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All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.

On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker looks at Nebraska football's 2020 schedule, their grueling five-game stretch to close out the season and how it compares to the top Big Ten teams' schedules from this year.

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Here's a transcript of today's show:

Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.

As we all know last week, the national championship game took place, the final AP poll rankings came out, and I couldn't help but look at Nebraska's schedule next year and compare to how teams finished ranked this year. Now, Dirk Chatelain of Omaha.com also wrote something about this. Very good article, go and check that out. But these are my humble thoughts.

All right, because next year, the Huskers first seven games seem pretty manageable, all right. The last five games seem pretty daunting. The last five games of the year the Huskers are going to play five games against teams that all just finished ranked in this last year's top 15. That's pretty daunting, and six teams in the top 20 overall for the schedule next year.

Now, before I dive into that, I was like, 'Man, what other teams have played tough schedules? Who could I compare this to?"

Well, I didn't have to look very far. You look at Wisconsin. Now, I have their whole season, their whole schedule to look at. This includes the Big Ten title game. This includes their bowl game. Obviously, this is not the case with Nebraska right now. This does include playing Ohio State twice. Why? Because they played Ohio State twice.

Now, if you look at Wisconsin's whole season they just finished up, they played five teams that finished in the top 15 as well. Four teams in the top 10, three teams in the top five and they also just played six teams that finished in the top 20. They still finished with 10 wins, and they still finished ranked 11th in the country.

Now, I was like: "Okay, more than one team, can I find more than one team?" Michigan, their whole season as well, including their bowl game. All right, six teams that finished in the top 15. Six teams they played finished in the top 15, three teams in the top 10, and they still finished with nine wins and ranked 18th in the country. Let's be honest, Michigan fans, they're not exactly thrilled to the gills with Jim Harbaugh right now, but I'm pretty sure Husker fans would take that themselves.

Now, I'm not saying Nebraska's got to get 10 wins, got to get nine wins, they've got to finish ranked 11th or 18th or any of this stuff. All right, Nebraska is not in the same spot program-wise as Wisconsin is — or even Michigan is. We're in the building phase. We're in the rebuilding phase. So it's a little bit of apples to oranges, but it's all still fruit, ladies and gentlemen.

I also just saw an article where Nebraska somehow just missed being in next year's preseason top 25. What? I mean, let's look at our last three years record: 4-8, 4-8, 5-7. That's a record over the last three years of 13-23.

Here's my point, let's be realistic, I'm not saying that we have to go out and win the national championship or we have to win the Big Ten championship. I'm not even saying we have to win the Big Ten West championship. What I am saying, is we need to show significant progression throughout the year. Cause this last year, we significantly regressed. I don't know that we were any better at the end of last year — even though the record was 5-7 — than we were at the end of Scott Frost's first year when we were 4-8. I would argue the schedule his first year was much, much tougher.

So, here's the deal: There needs to be at least six wins, we've got to at least go to a bowl game. I shudder to think what would happen if we don't go to a freaking bowl game. All right, but there has to be a noticeable improvement.

We need an improved play at the quarterback spot. We need improved play along the offensive line. We need improved play on the defense and special teams. At times, special teams was good this year. At times, not as good. We need to see noticeable progression and improvement in the right direction. That's what I'm talking about.

Whether it's six wins. I think this program could get to seven wins next year. I mean, we could start out 7-0. Probably going to lose to somebody we shouldn't, but hopefully in those last five games, maybe we at least beat one team that we supposedly shouldn't. I think this program could get to seven wins next year, but we at least got to get to six.

Here's my point: I don't want to hear, you know, these aren't the players that I brought in. I don't want to hear about the previous coaching staff. I don't wanna hear any of this stuff. All right, we just finished giving out a contract extension to Frost. We just finished giving out three contract extensions to three of the assistant coaches and pay raises and all this good stuff. And again, I talked about that on Friday. I just spoke about that. Go back and check out my thoughts. I'm happy for those guys, and I talked about. Now we got to earn it on the field.

Here's my point, I don't want any more excuses. No more excuses. I understand the last five games, they're straight out of the bowels of hell. I get it. This is football. Wisconsin didn't flinch. Michigan didn't flinch. Everything didn't go the way they wanted.

But here's my point. This is part of playing college football. This is part of what makes football so great, is taking on anybody, anytime, anywhere and getting better. That's what I want to see. No more excuses. Let's earn it and prove it on the field.

Go Big Red, day by day and always remember to throw the bones!

Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.