After last week’s GameDay dust up we decided to devote our first fan poll on our new site to the same question the ESPN broadcasters were giggling about: How good is Nebraska? Is it a top 10 team right now?
Husker fans seem to be split on the issue. Perfectly split. As of the morning of Oct. 22, 49 percent of fans thought Nebraska’s AP poll ranking (No. 8) was too high and 49 percent thought it was just right.
That divide feels just about right, and offers a little more proof that it wasn’t so much what the GameDay hosts were saying last week, but how they were saying it. Nebraska fans know what the Huskers have and haven’t proven through six games. But they also know that this team deserves to be taken seriously.
That doesn’t seem like too much to ask and the Huskers can take another step towards that today. Nebraska’s favored by 24 or so points against the Boilermakers, and there’s a tendency to look at a game like that and call it a “no-win.” If Nebraska puts it to Purdue, so what? It’s supposed to do that. If it doesn’t, let the hand-wringing begin.
But given the injuries for the boys in red, I’m looking at this game a lot like the Indiana game. If a banged-up Nebraska squad does end up with something like a three-score win over Purdue, it probably says at least a little about the mentality of this team. If Nebraska has to gut one out — the coaching change this week makes the Boilermakers at least a little bit of a wild card — it might say something similar.
A loss? Well, yes, a loss would be as bad as it seems. They usually are when the weather starts to get cold.
On to some other highlights from the week…
>>If you missed this week’s No Huddle video, we can fix that right now:
>>On the recruiting front, Nebraska is hosting two highly-touted players on official visits this week, including one of Arizona’s best commits at this point. The Huskers are also getting a couple of intriguing unofficial visits from in-state prospects.
>>Looking to get caught up on the Purdue perspective? Kyle Holderfield of Purdue site Hammer & Rails answered some of our questions and Erin Sorensen rounded up some of stories from Indiana this week in Opposing View.
>>On the premium side, Jacob Padilla did a deep dive on the rise of Chris Jones in this week’s Tale of the Tape. Also, here are six numbers I’ll be keeping an eye to judge how the Huskers are playing this Saturday.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.