62-36 is etched into the minds of Nebraska fans. It's etched into minds of fans of Colorado. Heck, even the University thought so much of that win over NU, they etched the score into their conference title rings. You could probably write a thesis on the psychosis from Nebraska over the years due to one defeat after another that would prompt such an act, but it's symbolism is obvious. That game was huge.
For Colorado, it was bragging rights over a team that over the years, bragging rights have been slim. For Nebraska, it was the start of what would be one of the most difficult seasons since pre-Devaney. It wasn't that game, but it might as well have been, because the landscape now is very, very different.
Colorado is in the top 25, Nebraska isn't. Colorado is competing for a BCS bid and Nebraska is competing for one of the bottom-tier bowls available. Colorado is looking to continue a good season while Nebraska is just looking to get out of one that could only be considered a nightmare.
The contrasts are amazing, if not almost ironic.
If you would have told me right before this season started that this game would mean little to nothing to the Nebraska faithful, I would have said you were crazy. If you would have told me that this game would be the deciding factor in keeping the 9-win streak alive, again, I would have said you were nuts. A year like this happens to every team out there, so why does it seem that now that it has finally struck Nebraska, that things seem to utterly bad.
You know what Nebraska fans are looking forward to right now? It's not the CU game, but the Monday following after, because that's when they think certain coaches are going to find the pavement.
Coaches like Craig Bohl and Nelson Barnes have all been targeted for a sudden ejection from their duties on this Husker team.
Craig Bohl coached defenses have had some rather dubious titles chained to their history, not the least of which was the last game in this up-coming game's history, giving up more points to any opponent than any team in NU history.
The debacle at Penn State, the disaster down at Ames and of course, the humbling and shocking loss to the woeful Cowboys of OSU. The loses to KSU and Texas might have all be forgiven if for the simple thought that they were very good teams, but this season, it hasn't been about the losses, but the way NU has lost.
And they lost and continued to lose. More times than anytime since 1961.That's over four decades that people have had time to forget. Now, those that might have not lived during that time are given a chance to remember just what mediocrity feels like.
They don't like it. Not one bit. So, you will have forgive the NU fan for being a little preoccupied by other matters, that they do not look at this up-coming game like it is it's usual life or death struggle.
What this game means to CU is basically, just another shot at Nebraska. The game doesn't mean much to them beyond that. The division is theirs, they are going to play for the conference title and this is but another day on the calendar before the real day for them begins.
And for Nebraska, they are playing for pride, because after a season like this, that's about all that is left. It's a lot and you know the players will fight hard, but the post-season offers bitter sweet rewards.
So, Colorado is coming to town. Following a huge loss at the hands of the Buffaloes, this game is huge as it marks the first chance Nebraska has had to pay them back in kind. It's a huge game, it's an epic game in the making and could have people talking about it for years.
You buying it?
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619