Ohio State vs. Nebraska, 9.28

Ohio State's K.J. Hill (4) eludes Nebraska's Marquel Dismuke (left) and JoJo Domann during the second quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Welcome to the Hot Topic, a weekly look at the state of Nebraska football. Each week on the Husker Extra Podcast, Parker, Steve and Chris will discuss an important topic heading into that week's game, and that discussion will appear in the Journal Star's Husker Extra section on the day before gameday.

What does Nebraska need to do over the next four games to keep the season going?

Steve: It's hard to look too far into the future, except, if you start 1-2 in the league (NU is currently 1-1), you've just set yourself up for a real rough road (to a conference championship berth) because you have virtually no room for error. And, a really rough November. The games ahead are tough enough, but November gets really tough. 

If you go 1-2, I'm not saying you're out of the division race by any means. But you've really got pressure now.

Chris: You're basically in win ’em all mode at that point.

Steve: Because Wisconsin playing as well as it is … Nebraska has a little pressure because Wisconsin is definitely better than everybody thought, and Iowa might be better than everybody thought.

Parker: You want to look at it as a good thing or a bad thing, Nebraska plays both those teams between Nov. 16 and the last game against Iowa.

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If you want to look at it from the perspective of the Big Ten West race, frankly, if you want to win the West, you better win the next four, I think. Because you're going to get yourself in a situation in November, after that Purdue game Nov. 2, you've got bye week, Wisconsin, at Maryland, and Iowa at home. 

Unless you think that the winner of the division — let's say it's Wisconsin and Iowa as the two teams playing the best in the division right now — unless one of those teams is going to lose three games, if you want to win the division, you've got to take the approach of looking at 7-2 (in the conference) as your target mark.

Chris: I'll kind of go in another different direction. Obviously winning games in your division is first and foremost, no question about that, but Nebraska's trying to get bowl-eligible, too. They've got three wins right now, and if you go 3-1 over the next four, well guess what, you're bowl-eligible.

You go 4-0, and now we're talking about, well, maybe we can get a decent bowl rather than going to New York City the day after Christmas, or Detroit or whatever it may be.

So there's some of that in play, too, and obviously if you take care of stuff in your conference, then the bowl stuff will work itself out. But this was something that was talked about in the preseason at media days. What did Bill Moos say? I just want us to get to six wins so we can get to a bowl.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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