It didn't take Bo Pelini long to breathe new life into the storied Nebraska program. The Huskers went 10-4 and advanced to the Big 12 championship game last season in Pelini's third year. Now he'll tackle an entirely new task as Nebraska prepares for its first season in the Big Ten.
Coaches across the league overwhelmingly approved of the addition of Nebraska, setting up the conference's first championship game this season. Pelini, who grew up in Youngstown and played safety at Ohio State under John Cooper, relishes the opportunity.
'We always find the new teams on our schedule and we put a little bit more time into those," Pelini said. "Obviously we have 11 of them this year. That required a lot more time. It creates a greater challenge for us.
"We feel like we can line up and play against anybody in the country. We're going to do our thing."
Nebraska ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense last season, allowing 17.4 points per game in an explosive Big 12 that featured four of the nation's top 25 scoring offenses. They have the chance to be even better this season.
The Huskers will get indoctrinated into the Big Ten immediately with a conference opener at Wisconsin, perhaps the most hostile venue in the league, followed by a home game against the Buckeyes.
"Obviously the schedule makers didn't do us any favors in our first year," Pelini said. "We have a tough schedule ahead of us."