This is Nebraska football 2017.
Are you in?
You can complain about how it’s not how it used to be, or you can accept that this is where we’re at, support your team and hope to make the season as good as it can be.
But Nebraska’s 28-6 victory over Illinois Friday night is just what we’re going to get with this Nebraska team.
And at this point, a win really is a win.
The Huskers showed some good things offensively. They scored on all three possession in the first half, and in the fourth quarter went to Devine Ozigbo and he responded with some more tough running to finish the game with 106 yards, his second straight game over 100 yards.
And Tanner Lee didn’t throw any interceptions — although you could argue a couple should have been, especially the one tight end Tyler Hoppes stripped away from an Illinois defender.
So it was a nice win. Every win is nice these days.
But it’s a tough road ahead of for the Huskers. You look down the schedule and wonder if the Huskers can win any of them.
They will, but still you wonder.
Wisconsin? Ohio State? Both games are at home, but the Badgers and Buckeyes may be the two best teams on the schedule.
On the road at Purdue? That’s not an automatic win by any means. The Boilermakers have shown a toughness under new coach Jeff Brohm that they haven’t shown before.
Northwestern is always tough for the Huskers no matter where the game is played. And then back-to-back road games at Minnesota and Penn State.
We don’t know yet for sure what new Gopher coach P.J. Fleck has, but we know the Nittany Lions have the best player in the country in running back Saquon Barkley and an explosive offense.
And then there’s Iowa, the team that almost beat Penn State Saturday night. The Hawks are tough as nails up front.
People are wondering what kind of record saves Mike Riley. Does he have to go 8-4 or will 7-5 keep him around?
An even 6-6 makes it tough, and 5-7 might be impossible with a new athletic director coming in the near future.
Personally, I’m always slow to the “fire the coach” party. I think you have to give the coach a fair amount of time to put together a program.
And Riley has made several changes in his three years at the helm. He’s known as a nice guy, but Riley has fired some good friends -- including long-time defensive coordinator Mark Banker -- because the program wasn’t going in the direction he wanted.
The defense has shown tremendous improvement under coordinator Bob Diaco the last two games, although you also have to remember that Rutgers and Illinois are two of the worst offenses in the Big Ten. Still, The Blackshirts held Rutgers to just 197 yards and Illinois to 199.
Two straight games holding opponents under 200 total yards is a nice accomplishment.
That’s pretty good no matter who you’re playing, and it’s something to build on.
And the Huskers are a young team. They should return 18 or 19 starters for the 2018 season.
For those fire the coach people, don’t forget that if Riley is fired then you’re starting all over again with a new staff with new schemes and new ways of doing things.
There would be a decent chance that players Riley recruited won’t fit into what the new guys want to do, and we’d be going through that rebuilding process again.
A revolving door approach to the head coach is a tough way to win football games.
Bob Hamar is sports editor for The Independent.