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Mailbag “Replies”

You asked, a few of us answered some.

Yup.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s the 2nd-best team in the West? - WSR

LPW: Northwestern

Speth: Wisconsin’s scout team. No it's Iowa.

WSR: wisconsin

babaoreally: Iowa

Creighton: Wisconsin

Which Big10 head coach is the cryingest? - Big10freak

LPW: Chris Ash.

Speth: Oh it's totally Ash.

WSR: How can you guys say that when Harbaugh is still employed for now. Harbaugh is still employed right now, right?

babaoreally: Harbaugh by a mile.

Creighton: Harbaugh cries the most, Ash looks the most like always just got done crying, Mike Riley makes the most people cry each week, and James Franklin is still an unrepentant piece of shit.

So, is MSU really back or does the B1G just suck ass this year? - waw

LPW: I think they’re back.

Speth: They're back. 3-9 was a fluke.

Filler: Neither. Last year was an aberration. This year saw close games trend MSU’s way almost every time, turning a 6-6 season into a possible 10 win season. THE INCHES WE NEED ARE EVERYWHERE AROUND US but mostly Mark Hollis can summon rain at the best times to wipe out opponents. And not just like a little rain.

MNW: (1) No. I mean, they’re back to being an 8-4 team in the Big Ten that can hang with the big boys, sure, but they’re not going back to the 11-2, shut-out by Alabama in the CFP days. They’ll be part of the cannibalizing three-way that is the East after Ohio State, and eventually they’ll have to prove they can’t win a big game just because freak fucking weather happens. It’ll take whole games of consistent play-calling and avoiding defense breakdowns against North-fucking-western, so no. They ain’t “back.” (2) Yeah, it’s ass this year. But you knew that.

babaoreally: The B1G is not good this year.

Creighton: The best non-con win the B1G has is probably Iowa State. Does that answer your question?

Candystripes: You’re back to upper-mid contender status, which I think is generally where you are when you’re not having utterly awful seasons (and/or John L. Smith coaching).

What does Mike Riley guzzle from his Pepsi™ cup during press conferences? - 2ndcomingofChryst

LPW: Bourbon. He needs it dealing with the disappointments of this season.

Speth: Probably turpentine.

Filler: Vanilla Coke. Nice for the stomach.

MNW: It’s been kind of sad to watch the Mike Riley death march. I was much more gleeful about it at the start of the year, but the like, 2-minute hug and conversation he and Fitz had at midfield after the Battle for NU had me bumming. Here’s a man who probably got the opportunity of a lifetime to coach at Nebraska in part because he was the opposite of Bo Pelini, and at the end of the year he’s going to be holding a bindle on the platform at Gresham, waiting for a train to the next job that’s never gonna come.

WSR: I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Wine laced with iocane powder.

babaoreally: It must be Pepsi if it's in a Pepsi cup.

Creighton: Husker tears. He uses them as fuel.

Are there any non-Badgers rooting for Wisconsin to run the table and make it to the CFP, or are we now all embracing the chaos and rooting for everything to burn? - vaudvillain

LPW: On one hand, it would be cool, but the Badgers could possibly get smoked.

Speth:

WSR: I’m sure there are. There are plenty of people in the world who are either poorly educated or just make questionable life decisions.

MNW: And if you make a Venn diagram of those two, in the center you’ve got the state of wisconsin!

Creighton: Cheering for teams you hate for the sake of “conference pride” is some SEC bullshit. Let it all burn.

Candystripes: I’m sorry, you want me to cheer for Wisconsin? In sports? Does your butler know you’ve drunk all the good whiskey?

How many licks does it REALLY take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? - drstre

Speth: 412. I did it once in class.

MNW: And that’s all it takes to get an Honors degree from Oshkosh.

Creighton: Would it have killed you to offer me some good candy? Seriously, even an Almond Joy or something.

Of Purdue's remaining three opponents, which two are Purdue likely to beat to become bowl eligible? - Boilerman31

LPW: Silly Boilerman. You guys aren’t beating Iowa or Northwestern.

Speth: I feel like losing to Rutgers should immediately disqualify you from bowl eligibility. The conference schedule makers gift you Rutgers as a crossover and you shit all over yourself? That should count as -1 wins

MNW: That’s coming, for what it’s worth, from the fan of a team that went 1-2 the only time it was presented with a tough crossover and that this year has played Maryland and Indiana on the crossover. And got Maryland and rutger in 2015.

Are we done scratching our heads at why anyone would gift wisconsin gifts? OK. It’d be Northwestern and Indiana, obviously, but you knew that already, too.

Which B1G teams still fighting for bowl eligibility have the best chances to get an invite at 5-7 due to APR? - Hollywood Hawk Hogan

Speth: Probably Minnesota since they're so good at getting into bowl games with losing records.

MNW: Wait, is this like, a legitimate question with a real answer that’s not just begging for “yeah but your team” or other “witty” barbs? I’m confused.

Here’s the list from SBN: Minnesota (992 APR), Illinois (984), Maryland (984), Indiana (982), Nebraska (977).

So Nebraska’s not getting in, Illinois and Maryland need a lot of help, and Indiana...it doesn’t look good. Minnesota could make it at 5-7, as they’re only behind Air Force (4-5, with games vs 6-3 Wyoming, at 7-2 Boise, and vs 5-5 Utah State) and tied with Duke (4-5, with games at bowl-eligible Army, vs 4-4 Georgia Tech, and at 5-4 Wake) and Vanderbilt (4-5 and 0-5 SEC, with games vs 6-3 Kentucky, vs 4-5 Mizzou, and at 4-5 and 0-5 SEC Tennessee).

Just reading those scenarios both made my head hurt and made me laugh that Tennessee is 0-5 in the SEC, just like Vanderbilt, while Kentucky is already bowlin’, y’all.

But to get back to your original question, it really could be Minnesota. I think Air Force gets there at 5-7 with a win over Utah State (but they looked pitiful in a shutout loss to Army), while Duke and Vandy could both be reasonably 5-7 as well. The issue is that I don’t know how tiebreakers work in this scenario. Would 5-7 Vandy, Duke, and Minnesota all just kinda float out there and bowls could pick whichever they wanted? Because yeesh, Minnesota would have the best “fanbase” out of those three, but fresh off a controversy-plagued Holiday Bowl (this is your reminder again, Fair Reader: Do not rape people. Get affirmative consent. This should not be fucking hard) and a Quick Lane Participation Bowl win, would the Birmingham Bowl really want Minnesota? Could the Gophers head back to Detroit? Good Lord now I want to see what happens.

Because of course 5-7 bowl teams get you a 6-paragraph answer from me, this might be a totally moot point! In his projections this week (sorry I’ve been not really motivated to do OTE’s, but does anyone actually miss them?), Jason Kirk actually has three 6-6 teams being left out! So this could have all been for nothing! Fuck you, Randy.

Would it be worth suffering the first-ever CFP with two SEC teams if both of them lost their semifinal games? - vaudvillain

LPW: Shoot me now.

Speth: Someone take my ban hammer for this even being verbalized.

Graham: Stahhhhhhhhp it.

MNW: Without OSU and PSU really in playoff contention and no other Big Ten team actually looking like a credible playoff contender, I’ve honestly lost my interest in the game (which wasn’t that high when MSU was getting hammer-fucked by Alabama a couple years ago, to be honest).

If I’m really being honest, the last week or so of bowl season is when I start to fade. I love bowl season, don’t get me wrong. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl between Idaho and COlorado State? POP SOME FUCKING POPCORN. Heart of Dallas Bowl between Washington and Southern Miss, no rules, just points? GET ME ANOTHER BEER. But when all of a sudden it’s the NY6 and beyond, unless I’ve got a great matchup with POINTS guaranteed, I’m kinda bummin. Michigan-FSU didn’t do anything for me until they lost their minds and started scoring points! The Sugar Bowl was ass! I don’t need to watch entitled fanbases shake pom-poms and want their coach fired for only going 10-2 in the regular season. No thank you. Give me MACTION meets FUNBELT, live from Shreveport on December 21st, and then let me settle into my Big Ten basketball watching.

Creighton: Not in a million lifetimes. We’ll never hear the end of the ESS-EEE-SEE talk if two teams make it. If a non-Alabama team loses, nobody remembers it. If Alabama wins, the entire league gets credit for it. Alabama getting blown out of the water should be all the joy you need, don’t get greedy and hope for 2 teams.

Candystripes: Honestly, yeah, I think so. Back to back losses on ESPN on New Year’s for the SouthEastern Conference might actually be enough to get them to shut up for, like, a minute. Also, you know we on OTE would spend the next 5 decades LOLing at it, so it can’t be all bad, right?

How many coaching careers have ended because Pat Fitzgerald or Kirk Ferentz beat a soon-to-be-fired coach with more talent on his sideline? - Exiled_in_VT

LPW: At least Tim Beckman.

Speth: Fitzy can't be the career killer he supposedly is since he beats Iowa all the time and well Kirk Ferentz’s contract…

MNW: I secretly want this to be Exiled_in_VT calling for Urban Meyer’s head. No, I actively want this to be Exiled_in_VT calling for Urban Meyer’s head.

Creighton: I don’t know but Kirk Ferentz once got Bo Pelini fired by losing to him, and I think that’s got to be a first.

Why is the CFP going to expand and ruin the best part of college football? Frontinhawkeyes

LPW: Because ESPN, Fox Sports, and the NCAA are soul-less monsters.

Speth: I've already lost NCAA Football the video game, my heart is used to disappointment.

Creighton: What, seriously? Because $$$$$

Why is Wisky condemned for their weak schedule? - freelodr

LPW: Their non-con schedule is laughable, and their best win is Northwestern .

Speth: Rightfully so because our schedule sucks so far. Is it Wisconsin’s fault this is the worst BYU team in 50 years? No but Wisconsin doesn't beat a 9 win BYU team 40-6 in Provo either. It'll work itself out the next few weeks. Go Wildcats?!?!?

WSR: They’re not. They’re just not a top-10 team. So really, wisconsin fans should be pretty happy that their team is overrerrated yet still undefeated.

babaoreally: Being condemned to hell is pretty harsh, but I guess God doesn't like weak schedules.

Creighton: Because Wisconsin isn’t deserving of anyone’s love or respect. Good job beating all the bad teams in Utah though.

How awesome is the Chair? How much more awesome is it that Minnesota and Nebraska fans were able to raise over $5,000 for Team Jack and the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital with zero support from their athletic departments? - WSR

LPW: I’ve been a huge proponent of the Chair for years, and even asked Mike Riley about it twice at Big Ten kickoff luncheons. It’s the coolest recent college football trophy and should not be shuffled aside because Nebraska’s athletic department is dismayed it has anything to do with Bo Pelini.

Speth: Big fan of the chair. You'd think Minnesota would want to build a not broken chair, but I guess it's hard to make wooden objects without the proper wood cutting equipment for 13 years.

Creighton: Not as awesome as my bronze pig.

WSR: First of all, it’s very awesome. And it’s even more awesome that the amount is now over $6,000 after last night’s unveiling at Stub & Herb’s here on campus. It’s just disappointing that both schools are pushing back so hard against something that’s fun and enjoyed by fans.