Saturday, December 1 will be the first weekend since early September that the Nebraska Cornhuskers won’t sprint onto the gridiron to face an opponent. Sure, the 2018 season was a bit of a disappointment in many ways, but it also showed Big Red fans how bright the future is going to be - and that future is just 9 months away!

Martinez a year wiser

Let’s not kid ourselves here. No matter who the Huskers recruit this offseason, or what underclassman make the biggest strides from 2018 to 2019, the key to a great start next fall is upon the returning crew - with quarterback Adrian Martinez at the forefront.

According to a Star Journal report, head coach Scott Frost is excited about how the recruiting is going up to this point, but he knows that Martinez is the straw that stirs the drink on offense. Martinez put up incredible numbers as a freshman and the youngster has shown signs of becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten. He is a game changer, period.

Favorable schedule?

While fans never know how their team is going to turn out, a quick glance at the 2019 Huskers schedule shows a few moves that should be in their favor.

First off, Michigan and Michigan State aren’t on it. Second, the Huskers host the big three in their division. The Northwestern Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, and Iowa Hawkeyes will all travel to Memorial Stadium in 2019 which is a huge plus for Nebraska.

On a side note, with news breaking, on Twitter, that Iowa tight end Noah Fant is foregoing his senior season to head to the NFL, Huskers fans are already chomping at the bit to get a shot at the Hawkeyes next fall.

Any time a rival, especially one that has had your number, loses a star player always brings a bit of early Christmas cheer.

2019 quick picks

Can Nebraska jump from the bottom to the top of the Big Ten West in 2019? Yep. 10-2 or 9-3 isn’t far off the radar. With Colorado being the first real challenge of the season, the Huskers should get off to a 3-1 start, if not 4-0 after the first month of the season.

Here is a look at the schedule, and my "way too early predictions" for the upcoming season - which by the way is just 274 days away!

  • Sat, Aug. 31 -- South Alabama -- Win
  • Sat, Sep. 7 -- at Colorado -- Win
  • Sat, Sep. 14 -- Northern Illinois - Win
  • Sat, Sep. 21 -- at Illinois -- Win
  • Sat, Sep. 28 -- Ohio State -- Loss
  • Sat, Oct. 5 -- Northwestern -- Win
  • Sat, Oct. 12 -- at Minnesota -- Win
  • Sat, Oct. 26 -- Indiana -- Win
  • Sat, Nov. 2 -- at Purdue -- Loss
  • Sat, Nov. 16 -- Wisconsin -- Loss
  • Sat, Nov. 23 -- at Maryland -- Win
  • Fri, Nov. 29 -- Iowa -- Win