The Cornhuskers can’t afford to lose this game if they want to make a run to the Big Ten title game.
One loss is okay. More than that? Almost disastrous. Last year Nebraska lost three games in the regular season, which knocked it out of contention for the Big Ten title game. The Cornhuskers hope to escape that fate this year.
Well, ESPN named Nebraska’s most important game to win this season, if it wants to make a run in the Big Ten during the 2017 season.
Must-win game: Oct. 7 vs. Wisconsin. Nebraska’s chances to make its first Big Ten championship appearance since 2012 meet its first -- and likely its biggest -- obstacle during the first week of October. Wisconsin remains the team to beat in the West with four division titles in the last six years. Mike Riley got his Cornhuskers back to a nine-win season last year. To fully prove his positive-energy approach is superior to the cantankerous coach he replaced, he’ll need to eventually reach double-digit victories and play for a championship. Riley’s team should be favored to win its first five games of the year, setting up the Badgers’ visit as the first big-time Big Ten matchup of the fall.
A home game against Wisconsin relatively early in the season could have a massive impact on how the rest of the season goes for the Huskers.