Nebraska's season went off the rails in a hurry. The Cornhuskers lost three of their first four games, prompting the program to fire Scott Frost and reconsider their future.
Mark Whipple doesn't want the team to give up on this year.
Per Steven Sipple of On3 Sports, Nebraska's offensive coordinator rejected the notion that the players should aim to salvage the season with a bowl bid. He still has a loftier goal in sight.
"We can win the West," Whipple said. "You're in first place. Act like it, play like it."
Capturing the Big Ten West is still a realistic goal. Illinois and Minnesota are 4-1, but every team in the division except Wisconsin (0-2) is 1-1 in conference play.
However, the East is stacked with three undefeated juggernauts in No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan, and No. 10 Penn State.
The Huskers have left little margin for error, but they can finish atop the grouping by winning most (if not all) of their final seven games against Big Ten competition.
That stretch starts at Rutgers on Friday night and includes a difficult matchup at Ann Arbor in November.