While exiting the Alamo Dome following Nebraska's 32-28 upset victory over No. 20 Michigan last month, I overheard something so irrational it made me want to knee myself in the face.

A group of portly, middle-aged Nebraska fans had congregated in circle, and it was obvious that the combination of their exhilaration over the Cornhuskers' win and an entire day's worth of their own pre-game preparation had skewed their logic just a tad.

"I'll tell you what, the Huskers are gonna go into USC next year and beat up on those Trojans," exclaimed one of the group's more boisterous members. "And just think if they can knock off Texas, too!"

First of all, no.

Secondly, are you serious?

There are so many things wrong with this statement it's hard just to figure out where to start.

To think that because NU ended its season with wins over two struggling opponents and a team that probably didn't care much at all about playing in a mid-level bowl game puts the Huskers in the same ranks as the top two teams in college football is insane.

Have people already forgotten that fun little trip to Lawrence, Kan., Nebraska took only two short months ago?

Or maybe that game against Missouri, the one it lost by 17 points for the second-straight season?

It's one thing to be optimistic about the Huskers' progress, because they obviously made leaps and bounds from where they were a year ago.

But let's jump back down to reality for a second.

It took a boatload of lucky breaks for NU to take down Michigan, and after seeing how Kansas State and Colorado finished up their seasons, those wins don't look nearly as impressive.

Nebraska has only begun taking its first steps toward rebuilding under Coach Bill Callahan, and it still has a few miles to go before it can even think about running with Southern Cal or Texas.

As the days have passed since the victory at the Alamo, I've also heard arguments that because of the losses both USC and Texas will suffer to the NFL Draft and graduation, neither team will be the same caliber next season as they were this year.

To this I say, once again, no.

Keep in mind that both the Trojans and the Longhorns recruit like a Monopoly phenomenon buys up the Boardwalk and Park Place properties.

Their backups would be all-conference stars on more than three-fourths of the teams in college football.

As far as Nebraska's chances against both of those teams go next season, it comes down to the basic principle of physics.

In most cases, when a team has bigger, faster, stronger and generally more talented players than its opponent, there's a good chance they're going to win.

At some point next season, whether it is in Los Angeles or Memorial Stadium, those deluded visions of the return of NU's dominance will be cleared up by a stern slap of reality.