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MailBag - What Booze is Your Team?

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As always, you came up with a broad range of intelligent, thoughtful questions and we ruined them by answering while impaired. Luckily, there's no two-game suspension because it's not even a misdemeanor! I love me some loopholes...

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Your Weekly Mailbag. Where you ask the questions, we catch a buzz, then answer them. It’s like grown-up Mad Libs with booze.

Q: Will Tracy Claeys be retained at Minnesota? – Sheridan’s Dragoons (kinda)

Townie: I think they (Minnesota) will do a formal search. That said, his resume will work in his favor. I think, with the number of schools hiring, there will be a shallow depth of talent available for all the positions.

MNW: Yes, and he should be. The Minnesota AD needs to focus on getting its shit together and doesn’t need to create another discontinuity for itself. The hallmark of every Jerry Kill program has been continuity, and Claeys should be able to provide that.

Stew:  I think so.  It’s not the worst idea, all things considered.  It’s the easy thing, and without an Athletic Director, and a mess of the department, it brings some much needed stability.  However, from everything we’ve seen so far, I’m not sure it would be the best hire they could do, either.  As the next AD very well may want to hire their own guy, I ultimately think Cleays is the guy for the next couple of fairly underwhelming seasons before MN hops back on the coaching carousel.

WSR: Probably.  Claeys has done an excellent job the past two weeks getting the team ready for a pair of teams better than anyone he’ll see the rest of the way.  If he can get off to a strong finish that starts with punishing Iowa fans that purchased non-refundable airfare to a playoff site or Pasadena, it’ll go a long way to prove that he’s the right man for the job.

LPW: Yeah, he should be.

Speth: Yes unfortunately. He’ll keep the program going in the right direction. Unlike some dumb shit hiring like a Tim Brewster move. Not that Minnesota has ever made a dumb shit hiring like Tim Brewster. Besides Tim Brewster. Please rehire Tim Brewster.

GF3: Townie hit on what I feel is the most important point. Minnesota is playing better under Claeys than they did under Kill. They’re actually finding some offense. The Gopher leadership is unlikely to cast a guy who’s done what Claeys has for the program out into the cold and start searching for a new coach. They don’t have the cachet to be playing that dangerous game against the likes of Sakerlina and USC. Should Claeys stay? I don’t think so, in the long run. But he will.

Q: What are the odds Nebraska actually fires Riley? – Chitownhawkeye

Townie: I think it’s slim to none. He hasn’t done poorly in his first year and the MSU win will be a feather in his cap for a long time.

WSR: The odds of Nebraska firing Mike riley are excellent.  But if you think it’s going to happen before 2017, you’re probably as delusional as a Nebraska fan that thinks he could compete for a division title.

Stew:  After this season?  0%  But ultimately I’d put it around 98%.  Let’s face it, very, very few coaches get to pick how they leave their jobs, especially at a place like UNL where it’s not a stepping stone job, and they have absolutely insane expectations.  He’s going to need a 10 win season within 3 years or he’ll be shown the door.

LPW: Not going to happen. Give the guy at least 3 years to turn thing around. Nebraska’s a good job, but what coach would want to go to a place that shitcans coaches after one year?

Speth- As much fun as it would've been to see him get canned after the year, that was unlikely to happen. Then they beat MSU and he's safe. Two years from now? Well that's probably a different story. I can't even predict games 2 days in advance, yet alone coaching moves 2 years in advance.

GF3: Before Saturday? 1%. After Saturday? Zilch.

Creighton: Not till halfway through next season.

Q: How many more years does Saban have left in the tank? Would he consider Nebraska or any other B1G team if he left ‘Bama? – HoustonBoiler

Townie: I think Saban retires from football when he leaves Alabama. And I’d give him 5 more years.

MNW: (1) I don’t care. (2) Probably not, because I think he’s enjoyed a luxury in Alabama that not even Nebraska can provide.

WSR: Nick Saban is 64 years old. Eating babies has helped him look much younger than he actually is, but time catches up with us all.  He’s got about 3 years left at Alabama, then he’s done. And as for Nebraska for attracting a top-tier coach like Saban...thank you for the laugh.

Stew:  Saban is in rarefied air in that he’s going to be able to call his shot when he gets to hang it up.  I think he wants at least one more NC.  I give him 4 more years.   Bama is his last stop, though.  You think he’d actually consider a crap job like UNL after Bama?  That’s nuts.  There’s no way.

LPW: Even though Saban is a career hired gun, I think he retires at Alabama. His wife really likes it down there, and the guy is at the top of his profession.

Speth: Saban is immortal. I could see him leaving Bama for Texas or USC. Texas more likely. He's not going anywhere besides a Top 10 job, no matter how tired he seems of Bama.

GF3: Though I argued the possibility of him considering a job like Nebraska as a way to get away from the high pressure of Tuscaloosa (sorry, Nebby fans have nothing on Bama’s outrageous sense of championship birthright), I don’t think he’d really do it. He’ll like do another half-decade at Bama. I see 2020 as his last season. He could always go to a B1G team after, in the same way Bobby Ross un-retired to coach again in college. But again, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Creighton: Hahahahahaha…….Sorry Huskers. Nebraska is not one of the top jobs in the country, no matter how much you think it should be. Saban isn’t going to Lincoln if you throw money at him. He doesn’t want to spend his retirement years rebuilding a palace from the pile of rubble it’s become.

Q: Would the Corn Huskers consider Mark Richt instead of Riley? – NC_Buckeye

Townie: As I said above, I doubt the Huskers are in this market. And they just fired a Mark Richt kind of guy...steady Eddie with 9 wins a season. That’s basically what both Richt and Pelini did. Except Bo did it without the religion thing, or the soft spoken thing, or the manners thing…

MNW: So, I mean...why not Richt, then? He seems more likely to provide 9-win stability than Riley is. That said, no. I don’t think they’d go after him just a year after hiring Riley.

Stew:  They’d be crazy not to.  I’m not sure they’ll have that chance, though.  Richt is still a high quality coach, even if his time at UGA has run out.  He might sit out a year before jumping back in, but I doubt he’ll be out much more than that, and I don’t think the timing will work with UNL.

Speth- I mean he'd be a huge upgrade over Riley, but it's not gonna happen. Why not the Ole Ball Coach while we're talking about crazy ideas?

Q: What is your sandwich? - SpartanHT

Townie: Philly cheesesteak with american cheese and ketchup...in Philly or South Jersey. And if you put mayo on it, I’ll have to kill you.

MNW: Egg jizz is disgusting. I will have a French dip.

Stew:  My daily work lunch sandwich is pepperoni, hard salami, peppered ham, and hot soppressata on rye.  But I enjoy Jimmy John’s Italian Night Club (no egg jizz).  For hot sandwiches, I love me some French Dip made from smoked brisket.  There’s not a lot better than that.

Speth: Chicken Tender Melt. Chicken strips, bacon, pepperjack, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses served on grilled Texas toast. Delicious and only roughly 1200 calories.

GF3: In reality? Some healthy turkey bullshit because the nutritionist said I have to. If I had my druthers, a half a pound of Taylor ham and swiss cheese between two english muffins.

WSR: A cheeseburger is a sandwich, isn’t it?

Creighton: Do tacos count?

Q:Whose athletic department is going down by the bow the worst, Rutgers or Illinois? - ziowa9

Townie: With the report out on Tim Beckman, it has to be Illinois. This was the worst kind of abuse, done at the school. Medical trainers quit because of Beckman’s behaviour...somebody in the AD office had to know this was going on.

WSR: The one advantage that Illinois has is that they’re sweeping everything and everyone out right now.  That would be a great first start, but then you have to remember that the state of Illinois is responsible for putting leadership in place.  They’re screwed.  I’m not saying that Rutgers is in good shape, but it’s not a public school in Illinois.

Stew:  The IL AD has just cratered.  The entire school administration has blown up.  Which means they actually have a chance at to start fresh and build a foundation.  IL also has a bit of history in basketball and the non revenue sports.  Now, I don’t think they’ll be very successful.  Buttgers, however, doesn’t even appear to realize how absolutely shitty they are. It’s going to be years for both, either way.

Speth: This is like asking if bull shit or horse shit smells worse. Pass

GF3: WSR nailed it. They’re both in a world of shit. The difference is that Illinois has started flushing.

Creighton: "Which movie is worse: Paul Blart Mall Cop or Paul Blart Mall Cop 2"? Is there a difference?

Q: Does Purdue win over or under 10 games over the next 3 seasons? - Beckman1993

Townie: That’s a tough call. If they don’t get 3 wins next year, then I suspect they’ll be in the market for a new coach. And that screws everything up. But, I’ll take the over. I think Purdue is improving steadily.

MNW: Matt Painter should be fired if they don’t!

WSR: I think it’s possible.  3 wins a year plus a surprise 4-win season and you’ve got it! Let’s just open the future schedules up...and...Cincinnati, Louisville, a home-and-home with Mizzou, Frank Solich’s Ohio...crossover games with PSU in 2016 and Michigan in 2017 and the rest of the West slate.  Can I recant? Purdue’s not winning 10 games in the next three seasons.

Stew:  I’ll take the over, but mostly because it’s comically low, and Purdue will play 3 non-cons, Buttgers, MD, and IN every year.

Speth: Over. But that's a pretty fair number. I spent whole minutes thinking about that answer. Which is sad because Wisconsin does that in a year. How do you do it Purdue fans?

GF3: You mean, like, combined? Uh...over. They have two 4-win seasons in them.

Creighton: Is it possible that Purdue wins 9 games next year and goes 0-24 the following two seasons? Well, if anyone could do it...

Q: Favorite documentary? - SpartanHT

Townie: I’m a huge fan of Wim Wenders. His documentary on the Buena Vista Social Club is fantastic. But my favorite of his is called The Salt of the Earth about Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado.

WSR: Does Band of Brothers count? If not, I’ll have to go with CB4.

Stew:  Man On Wire from a couple years ago was just mesmerizing.  I didn’t really know anything about the story, and it’s tough to believe they were able to pull it off.

Speth: Great question. Sherman’s March. 10/10, highly relevant to my interests, would watch again.

GF3: The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. The eponymous book by Daniel Yergin is also excellent, but not a tome for the faint of heart.

Creighton: Hearts of Darkness. It’s amazing to see Francis Ford Coppola transform from one of the greatest filmmakers to ever sit behind a camera into the maniac who made Jack and told his daughter Sophia to try her hand at acting...all over the course of making Apocalypse Now.

Q: Who wins the East next year? - SpartanHT

Townie: That’s a good question. The Buckeyes are going to lose a ton of their current talent, but they reload well. Sparty loses Connor Cook...who I think carried this team a couple times. Can they reload? Michigan is rising, and will probably be the favorite. Finally, Penn State is a young football team this year. They lose the D-Line, but those wideouts and linebackers are coming back. The big question is, does Hack go pro this year or stay for his senior year?

WSR: Until you Sparty gets it together and knock Urban off, Ohio State is my answer. And just so you are aware, Urban I was a martyr.  Not trying to give you ideas, but it probably needs to be out there for Sparty fans and others with eyes on the East throne.

Stew:  In all likelihood Barrett will be back, MI and MSU will be starting new QBs.  PSU is still coached by Franklin.  MD, PU, and RU are still MD, PU, and RU.  I don’t see how OSU is anything but MASSIVE favorites for the division.

C4B: I’d like to thank Stew for giving me more proof that being #chaosteam doesn’t mean anything if you can’t win games. And to actually answer the question, Ohio State unless Barrett and Cardale both declare for the draft.

Speth: HARBAUGH. Eh probably OSU, but I don't really care. I wanna see how wins this year first.

GF3: Rutgers. Ha! Kidding. OSU.

Creighton: Either Ohio State or Michigan. Either way, we all lose.

Q: What booze matches your team? - CapSpartan

Townie - A shot of the well tequila...because it always sucks. But sometimes, if you do it from the naval of a hot girl, who has salt on her neck and a lime in her mouth...it’s actually a lot of fun.

C4B: Everclear. Failing that, bleach.

Stew:  I want to say gin, scotch, or bourbon.  However, I can’t really honestly say those.  Something straightforward, blunt, yet deceptively effective.  Some mid-range vodka like Smirnoff.  It’s better mixed, it’s hardly anyone’s favorite, but if you get the drink right, you have no idea how potent it can be until it’s knocked you on your ass.

MNW: Malort. Chicago’s Big Ten Booze!

(But seriously. It’s bitter, you’re never quite ready for it, and you have no idea how it’ll go down, but it just has to, because you need to atone for your sins.)

Speth: Jäger. Good for one thing (BOMBS FOR EVERYONE). Not good enough for top shelf, but kicks the shit out of drinking rail booze. You love it or hate it. But seriously, why not all the booze?

GF3: Miller High Life. Not great, often disappointing in spite of its potential, but generally pleasing because even when it offends the palate, you’re still getting drunk.

Creighton: Iowa is gluten-free beer. Some people are born into consuming it. For others, it’s an acquired taste. The point is, most people don’t like it and the ones who do won’t shut the hell up about it.


WSR: Absinthe.  You get enough of it and you’ll start seeing things that might not be there.

And for you Rutgers fans out there, we'll leave you with this:

That's your mailbag for this week. Please feel free to leave next week's questions in the comments or else look for my plea for help in next Monday's Lounge.

Your Friend(s),

The OTE Writers