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Nebraska Football: Ranking the Toughest Games on the Cornhuskers' Schedule

Nebraska Football: Why the Cornhuskers Deserve Preseason Top 25 Consideration

Scott Frost enters a critical season with the Cornhuskers and their postseason fate could be decided early with a back-loaded schedule.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are about to embark on year five under head coach Scott Frost, and once again the Huskers are looking to clear the final hurdles to a return to the postseason bowl fun. Nebraska has gone an unfathomable five consecutive seasons without playing in a postseason bowl game, and Nebraska fans are thirsty for some postseason fun. Could this be the year Nebraska returns to the bowl season?

Related: Nebraska 2022 Season Preview and Prediction

It could very well be, and it may not be a complete reach to suggest Nebraska has a path to a Big Ten West championship if things get off on the right footing in 2022. A long trip to Ireland to open things and a challenging November slate could stand in the way, and a home game against a storied rival could hurt Nebrasks'a chances of unlocking bowl eligibility for the upcoming season.

Here's a look at Nebraska's 2022 college football schedule from what should be the easiest games to the most challenging.

12. Sept. 3 vs. North Dakota

The biggest concern Nebraska should have about this game is recovering from any jetlag from a season opener the week before in Ireland. The Huskers should not take North Dakota lightly, but this also isn't exactly North Dakota State they are playing either.

11. Sept. 10 vs. Georgia Southern

Nebraska will get one final chance to fine-tune a few things before a big game against a historic rival the following week, but Georgia Southern can be a problem if the Huskers are not careful.

10. Oct. 7 at Rutgers

Rutgers may have a long way to go before being much of a threat in Big Ten play, but hosting Nebraska on a Friday night feels like a good omen for the Scarlet Knights. Nebraska can't sleep on this game, especially with it coming in a short week.

9. Oct. 1 vs. Indiana

Nebraska will be coming off a bye week before hosting Indiana in Lincoln. The Huskers may need it after playing Oklahoma two weeks prior.

8. Oct. 29 vs. Illinois

The Illini may be a bit of a wild card this season as Bret Bielema appears to be making some progress. Nebraska and the Illini are probably closer in the Big Ten pecking order than Nebraska fans may want to admit, but the Huskers should manage to defend their home field in this one.

7. Aug. 27 vs. Northwestern (Dublin, Ireland)

Northwestern has given Nebraska some fits over the years since joining the Big Ten, and this time the two schools are, for some reason, opening the college football season in Ireland. That's quite a long flight for the Huskers, and Northwestern is on track to have a better season this fall after a rough 2021.

6. Oct. 15 at Purdue

Purdue is coming off a sneaky-good season in 2021 and could still be a problem for Nebraska in 2022. The Boilermakers may lose a few pieces from last season but they should still be a difficult opponent on the road for the Huskers.

5. Nov. 5 vs. Minnesota

Minnesota could be a sleeper pick in the Big Ten West for some, so Nebraska will have their hands full with a confident bunch in early November if things work out the way P.J. Fleck hopes they do. This could be a big game for Nebraska that determines their bowl fate because things get extra tough the rest of the way on the schedule after this.

4. Sept. 17 vs. Oklahoma

Nebraska gave Oklahoma all it could handle last season in the revival of this classic rivalry, but the Huskers couldn't avoid misfiring their way into a tough loss (a theme of the season for Nebraska as it would turn out). But the Sooners have a new head coach and new quarterback and have to travel to Lincoln. This would be a huge win for Nebraska heading into the bye week, but the Sooners also are out to prove something this season after missing out on a Big 12 title shot in 2021.

3. Nov. 12 at Michigan

The final stretch of the regular season for Nebraska is about as brutal as it can get for a team in the Big Ten West. To start, Nebraska travels to defending Big Ten champion Michigan a year after potentially giving one away against the Wolverines.

2. Nov. 19 vs. Wisconsin

The good news is Nebraska gets Wisconsin at home. The bad news is the Badgers could be the team to catch in the Big Ten West. Or maybe Nebraska plays its way into the division lead with a big win against the Badgers?

1. Nov. 25 at Iowa

To close out the season, Nebraska will head to Iowa for a Black Friday showdown with the Hawkeyes. Iowa has dominated the series and doesn't look like it is about to lose grip on the new Big Ten rivalry just yet.

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, on TikTok, and Like him on Facebook.