Thursday, August 11, 2011

Football Season 2011

Well, here it is August already, and that can mean only one thing: football season is almost here! I’m not much of a baseball or basketball fan, so as soon as the superbowl is over, I pretty much just sit around and wait for football season to start again. We had a pretty hot and humid summer here in Nebraska, but during the last week or so the weather has been very mild. The calendar tells me that football season is near, but the fall-like weather is much more convincing.
The upcoming 2011 season brings a little added excitement for us Cornhusker fans. This will be Nebraska’s inaugural season as a member of the Big 10 conference. It’s the beginning of a whole new era for the University of Nebraska, and for its ravenous sports fans. The Big 10 conference has 12 athletic schools now, and they will be divided into two divisions of 6 schools each, as follows:
One division will have Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa, Northwestern, and Nebraska. The other will have Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Each team will play the other five teams in its division every year, plus three teams from the other division on a rotating schedule. It was also announced that one of the three cross-divisional games for each team will be against the same opponent each year. Nebraska’s annual cross-division opponent will be Penn State.
It was also announced recently, that division mates Nebraska and Iowa will meet each year in the newly dubbed “Heroes Game.” Each year, the Heroes Game will honor one person from Nebraska, and one from Iowa, that exhibits the qualities and characteristics of heroism. The first Heroes Game will be played the day after Thanksgiving, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Here’s a look at Nebraska’s very first Big 10 football schedule:

*Non-conference games
Sat Sep 03, Tennessee Chattanooga
Sat Sep 10, Fresno State
Sat Sep 17, Washington
Sat Sep 24, Wyoming
*Conference games
Sat Oct 01, Wisconsin
Sat Oct 08, Ohio State
Sat Oct 22, Minnesota
Sat Oct 29, Michigan State
Sat Nov 05, Northwestern
Sat Nov 12, Penn State
Sat Nov 19, Michigan
Fri Nov 25, Iowa (Heroes Game)

There will also be a conference championship game sometime after that.
Wow, the early part of that schedule looks a little rough. It looks like Nebraska is playing Washington again after they embarrassed the Huskers in the bowl game last year. And those first two conference games? I’ve heard that Wisconsin is expected to win the Big 10 this year, and Ohio State is always very good. That’s a tough start but maybe it’s best to get those games out of the way early, since Nebraska tends to peter out throughout the season. I also noticed that ABC has opted to air quite a few of these games, so those of us without cable might be able to see more games on tv this year. Only a few more weeks to go!

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