A one point loss at Purdue (are you really that much better than Purdue?), close losses to Michigan and Toledo prove this team can play a little bit. Like Nevada and Wake, the Cards can whip the ball around a little bit, and will most likely work over the returning #79 passing defense in the nation. They may be able to stick around and scare the living hell out of the hicks..especially a week after getting ass pounded by USC the week before.
What will probably happen: Ball State is still Ball State and again the site of all those farmers in matching gear is somewhat intimidating. With Jason Whitlock watching on, Ball State will fall behind early, and then use their passing game (coupled with NU's inability to stop anyone) to stick around for a while. Far and away the easiest game on NU's schedule...which is pathetic. BSU's pass defense was awful last season, and JC's gonna be on a mission to rack up some numbers to solidify that upcoming 8th round draft slot.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 24 - Ball State 13
Week 5 - Vs. Iowa State
Probable odds: Nebraska (-14 to -17)
Possible excuses: Weather, Thinking about Mizzou, Injuries
What may happen: ISU is going to take some lumps this year while learning the ways of a brand new coach. However, Blythe and Meyer are back, and both of those guys can play. The Clones ended 2006 with a win* over Mizzou in Dan McCartney's final game. Meyer could find some consistency to again exploit the completely ineptness of the NU secondary and brutally overrated LB corps. If ISU can pick up momentum with wins over Iowa and Toledo, they may find that swagger again.
What will probably happen: ISU returns 8 starters on defense, and has had NU's number before. Unfortunately for them, they typically melt at Memorial Stadium, and this year's squad is definitely going through more than enough turmoil and transition to distract them. I wouldn't be shocked if ISU won this game or even made some noise in the north. However, history, that "woe is us" attitude and my long-standing grudge for making my picks last year look stupid tell me otherwise.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 23 - Iowa State 21
Week 6 - At Missouri
Probable odds: Missouri (Even to -6.5)
Possible excuses: My blog, Fans are evil, out of control riot after game
What may happen: God hates Missouri. Gary Pinkel puckers up in a pinch. That is the ONLY reason Missouri loses this game. In every single facet, I'd take Mizzou's personnel. When you have long-standing local media telling people off the record that this team is loaded (when they usually bash the team and go to the "they'll always choke" card), you know something is up. That old black magic may kick in a bit and cause that whole "here we go again" mentality to sneak back in. Despite the Kool-Aid drinking predictions of Husker dipshits worldwide, Mizzou's defense is not as bad as you think. However, turnovers and ball control could keep NU in the game for longer than the usual 3 quarters.
What will probably happen: I wish you all knew how hard this is for me, but looking simply at matchups and numbers, you have no idea how stacked Mizzou is on offense. 3,900 yards at QB. 1000+ yards returning at tailback. Not one but TWO all-American tight end candidates. An experienced line. A defense that doesn't return starters, but does return guys who filled in large chunks of playing time to fill in for injury. Missouri is going to work the shitty Husker defense like a Millard cheerleader on a Saturday night, and this board will be the epicenter of absolute Armageddon. TRUST ME, I know Mizzou has faults and yes, God really does hate them. But on paper, it's a horrible matchup for NU and it's at a place that will be more rowdy, more hate-filled and surly than anyplace you've seen. Manhattan and Boulder will look like a Doc Severinsen concert compared to Faurot at 8pm. You've been warned.
Official BEL prediction: Missouri 41 - Nebraska 24
Week 7 - Vs. Oklahoma State
Probable odds: Nebraska (-3.5 to -5)
Possible excuses: Frank Solich recruits, the color orange.
What may happen: Adarius Bowman. Worried yet? You probably should be. Needless to say, ya'all didn't handle the mighty OSU offense in Stillwater very well, and the pokes should be better this season. Bobby Reid returns, which doesn't bode well again for your horrid DB's. (I'm sensing a pattern here). The key here is Okie State's ability to bounce back after a tough game with Texas A&M the week before. The pokes aren't real deep, but they have MORE than enough playmakers to beat the hicks on their home turf.
What will probably happen: Every single year, NU pulls some game out of their ass that they have no business winning. Texas A&M was that game last year. Colorado was the example two years ago. Back to back blocked field goals against Pitt, balls kicked over 3 players' head. You get the idea. OSU certainly has the ability, but they're no match for some supernatural phenomenon that shines down on you people at least once a year during the fall. Consider this my upset special for you.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 35 - Oklahoma State 34
Week 8 - Vs. Texas A&M
Probable odds: Texas A&M (-2.5 to -4)
Possible excuses: Javorskie Lane on roids, officials love Texas teams.
What may happen: This is a horrible matchup for Nebraska. Obviously, the NU defensive backfield isn't too scary, but during this game, the untested and inability to tackle is going to kill NU. A&M is absolutely loaded on defense, which is bad news for JC and Marlon Lucky...considering both of them will probably be out with injury by this time in the season if history is of any lesson. So will Joey Ganz be able to carry the corn over that good of a defense? Probably not, but A&M is just erratic enough (they almost lost to Army last year?) to keep NU in it.
What will probably happen: Of all the 2007 losses, this one may be the least expected. Beating Texas in Austin last year was no fluke...I don't care who UT's quarterback was. The Aggies won every single true road game last year. That's kinda hard to do. As much as I see the hicks holding on for dear life against Okie State, this is simply too crappy of a matchup for them to pass up. A&M rolls with ease as mass panic erupts in the streets.
Official BEL prediction: Texas A&M 28 - Nebraska 17
Week 9 - At Texas
Probable odds: Texas (-13 to -17.5)
Possible excuses: Texas refs still crooked. Keller/Lucky injured.
What may happen: I guess the entire UT team could come down with the flu or something? Perhaps Mack Brown inadvertently could be found paying for meals or perhaps is found in the company of an underage Asian prostitute? No matter what it is, despite what some idiots around here think, UT is loaded and their big receivers will destroy Andre and the 3 elves. Texas has had a tendency to take a home game off or two...such as the A&M game last year, or the Missouri game a few years ago, where Brad Smith came within a score of winning. You don't have Brad Smith.
What will probably happen: Same as USC, Longhorn receivers cornhole the blackskirts time and time again. Joey Ganz will most likely be wearing an adult diaper by the time he looks over the line and sees the amount of 5-star players UT has on defense. And that's all that really matters anyway right?
Official BEL prediction: Texas 45 - Nebraska 13
Week 10 - At Kansas
Probable odds: Nebraska (-21 to -24)
Possible excuses: Mangino cheats, Team bus tires slashed
What may happen: The fat man has the Great Raider Flunky's (C) number. Even with minimal talent last year, the flaming Jaychickens came within an eyelash of beating NU at home. Adam Barmann is gone, and in his wake, you have one guy who is 5'3 and the other is quite possible the worst college QB I've ever seen. To make matters worse for KU, Cornish is gone, much to the relief of the NU defense, which will be licking wounds and re-attaching limbs after the beatdown they receive the week before. Never underestimate a fat guy with a plan though. 40-15 wasn't that long ago.
What will probably happen: SURELY you people can't lose to a team like KU? I understand your QB is overrated, your RB is injury prone, your o-line is slow and your defense is horrible...but SURELY you can beat KU..even on the road? Right? Right? As much as I would like to think that even Nebraska has enough talent to beat a horrible KU team...the coaching comparison is no contest. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 24 - Kansas 19
Week 11 - Vs. Kansas State
Probable odds: Nebraska (-14 to -17.5)
Possible excuses: "It's cold out". "K-State cheats."
What may happen: Josh Freeman may be just pissed off enough at you people to have a great game. Obviously the kid has some tools, and Ron Prince's team seems to be heading in the right direction, as obviously stated by a big win over Texas last year. Some of the Cat's talent should be peaking, and despite the troubles at times last year, KSU always seems to be able to get up for Nebraska...which isn't always the case for NU lately. K-State could easily make life difficult for the hicks with ball control and turnovers.
What will probably happen: K-State isn't quite there yet. By this point in the season, we should know whether or not Freeman is for real. It seems to me also that Prince is working to get more comfortable leading this squad, which Bill Snyder proved is certainly capable of running of large numbers of wins. K-State will beat Nebraska in Lincoln again soon...but I don't think it will be this year..especially without a Darren Sproles type guy to keep the fat overrated NU d-line off balance. NU will celebrate bowl eligibility by making their own 8 foot trophy and present it to team captains in a wild on-field ceremony after the game.
Official BEL prediction: Nebraska 27 - Kansas State 21
Week 12 - At Colorado
Probable odds: Nebraska (-12 to -15)
Possible excuses: CU fans are "animals'. "Those aren't snowballs"
What may happen: I really have no idea what to expect out of CU this year. Obviously I think they're going to be much better, considering I picked them* to win the North this season. By the end of year two in the Dan Hawkins system, you would think things would start to take shape in terms of picking up key wins. CU's problem last year was that they couldn't score. Two years of putting pieces of the spread together (another theme) could spell trouble for Nebraska...which as we've stated..can't stop a spread offense if their bail bonds were at stake. Nebraska probably has a talent advantage here, if ever so slight. However, with the game being late in the year, and CU sharing their own hatred of all things red, the table is set for payback over the last couple of years. If the weather is bad, as it often is...how do you like JC's chances in a blizzard?
What will probably happen: My head says CU isn't quite ready to beat a team like NU at this point, but by the end of the season, that won't be the case. If Hawkins can install his own offense and find a rhythm to his madness, they're going to be scary. Husker fans have developed an old-fashioned arrogance over CU that hasn't been seen in recent decades. I would think that would ignite that passion to crush the Huskers and possibly be the key to bowl eligibility themselves. Too many intangibles here not to take CU on senior day.
Official BEL prediction: Colorado 16 - Nebraska 10
There you go. Commence bitching.
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