Can Nebraska really play in 2020? It’s still up in the air, but if it does, what could its schedule be?
Can Nebraska really do this?
When the Big Ten presidents chose to cancel/postpone the 2020 fall college football season, Nebraska – along with Iowa – voted for it to be a go, and let’s just say it didn’t take it all that well.
So can Nebraska really play games outside of the Big Ten? Short answer, not really, but maybe.
There’s no way it can join another conference, and the only possible way this happens is with the Big Ten’s blessing – and if everyone gets their cut of the pie – but it could work.
Okay, so it couldn’t.
At the end of the day, the last thing the Big Ten needs is for Nebraska to go off and play, and then have to deal with Ohio State – who already said it wouldn’t play – Penn State, etc. screaming about wanting to come up with their own schedules.
But let’s get weird. Here’s how a Nebraska schedule could be, and it starts with three big assumptions.
1. Semantics matter. These have to be non-conference games; they can’t be Big 12 games.
2. The Big 12 will have to adjust. The conference will go to a 9+1 schedule, and some teams might have to fit in another game, or ditch the one it’s supposed to play. Which leads to …
3. All the games against the Big 12 have to be on the road. You think Oklahoma, Kansas State or Iowa State will want to travel to Lincoln in the midst of a conference season?
Also assume that all games start on September 26th, along with what the other Power Five leagues are trying to do.
Nebraska Football Schedule Idea
Sept. 5 OPEN
Sept. 12 OPEN
Sept. 19 OPEN
Sept. 26 at Oklahoma
The Sooners keep the Army game dumped and replace it with a whale of a nostalgic season opener against the Huskers.
Oct. 3 Liberty
Liberty might not be quite as flexible with its schedule as you might think. However, with the date against Bowling Green gone, this is open.
Oct. 10 Army
This was supposed to be the week the Huskers hosted Ohio State. Army is reconfiguring its slate – this is when it was supposed to play its now-cancelled game against Princeton.
Oct. 17 Air Force
The Falcons will likely get the go-ahead to play Army and Navy. There should be a way to add another game in place of the lost date with Hawaii.
Oct. 24 at Iowa State
This is Iowa State’s week off on the originally redone Big 12 slate.
Oct. 31 at Kansas
Like all of the Big 12 games on the possible Husker slate, it might have to be reworked. This is an open date for the Jayhawks on the original schedule.
Nov. 7 UCF
It makes no sense on a whole slew of levels, but if we’re going to get crazy, let’s have some fun. The Knights – at the moment – have an open game after the date with Florida A&M was canceled.
Nov. 14 BYU
BYU has the most flexibility of any of the likely options. Its date with San Diego State on the 14th is cancelled.
Nov. 21 New Mexico State
Big assumption: NMSU doesn’t cancel everything first. The Huskers would fine some Group of Five program happy to take this date if that happens.
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
There has to be a built-in off week or two late in the season – this is it. Depending on the team and the matchup, a game could be moved here.
Dec. 5 at Kansas State
This might not be possible by the time you read this, but assume the Big 12 moves its championship to mid-to-late December and this date is open. Oklahoma isn’t going to play here – it’ll want to rest up for what it’ll assume is a trip to the title game – but a date in Manhattan to face the Wildcats would work.