May 25, 2007

Big 12 breakdown: Nebraska

Three years into the Bill Callahan era, Nebraska posted nine wins and captured what had eluded the program since 1999: A North division championship. While the Huskers are talking repeat, which is something they haven't done since the days of Tom Osborne, a big piece to the equation in 2007 - quarterback - will remain unsettled heading into training camp. Callahan remains focused on the overall mission.

BRIEFLY: Early-favorite Huskers "on course" to build upon success

Only three coaches in Big 12 history reached the league title game quicker than Bill Callahan: Frank Solich, Mack Brown and Bob Stoops. It took each of them just two years to reach the conference plateau. It took Callahan three. Still, that's good company.

Nebraska fans hope a North title, a nine-win season and the program's first New Year's Day bowl since 2001 initiates a return to national prominence under Callahan. The Huskers slipped out of the rankings following a 17-14 loss to No. 10 Auburn in the Cotton Bowl, but are expected to enter the preseason in the Top 25 armed with a pool of returning talent, the nation's 13th-ranked recruiting class by (No. 2 in the Big 12) and seven home games.

Callahan believes a foundation is in place to build toward another North crown.

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