From 5-7 to 7-5 doesn’t seem like much of a jump, but for Husker faithful a bowl game and a winning record would be wondrous.  Taking a look at Vegas’s most recent over/under on Nebraskas’ 2024 win total (7.5) actually surprised me a bit. Stating that they think we will win 7 games in 2024 with the recent history of being the longest running power 5 school without making a bowl game and a freshman quarterback is in itself a bold statement. There is an old saying that the past is the best way to see the future, well it looks like the odds makers feel that Rhule and company may just be the ones to prove that statement wrong. 

Looking ahead at the schedule in a way in which we will not be able to fully grasp the scope of how each team will look this fall, but taking a look at where they sit now leaves Nebraskas’ ability to hit the 7 win mark very promising this upcoming season. Leaving out speculation of Rhule’s ability to make a massive year 2 jump, and just using a statistical breakdown, this is what the outcome for the Huskers in 2024 looks like.

Ratings by the numbers gives Nebraska 4 games with a 80-100% win probability. Those games are UTEP, Northern Iowa, Illinois and Rutgers. I am surprised to see Rutgers in this mix as they have had steady improvement over the last few years under Head Coach Greg Schiano, but I do think with the uncertainty at QB and lack of depth on both offense and defense as well as the mid-season placement of this game gives Nebraska the decisive advantage in the computers eyes. There is 4 wins with a high level of surety already, leaving the Huskers with the need to only pick up 2 more wins to make a bowl game and 3 more to meet Vegas’s projection. 

Moving on to the games with a slight edge the Cornhuskers see 3 teams pop up. Ratings by the numbers sees Nebraska having a 51-79% chance of beating Purdue, Indiana and one of the new additions to the Big 10, UCLA. I can understand all of these predictions with Purdue finishing 4-8 in 2023, Indiana 3-9 and UCLA’s recent coaching changes. I am however surprised not to see Colorado in this category. Colorado’s biggest advantage over us this coming year is the position on the schedule. I do still believe that they do not have the depth to play a complete season and rely on a few key players that if removed from the situation due to injury or fatigue will be detrimental to the buffalos season. Once again starting hot and finishing not. 

With only 1 game coming in at the lowest win probability, Nebraska’s chances of beating Ohio state come in somewhere between 0 and 30% according to Ratings by the numbers. Leaving Iowa, Wisconsin, USC, and Colorado with a deadlock or a slight advantage. Giving the Huskers a win probability percentage of 31-50% in those games. I do believe however that all 4 of those games are closer to a 50-50 draw than a dismal 31% chance of success. Matt Rhule is a proven commodity in years 2 and 3, However we do not yet know how true freshman Dylan Raiola will respond to such a large stage. Interjecting a bit of personal opinion here in an otherwise very logistical breakdown, I do believe the Huskers will win either Iowa or Wisconsin and Colorado. Giving us possibly and feasibly 9 wins in year 2 of the Matt Rhule era.