Friends don’t let friends wisconsin. Ever.
With the coaching carousel going around, which school handled their firings/hirings best and worst? - KetteringLex
Speth: I’d like to take a moment to announce that contrary to various reports, I am not interested in the Tennessee coaching vacancy. I have referred them to my cat however. Tennessee has handled it the worst so far, and maybe has handled this worse than any university ever. I'm gonna say that Nebraska has done the best. They let Riley keep his dignity and it sounds like they're gonna get Frost.
Thumpasaurus: Maybe, just maybe it’s possible that the school that hired a guy, backed out, then fired their AD did things a little worse than everyone else. Which is incredible because if Arizona State really hires Herman Edwards and demands he keeps the coordinators together, that would be #1 in any other year. Even in thinking of candidates that it would be funny/terrible if someone hired them, I never entertained the thought of Herm getting the call
MNW: Arkansas’s been far too quiet. Come on, Hawgs, I want you to come roaring into a presser on a flaming motorcycle that’s just gone off a big-ass ramp, whip out your dicks, and announce that Bobby Petrino will be the new head coach of Razorback football.
BRT: I think going forward, we need to somehow memorialize the absolutely bang-up job Tennessee has done. Like, can we rename “clusterfuck” to “clusterVol”? It has just been an absolute thing of beauty. I am surprisingly proud of how Nebraska handled the firing of Mike Riley. There was minimal vitriol or circus around it, and Riley deserved that. I guess I can’t speak to the hiring yet, because it hasn’t happened--but if it is Frost, aside from the local media embarrassing themselves a bit by doing stupid stuff like interviewing his mom, I’d consider it a successful hiring process. They knew their guy, and got their guy. Of course, if it’s not Frost… this is a much more interesting answer next week.
WSR: The best was clearly Mississippi State. They lost their coach, so they immediately and quietly replaced him with a good candidate. Well done, CLANGA! As for worst, it’s Tennessee and I don’t know if Arkansas can Arkansas enough to take this away from them.
What three college football coaches would you choose to play a 3-on-5 basketball game against Minnesota? - BoilerTide
Speth: Jeff Brohm, Jim Harbaugh, and Paul Chryst. The first two should be obvious, former athletes that seem to be in reasonably good shape still. The third just never loses (especially to Minnesota) so they'd find a way to win.
Thumpasaurus: Three PJ Flecks. Nobody sprints from baseline to baseline more intensely
MNW: PJ Fleck would slap the floor every defensive possession. Every. Single. One.
BRT: Fleck, Harbaugh, and Meyer. Fleck could do all of the athletic stuff, Harbaugh would just generally distract the Gophers through weirdness, and Meyer, even with heart issues, still has a killer instinct that I suspect would surface in such a contest.
Rate Jim Harbaugh's coaching performance since he came to Michigan on a 1-10 scale - Graham Filler
Speth: 4. If 5 is average I'd say he's slightly underachieved. He hasn't been bad, but he's also never finished higher than third in the division. Next year is going to massive for him.
Candystripes: I’m gonna go a little higher and say 6. For Michigan’s expectations, he’s been a little lacking, but there’s a good number of other schools who would gladly take the performance Harbaugh’s teams have had so far.
Thumpasaurus: 3. I’m not even the least bit impressed. I’m also using 5 as my baseline for “meets expectations” so it’s hard to say how he could have exceeded an 8 given how high the expectations were, but he inherited a beautiful roster situation and there were fawning stories about how intensely he recruits. So why is the team worse now that his guys are replacing Brady Hoke’s? Furthermore, why has the offense always sucked? I think it’s fair to be disappointed in the way Michigan has played when the stage is biggest and the stakes are highest.
BRT: Honestly? Probably a 7. Please keep in mind my team won four games this season, which may be factoring into this rating. If the question was “Rate Harbaugh’s performance according to Michigan fan expectations,” then yeah, it’d be like a three. But the question is phrased more objectively, and in the grand scheme of coaching results, it’s been perfectly fine.
WSR: I’d say a 4 because he’s still getting to bowls and recruiting, but he’s not getting the results that one would expect with what he’s being paid and the hoopla that surrounded his arrival.
Now that Rivalry Week is over, which traveling trophy stays with its current owner for the longest number of years into the future? - Andrew Michael H
Speth: Is Paul Bunyan’s Axe still considered travelling? Asking for a neighbor. I'm gonna say the Illibuck though. Just because they basically never play and it'd take a massive upset for Illinois to win it back in the next decade.
MNW: Yeah, it’s Illibuck. Not even close, unfortunately. I know the Axe jokes are good, but that’ll run out someday. The inter-divisional aspect and competitive aspect of Illibuck means it’ll be quietly retired in about 20 years and we’ll never speak of it again.
BRT: Agree with my colleagues. A Bauserman is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and the Illini would have had to be significantly better in order to take advantage even of Bauserman OSU.
WSR: What about the Heroes Trophy? Illibuck is too easy, so let’s try to pick 2nd place.
Who is willing to 'fess up to the worst season prediction? - GTom
Speth: I predicted Purdue to win 2 games and that Rutgers would go 0-9 in conference. Those are the only two bad misses I can think of without looking.
Thumpasaurus: Once again, I drank the Orange Kool-Aid and predicted a wildly successful season for Illinois. I don’t know how I ever talked myself into three wins.
MNW: Let’s look back at the Northwestern preseason prediction article, shall we?
“”Well, Pat Fitzgerald has told us that the best five guys on the offensive line will play, so that means when this team gives up 6 sacks to Duke in Week 2, it’s just straight downhill sledding towards “we’re fucked, aren’t we?” When there is competent play in the trenches, Justin Jackson and Clayton Thorson are really good, fuckheads of the jury.”
Go fuck yourselves. I’m brilliant.
BRT: I predicted 7-5 for Nebraska, which obviously did not happen. In my defense, pretty much no one saw a four-win season coming. Townie predicted a five-win season, and Stew did as well, though his shouldn’t count, because it was just haterade, and not actually a knowledgeable prediction. I predicted zero conference wins for Rutgers, but only their own writers believed in them, so we pretty much all have egg on our face for that one.
WSR: I had Purdue going 1-11, Illinois actually winning 2 B1G games, and Sparty going 5-7. Whoops.
Which B1G team's record has the largest swing next year?…either positive or negative? - CPT Hoolie
Speth: Hmmmmmm I'm gonna say Northwestern negative. I could easily see them going 6-6 or worse next year.
Yorke: Wisconsin. It’s hard to go undefeated in back-to-back years. Plus, the Badgers go on the road against Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan.
Thumpasaurus: Dammit A-A-Ron, don’t say that! Every time someone declares a certain year the year Wisconsin finally regresses, they just get better! STOP, YOU’RE MAKING IT STRONGER
MNW: Northwestern, as Speth notes, will probably drop back 3-4 wins--all the way to 5-7 if they win their bowl game and make it to 10 wins. I could also see Nebraska rising to something respectable like 8-4, assuming this isn’t a total rebuild and just a coaching overhaul.
BRT: Um, well obviously I hope it’s Nebraska. If it’s not though, I’d enjoy any team that was wildly successful this year having a terrible year next year because you should all suffer like I have this season.
WSR: I think it’s possible that Maryland could take a step forward from 4-8 next year. 6-7 wins shouldn’t be out of the question. And then Minnesota could [OPINION CENSORED DUE TO BLATANT AND DEPLORABLE HOMERISM]. And as for swinging the wrong way, I think Northwestern could easily be a candidate. I also have grave concerns about PSU.
Who will be next year's over-hyped B1G Heisman candidate? - GTom
Speth: Jonathan Taylor. Doesn't mean he won't win it.
Yorke: J.K. Dobbins since he plays at Ohio State and should have a larger role with Barrett finally graduating. He is graduating, right?
Thumpasaurus: McCaffrey all day every day.
MNW: Oh yeah, it’s J.K. Dobbins. Jonathan Taylor might actually deserve to be there this year, but he doesn’t play for Ohio State. Maybe Karan Higdon if he has a big opening game or two.
WSR: I’ll say Sean Clifford. PSU opens with Appalachian State, at Pitt, and Kent State. It’s entirely possible he could put up amazing numbers in those games, and he’ll get bonus points for not having the weapons McSorley had. Then reality and the lack of Joe Moorhead will set in, and things will turn bleak fast. Is it too early to talk about how Penn State will be looking for a new head coach in a couple years, or no?
Best Christmas cookies - NUDave
Candystripes: Gingerbread men, but only because snickerdoodles are an all-year cookie.
Speth: Give me some cut out cookies with cream cheese frosting. I will eat them all.
MNW: Peanut blossoms. The fact that no one has mentioned peanut blossoms is a fucking travesty and you should all be ashamed.
BRT: I love a good decorated cutout. Is there anything better and more Christmas-y? No there is not. However, these are a close second: Peppermint Mocha Cookies. They’re easy to make and can be frozen at several points in the making process to facilitate advance preparation, so definitely add them to your rotation this year.
WSR: MNW’s partially right. I’ll eat my weight in those every winter. The other answer I have would be Pfeffernüsse. Not the frosted or powdered version, but the straight up cloves and cinnamon ones “sweetened” with sorghum. We had a tradition of making these little rocks growing up, and they were a blast. And getting older, I’ve discovered that they go amazinginly with a pot of coffee.
Any way too early predictions for next year's conference standings? Who will be 2nd best in the west? - Nieman
Speth: Way too early prediction? What a perfect time to mention that Wisconsin returns 9 starters on offense and it doesn't even matter how many on defense (I think 5 but that's not counting Cichy if he gets a 6th year) because Jim Leonhard is a wizard. Good luck trying to stop us from playing in Indy again West Division.
Thumpasaurus: Illinois last place in the West by at least two games.
MNW: Northwestern or Iowa. Again.
BRT: Nebraska! :)