Nebraska vs. Iowa: Season Finale Is Most Important Game of Year for Huskers

Ryan DavenportContributor INovember 23, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers tries to slip past linebacker Aaron Hill #57 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 38-14. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Black Friday presents college football fans across the nation with a full slate of intriguing match-ups, but maybe none more important than the all-important Big 10 showdown between the No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

That's because the Huskers need this game badly if they have significant postseason aspirations, not to mention any dreams of taking home a conference title. 

As Sports Illustrated pointed out heading into the game, the outcome of the Huskers' season finale will play a major role in what's to come for Bo Pelini's squad. 

A win secures the 17th-ranked Huskers' spot in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin and a chance to play for the school's first conference championship since 1999. A loss would leave the Huskers (10-2, 6-1) needing Ohio State to beat Michigan on Saturday in order to play in Indianapolis on Dec. 1. 

At this point, the Huskers have full control over their own destiny, which is always a favorable situation to be in. 

With a victory over the Hawkeyes, the 9-2 Huskers will clinch a berth in the Big 10 title game. This would be an impressive accomplishment for a team that began the season ranked No. 17 in the preseason AP polls. 

Now, if Nebraska can manage victories over Iowa and Wisconsin, in the conference championship game, the Huskers will be a in a good position to take hold of a top-10 spot in the final BCS rankings, despite the team's earlier losses to both Ohio State and UCLA. 

Judging by the fact that Wisconsin has fallen out of the top-25 entirely, Nebraska would surely be favored to defeat the Badgers, especially considering that the Huskers already beat them at home on September 29th. 

Beating Iowa shouldn't be too difficult for Taylor Martinez and company, but should the Huskers take the Hawkeyes too lightly, they'll have to sit and wait to see whether Ohio State can continue its undefeated season against Michigan on Saturday. 

They shouldn't settle for that. Obtaining a conference title and a BCS bowl should not only be Nebraska's goal at this point, it should be what the team expects of itself. 

Nebraska has all the tools to do just that, but it all starts with a win over Iowa in their regular season finale today.