Not all Nebraska players were aware the B1G switched to 9-game conf. schedule
It’s one of the most cliché things to say in college football.
“We’re just focused on this week.”
Call it tunnel vision or whatever you want. Players say it, coaches preach it and fans pray that’s the mindset.
Coming off their biggest win of the Mike Riley era, Nebraska has that mindset, maybe to a fault. Husker center Dylan Utter apparently wasn’t sure why Nebraska was taking on Northwestern so early in the season. The B1G, of course, switched to a nine-game conference schedule this year.
Utter and other Nebraska players admittedly didn’t give that much thought.
“I guess I didn’t even notice that,” Utter told the Omaha World-Herald, with a shrug.
Well, that’s not the worst thing to be unaware of.
Nobody will accuse Utter or any other Nebraska players of looking ahead. He did say that his focus is on Northwestern, and not on the next four games Nebraska plays, all of which it could be favored in.
Mike Riley was plenty aware of it. His old conference, the Pac-12, initiated the nine-game conference schedule back in 2006.
He wishes that all Power Five conferences — the ACC and SEC are still using the 8-game conference schedule — would make the switch.
“I think it’s probably appropriate that we play nine,” Riley said Monday. “I think, if that is the case, then every league should probably do that. And I think, probably, with the playoff at stake and things like that, that that should be equitable that way.”
Luckily Riley is familiar enough with the nine-game conference schedule to explain the new setup to his team.