Here's your post bowl-game Mail Bag. Feel free to leave us more questions in the comment section below. These are fun to write, but we really need your help to make them good...so leave us your questions or be on the lookout for the Mailbag Questions posts.
Without further ado:
Q: At 5-5, was the B1G Conference successful in the Bowl Season? - Beckman1993
AY: Nope. It was super neat that Nebraska finished its tumultuous season on a high note by upsetting UCLA and that Michigan destroyed SEC East champion Florida, but the only two Big Ten games anyone is going to remember from this bowl season were huge busts. The two division champions got embarrassed in two of the biggest games of the year. That makes bowl season a pretty big failure.
Jesse: Well, it wasn’t successful, but I would argue it wasn’t unsuccessful either. The five wins the conference pulled off included wins over favored Pac-12 teams, Notre Dame, and we even got two 5-7 teams a win in the process. Yes, Iowa and Michigan State got outclassed, but that wasn’t exactly surprising. While I get where Aaron is coming from in calling it a failure, I’d argue we did about what you would expect.
MNW: My team lost. It was a failure.
Stew: Gonna make like J-Cutty and not care. Fuck all of you degenerates.
WSR: Sure. Minnesota won.
Townie: The record doesn’t accurately reflect the bowl season. Our lows were pretty low...looking at you Sparty, Northwestern, and Iowa. You were nationally ranked and laid major eggs. The other two losses, Indiana and Penn State, weren’t nearly so bad.
On the other hand, the wins were big time. OSU dropping Notre Dame (let’s pause and bask in that reflected glory). Michigan going OFF on the Ess Eee See Chumps of Florida. Best of all, Wisconsin knocks off ESPN darling USC and Nebraska...Nebraska! whoops up on UCLA. We went 2-1 vs the Pac12. I’ll take that as a win. We went 1-3 vs the SEC, which sucks ass.
In all, I’d call this a push. Our wins were big, but our losses were bigger.
Q: Forget Disney Movies, are you bummed that Netflix is dropping Zoolander from its movie list? - NorthAndSouthofCanada
LPW: Yes, Especially with the sequel coming out this year. I wish media rights deals for stuff like this were transparent and easily explained for someone that doesn’t have a law degree.
Jesse: Yes? But Disney, so hot right now. Disney.
MNW: Just put up Archer season 6 already. The gal is also watching New Girl season 4 the second it comes out, so I s’pose I’ll see some of that, too.
AY: That is a real bummer, but at least Zoolander 2 is coming out soon.
Stew: I currently don’t Netflix. Between Amazon Prime, Redbox, our DVR, and Family Video, I can get what I want. I just don’t have time to justify the expense.
LPW: Stew, you should get a Netflix account.
WSR: Wait, what about Disney on Netflix? Am I going to have to actually parent?
Townie: Am I the only one who cancelled Netflix for lack of stuff I want to see?
Q: I’ve been on porhhub for 45 minutes and drank bleach and I still feel sad about the game. What should I do? - Bagels are for champions.
C4B: Go watch your wildly successful basketball team, you dummy!
Jesse: Rewatch the Ohio State game. It helps remembering when you laughed at someone else.
LPW: I’ll have a random butler from one of the Northwestern Yacht Club members send you a bottle of MNW’s favorite drink: Malort!. I’ll make sure the butler is a trustworthy DePaul grad.
MNW: I had to rustle up an extra bottle, because I chugged mine after the Outback debacle. But one's on the way.
AY: Your team played bad and you should feel bad.
Stew: Have you tried the industrial strength? I can tell you, it’s not nearly strong enough. Drano seems to take a bit of the edge off, but that’s, at best, temporary.
WSR: What category on Pornhub? Have you considered changing it up? Perhaps something more exotic or that you’ve considered trying yourself? Maybe something airtight?
Townie: Too much time on Pornhub will actually make you weep for humanity. Go browse The Chive or Fail Blog...those always help me.
Q: Does this Cotton Bowl performance finally put to rest the idea that you can build an elite program by "coaching up" non-elite recruits? - GoForThree
C4B: As a fan of a team that rarely if ever gets "elite" recruits, I certainly hope it doesn’t.
AY: One game doesn’t decide anything when you look at the big picture. If Michigan State doesn’t pull off a miracle win in Ann Arbor, then the Cotton Bowl is completely different and so is the narrative. Michigan State still managed to defeat an Ohio State team that was full of elite recruits in Columbus without Connor Cook. So there is still hope for CandyStripes.
Jesse: Yeah, sure. Then again, I think it ignores the fact that you still line up and play the games. Non-elite teams beat elite teams every once in a while, so strange things can happen! All that said, talent is a thing peeps.
LPW: Fuck the narrative with a rusty farm tool. Sometimes you just get hosed.
In all seriousness, Nick Saban had one month to prepare for you. That’s not good.
Stew: Depends on what you mean? Building an eilte program takes a LONG time, usually much longer than even a decade. A school has to start somewhere, being able to develop lightly recruited players is a fine way to start, and I believe, builds a better foundation. Now, once success happens, leveraging that into better and better recruiting is key to sustainability and getting to the next level. Ultimately, I think, it’s been quite clear that elite recruiting is necessary to win a championship.
WSR: It depends on what you’re going up against. 5-time defending signing day National Champions Alabama? You need to have some bullets in your gun. You can build up your program based off properly evaluated 3-stars, but you’re going to need some great players to win a NC.
MNW: It’s bad enough when the readership asks trolling questions...
Townie: Nope. Winning in college football is a complicated mixture of talent, scheme, coaching, and luck. A great coach can scheme to cover certain weaknesses and exploit his opponent’s. Luck also plays a huge part.
I would argue that you can recruit elite players and still suck (see UNC from 2000 to 2005).
Q: Which fanbase will be 2015 Iowa next year? - Townie
C4B: For reasons I cannot possibly justify, I’m saying Wisconsin.
Jesse: I don’t know. I’m with C4B, Wisconsin makes as much sense as anyone.
LPW: I’ll go with Wisconsin as well.
AY: Illinois, because we didn’t see Iowa coming either.
WSR: In what way? Delusional about how good their team was? If that’s the case, I hope it’s Minnesota. I can live with being delusional about a "great" team if we’re actually a good team again.
MNW: I second this for Northwestern. We even have the crushing loss to Tennessee in the prior year’s bowl game!
Stew: Hopefully Iowa again, if it means more winning.
Townie: I was thinking about a fanbase that would react to success with an utter lack of humility. Would call me out for not recognizing the dominance of their quarterback with larger superlatives than I used. That sort of euphoria can get annoying to the rest of us. I think we could see either Iowa repeating or (more likely) Nebraska have early success that could lead to an inflated sense of self worth.
Q: Which team has a better 2016 Divisional record: Nebraska, Rutgers, Purdue, Indiana or Maryland? All four went 1-5 in conference play. - Townie
C4B: Much as I’d like to Homersota this one, it almost has to be Nebraska, doesn’t it? For one, they’re in the West, and for two, they aren’t Purdue, which means anything between dead last and division title is probably in play.
Jesse: Nebraska went 3-5 and Indiana went 2-6, so there’s that. However, the others definitely went 1-7, though, so I see where this question is going. Anyhow, I’m of the mind that Nebraska can get to 8 wins next year. That will not be the biggest improvement, though. I think that Maryland has room for most improvement.
AY: Well, Nebraska is the best team in that group. Plus, the Huskers get crossover games versus Indiana and Maryland in 2016.
Stew: UNL is the obvious choice.
WSR: None of the above? Nebraska is the easiest choice, but we’re a year closer to Pelini’s talent pool drying up.
Townie: It’s either Indiana or Nebraska. Indiana has a crap conference schedule early, but play Maryland, at Rutgers, and Purdue to wrap up. I could see them winning all three, barring injury. Nebraska, on the other hand, has a great schedule. They avoid the tough teams and have mostly bottom/middle conference opponents. I could see them with five conference wins next year.
Q: Hoegher says "We’ll all remember this bowl season for PROVING Iowa and Sparty are 100% clownfraud trash." Do you agree? - Townie
Jesse: Of course. Then again, even with wins from both, I’d probably have agreed.
AY: Yes. Ohio State is still the only legitimate title contender in the Big Ten. Yawn. Christian McCaffrey just scored again.
WSR: Sparty’s not clownfraud trash. They ran into Bama.
Stew: Proving? No. I have no problem admitting Iowa probably wasn’t as good as their ranking, and was, at least partially, lucky and had a super soft schedule. MSU was a bit lucky, and walked the wire quite a bit the whole season. However, I still think both teams are way better than "clownfraud trash". Massey Composite still has both teams in the top 10.
MNW: No, but Joel Stave still is.
Townie: I can’t say that. Both teams ran through their schedules in the B1G. If they are Trash, then so are our teams.
Q: Will Purdue make a bowl game next year? Beckman1993 wants to know…
C4B: Next year, no. Sometime before 2020? Sure, maybe.
Jesse: Ross Els was a LBs coach at Nebraska. He spent last year coaching high school football. Congratulations Boilermakers, he’s also your new DC! So… no. Purdue is not making a bowl next year.
AY: It’s going to be tough with five conference road games as well as a home date with Cincinnati. I’m saying no.
MNW: Sh sh shhhh, Beck1993. It’ll be OK. We’re all here for you. These are your friends. They love you and want you to be happy.
Townie: Look, five wins can get you into a bowl game. I see two wins in Eastern Kentucky and Nevada. If you can pull three more wins from Cincinnati, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, Indiana...Never mind. Sorry dude, I hope your hoops team is decent.
There you have it. Your first Mailbag for 2016. What did we miss? Take it up in the comments below...
The OTE "Writers"