For Nebraska’s Mike Riley, the season will be a success if the team wins ten games and the Big Ten West. If the Huskers don’t do both, then it’ll going to be sort of tough to explain away the dumping of Bo Pelini – outside of the fact that the program just didn’t really want him around anymore. There are no excuses with no Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State, and with Wisconsin and Michigan State at home.
For Florida’s Jim McElwain, the Gators have to win the SEC East. The bar is always set higher for Florida, and while winning the conference title might be out of reach, the division isn’t a crazy goal. Yes, the games against Missouri and South Carolina are on the road, and the Georgia date is always a neutral site fight, but there’s enough talent returning on both sides of the ball to hope for at least two wins out of those three.
For Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, the team needs to win eight games and go bowling. That might be aiming too low if the defense plays like it did last season and if the offense can do anything right. There might be several 50/50 games against Utah, Minnesota and Penn State on the road, and Northwestern, BYU and Oregon State at home, but it’s time to be Michigan again. Win eight games and be mad you didn’t win more.