Trips to warm states in February. Midweek games. A conference tournament.
After playing a pandemic-altered schedule in 2021, the Nebraska baseball team will navigate a return-to-normal schedule for 2022, which includes a couple of early trips to Texas.
The Huskers, the defending Big Ten champions, unveiled their upcoming slate Tuesday.
The 55-game schedule will begin with four games at Sam Houston State (Feb. 18-20) before the Huskers return to Texas the following weekend to play defending Big 12 champion TCU in Arlington.
Here are some other takes from the schedule release:
* A three-game series against San Diego State beginning March 4 will kick-start 15 home games in a 16-game stretch. San Diego State, Long Beach State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will come to Lincoln for three-game series. A three-game set against Michigan bookends the stretch.
* If you haven't seen Omaha's new beautiful ballpark yet, maybe circle April 6. The Huskers will play the Mavericks at Tal Anderson Field, which opened last spring.
* Six teams that finished in the top seven of the Big Ten standings dot the Husker schedule — Michigan (March 25-27), at Ohio State (April 1-3), April 8-10 (Rutgers), at Indiana (April 22-24) and Iowa (April 29-May 1).
The Huskers will miss playing Maryland, which finished second in the league standings last spring. Northwestern (tied for ninth), Penn State (tied for ninth) and Purdue (tied for 11th) also are not on the schedule.
* Midweek games are back! For NU, it starts March 8 at Kansas State. The Huskers have 11 midweek contests, including games against Summit League Tournament champion North Dakota State and Summit League regular-season champion Oral Roberts. NU and Creighton will play twice.
* How tough is Nebraska's schedule? Only one team on the schedule (TCU) finished inside the top 50 of the RPI last spring. The Horned Frogs were 10th. San Diego State was 59th, Kansas State was 61st, Iowa was 77th, Long Beach State was 89th, North Dakota State was 91st and Michigan was 94th.
* There's still a lot of intrigue to the schedule. Of course, TCU will be a great early test for Will Bolt's team. San Diego State finished second in the Mountain West last season and Long Beach State has good baseball pedigree.
NU's 2022 schedule:
February: 18-20—at Sam Houston State; 25-27—vs. TCU, Arlington, Texas.
March: 4-6—San Diego State; 8—at Kansas State; 11-13—Long Beach State; 15-16—New Mexico State; 18-20—Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; 25-27—Michigan; 29—at Creighton.
April: 1-3—at Ohio State; 6—at Omaha; 8-10—Rutgers; 12—Creighton; 14-16—BYU; 20—North Dakota State; 22-24—at Indiana; 26—Kansas State; 27—Omaha; 29-30—Iowa.
May: 1—Iowa; 6-8—at Minnesota; 13-15—at Illinois; 17—Oral Roberts; 19-21—Michigan State; 25-29—Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.