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Nebraska: 2009 Projections

Ha! I had this finished and ready to go but forgot to schedule it. So here you go...technically it's still Friday, so it wasn't as late as it could have been...

Nebraska Week has come and gone. It's on to Oklahoma State next week, but first, let's take a look back at Nebraska Week and take a look forward with the BTBS Projections.

2009 Projections

Date Opponent Proj. W/L Margin Record Conf. Rec.
9/5 Florida Atlantic W +22.3 1-0
9/12 Arkansas State W +25.4 2-0
9/19 at Virginia Tech L -9.8 2-1
9/26 UL-Lafayette W +19.6 3-1
10/8 at Missouri L -2.5 3-2 0-1
10/17 Texas Tech W +3.2 4-2 1-1
10/24 Iowa State W +16.1 5-2 2-1
10/31 at Baylor W +2.9 6-2 3-1
11/7 Oklahoma L -9.6 6-3 3-2
11/14 at Kansas L -8.3 6-4 3-3
11/21 Kansas State W +9.0 7-4 4-3
11/27 at Colorado W +5.9 8-4 5-3

Two interesting things to note here:

  1. Very few closely projected games on the schedule. Only @Missouri, Texas Tech, and @Baylor are projected within four points. Considering Illinois had eight games projected that close, it tells you something about both the Big Ten and NU's schedule. They have three likely easy wins in non-con play, with a likely loss in Blacksburg (the projections like VT more than I do, but that's neither here nor there). In conference play, they have two easy wins (ISU, KSU), two likely safe losses (OU, @KU), and four games projected within a touchdown, including a dicey trip to Boulder, where they have to take on a team they only beat because of a 57-yard field goal last year.
  2. They're closer to 5-7 than 10-2. What I mean by that is, let's say they're a touchdown better than projected. That only changes one loss to a win--Missouri. But if they're a touchdown worse than expected, they lose to Tech, Baylor, and Colorado for a 5-7 finish. Not a lot of margin for error here. The Huskers will be counting on some key newbies--Zac Lee, Baker Steinkuhler, Will Compton--and luckily for them, most of the non-conference slate is cake. Still, though, they'll need to be finding their next gear by the time October rolls around--the four games in October will likely make or break their season.

Anyway, that concludes Nebraska Week...much more to talk about with them later (including before-and-after graphs for those who said Nebraska's defense improved by leaps and bounds at the end of the year), but...well...I have to have the time first.

Starting Monday: Oklahoma State week!