Ranking the challenges in front of Husker football in 2017 | Husker football

Understand, Mike Riley wouldn’t be too keen on ranking upcoming Husker games in any fashion. He knows they all matter.

Lose to Purdue and that game becomes every bit as significant as one against Wisconsin.

“I’m excited for every game. Our goal is to be undefeated, but in order to do that we have to win the first game,” Nebraska’s head football coach reminded a crowd on his tour through the state last week. “I’ve always talked about that. I’ve been fairly conservative in doing that. I love the idea of winning the first game and then getting better from there. That’s our goal.”

That’s the proper way to view it inside the program walls. Outside the walls, however, we need something to talk about to get through May.

Let’s be honest: That’s how this works.

What comes next might fall under the same category. If that’s the case, so be it. Here’s just one man’s opinion on May 19 on how the games on the Husker schedule stack up in difficulty, from easiest to most difficult.

12. Rutgers (Sept. 23): You should get a $10 haircut coupon if you can make it through a replay of every snap of the Scarlet Knights’ 78-0 loss at home to Michigan last year. That was a week after Ohio State beat them 58-zip. They were 128th in total offense last year. On the bright side, they did almost win at Minnesota. And Jerry Kill has joined Chris Ash’s staff — a good hire. He’ll do his part to add toughness. But it seems unlikely to think Rutgers is going to catch Nebraska sleeping for its Big Ten opener.

11. Northern Illinois (Sept. 16): This program was rolling along until last year. The Huskies were riddled with QB injuries and finished 5-7. Don’t be surprised if they climb a rung this year, though they’ll have to do it with an inexperienced front seven on defense. They come to Lincoln a week after Nebraska’s big trip to Oregon. And the Huskers, who led by only…

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