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Offseason Mailbag Answers

You asked and we answered!

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Friends, gather around because we’ve got mailbag answers.

Also, let’s give a warm welcome our new Wisconsin writers Beezer, and MC ClapYoHands, who’s returning for a second tour of duty.

Will OTE influence a college football game in the near future? — MH19

Candystripes: Who’s to say we haven’t already?

MC ClapYoHandz: I think there’s some potential here in a $5 Bits of Broken Chair kind of way. The confounding variable here will be the Vox overlords requiring satirical pieces to be clearly labeled (thus killing the satire), so we’ll have to keep it low tech and see what sticks. Everyone mail Chris Ash a bunch of blueberries and let’s just see what happens.

BRT: I’m working hard to be Illinois’ next football coach, and so yes, we will influence a college football game. Illinois still won’t win, but we will lead the conference in Power Polls.

MNW: Brandon Scherff made my photoshop of him holding a cow his Facebook profile picture, so I’m chalking that up as a win.

Beez: What? No.

Zuzu: I mean, obviously. We clearly have a lot of power and this site is a force to be reckoned with. I know that I single-handedly helped Rutgers beat Purdue after my "This is Ridiculous, Rutgers" article.

I’m considering going back to college in the fall.

Appalachian State is 40miles away. Considering something it/network administrator/ software engineering type major. Want to be able to work remotely. Any recommendations? — Uglydog56

LPW: I highly recommend majoring in computer science. There’s a big need for people in that field. Working remotely can be tough, and you’ll have to have a lot of discipline.

MC: Yeah IT is booming and probably will be for some time. If you’re capable enough to do something like infosec you’ll make bank. Or you know, just sell your body for money. You have options.

BRT: Are you a very stable genius? If so, it doesn’t matter what you major in, power and riches can be yours, and as long as you have a Twitter account and a decent data plan, you can work from anywhere. Many people are saying this is the best way to work.

MNW: Major in history. All the coolest, best-looking, poorest kids are doing it.

BRT: This is true, actually.

Beez: Recs about your major? Nah not at all. Recs about App State/Boone/Western NC? Yuuuuuuup.

Zuzu: I mean, I hated Appalachia for college (Virginia Tech), but you do you and good major choice.

Does any head football coach lose their job next year?

Seems unlikely unless Lovie has had enough and is ready to walk away, but who is the most vulnerable at this point? — GTom

Candystripes: I could see a few different possibilities, but barring utter collapses on the part of any of the three or four most likely candidates, I wouldn’t expect anyone to go this upcoming year. Of course, that just means one of them won’t make it through the end of the season, because we OTE “writers” are known for our outstanding prediction accuracy.

BRT: Harbaugh is probably most vulnerable, just because Michigan as a fanbase isn’t really known for behaving rationally (yes, yes, I know, my fanbase too. But they’re not firing their coach this year.)

Beez: Lose? Probably not, excepting maybe Lovie. Leave his school? I can see a number of possibilities, each likely to make that team’s fanbase weirdly defensive.

Zuzu: Harbaugh. But probably not next year. Rather his fall continues next year.

which is worse?

Subway alumni, bandwagon Patriots, or walmart hawkeyes? — 87Townie x

Candystripes: 2, 3, 1. But there’s a big gap between the first two.

BRT: Hawkeyes are the worst, no matter where they shop. Also, what’s a Subway alum? Has Subway branched out from crappy sandwiches into crappy online degrees or something?

MNW: First of all, you illiterate Penn Stater, it’s “worst,” as you’ve give us a superlative, not a comparative. As such, I will rank these three in order of awfulness, not-worst to worst:

  1. Bandwagon Patriots
  2. Walmart Hawkeyes
  3. Subway Alumni
  4. Your shit question-asking

Beez: I have no idea what Subway Alumni is, unless it’s former sandwich artists who apparently root for Subway. I didn’t know Walmart Hawkeyes were a thing, but math tells me that a bad thing plus a bad thing is also bad. Obviously Patriots is the worst option, and I’ll let those Howkeyes slide in at number two, pending explanation of Subway.

Dead Read: “Subway Alumni” is a reference to fans who jump on the Domer bandwagon. This was a once prevalent stereotype of Catholic city dwellers (often blue collar) who had no obvious connection to Notre Dame, save religion.

Damn millennials.

Also, Iowa is always worst. I got married at Notre Dame (and later divorced), so they are in the middle. I do not care about the NFL, so the Pats are the least objectionable.

Zuzu: Eh, I don't hate bandwagoners or WalMart fans though. I hope Rutgers gets good enough to have both one day. "Come fan with us, we have Fat Sandwiches."

I now know what a subway millennial is thanks to DR.

Where is the rec script? — waw

LPW: Apologies for a lack of progress on it. I’ve been really busy with life and work, and OTE’s been moved to the backburner a little bit. However, I’ll be spending more time on it because I need to better learn two technologies I use at work (the Elixir programming language, which I’m decent in, and the ReactJS user interface library). I’m making it a priority to tinker with it today and this week. I’ll provide weekly updates in the fanshots. In the interim, I can give out people’s rec scores on request.

MC: /gratuitous fart noise

MNW: the fuck is this shit

LPW: Trust me MNW, I sometimes have the same question.

Beez: My backburner gets just as hot as my front, LPW. All I’m sayin

Zuzu: lawl

serious questions

1. Will someone do an article covering all the coaching changes this off-season with the addition of the 10th assistant or will it just be covered team by team in the previews? Shortly after the Super Bowl, all the changes should be done.

2. In an effort to get out ahead of things, will the staff post something about the Nassar/MSU scandal and the “policy” for talking about it in the comments? Setting policy after the fact with Sandusky/PSU didn’t go so well IIRC. It seems like deciding now might be better.



  1. I vote for being part of the team previews, unless there’s some REALLY big news about some hire.
  2. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, like, beyond “Don’t be a dick?”

Dead Read: I think beez sums it up pretty well.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful idea.
  2. From what I’ve seen everything’s been fine. Like beez said, don’t be a dick.


  1. Hmmm, sounds like work.
  2. You/we all know what/where the line is and have done a good job of staying behind it. Keep it up.

Who is the second-best team in the West? — br27

LPW: If you’re looking at the past few seasons, Northwestern

BRT: Wisconsin. HA! (This is an editable document, MC). But probably Northwestern, though they’ve got a scheduled loss on October 13.

MC: In before someone makes the Wisconsin joke. I’m torn between jNW, Purdue and Nebbie. jNW had a sneaky strong year but they’re losing giant names like Justin Jackson and Godwin Igwebuike. Purdue’s trajectory is fascinating to me. I don’t know if Purdue plateaus where they are for another year while Brohm filters more of his guys in, but that’s a team to watch. I kinda buy into Frost right off the bat, but I’m not sure it’ll be a Brohm-like instant turnaround. Illinois isn’t showing any signs of turning it around yet, and Minnesota, in addition to being pure, unfiltered garbage, probably doesn’t see that much success considering how Fleck likes to salt the earth on his programs before he rebuilds. I’m gonna vote Purdue on this one.

MNW: Fuck, do we host Nebraska this year? I guess it’s Nebraska, then, by virtue of beating Northwestern in Evanston. Plus, I mean, Scott Frost.

You guys.



Dead Read: I have no idea yet. Also - bite me, MNW.

Beez: Real talk, y’all: Wisconsin. Wisconsin will be a tick worse next year, and more importantly the conference schedule has @Iowa, @Purdue, @UM, @PSU, and @Nm’fingW. Iowa, meanwhile, will have a good D and an improved O, and also more importantly goes @Purdue, @PSU and that’s it. Obvs if Wisco wins in Iowa this is all moo, but if Iowa wins? Uh oh.

Zuzu: Iowa or Northwestern. Wisconsin 1st.

Who finishes 4th in the East? — br27

MC: Whichever SEC division champ Indiana has slated to knock off this time around.

BRT: Penn State. What? Yes.

/dismissive wanking motion

Beez: MSU, by virtue of tiebreaker loss to UM.

Zuzu: Penn State. Because bye bye Joe Moorehead.

Why have we not yet hung the jerk who invented work? Why DID the bear go over the mountain? — beezer07

MNW: You’re a writer now; stop asking stupid questions and start writing stupid articles. Grahammy needs a new pair of shoes.

Beez: Good lord these questions look way dumber when they’re not part of a 250+ comment section.

MC: Yeah you look dumb a bunch. But to get to the meat of the comment, the answer is that the bear got a hot tip on the whereabouts of the work-jerk.

Zuzu: I am 92% sure an alien invented the modern work schedule given that it pretty much goes against known human health and behavior. Ha. I kid. However, it is something that society collectively groans about yet it still conforms to early 1900s factory standards for reasons I don't understand even though other ways have proven to be more productive.

Which is worse? 2016-2017 rutger football and basketball or 2017-2018 Illinois football and basketball — boilerlion31

BRT: This is an intriguing question. Let’s look at football first. 2016 Rutgers had 0 conference wins, and was outscored 357-86. You may remember the FOUR shutouts to the top half of the B1G East, with scores like 150-0 or whatever. 2017 Illinois also had 0 conference wins, but was slightly more competitive with a 350-141 combined score. Notably, they also were never shut out. The East partisans among you will note that Illinois played in a super easy division, which is true—however, they did play Ohio State, and Illinois managed to score twice (52-14) while our comparable Rutgers squad got pantsed 58-0.

Football conclusion: 2016 Rutgers was worse

In basketball, we can’t answer this question yet. 2016 Rutgers was 3-15 in the B1G regular season, with their three wins all coming by three points or fewer. Illinois, at the moment, has only one win in the B1G, but there are still quite a few games left.

Basketball conclusion: Unknown, but Illinois has the edge at the moment

Answer to your question: Both of these schools boast(ed) epically bad major men’s sports during the seasons in question, and both should be ashamed.

Beez: We talking in toto, with intangibles and miscellany counting for something, or sports results only? If sports only, Illinois by kind of a lot. If everything? Rutgers.

Zuzu: Ugh, you're making me think about that season and I hate you for it.

Which is most likely to help Wisconsin get back to the winner’s podium in the CCG?

1) Moving it to an outdoor venue

2) Urban Meyer having another “health scare”

3) the B1G deciding to disallow the forward pass — BradNortmansActingCoach

MC: 3, 1, 2. The forward pass is entirely unnecessary and would cripple most other programs if disallowed. The outdoor venue introduces the possibility of snow, which inspired Melvin Gordon to run for a season’s worth of yards on Nebraska, or rain, which is known to ruin prominent East teams. Urban needs his health, UW is closing in. OT in ‘16, Wisconsin had the ball with a chance to win twice in ‘17 `in a game that in no way looked lopsided.`

BRT: 2, 3, 1. I’d enjoy seeing the second one because if timed well, it would also piss off PSU fans a LOT.

MNW: 3, actually recruiting > 3* athletes at non-RB positions, 2, 1.

Beez: Gonna go off the board and say “Playing someone other than OSU,” followed by 2, 1 although this would be awesome, 3. Watch out for Wisco’s 2018 pass game, party people.

Minnesota 2018 Projected schedule?

How will Fleck’s second year be? Will a miracle occur to return the axe to its rightful home? — Kingkoch32

MC: It’ll be an ELITE boat-rowing performance by geese that fly together. A bunch of HYPRR warriors running into the fire with cracks on their shoulders led by the King of Toos. 0-12.

BRT: Well, miracles do happen. But not to Minnesota. Fleck’s second year will be as full of Medicine Show Superhype Goodness as his first, with comparable on-field results. (Though hopefully not the same results against Nebraska, because WTF was that, Huskers?)

Beez: Second season is going to have a better record but not be much of an improvement in quality. As far as the Axe game, every year that goes by the thought of losing stresses me out more.

Zuzu: Fleck overrated. Minnesota fans will regret getting on the boat as it sinks from hitting the various icebergs of both mediocre and great B1G teams. I can already hear "Nearer my God to Thee" playing in the distance.

better game?

Penn State – Ohio State trading 35 footers in the last 5 seconds?


Michigan – Purdue somehow managing only four possessions without a made basket between the two of them in the first 12 minutes of the 2nd half? — glassjawsh

Beez: Didn’t see either game, but OSU losing is always the best option, no?

Zuzu: Neither.

Can entropy ever be reversed? — vaudvillain

LPW: that’ll happen when Lil Red ceases to be creepy.

MC: yportne

Beez: This sound mathy

Zuzu: Idk, stick around for the end of the universe to find out.

Will B1G get 2 teams in CFP to make up for last year? — badgersrox

Candystripes: LOLnope, it’ll be 4 SEC teams instead.

Beez: Nah not even close.

Zuzu: Hahahahaha, of course. Not.

Just looked at Iowa’s schedule next year and holy cow is it Penn State soft.

What team will finish with the worst record in the B1G next season? — Plain_view

BRT: Illinois. Or, if we’re lucky, Rutgers again, because they make the best Power Poll bottoms.

Beez: Indiana, Illinois, and Rutgers will all be in the running. I’ll go Indy for the change of pace.

Zuzu: Illinois. Sorry folks, won't be RU. We're gonna finish solid middle this year.