Football season is here. Mid-August humidity, the smell of cut grass, sharpened sun rays and that hereditary ache from two-a-days. It’s also almost Virgo season and the moon is in its waning crescent phase.
Nebraska, like every other team in the country, plays 12 games. There are 12 signs on the astrological chart. Previewing games is inherent and important, but part of the beauty in college football is that things change. A team one week is not necessarily the same team the next week. The beauty of the sky above is that it’s also ever changing and never wrong. So let’s take a look at which team on Nebraska’s schedule is which sign.
As an air sign, an Aquarius is often portrayed as an intellectual and it doesn’t get more intellectual than an alleged laundry list of mantras. They’re innovative, progressive thinkers. Head coach PJ Fleck certainly holds a reputation within the conference, partially for reasons similar to the allegations brought forth in the Front Office Sports reporter. Not anything illegal or necessarily immoral, but borderline egotistical. But the Aquarius sign also goes beyond Fleck and into the university itself, a high-academic institution in the land of 10,000 lakes.
An Aquarius is likely obsessive with concepts, purposefully esoteric and a believer in conspiracies. It’s a sign of projected knowledge, as evident in noted Aquarius, Michael Jordan. His Airness never took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl and Fleck has—and he’ll be happy to tell you about it.
The Leo’s bright personality is comfortable in luxury and drama. They tend to be ambitious, bold and charismatic like a politician or movie star. If you think that sounds like Deion Sanders, it should, he was born in the midst of Leo season, on August 9. His bold persona has captured headlines beyond college football and will likely bring a significant amount of eyes onto Colorado football this fall. Him, his team, his brand and his Louis Vuitton.
Coach Prime and Colorado football are both ambitious. The Buffaloes made the coaching change knowing they’d get a big name and a big platform. What was once a proud program became a doormat. The Buffaloes are hopeful their new head coach’s flash and sizzle comes with wins.
Northern Illinois: Gemini
A Gemini tends to be full of personality. They’re charismatic and they’ll tend to let you know about it. Northern Illinois is a proud program with the last three full-time head coaches finishing their runs in Dekalb with winning records. Those three head coaches have won a combined five conference championships since 2011. A Gemini is curious and bring people together. There must be something within the Huskies program that brings people together to get results.
Also, a Gemini is a servant to its own insecurities. Northern Illinois was picked to win the MAC last year but went 3-9. This looks like a big year for head coach Thomas Hammock, 17-27 as NIU coach, who played running back at Northern Illinois during two division-winning seasons in the early 2000s.
Louisiana Tech: Sagittarius
The Sagittarius is an explorer of the self and world. They are fearless in the face of challenges and questions. As a program, Louisiana Tech has explored and challenged. They claim three national championships and weaved through three conferences since joining FBS in 1989. The Bulldogs were even a decade-long member of the Western Athletic Conference, momentarily cementing Shreveport as a Pacific landmark.
Derek Dooley, Skip Holtz and Sonny Dykes all coached at Louisiana Tech before their next big breaks. Current head coach Sonny Cumbie left Texas for the first time in his coaching career to take over the program and went 3-9 last year. A Sagittarius doesn’t believe in playing it safe. Cumbie bringing the air raid to the Bulldogs is anything but a safe bet.
A Capricorn is born an adult and bound to a code. They are determined, patient, dedicated and persevere. All of those words could apply to Michigan football and its head coach. The Wolverines are one of the most storied programs in history of college football and their current head coach, like he was when he played in Ann Arbor, is “a Michigan man.”
Harbaugh is the kind of guy who would take you to court for a $500 disparity on principal, as is evidenced in his ongoing dance with an NCAA investigation. Michigan and Harbaugh hold high standards and moral code. Harbaugh, born December 23, is a Capricorn.
The Libra is represented by the scales, alluding to the signs balance and judgement. Speaking of balance, Illinois is 621-616-50 all-time. That is a .502 winning percentage. Those scales are essentially even. Libras also tend to be contradictory, which could be said for the quality of the Illini’s defense in 2022 compared to its offense. They aren’t particularly full of flash. That could be said for head coach Bret Bielema and what he’s building.
Bielema led Illinois to a 8-5 record last year, building off a five-win season. The Illini, proud home of Dick Butkus, has 15 total conference championships but just one outright since 1983. If the scales level out, this team could be poised for an improvement in 2023.
The Aries is bold, ambitious and dives into challenges. Well, 2023 is a big challenge for the remaining Wildcats and interim head coach David Braun. The multiple lawsuits and allegations against the university and football program throw a new team, which already includes multiple first-year assistant coaches, further into flux. Plus, they won a single game last season.
As the first of the signs, the Aries likes being on top. Northwestern graduates would gladly walk you through the academic prestige of the private university. Pat Fitzgerald was the school’s most successful football coach at the time he was fired, weeks before preseason camp. Now the Wildcats have to play against a tough Big Ten. That’s a challenge.
A Pisces evades exact definition. They are not only complicated but they evolve with different circumstances. They hold high hopes and ambitions. As is the case for first-year head coach Ryan Walters. He takes over as head coach following a successful Jeff Brohm era and a division title. The Boilermakers retain playmakers from last season and the new Joe Tiller tunnel in Ross-Ade Stadium gives the program some added enthusiasm.
But a Pisces is also often caught between fantasy and reality. Walters just led the Illinois defense in its impressive season but this is his first head coaching job. He could be a great head coach. But that doesn’t come without growing pains.
Michigan State: Scorpio
The Scorpio is often misunderstood, due to its complexity. They can be ruthless and blunt but not without careful consideration. Well, the Mel Tucker era in East Lansing is certainly complex. Tucker left Colorado to take the Spartans to Peach Bowl victory in 2021. They followed that by falling shy of even making a bowl game. That sets the table for what will be an incredibly interesting season in East Lansing.
Michigan State, much like the Scorpio, tends to draw from almost psychic abilities historically. Which would explain why they hired Nick Saban before he truly became Nick Saban. Maybe they can see success to draw from a subpar season prior.
A Cancer is typically empathetic and an emotional packmule. They are also protective of themselves and others with long memories. Maryland hasn’t been a consistent winner for 15 years. The program ebbed and flowed, fueling a diverse wave of emotions since then. Now, Mike Locksley, with a winding career path himself, believes it’s the time for the program to challenge for the division.
The Terrapins won seven and then eight games the last two seasons, respectively. There’s hope for a higher ceiling this fall. The Cancer also loves routine and Maryland hasn’t won 10 or more games in 20 years.
Virgos are practical, diligent perfectionists filled with logic. They’re sometimes introverted and thoroughly think over each situation. Enter the workman-like program Barry Alvarez built at Wisconsin. He mimicked the Nebraska formula and the Badgers are now firmly footed in the greater college football ecosystem. Luke Fickell learned that same process at Ohio State and utilized it at Cincinnati. He took a Group of 5 team to the College Football Playoff playing practical football.
Fickell’s approach is diligent and pointed. There’s purpose and, like most other coaches at this level, is a perfectionist to some degree. He’s also born August 18, just shy of Virgo season. And there’s some hope in Madison he’ll lift Wisconsin back towards the top almost immediately.
The bull represents a Taurus because they also like to lay in a field with ambient noise. They like relaxing environments. A Taurus hates big changes. Well, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured coach in FBS. The Hawkeyes defense was once again stout and intimidating, as it usually has been during Ferentz’s time. The offense, on the other hand, was bad enough at scoring that the coordinator has a designated point total to meet.
A Taurus likes things to be predictable. The same could be said for Ferentz. They can also be stubborn, like not putting in a different quarterback when the one on the field is clearly struggling. They’re also built for the long run and so Iowa looks like it will be too in 2023.