With the 2021 college football season still over six months away, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are already preparing for what could be a historic 2022 opener.
According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the Big Ten program is currently in discussions about playing a game overseas to kick-off the campaign in 2022. Nebraska would be one of the two participants to play in the Aer Lingus Classic, which will take place on Aug. 27 that year in Dublin, Ireland.
The news comes after the Cornhuskers were expected to go overseas for the upcoming 2021 season to take on conference opponent, Illinois. However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the game was relocated to Champaign.
No official plans have been put into place for the 2022 contest, but Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said that “it would be something we’re interested in if the opportunity presents itself.”
“It’s an exclusive television window to a broad audience of fans who are hungry for the college football season to start,” Moos said, via the Lincoln Journal-Star.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 25, 2021
The opportunity for a Big Ten game overseas would be a massive accomplishment for college football. With Nebraska’s rabid fanbase, the contest will surely draw interest from the United States, as well as internationally.
Multiple sources told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the Cornhuskers most likely opponent will be Big Ten West competitor Northwestern. Nebraska is expected to meet Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats on Oct. 8 in 2022, but will need to shuffle the schedule regardless if the overseas game comes together.
The Aer Lingus Classic hoped to host a marquee match-up between Notre Dame and Navy in 2020, but also was forced to cancel the game due to the worldwide pandemic. Hopefully, a game in Ireland can take place safely in just over a year and a half.
Before the 2022 opener, Scott Frost will do his best to turn around a struggling Nebraska program. The Cornhuskers will hope to bounce back from a dismal 3-5 record in 2020 and re-establish themselves as a worthy Big Ten West competitor.