Math is math. And sometimes, math points to hope — even a little hype.
And this hype for Nebraska's 2020 football season isn't local.
ESPN’s Bill Connelly, whose “SP+ rating” predicted struggles for the Huskers the past three seasons, published his initial predictions for next season and has NU as his No. 25 team. Nebraska also has the No. 10 overall offense, too.
The roots of this rating? Nearly all of NU’s production on offense returns, including all of the quarterbacks, all of the tight ends and all of the starting offensive linemen. NU will have a new offensive coordinator in Matt Lubick, but after some considerable struggles last season in the red zone, Lubick is — for now — considered an upgrade over Troy Walters. Nebraska may improve at receiver, too, as Omar Manning pretty quickly projects at X receiver to be an improvement compared to Kanawai Noa.
Among Big Ten teams, Ohio State is No. 2, followed by Penn State (No. 5), Wisconsin (No. 9), Michigan (No. 16), Minnesota (No. 20), Indiana (No. 27), Iowa (No. 29), Michigan State (No. 45), Purdue (No. 46), Northwestern (No. 50), Illinois (No. 61), Maryland (No. 66) and Rutgers (No. 102). (NU 2020 opponents in bold.)
Among NU non-conference foes, Cincinnati is No. 34 and Central Michigan is No. 82.
One area where Nebraska returns production but is still reloading? Linebacker.