It's Nebraska week on OTE. What foods best represent Nebraska?
You'd probably say Runzas, and yes, you'd probably be correct. But out of concern for our collective health and cholesterol levels, we decided to go a different way.
Last year, when Nebraska visited Evanston, my friends and I thought long and hard about what to make for our themed tailgate. Corn had been done numerous times before (it's pretty much the state food/crop of every team in the B1G), and we'd already done a "red" themed tailgate for Indiana.
So we thought - who is the most famous Nebraskan?
And thus, the Warren Buffett Buffet was born: to honor the Oracle of Omaha, all of our dishes had to include ingredients made by companies that Berkshire Hathaway owned. You'll see our recipes below. You'll also see the OTE writers' answers on topics such as how luck-driven turnovers are, whether the Nebraska's defenses failings may have driven Bo Pelini off the deep end, ranking Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah amongst B1G QB-RB combos, and what questions we'd ask at B1G Media Days if we were real journalists that were attending.....
Nebraska's offensive players ate greasy Runzas on the sideline far too often last year....
1. Cocktail Meatballs (where the recipe asks for ketchup, use Heinz, which is wholly owned by Berkshire Hathaway): Nebraska's offense in 2012 was downright scary: 34.8 ppg (2nd in B1G), 460.8 ypg (1st in B1G), 253.4 rushing ypg (1st in B1G), 207.4 passing ypg (5th in B1G), 1st in the B1G in passing efficiency, 1st in the B1G in first downs, 3rd in the B1G in 3rd down conversions, 3rd in the B1G in 4th down conversions....by almost all statistical measures, Nebraska's offense was excellent. Of course, these stats all ignore one major problem: turnovers. Nebraska was tied for last (with Illinois) in the B1G in turnover margin (-12), and lead the conference in total turnovers lost with 35 (a conference leading 22 fumbles, combined with 13 INTs). Do you believe turnovers are largely luck, and this will even out for Nebraska? Or is there something inherent in Nebraska's scheme/personnel that makes turnovers more likely to occur? And if so, what can be done to fix the problem?
GoAUpher: I don't think all TO's are largely luck, but fumbles? Well, fumbles do have a pretty decent element of luck to them. Not so much in terms of why they happen, but more in terms of who recovers them. It's why a defense that recovers a large number of fumbles is considered by most to be a pretty "lucky" defense. How the ball bounces is just too unpredictable.
That said, those numbers still mean that Husker players are putting the ball on the turf at an alarming rate and steps should be taken to correct that. But not in Minneapolis. The fumbles can remain in Minneapolis as long as they don't turn into first downs.
Graham Filler: I enjoyed watching the Nebraska offense very much last year. Things you might see in this Nebby O:
Pass plays that start disguised as option.
A 4.4 40 running quarterback
The absolute key to that team was T-Mart's maturity. His improvement on short pass accuracy changed that team over the 2012 offseason.
FUTURE THOUGHTS LOVE SOUNDS
I think Martinez continues his improvement. I think the B1G is low on high scoring offenses this year, which gives Nebraska an inherent advantage.
Jesse Collins: Turnovers are both luck and putting yourself in unlucky situations, right? Martinez and company have stressed that they work hard to limit these turnovers, but this team has been high risk, high reward for a while now. Maybe it's mental at this point. I'm honestly not sure. I do know that many teams that lead the league in fumbles (like Navy) are optioning the ball all over the place, so without precision every single time, things can go bad. This is year three for Martinez with Beck, and I'm excited to see even more maturity with Martinez' playmaking. I hope that cuts down on the problem. Otherwise, I'm all ears on how this could be helped.
Ted Glover: I hate to pick on Taylor Martinez, but he is the 'something inherent'. Has Martinez improved as a runner? Yes. As a passer? Yes. As a leader? Yes. As a decision maker? I say emphatically, no. You can count on him, at least three times a game, to make an unbelieveably boneheaded throw or decision that leads to a turnover. And that will make a game against a bad team uncomfortably close, turn a win into a loss against a good or equal team, and turn a close game into a rout against a great team. Nebraska's defense isn't good enough to overcome a -12 turnover margin, and as good as their offense can be, it's just okay against good defenses.
While Pelini was speaking, Wisconsin picked up both the trophies with footballs and scored again...
2. Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese (use Kraft cheese, which Berkshire Hathaway owns shares of): As mentioned by Jesse in his piece on Tuesday, Bo Pelini seemed to drop his vein-popping PELINI SMASH routine this offseason, appearing in a Harlem Shake video and creating one of the offseason's best stories with Jack Hoffman's TD run at the Nebraska spring game. I have a theory on why this occurred: Nebraska's defensive futility in 2012 finally caused Pelini to lose his grip on reality. (Wisconsin scored again.) Other than excellent cornerback Ciante Evans, this is Nebraska defense is composed of either players that failed last year, or extremely inexperienced newcomers. What does Nebraska need to do to fix the defense? Where should the focus be as they open camp in August? Who steps up for the
Jesse Collins: I think it comes down to simplifying and tell guys to fly to the ball. In my preview piece, I pretty much mentioned every young guy out there and the Two-Deeps are basically all of the athleticism that Pelini and Co. have brought in over the past two recruiting cycles - good ones at that. So what needs to change? While I am not a defensive genius - in that I don't even watch football - I think that making the schemes easier to understand will go a long way to making this defense serviceable. That's what we need to do at this point.
As for who steps up? I think our LB corp does. Zaire Anderson looked good before an injury last year, and count me in as a big fan of David Santos who showed promise last year. I'm also curious to see where Michael Rose ends up after Fall camp. He's a kid with a huge motor and I think he can have a promising career when it's all said and done. He redshirted last year, so we'll see if he can crack the rotation this year. There is speed everywhere, so I'm just hoping for them to not get beat on the Jet Sweep a thousand times in a row this year.
Ted Glover: Attitude goes a long way, and last year when teams got on a roll, Nebraska didn't seem to have the mental fortitude to dig deep and say 'enough'. They also need athletes, which I don't know if you can fix with one recruiting class. I really like Bo Pelini, and maybe his new found outlook will have a positive influence on the defense.
Arguably more explosive than Braxton Miller and a RB weighed down with prison leg irons?
3. Coca-Cola Pot Roast (Berkshire Hathaway is one of the largest holders of Coca-Cola stock): Ripped this off from an ESPN Mailbag, but.....Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah are as an explosive a QB-RB tandem as you may find anywhere. But are they even the best in the B1G? Where would you rank them amongst tandems like Braxton Miller-
Carlos Hyde(uh, I mean, whoever pairs with Hyde in the backfield), Kain Colter-Venric Mark, Devin Gardner-Fitzgerald Touissaint, Tre Roberson-Stephen Houston (or even Cam Coffman-Stephen Houston), and Phillip Nelson-Donnell Kirkwood?
GoAUpher: Mankato Jesus and Kirkwoodland? On a most explosive list?
My Glen Mason "IT'S A TRAP!" sense is tingling. I feel like the inclusion of Nelson and Kirkwood is a a ploy designed to allow LPW to scream VILE GOPHER MENACE over and over. I mean, I think it's cool and everything but I don't know that there' i much evidence of explosiveness to support this yet.
Anyway, my rankings:
2) Miller/Soon To Be Arrested
Graham Filler: Colter/Mark is #1, if we're being honest to the question. Explosion is different than "who dinks and dunks better than others" or "who has some good games and some bad". Martinez's challenge is this: Can he be less worried about explosion plays and more worried about making his team turnover-free?
Jesse Collins: With the offense in place, and with the overall explosiveness, I gotta go with Martinez/Abdullah. Beyond homerism, I believe Martinez has more at his disposal, in comparison to both Miller and Colter, as far as passing weapons that makes him even scarier with his feet. He still isn't the textbook thrower, but he proved he's better and another year with the QB Guru, and I think this could be a crazy fun year to watch.
Ted Glover: First off, it looks like the demise of Carlos Hyde has been greatly exaggerated, as a surveillance video apparently shows he DID NOT strike the woman who said he allegedly did, and charges aren't likely to be filed. And if Charles Robinson of Yahoo! is reporting it, that seems pretty solid. If all that is accurate, Hyde will play, and he will be a beast. If you make me rank them, assuming Hyde plays, i put him and Braxton Miller at 1, Colter/Mark at 2, and TMart/Abdullah at 3. If Martinez can eliminate his propensity for the turnover, I move them up to #2.
All hail the Emperor.......penguin.
4. Rum Cake (Berkshire Hathaway owns a large part of Anheuser-Busch, which distributes Bacardi Silver flavored malt beverages under a licensing agreement with Bacardi, who makes rum): It's B1G Media Days in Chicago. If we were actual reporters (and if we actually watched football), we'd probably be there. But we're not (and we don't), so we won't have the opportunity to act like journalist and
scarf down all the free food we canask questions. So here's your chance - what questions would you ask Jim Delany and/or others in attendance at B1G Media Days if you were there today?
GoAUpher: I'll direct all of my questions to Jim Delany.
1) Division III comments. I mean, what? People are stupid but they aren't that stupid Jim.
2) Can you just admit what everyone already knows, namely that Barry Alvarez is not a swashbuckling rogue of an AD who speaks his mind and that he is actually your designated trial balloon for everything?
3) When the Gophers finally beat Nebraska (I'll wait for you to stop laughing because it will happen eventually), what do I need to do to keep getting free beer and food from Husker fans? Because the word is their previous hospitality will disappear quickly. Is it as simple as kissing their collective butts? Because I have no problem with that if it gets me free food and beer.
4) Are you aware that you look a lot like the pointy haired boss from Dilbert? Do you have any pointy hair motivational strategies you'd like to share?
5) Rutgers? Really?
I would ask Pellini about his temper. Dude is so cool in real life, does all these great things...And yet. Blows his cool Chernobyl style on the sideline.
I would ask Hoke about the support he's gotten from the admin and donors. I'm guessing he's been treated well.
1) Delany: Sir, do you have any dignity or are you totally cool with the deal you made with the devil for an extra zero on the TV contract?
2) Beckman: Sir, are do you have any dignity or are you as totally ridiculous as you come off on TV?
3) Anyone who will listen: WHY ARE B1G OFFICIATING CREWS SO BAD AT WHAT THEY DO IN EVERY SPORT??? WE HAVE ALL THE MONIES! WHY MUST THEY SUCK AT THEIR JOBS?
Ted Glover: How much money did you pay to the consulting firm that recommended 'Legends' and 'Leaders', and what made you think that were good names?
What type of conspiracy will you use this year to deny MSU a BCS game, assuming their offense can get out of their own way?