Hot Reads: Huskers Have an Intriguing Opening to Start the 2021 Season
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Hot Reads: Huskers Have an Intriguing Opening to Start the 2021 Season

October 04, 2019

Nebraska announced two small schedule updates on Thursday. First, the Huskers added Louisiana Tech to the schedule for 2023, completing the slate for that season. Nebraska will face the Bulldogs on Sept. 23. (Think Bob Diaco will still be Tech's defensive coordinator then? That would be fun.)

That 2023 schedule will feel a bit strange. The Huskers open on the road at Minnesota in a Big Ten a game and then visit Boulder in Week 2. Nebraska then plays three straight home games to close out September.

The bigger news, which seemed to be given lesser billing, was that Nebraska and Northern Illinois have moved their 2021 game to 2027. The Huskers had been scheduled to face the Huskies on Sept. 4, meaning Nebraska now has an opening on opening weekend for a season that's two years away.

That certainly sets the mind racing, doesn't it?

Earlier this year, Scott Frost said he was open to the prospect of playing a Week 0 game "if the circumstances were right." Athletic Director Bill Moss has also said in the past that he would be open to looking at a neutral-site matchup to open the season, but not at the cost of giving up a home game.

That still seems like the most likely solution for 2021––Nebraska finds a team with an opening, that team comes to Lincoln, the Huskers get their seventh home game for that year and the opponent gets a nice paycheck.

But.

Didn't the Northern Illinois game already do all of those things? Why move it? Simple Husky fatigue? That would be a bit strange.

So, let's just aim high and think about the possibilities. This is purely speculation, but it's fun to consider so we will.

My first thought for 2021 was Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have a five-year deal for an annual game at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Next year, and in 2024, Georgia Tech will play Notre Dame at the fancy football palace. In 2022, the Yellow Jackets take on Clemson there on Labor Day. But 2021 and 2023 are open.

A neutral-site game in Atlanta could be advantageous for the Huskers. Two problems, however. 

One, the Chik-fil-a Kickoff Classic games––Louisville v. Ole Miss and Miami v. Alabama––are already scheduled for that stadium on opening weekend. Two, Northern Illinois filled its 2021 opening with Georgia Tech. That means the Yellow Jackets have 12 games on the books and the Week 0 game against Nebraska in Atlanta––which would've been pretty great––is not an option.

So, here's a crazier idea. How about Ireland?

Aviva Stadium in Dublin is set to host five Aer Lingus College Football Classic games from 2020 though 2024. Navy and Notre Dame open the series in 2020, playing for the third time in Ireland (1996, 2012). The remaining four games, however, are open.

Is the lure of the Emerald Isle enough for the Huskers to give up a home game? Boston College doesn't have a game scheduled prior to Sept. 11, 2021. The Eagles played the first college football game in Ireland, beating Army 38-24 in 1988, and returned in 2016, losing 17-14 to Georgia Tech.

That's probably a longshot, but Nebraska's has an opening now. Dream big.

Husker fans turning Dublin red would be some really good craic.

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