Thursday in Review?

…I know, what the heck? Still, some things do bear mention after tonight’s throttling of Kansas State by Nebraska:

#6 Nebraska-48, Kansas State-13

OK, I’m very tempted to say that this game proved something, but it really doesn’t. Nebraska, right now, looks like the favorite in the Big 12, but the Big 12 has been a very underwhelming conference of late. Don’t get me wrong, I like Nebraska, but I’m totally unsure of how well they’ll fare against the best teams on their schedule. Nebraska’s nonconference schedule was pathetic. Their upcoming game with Texas was supposed to be a big proving ground, but now it’s a matchup between a Top 10 team and an unranked opponent. Rankings wise, the best two teams on Nebraska’s schedule are Oklahoma State and Missouri, neither of whom were even ranked to start the season! In other words, Nebraska is basically the same as last year’s Texas team

I’m really not sure what to make of Nebraska. They’re not a bad football team by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, and Taylor Martinez is a quick and agile quarterback who has been slashing up defenses with ease. Of concern, however, is the fact that Nebraska won’t face a good defense this season. Texas has an adequate defense, but their offense is so anemic that it will be a major upset for the Longhorns to knock off the Huskers.

In short, Nebraska, of all the major conference teams, has the easiest path to going undefeated up to its championship game. Note that’s not much of an accomplishment: the Big 10, Pac-10, and Big East don’t have championship games, the ACC has no undefeated teams, and the SEC is good (unlike the Big 12). Also note that I’m not saying Nebraska will go undefeated, or that Alabama is doomed to fail. I’m merely saying that the current system rewards being the lone decent team in a major conference (See also: Southern Cal 2002-2007). So, Nebraska remains an enigma. Are they a powerhouse waiting to explode on the national scene? Or are they a team that’s set up to get pantsed in the Big 12 Championship game/National Title game? Time, as is so often the case, will tell.

After all the intrigue surrounding Nebraska, Kansas State is easy: They’re mediocre. Have been for a few years now.

See you guys for the Saturday in Review!

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