After a loss to UCLA in early September, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini started to feel the temperature on his seat increase by a few degrees. However, the Cornhuskers rebounded by winning three games – albeit against overmatched opponents – and had some momentum going into a road date at Minnesota.
But any momentum Nebraska had was lost on Saturday, as the Cornhuskers lost 34-23 to the Golden Gophers.
When we sit down to iron out our Top 25 Poll each year at Athlon Sports, we are trying to project the final year-end standings not build a preseason power poll. It might be a small and subtle difference but an important one to acknowledge.
The balance of power in the Big Ten clearly resides in the East Division, as Wisconsin is expected to be the only preseason top 25 team from the West. The Badgers are a heavy favorite to win the division crown in 2017, with Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa vying for the next couple of spots.
Scheduling remains one of the most high-profile controversies surrounding college football, particularly in the new Playoff era. Like most college football controversies, it's not one the sport is likely to resolve any time soon, with anything resembling a consensus.
College football’s 2017 season is still several months away, but it’s never too early to predict next year’s top 25 teams. With spring practice underway, the countdown to the 2017 season can officially begin, as teams have started the process of answering offseason concerns.