Nebraska is still looking for a 12th game following its season-opener against Akron being canceled.
The situation Nebraska finds itself in presents its own challenges as well. There are two open spots to schedule a game: Nebraska’s bye week on Oct. 27 or the Saturday after the regular season ends on Dec. 1. If the Huskers go with their bye week, it would mean playing 12 consecutive games this season. If they go with the December slot, it would mean giving up on a major goal.
“I don’t want to schedule a game for December because I think we’re going to have a chance to be in the [Big Ten] Championship game,” head coach Scott Frost said Thursday when meeting with the media. “Scheduling a game in December, I don’t want our kids thinking we’re not going to be in the championship game. We need to be in the championship game.”
So that leaves October.
“It’s not ideal to play 12 straight weeks, they don’t really do that in the NFL, but if that’s the hand we’re dealt so be it,” he said. “These kids have practiced hard enough and worked hard enough they deserve to have a full slate of games. The administration’s dealing with that and we’ll play whoever they line up for us.”
On Tuesday, Central Florida canceled its Sept. 15 game with North Carolina in advance of Hurricane Florence, a category 4 storm set to make landfall this weekend. In the release, the Knights said, “UNC and UCF will continue to discuss the feasibility of playing the game at a later date this season.”
But, as often is the case, the internet connected UCF’s Oct. 27 “bye” week with Nebraska’s and ran with it. UCF added, “It is unlikely the Knights will be able to replace the UNC contest with another game as the Knights don’t have a true open date.” The bye week is followed by a Thursday game on Nov. 1 at home against Temple.
Frost was asked about the possibility of playing the Knights and though he didn’t shut the door and lock it, it seemed like he’d prefer to play another team.
“The hardest part for me is if anybody on either team got hurt or anything bad happened to any kid on either team, I’d be broken-hearted,” Frost said. “I still love those kids down there that are playing at UCF so much. [I’m] rooting for them.
“It’d be a great game. I think it’d be an evenly-matched game of two really good teams. Personally, I’d cringe a little when our defensive end hit their quarterback and that’s not how you want to go into a game.”
Frost will have a say in who Nebraska schedules, but the decision ultimately rests with the athletic department and Athletic Director Bill Moos. When Moos met with the media on Sept. 5, he said any Oct. 27 game would likely feature an FCS opponent.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.