|Photo Credit: Huskers|
The one thing that Nebraska had that Penn State (the other team that finished dead last) didn't have last year was a quality win. In mid-January, Nebraska took down Indiana at home in a close fought game. Indiana ended up finishing 5th in the Big Ten and wasn't a big factor in the conference championship, but they were a ranked team, ended up making the Sweet 16, and registered big wins over Kentucky, MSU, OSU, and Michigan during the year. Nebraska was unable to replicate the results of that game during last season, but it shows that they do have some talent and when they play to that level they have a chance to compete with solid teams. However, their weak performance can be seen in their poor finish in the stats:
Points Allowed Rk
Nebraska's performance last season was pretty weak, but what is more disturbing for next season is that they will be losing four of their five starters. Penn State and Nebraska were tied last season during Big Ten play, but Penn State is in much better shape for next season than Nebraska. Penn State returns four starters, but Nebraska has just guy who only averages 6.7 points per game.
I would like to say Nebraska was bringing in reinforcements for next season, but their 2012 recruiting class is pretty weak compared to other Big Ten teams. Shavon Shields is their best recruit, according to ESPN, but he is still only rated as a 2* recruit and the #117 SF in the nation. That's not exactly impressive for a team trying to compete against teams like Michigan and Indiana who are bringing in 5* talent to accompany their returning starters.
Along with this, Nebraska fired their head coach following the season, which should be another obstacle for the team to overcome next year. Do I think he can come in and win some games? Sure, all teams in the Big Ten have a chance to win a game here or there, but let's be honest, Nebraska is not going to be a good team next year. In fact, they probably aren't going to be a good team for a while. The real question about Nebraska's chances in the Big Ten for next year is not where they'll finish, but if there's going to be anybody bad enough to stay with the Cornhuskers. I don't see a way in which they don't finish last in the Big Ten for the second straight year.
Big Ten Finish: 12th
Ability To Compete With Top Teams: This
Upset Status: None
NCAA Tournament Status: No NCAA or NIT bid