Local Husker H8ter AJ asked today whether the Iowa State game represented a must win game for Bill Callahan. My take? Nope. Missouri represents the strongest challenger to the Huskers in the Big XII North. Iowa State simply has too tough of a schedule, as they still have to face Oklahoma next week. Even with a loss to the Cyclones, the Huskers still will be in the mix for the championship game. As such, it's simply not a must win game.
However, if you are looking big picture, this is a game that Bill Callahan really needs to win. A lot of kool-aid drinkers are giving the Huskers a pass for last weekend, saying "a win is a win". Just win and advance baby.
Except that's not the situation, as this season isn't so much about wins. After last year's Colorado game, the slogan "Restore the Order" became the buzzword. The Huskers' Tunnel Walk talks about "resurgence". Nebraska entered 2006 with the momentum from the Alamo Bowl victory. With the exception of the USC game, that momentum continued in thrashings of Louisiana Tech, Nicholls State, and Troy. But then the Kansas game happened. Was that a blip? Or were the Huskers exposed?
That is the question that the Huskers need to answer tomorrow. Nebraska doesn't need to blow out the Cyclones, but they need a win to maintain the momentum. A loss to Iowa State reopens a lot of the questions that folks were asking last November after the Kansas game.
If you want to keep web sites such as "FireBillCallahan.com" offline, you need to win these games.