So how does Nebraska respond to their first losing season in 40+ years? Well, let's see what we've got:
QB: Let's face it, Joe Dailey was not Bill Callahan's choice for QB, but he was the best available. At the very least, Zac Taylor fits Callahan's play calling. He impressed the Kool-Aid drinkers with his first half stats in the Spring Game. They missed the first wobbly passes, and the constant fumbled snaps. In other words, I'm not sold on Taylor. In his last game, Zac Taylor went 10 for 35 with 5 interceptions for Butler. After Zac, it's recruiting sensation Harrison Beck as a true freshman.
RB: Cory Ross. Enough said.
WR: The unanswered question is will Matt Herian return? My guess is not this season, at least not like before his gruesome broken leg. Some of the incoming freshmen look intriguing, but I really like Terrence Nunn and Nathan Swift to complement Isiah Fluellen.
Offensive Line: These guys overachieved last year; Dennis Wagner did an outstanding job coaching this line. Recruitniks expecting much from the incoming recruits will likely be disappointed this season; incoming lineman rarely contribute. But a little more seasoning should help here.
Kickers: David Dyches returns here, though I bet Jordan Congdon is the kicker. You really have to wonder about the coaching of kickers, though, when Sandro DeAngelis is perfect on 13 field goals in the CFL after his results the last 2 years.
Defensive Line: Ola Dagunduro and Barry Cryer provided needed depth on the defensive line to complement Titus Adams and LeKevin Smith.
Linebacker: Can any of these recruits fill the void left by Barrett Ruud? Recruitniks are convinced, but I'm not.
Secondary: "Poorest secondary performance"??? And 2 of those guys get drafted in the early stages of the NFL draft? Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. Zack Bowman could be the second coming of Deion Sanders or Charles Woodson, and we might still have a problem here.
Schedule: I can't remember a weaker schedule. Maine? Wake Forest? Baylor? And the rest of the Big XII North??? If they can't get to bowl eligibility with this schedule, the Board of Regents should cut their losses.
To break things down:
Maine: If this one isn't a "W", there will be riots in Lincoln.
Wake Forest: Zac Taylor faces his old team. Should be a "W".
Pitt: Pitt may have been a BCS team, but they got blasted by Utah in the Fiesta Bowl. With Pitt's new coach, this one is a tossup.
Iowa State: Callahan was seriously outcoached last year in Ames. He shouldn't make the same mistake at home. "W".
Texas Tech: Kevin Cosgrove was seriously outcoached last year in last year's 70-10 thrashing in Lubbock. This is will be a bellweather game.
Baylor: Callahan's best coaching game last season. Unfortunately, this game is in Waco, and Baylor has surprised some people there.
Missouri: The coach that figures out the strengths of his QB first will win this game. Brad Smith has more talent, but Zac Taylor fits Bill Callahan's play calling better.
Oklahoma: This one could be a surpriser. The Sooners look like the 2002 Huskers, having problems replacing a Heisman winner at QB. If last season really was an abnormality (as the kool-aid drinkers insist), this game can be won by the Huskers.
Kansas State: I have a hard enough time understanding Nebraska; Kansas State is another enigma.
Colorado: This game will reflect Nebraska's season. A good season, a Husker win. A repeat of last year, turn out the lights.
Final results? If Nebraska has truly exorcised their demons, they could go 10-1 or 11-0.
But I really doubt that.
Too many question marks remain. I think 8-3 is a safer bet, with likely losses to come out of the Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas Tech, and Pitt games.
Worst case scenario? Don't go there. Every game can be lost - even Maine.