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MailBag: Your Week 12 Questions Answered

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If Nebraska Beats Iowa Did the Huskers Have a Good Season?

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Here are your mailbag questions. If you don't like em, then you should submit your own in the comments below. Thanks for all those who participated this week...it's a doozy. And yes, I believe Speth was drunk, again, when he answered.

Let the rabble rousing commence:

Q: Please rank all Kanye West albums from best to worst. - KK, Los Angeles

Graham: Wow, so much to work with here. Ok, I’ll try.

  1. MBDTF

  2. College Dropout

  3. 808’s

  4. Watch The Throne

  5. Graduation

  6. Yeezus (growing on me)

  7. Late Registration

  8. Cruel Summer

I apologize on behalf of Late Registration, but it’s so much filler and a couple clunkers, although Gone is a genuine masterpiece. Yeezus has grown on me; came on the other day when I was running and really got me moving. 808’s used to be higher for me, but I’ll admit that many of the songs sound quite similar. MBDTF is just a perfect album, an amalgamation of all Ye’s talents.

/LPW photoshop my head on Kanye’s outfit he wore when he played Runaway at the VMA’s.

Ray: Kanye is a clown.

WSR: Kanye? Isn’t he that guy that took a song by Daft Punk and made it worse?

Townie: I’m an old guy, but I still like that Summertime song. And that whole album...Big Willie Style...that was okay too.

Q: Would Dantonio have multiple titles if he coached a school at the level of Florida and OSU - rzor

Townie: Yes, almost for sure. I say that only because his recruiting would be so much better. Dantonio is a fantastic developer of talent. Look at Cook. He was an overlooked three-star quarterback. Now, he’s probably the best quarterback in the Big Ten. But schools like Florida or Ohio State have much higher profiles than Michigan State. Sorry Sparty, but it’s true. When did you last win a natty? Oh yeah, before EVEN I WAS BORN! So yes. He would have won far more titles at a school that can get five star recruits at quarterback.

LPW: Possibly. Let’s see how far he takes MSU.

GF3: Yes, definitely. But let’s couch that in one key point: it would only be because he walked into the resources that were long-established, not because there’s something inherently wrong with MSU. Oregon didn’t start competing for national titles until they started competing for national titles, ya dig? Before Frank Beamer, VT football was a national afterthought. Mark Dantonio can absolutely establish MSU as a blue-chip program. All he needs is an administration that continues to buy-in to the idea of being a big time, permanent fixture on the landscape. He has the coaching ability. He has the rabid fanbase (hi, guys). He has a P5 commissioner who, despite his denial of officiating problems, has set up a system that will funnel dump trucks of cash to our schools for years to come. Would he have titles already if he was at OSU? Yes, I think so. And I think that in less than two months he could be hoisting the golden vulva and smiling, too. He’s that good.

Speth: No. He's good, but give me a break. There's so many factors that go into it. He's a great coach, but how many titles did Tressel win? One. Christ. Dantonio's won one outright CONFERENCE title. Can you imagine what Bert would do at OSU? Same concept.

Creighton: Nick Saban never brought a bowl trophy or conference title to East Lansing, and he was only 15-17 during his tenure in Miami. No, I don’t think it makes a difference.

Stew:  It’s damn near impossible to get "multiple" titles anywhere by anyone.  So I’m not quite ready to declare him the best EVAR!  However, I think he would have certainly been a bit more in the discussion.

Q: If Nebraska upsets Iowa, should this season still be considered a failure by Riley and company? - rzor

Townie: Nope. If they beat the undefeated West Champion and the (at the time) undefeated east champions...it’s a fucking great season. You have something to work from.

Graham: Yes, the season is a failure, the Iowa game won’t impact that. From Natty Champs in the 90’s to battling for bowl eligibility in 2015, that’s the focus. But will it make this weekend way more awesome for Nebraska fans??? Oh yeah!

MNW: No. Battling back to bowl eligibility would be an outstanding thing, one that Riley can hopefully build on for years to come. That will, however have multiple deleterious effects:

(1) Iowa fans, enraged that Nebraska ruined perfection, will look to reason away the loss by saying that "Nebraska considered it their Super Bowl, anyways." Do not try to argue with these fans, as questioning God’s Gift to the World that is an undefeated Iowa team merely means that your entire existence is premised upon defeating Iowa.

(2) Nebraska goes to a bowl game. Burn, fuckers. Burrrrrrrrrrrn. Gaze upon what you hath wrought, Husker fans, and despair.

(3) OTE’s comment sections are riddled with Hawkeyes returning to angrily insist that they are not merely "getting their cards punched," but that they have real issues with the way the game was [called/officiated/ended by an angry mob of Nebraska fans storming the field and performing ritual sacrifice with Kirk Ferentz]. Nebraska fans respond in kind. As a result, Graham Filler steps in and declares martial law, which appears a success until, in response to the bannings of Jesse Collins and Brian Gillis, Ted Glover returns, stages a coup, and runs OTE as a military dictatorship.

I’m not certain what I want to happen anymore.

LPW: Damn MNW, that’s horrifying..

If Nebraska pulls off an upset on friday, it’ll temporarily salve the wounds afflicting the Husker fan base, but it won’t settle the debate of the wisdom of last season’s coaching change. Nebraska fans expect better. In a roundabout way, yes, it’ll be a failure.

GF3: Ted’s too old to be staging coups, but like Mao I’ll let him be my Chiang Kai-Shek and exhaust himself overthrowing you chuckleheads before I usurp his power. Now as for Riley, no. More to the point, what’s the purpose of determining a season to be a success or failure on the whole? From his standpoint, he should see it as a team that had very little in the cupboard (how many walk-ons again?) and was still 2 or 3 plays away from a winning season. Much like my beloved Army, the new coach walked into a steaming mess and was expected to turn chicken shit into chicken salad. If he goes out there and beats Iowa, everyone from Lincoln to Omaha to (some third Nebraska town) should look at Mike Riley as a guy who can really turn that program into a solid winner with quality players, and then hand it off to a coach who can take it to the next level. Call me foolish, but I think there’s a lot of potential for good things in Lincoln under Riley. And if he beats Iowa….burn, baby, burn…

Speth: I don't even care about this question. I do care about the thought of OTE coups. I just thoroughly enjoy my position of comfort and stability as the only active Wisconsin writer. It's like being one of the landed wealthy in the banana republic that is OTE.

Creighton: If diddling through a terrible season where mediocrity would be an upgrade is considered a success because they beat Iowa, then let’s just start calling Nebraska "Iowa State" and get it over with.

WSR: Yes. You’re supposed to beat Nebraska.  Beating an upstart isn’t supposed to be special, it’s what you do.  I mean, that would be the case if you were still NEBRASKA instead of just Nebraska.

Stew:  Fuck Nebraska

Thumpasuarus: There are many levels of failure, as this Illini fan can attest. Nebraska certainly failed preseason expectations, so this could be viewed like already losing three tricks in Euchre. It’s not ideal, but beating MSU is one hell of a way to get the stopper. To close out the regular season against teams with a combined record of 20-0 coming in would do the most important thing when a season has already fallen short: get teh fans hyped for next year and believing in Mike Riley’s coaching staff.

Q: Most surprising end to a game you’ve seen or most devastating? - CapSpartan

Thump: Two spring to mind (I didn’t see the senior day debacle against Minnesota in 2010). Allowing Tate Forcier to lead Michigan back into the game, ending with a 67-65 3OT game against a Vic Koenning defense that would go on to dominate an Art Briles/RG3 Baylor squad in the bowl game. But I don’t think anything can top the end of the 2009 season, the one where we were supposed to compete for the conference title, but instead went into the Fresno State game 3-8. Mikel LeShoure and Ryan Mathews staged a second half track meet, leaving us iwth a 7 point lead and 6 seconds to defend the end zone. Naturally we allowed a touchdown. Fresno went for two and Doug Pilcher blew the play up in the backfield, dragging down the QB...except he lobbed a grenade towards the endzone on his way down. Furtnately, an Illini DB (Patrick Nixon-Youman? I’m doing this from memory) swatted down the pass...directly to an offensive lineman at the 2. He proceeded to lumber into the end zone to win the game 53-52. All 500 remaining fans were astonished.

MNW: Ay yo Salt Creek and Stadium, can I borrow that .gif?

Townie: Hey Detigers, you want to take this one? The 2002 Michigan game when David fucking Witvoet gave Michigan enough time back on the clock to beat PSU? Fuck him with Purdue’s hammer. Here’s that whole crew:

Three of the officials who worked Penn State's 27-24 overtime loss at Michigan Stadium on Saturday reside in Michigan. Referee David Witvoet lives in Plainwell, Mich; umpire Tony Payne in Lansing, Mich; and back judge Dino Paganelli in Wyoming, Mich. The other officials were: Daniel Capron, of Chicago, who was reprimanded by the conference earlier this season for poor performance;

That was such bullshit...but the Michigan fans are totally okay with that one.

C4B: Sadly, I could probably do an article series about just this, but I’ll compromise and just give one. The year is 2012. The location is Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana. The opponent is Ball State. Having fallen behind the Cardinals, sending most of the fans from the stadium, the Hoosiers rally to take a 39-38 lead with 53 seconds left. Those few of us who have stayed are ecstatic, and praying that Indiana can stop Ball State one last time. The Cardinals drive to the IU 43, and then Keith Wenning tosses a pass to Willie Snead which looks on the replay to have been caught out of bounds. The reason we in the stadium even saw the replay was because it had been ruled a catch initially, and it was under review. Upon further review, the call was upheld. For so few people remaining, the booing of the call was tremendous. Ball State then kicked the game winning field goal. They shouldn’t have even had the chance. We lost to a MAC team at home because we couldn’t get one last stop. We lost to a MAC team two years in a row because we couldn’t get one last stop. It still hurts to this day, and I am still 100% convinced that Snead didn’t make that damn catch.

LPW: All of you can sit down and shut the fuck up. I was at Northwestern - Michigan State in 2006 when a team led by JOHN L FUCKING SMITH scored 38 unanswered points to come back from a 38-3 deficit with 9:54 in the fourth quarter. My Spartan friends still never let me forget it. FUCK!

GF3: The 2005 OSU-Michigan game was a big surprise. I thought Tressel’s squad was going down, and then the Big House Magic™ took a turn for the good guys with this gem. Say what you want about the NFL career that never was, but Troy Smith was one hell of a QB.


Creighton: Staying positive and pretending I wasn’t present for Iowa vs Central Michigan in 2012: Hands down the craziest ending I’ve ever seen was the 2005 Capital One Bowl vs LSU. You guys know what happened: Less than a minute to go, Iowa is down, but driving towards field goal range. Iowa gets flagged, and none of the Hawkeyes realize the clock is still running. The ball is snapped, coverage breaks down and Drew Tate hits senior Warren Holloway for his first career touchdown reception. That game featured both Nick Saban and JaMarcus Russell. Without fact checking, I’m just going to assume those two went on to lead long, successful NFL careers.

WSR: Amateurs.  Would you like soul-crushing that ends a tie game and sends your season and a coach into a downward spiral? Because that’d be homecoming 2008 against Northwestern when Adam Weber throws game-ending pick 6. Minnesota was 7-1 at the time, and didn’t even get close to winning another game (including 55-0).

Or would you prefer to be up 21 points in the 4th quarter against a top 15 opponent that you haven’t beaten since 1986 only to watch them run screen after screen after screen for 10 yards a pop and watch a commanding lead melt into an inevitable loss? Because that was Michigan 2003.

But both of those are wrong answers, just like everything else that was mentioned by everyone else. Because wisconsin 2005 happened. All you have to do is successfully punt the ball. It’s the B1GGEST activity in a football game there is. And Glen Mason couldn’t get his team to do it.

Stew:  2010 WI and 2010 OSU.  That was supposed to be a special season.  Iowa was leading late in the 4th quarter against both.  Bert called the fake punt, and Pryor ran for 11 on 4th and 10.  Back breaking.  There have been losses to worse teams, on more improbably plays, but those are the two losses that stick out of what might have been.

Ray: That time we lost to West Virginia in 3 OT on a dropped 2 point conversion that would have won it, the week after beating the #3 school in the country. Lost the Big East, lost the BCS bowl and I still get the sadface whenever I see a WVU jersey.

Q: Is Purdue Contagious? - CapSpartan

MNW: Only in a philosophical sense; can what does not exist truly infect?

Thumpasaurus: Yes, Purdue is contagious, or at least the ACL fairy latched onto Illinois at some point last year. Who wants to take her back?

Townie: I’m still pondering MNW’s philosophical conundrum.

LPW: Likewise

C4B: Yes, but you can build up an immunity to it. Much like iocane powder.

Speth: MSU-Wisconsin 2011. Fuck you Rocket. That was our national title year. OSU was just a let down in response to MSU.

Creighton: Why? Did Rutgers fool around with them recently?

Ray: I don’t know about Purdue, but we got crabs from Maryland.

GF3: Absolutely! Oh wait, I read "Purdue" as "Jabrill Peppers"

Q: How quickly should Buckeye fans run Tim Beck out of town? - Pariahwulfen

Graham: Yesterday and we all know it. It’s been an 11 game exposure of the difference between last year’s offense and this year’s confusion.

LPW: I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet. What the heck OSU fans??!? Hop to it.

GF3: Oh, we’re going to let him leave under his own power? Come, wulfie. You know that ain’t how this works. I’ll get the tar, you bring the feathers, Trasch can bring a rail. Let’s carry him to Illinois. They’re hopeless anyway. Seriously though, the guy is a clown. We all think football coaching is like driving, insofar as the average American is pretty sure they’re excellent at it. By and large we’re insane to think that, but Tim Beck is one of the few coaches I feel I could reasonably out-coach in game. He’s a wizard (supposedly) at formations and play design, but seemingly has no clue about how to set a defense up. Ever hear of constraint plays, Tim? They’re a thing. Wikipedia it, jackwagon.

Speth: I'm in no position to comment on offensive struggles. OSU ran for positive net yardage? You should extend Beck. /Wisconsin just lost 10 yard on 2 plays /Wisconsin just turned it over again

Thump: Tim Beck, man. Tim Beck. Man, I don’t know what they were thinking.

Creighton: We all now know that the key to getting Buckeyes to leave Columbus is to suffer a devastating loss and let them blame someone else for the shortcoming. Unfortunately for Beck, I don’t think the NFL will welcome him the same open arms as Zeke and Cardale.

WSR: Too late

Stew:  About 3 weeks ago.

Q: Would you rather see a Penn State win against Sparty or a last second loss that rips the heart out of the winner of "The Game"? - ChrisHarrell’s_stache05

Thump: HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HAT HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE

MNW: No, yes, no, potato.

Townie: I want Penn State to win and...though it pain’s me to say it, I hope OSU skull fucks Michigan. I want Urban Meyer to continue to throw the ball when they are up 48 points in the third quarter. But I really want Penn State to beat MSU and get to a good bowl.

LPW: I’d like to have Michigan add insult to MSU’s injury of Ohio State!

C4B: Don’t care, trying to hang on to BUCKET and go bowling.

GF3: I want OSU to steamroll Rudock and I want MSU to steamroll through the playoffs. The SEC faps to one another, and all it ever got them was years of insane TV dollars and top-flight recruits. I’ll offer up a "Go Green!" for that.

Speth: Winner doesn't get axe. Does not compute

Creighton: I think I speak for everyone when I say that as long as either Michigan or Ohio State’s fans are left totally and completely devastated, the rest of us will sleep easy. The crazier the better: I want this game to make the ending to Michigan-Michigan State look as predictable as the ending to Titanic.

Stew:  Whatever causes the most amount of pain.

Ray: I want to see all of them tie and all of the coaches quit on the spot. That would be super. If I had to pick, I’d rather see some drama in "The Game" than see Happy Valley get a win.

Q: Most overrated and underrated foods served on Thanksgiving? - K_Sull

Graham: Underrated, cornbread. A perfectly done piece of cornbread mixed in the middle of turkey and gravy and stuffing...really brings everything together. Too soft or too hard? The cornbread serves as a barrier from enjoying those combination bites.

Townie: The most under-rated is gravy. Turkey gravy is the bomb. Over-rated is ambrosia. Do you guys do ambrosia? I don’t but I know a ton of people who do. Look, ambrosia is fucking gross. It’s mini marshmallows and mayonnaise. GTFO.

MNW: Underrated: homemade stuffing that’s been sitting inside that bird. Got damn I love me some stuffing. Overrated: no Thanksgiving food is overrated. Shut the fuck up and stop ruining a wonderful meal for the rest of us.

GF3: Overrated? Mashed potatoes. Everyone loves good mashed potatoes, but 99% of the ones you eat in someone’s home are an abomination. Dry, elmer’s paste with some butter dumped in in the hopes of saving the culinary mortar from its inevitable outcome. Underrated? Real cranberry relish. Made with fresh berries and orange juice. It saves dry turkey, it turns stuffing into wonder food, and the best post-Thanksgiving sandwich is turkey with salt, cream cheese, and cranberry relish.

Speth: Overrated- Turkey. Yeah, I said it. Chicken>Turkey. Pheasant>Turkey. Duck>Turkey. Quail>Turkey. Goose>Turkey. The only birds more overrated than turkeys are Hawkeyes.

Underrated-Everything besides turkey. I love Thanksgiving

Creighton: Overrated is whatever "hotdish" they decide to bring to a Minnesota Thanksgiving. Its called green bean CASSEROLE, and it still tastes like warm crap. Underrated is the ungodly amount of scotch everyone drinks before stumbling into the living room to laugh at the Detroit Lions before passing out and making their kids drive home. That’s how every family does Thanksgiving, right?

WSR: Overrated? We’re talking about a festival where we’re getting together with family, in some cases for the only time of the year, and celebrating being together and having plenty and our health.  As people get older and pass on, I can’t think of any of the food that we make that isn’t good and important when these things are added in.  Underrated?  That’d be the alcohol.

Stew:  The whole meal is overrated.  Turkey has little flavor, only the dark meat is any good, and there’s not enough.  The white meat is usually dried out and tasteless.  The Mashed potatoes usually are disappointing and don’t make good leftovers.  Cranberries are good, cranberry sauce is not.  No one makes homemade pumpkin pie, anymore so that’s merely ok, and needs copious amounts of whipped cream.  Casserole is just plain not good.  The only thing that is never disappointing is the dinner rolls.  Fresh baked bread is always awesome.

Ray: Underrated? Kraft Stovetop Stuffing. People have been trying to improve upon the recipe for millennia. It’s unstoppable. Just give in and enjoy the most perfect form of food mankind has ever developed. Overrated? Turkey. It’s fine, but it's no bacon.

BONUS THANKSGIVING QUESTION: Are you a "food combiner" or does each food have a separate space on the plate?

Graham: COMBO!

Townie: Combiner! You have to mix the cranberries with the salty stuff to make them all taste good.

LPW: I’ve never given it much thought. I just plop the food on the plate.

GF3: My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. I take all the foods in order and but them in one bowl. Turkey first, then potatoes, gravy, stuffing, casseroles, cranberries, and finally I invert a piece of pie on top. You may sneer, but try it. The greatest trick America ever pulled was creating a meal where the dessert and the main course taste amazing in the same bite.

Speth: Combo. Ain't nobody got time to keep food separate.

Creighton: No, that’s stupid. My stomach combines food for me. My mouth doesn’t need ham all up in my cranberries.

WSR: Everything is separate but equal, and should be in it’s own location on the plate. Nothing needs to co-mingle.

Stew:  You cooked the damn food separately for reason.

Ray: Unlike people, food should be segregated. You people are animals.

Q: What kind of apples should I put in my stuffing? - johnnyb0731

Townie: Umm, do you even cook? Kidding. Granny Smiths give you the tart taste you want.

LPW: SpartanHT should answer this question.

GF3: Honeycrisp. Or anything else not called Red Delicious, which is the biggest half-truth in food.

Speth: None. Cinnamon raisin stuffing or GTFO.

Thump: Underrated: that Ocean Spray cranberry sauce stuff that keeps the shape of the can when you pour it out. I could eat that stuff all day every day.

Creighton: Use something weird like olives or grapes. Probably won’t taste any good, but it will be a great conversation starter. BONUS: leftover olives can be used for your mid-day martinis!

Stew:  This isn’t a pig.

Q: If Celebrity Deathmatch was still around, who would you want to see fight? - 87 Rides a Surfboard

Townie: I loved Celebrity Deathmatch. I want to see a Trump vs. Jeb Bush Deathmatch. Let’s Get It On!

LPW: How about Ted Cruz vs Ben Carson.. Or better yet, Jennifer Aniston vs Angelina Jolie! I think she’s never gotten over Brad picking Angelina.

Thump: How about some unfinished sports fights? I’m thinking principally of Tim Beckman vs Bill Cubit. Cubit would have a tough time connecting on his punches, but Beckman’s defense up the middle is always suspect. I wish this fight would have gone the distance back in November 2013.

GF3: Delaney and Mike Slive.

Speth: Ted Glover versus the kids on his lawn. Would also enjoy Taylor Swift vs Katy Perry

Creighton: Jim Harbaugh vs Bo Pelini--If Jim is willing to terrorize an innocent 12 year-old in a meaningless laser tag game, imagine what he would do to someone who actually has it coming.

Stew:  Hawk Harrelson and Bill James

Q: How entertaining would OTE be if: Illinois beats Northwestern; Iowa just barely beats Nebraska; Wisconsin gets blatantly screwed by yet another late call to lose the Axe; Penn State gets all sorts of favorable calls and squeeks out a win vs the Fightin’ Chips; JT has to leave the OSU-Michigan game and Cardale Jones looks dominant? - dbl5030

MNW: I have reported you to Ted Glover. Come the Revolution, you shall be shot.

Townie: It would be better if Nebby beats Iowa because refs. Then you’d have what we would call, the great Trifecta of 2015. When Iowa/Sparty/Wiscy burned down the internet because of the refs.

LPW: If that happens I’ll have to put on firefighting gear just to moderate the comments here.

GF3: I’m too old for that kind of boner and too young for a stroke. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

Speth: So I'll ignore Wisconsin losing to Minnesota because that can't happen. Illinois beating NU=lol, Iowa beating Nebby=whatever, and OSU beating Michigan=more whatever. What would be amusing is PSU beating MSU because holy East Division clusterfuck. OTE continues to be a bastion of batshit insanity regardless.

Creighton: You lost me at the part where you implied that the OTE comments are somehow capable of being less reasonable

WSR: I’m just confused as to how could wisconsin get screwed out of a win. They don’t deserve to win. They don’t deserve happiness. If it wasn’t for pesky genocide laws, I’d argue that they shouldn’t be allowed to exist and that we should do something about it.

Stew:  This sounds like a best case scenario to me.  But only if while Playskool looks dominant, OSU also loses.

There you have it. We have opined, now it is your turn.

Your friend(s),

The OTE "Writers"