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Mailbag: It's 'Choose Your Own Connor Cook Adventure' Time

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It's mailbag time! It's a nice break from all those [redacted] essays, amirite?

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Q: A huge part of a QB being successful in the NFL is the franchise he ends up with. If Cook ends up in Denver and YOLOHACK in Houston, which of the two has the better career? - Bschim23.1

Townie: If you put Hack with O'Brien in Houston, there's no way Cook has a better career. Cook will be a career backup at best. There's no way he beats Hack in the long run in that situation.

WSR: Who gets paid more?

C4B: If you define "better career" as "plays longer, possibly gets a ring or two, and maybe makes the Hall through good play", it's Cook and it's not close because he's in Denver. Otherwise, maybe Hack?

Graham Filler (GF): What a great question. Cook. He won't start the season, as I assume the Broncos will pick up someone off the back-up heap...and with that defense, really they just need a Dilfer-esque "game manager". But eventually in this scenario, he will play, and with a defense that should continue to be good for the foreseeable future, would be ushered into a great situation right off the bat.

The Internet was made for bad predictions so that future selfs can be mocked. So consistently I try not to make stupid predictions that will just look terrible like when I say ALL THESE BAD THINGS ABOUT HACK and then he turns into Tom Brady 2.0. So...I'll just take a knee on Hack. He could go so many different ways.

MNW: It's too bad Cook won't play in Denver, what with Noted Best Knee-Taker Ever Trevor Siemian under center at Mile High.

Jesse: I was listening to ESPN radio the other morning and a solid four minutes were spent on reasons Connor Cook is awful. It included the vaunted ‘intangibles' and they went into this crazy rant about being a captain and a leader. It was weird. They were both discussing how he's easily a first round talent with the ability to play in the league, but then they both ended with, "but those intangibles mean something. He doesn't have heart. He's basically Jay Cutler." The jab at Cutler aside, I went and looked it up. Cutler has played in the NFL for 10 years, has earned over $96 Million, married a model, and would get a job if cut today. I don't know... There are worst comps? Wait, what was the question? Oh, yeah, Cook's basement is Cutler. YOLOHACK's basement is selling insurance. Let's go with Cook.

GF3: Hack, because Cook wasn't even a captain. He'll keep a clipboard off the ground for a few years, though. On the other hand, Hack and BOB are a magic combo! Or not. Look, nobody knows. It's a complete guess, as evidenced by how routinely wrong all the talking heads are about these things. Remember when Bayless said that Johnny Manziel would haunt Houston if they didn't draft him? I rest my case. Only time will tell. Cook's still a bitch, though.

Speth: Cook. I get the feeling that Hackenberg has been mentally destroyed by the beatings he's taken. Also Osweiler could end up being the real deal and Hack never sees the light of day, whereas Mark Sanchez... lol

LPW: Cook.

Aaron: Really? A huge part depends on the team? I'm pretty sure this has never been proven since no one has ever seen the alternate universe in which Ryan Leaf gets drafted by the Colts or Tom Brady ends up with anyone but Bill Belichick. Cook would be the better quarterback in this scenario because he's the better quarterback at Michigan State and is a strong prospect than Hackenberg. Just because Bill O'Brien once recruited the kid doesn't mean he likes what Hackenberg has become. That's why the Houston coach brought in Brock Osweiler to be his new starting signal caller.

Q; If your P5 program was looking for a new head coach would you want a) a non-P5 head coach, b) a P5 defensive or offensive coordinator, or c) Lovie Smith? - JSG101

Townie: I want either A or B, but not C. I want someone who understands the college game, including recruiting. In the NFL, you have to evaluate talent in a talent rich environment. In College, you have to evaluate kids for potential talent and get them in the door. It's not easy, which is why so many coaches fail.

WSR: I can tell you that I wouldn't want a former college TE coach that moved to become a TE coach in the NFL. They're not WINFIGHTTREMENDOUS. Non-P5 HC seems to work pretty well if you're smart/lucky.

C4B: B. For obvious reasons.

GF3: A, because Tom Herman is just in a holding pattern over Houston.

Speth: Doesn't matter. If they can hack it as an HC they'll hack it as an HC. It's more about the program than the coach. Bielema had 3 whole years of P5 coordinating experience before going 12-1 his first season. Gary Andersen won 19 games in Madison in 2 seasons from Utah State and is doing a hell of a job not winning anything at Oregon State despite supposedly being a home run hire for them. Paul Chryst comes in as a supposedly mediocre P5 coach and does the exact same thing his first season that Andersen did the season before and wins 10 games.

LPW: Randy Walker worked out well. Whoever the coach is must have a winning record.

Aaron: I'll go with Smith because I've followed his career more closely than any P5 coordinator or non-P5 head coach. I always thought Smith's teams were pretty good considering he was often overmatched at quarterback. At the very least, I'd feel confident that I'd have a strong defense with him, and there would be possibilities for more if Smith can use his name brand to attract top offensive talent as well.

Q: There was that article slamming Connor Cook. Is that a real thing, some sensationalist BS, or somewhere in between? - georgiablue

Townie: I think slamming mediocre quarterbacks is a thing sports writers do for fun. It's probable that some team wants to get him for a low draft pick. But those stories started a while before the draft. I think this was just mean-spirited muck raking on a kid that was high-profile in college and doesn't appear to fit well into the NFL. Remember, these same idiots loved Johnny Manziel...

GF: I think Cook has genuinely been targeted this year, in a made-for-Internet whisper campaign either a) because people have real issues about his personality or b) scouts are poisoning the waters so he drops.

Quarterback is THE position when it comes to draftniks and analysis. Cook is the lightning rod this year. The article, and quotes, are real things...Whether he's a surfer-dude dickhole who lacks leadership is probably not as real a thing. He won a lot of games and made tough throws at MSU. Yeah, he's not Kirk Cousins, personality-wise, so he pays the price during this lead up to the Draft.

Jesse: Oh, so my previous answer is probably better here. Anyhow, I'm with GF3. I don't understand when the NFL took Dudebro (annoying as it is) and converted that to unable to play well professionally. It's super weird. Comparing him to Cousins is also dumb. As of right now, I'd take Cook over Cousins on potential alone. The draft is a very weird thing.

GF3: If it bleeds, it leads. Newspapers weren't built on articles about what a nice guy Joe Bagadonuts is. Even if he is a bitch (he is), so what? Passes don't have personality and he's handing off a football, not a loaf of bread to a hungry child. If there's someone's career he would want to emulate, it wouldn't be Cousins anyway. Being a good QB and being the greatest guy on earth aren't related.

Speth: It's draft analysis, The only people that who have jobs that boils down to "fling shit at the wall and hope it sticks" than draft analysts are Midwestern weathermen. These are the same geniuses that panned Aaron Rodgers for playing junior college ball.

Aaron: Ugh. I just don't care. If he was projected to be a first-round pick, intangibles would be a big deal because he could make or break a franchise. Where he's expected to go? Not very important because he's more of a lottery ticket. If the intangibles don't work out, just crumple him up and throw him away. It's impossible to tell if "character" guys end up like Johnny Manziel or like Randy Moss.

Q: Early Playoff picks for next year? - BoilerTide

Townie: LSU, Clemson, Arkansas, and Florida State

WSR: Bama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and tOSU.

GF: Ole Miss, Michigan, Oklahoma, FSU

MNW: Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida State

Jesse: Oklahoma, Bama, OSU, FSU... wait, is this a trick question?

Speth: Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State

GF3: Oregon, OU, Florida, and Clemson.

Q: Would you vote for the Spurrier/Mangino presidential ticket? "We ain't democrat. We ain't republican. And we sure as hell ain't Clemson!" - ziowa9

Townie: At this point, I"m ready to vote for a Santa Claus and Easter Bunny ticket, so yeah, why the hell not?

WSR: I'm conflicted by this. Sure, this ticket is far superior to anything the two major parties are offering us in terms of a president.  But I worry about the impact that declaring war on Tennessee will have on American morale.

MNW: Can't be any worse than voting for Dean Barkley or Tom Horner. (WSR: I'll fight you, commie.)

Jesse: I'd consider it for the press conferences alone, but since we all know that the press secretary does most of those, we're probably better off moving on.

GF3: Are they running against Hilary?

LPW: They're better than the goons, liars, and reprobates running now.

Yorke: Not democrat or republican? Might be more than a little bit crazy? We already have Trump for this.

Q: If James Franklin was an NFL GM, would he draft players based on how hot their girlfriends are? - Eddard Stark of Winterfell

Jesse: I mean... what do you want us to say to this question? No? (It's yes)

GF3: Yes and he'd clap whenever said girlfriend dropped her napkin at dinner.

Speth: Trick question - He already traded all his picks for A.J. McCarron.

LWP: Yep.

Q: CHOOSE YOUR OWN CONNOR COOK ADVENTURE:
You are Connor Cook. What do you decide to do?
a) Go in the "15 Items or Less" line with 30 items, then lecture the checkout lady about proper usage of "less" and "fewer".
b) Tailgate someone in the left lane, then immediately slow down by 10 mph once they move over.
c) When the mother isn't looking, slap a bottle out of a toddler's hand. Clap and celebrate when the mother scolds her child for the mess.
d) Invite Archie Griffin over for pizza. When he reaches for the last slice of pizza, snatch it away. Take one bite and throw the rest away because "you're full."

WSR: E) Beat Iowa, get throttled by Bama, get paid.

C4B: F) All of the above.

MNW: G) All of the all of the above.

Jesse: H) All of the all of the all of the above.

GF3: I) Be a huge bitch and get throat-punched by a two-time Heisman winner.

Speth: J) All of this

LPW: K) All of this and take a dump on the M at midfield at Michigan Stadium.

Townie: L) All of this AND he moves in with Johnny Football for life coaching.

Yorke: I'm sort of a grammar dork, so definitely the first choice.

Q: Why does anyone give a shit about the NFL - WhiteSpeedReceiver

WSR: Because people are stupid.

C4B: Because we need something to watch on Sundays during the fall.

MNW: I like hurting myself on Saturdays and Sundays!

Jesse: WOOOOO FOOTBALL! And fantasy football... and because I have some serious self-abuse issues.

GF3: Same reason people eat Papa John's. They'd rather have the worst possible version of something than nothing at all.

Speth: Because not all of us have the Vikings as our home state team. GO PACK GO.

MNW: Ah, the overinflated Wisconsin sense of self.

LPW: I'm a slef-loathing Bears fan terminally unhappy that Jay Cutler is my quarterback.

Yorke: IDK. It's kind of like communism. The draft keeps everyone close so that most of th games don't get out of hand. This leads to games that are exciting to watch and/or gamble on. It also leads to to not the same team winning the title every year because they get beaten down by the salary cap. I like it better when Alabama stays on top until someone beats them without the help from finances or the draft, but the parody is appealing to many, I suppose. Also, the NFL is better for fantasy football.

Townie: I actually like watching former PSU players. I like the game and the NFL is my only other option.

Q: How sad are you about Prince? - LL Sota

MNW: I'm not ready to talk about it.

WSR: Yes.

Speth: Yes, because Prince is an icon, but also no, because now I have zero guilt in letting Canada claim everything about Minnesota.

LPW: Somewhat. I grew up listening to his music, especially the Batman album. And the Chappelle basketball skit always makes me laugh.

Townie: When I was a kid we didn't have internet porn...we had Prince songs. I'm as sad as my folks were when Elvis died. He was the best guitar player of my generation...

Q: Which B1G football teams are most like B1G shootyhoops teams from other schools? Is Michigan State the OSU of Shootyhoops? Do Purdue and Buttgers get to suck together? Bonus Points for pairing two rivals together. (Except Minnesota and Iowa. Iowa can get fucked.) - GophersinCNY40

MNW: Northwestern football is most like...oh man, nothing? rutger basketball? Technically there's a national championship somewhere wayyyyy back there (1930-31), it's the Birthplace of the NCAA Tournament, and now no one gives a fuck.

Jesse: Nebraska football is probably like Michigan basketball. A lot of hype in the 90s and not a whole lot of stuff to celebrate since then (at least in a banners sense). Nebraska basketball is probably like... I don't know. Indiana football? Would be over the moon for some consistent post-season invites, but that just usually ends in sadness too. This question made me sad.

C4B: I'm not sure exactly how close the comparison is, but I feel like Indiana and Purdue basketball are similar to Ohio State and Michigan football. The analogy isn't perfect, given that Michigan has more conference titles and claims more national championships, but it's close enough.

GF3: Purdue Football...Penn State Bball on turf. (Townie: I actually agree with this...)

Speth: Iowa basketball is Minnesota football. Both were nationally relevant before I was born. Both were a real hot mess about 5 years ago. Both are significantly better than 5 years ago, which has given their fans an inflated sense of self importance (despite being demonstrably worse than either Wisconsin program), leading them to do ridiculous shit like trying to tell me how to answer mailbag questions.

Aaron: Rutgers football is Penn State basketball because golly gee we're a sleeping giant and one of these days all these Philadelphia kids are going to stay home and make us great.


Q: Which non-con would be the biggest upset: Wiscy over LSU, Buttgers over UW, Illinois over FUNC, or UNL over Oregon? - ziowa9

MNW: Purdue over Cincinnati.

GF: Illinois, because it would give so much hope to a school that would have been relegated in the EPL awhile ago. C'MON REDS! TOP 5 C'MON KLOPP!

Townie: Illinois over FUNC for sure. UNC was a top 15 team last year. Illinois sucked.

Jesse: Yeah, Illinois in this grouping because it's uh... it's not looking good for year one of the Lovie experience. If I rank the upsets it's Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Rutgers. Wisconsin is going to get hammered most likely, but they're also the best of the group. Nebraska has a chance because Oregon is breaking in another new QB and they're weirdly beatable, but probably not. Rutgers winning is a surprise, but I think Washington loses to most of the opponents listed.

C4B: Nebraska over Oregon, but Wiscy over LSU is a close second.

WSR: wisconsin over LSU.

GF3: Rutgers over literally anyone.

Speth: Define biggest. No one will give a shit if Rutgers beats Washington. ESPN will careen straight into the sun if LSU loses to Wisconsin (I obviously don't see this happening, see playoff picks), the best combination of moves the needle and shocking would probably be Nebraska over Oregon.

LPW: Illinois over UNC

Aaron: Wisconsin over LSU. What's the point of playing at Lambeau when it's going to be 60 degrees outside?

Q: How many B1G teams will be ranked to start off 2016? How many will finish the season ranked? - badgersrox

MNW: Ohio State (3), Michigan State (7), Michigan (8), Iowa (12), Wisconsin (21), Northwestern (25 or receiving votes). Of those, Michigan will finish the season at 3, Ohio State at 5, Michigan State at 15, Wisconsin at 20, Iowa and Northwestern NR.

Jesse: I guess it depends on how you feel about the Big Ten West. Iowa and Wisconsin should probably have votes for the 15-25 range, but I think both could be left off if the hype train ramps up for [fill in the blank for random SEC teams]. MSU, OSU, and Michigan all get voted top 15. I think that the B1G finishes with five teams ranked. Michigan, MSU, OSU, and two random B1G West teams who don't fall flat on their faces the most.

GF3: 3 ranked at the outset, 4 ranked at the end. Zero from the West.

Speth: 5 to start, 4 to end the season (Wisconsin, OSU, MSU, MSU). Get fucked Iowa.

Townie: I think we'll get three to start. I expect we'll see no more than five ranked teams during the season. I hope that we'll end the year with more than we start with...so four or five.

Thanks for playing! Hope you enjoyed our answers. We look forward to your comments below.

Your friend(s),

The OTE "Writers"