Nebraska is officially a Top 25 team again.

The Huskers checked in at No. 24 in the season’s first Associated Press poll, which was released Monday morning. A total of seven Big Ten schools are in the rankings, which are compiled by media members from around the country. The World-Herald’s Sam McKewon is a voter and had NU 19th on his preseason ballot.

The ranking ends Nebraska’s longest drought in the AP preseason poll since it appeared 44 times in a 50-year span from 1965-2014. The team received votes outside the preseason Top 25 in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It did not receive any votes last year.

Nebraska finished with a 4-8 record last season. No other current Top 25 squad was below .500 a year ago.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said the ranking doesn’t mean “diddly” to him. The team is still a 4-8 club until it proves otherwise on the football field.

“I think it’s cool because of the way the program is perceived; it’s great because of the way Coach (Scott) Frost is perceived,” Chinander said. “We haven’t done anything yet. I just as soon (wish) we weren’t ranked. I hope none of those guys think that they’ve made it, because we certainly haven’t.”

Nebraska had been absent in 33 straight AP poll releases overall. It was last ranked for the Music City Bowl following the poll from Dec. 4, 2016. NU hasn’t finished a season in the AP Top 25 since 2012 (25th).

A few players leaving the Hawks Center also nodded when they heard where they were pegged nationally.

“Cool,” redshirt freshman defensive lineman Casey Rogers said. “Still plenty to do.”

The Huskers were the top team receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll — essentially 26th — that came out Aug. 1. Seven Big Ten schools are in that Top 25.

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