The question requests for this week’s mailbag were incredible. So good, in fact, that a couple have been set aside for use outside of this mailbag! Thanks!
This should have been a layup, but...
Whether or not it should, the Rose Bowl still has special meaning to many Big 10 fans, especially those of a particular (cough) age, myself included. How about for you all? - hawkeyeinstl
Candystripes: To me, making the Rose Bowl would probably be the pinnacle achievement for IU football (at least, since our only appearance so far in 1967). Sure, if IU played for the National Championship, that would be great, but since we’re already into the Magical Christmasland world where IU’s good enough to even be considered for the Rose, natty dreams are just a step too far for me.
Beez: I didn’t really get seriously into college football until after undergrad, so “OMG ROSE BOWL” hasn’t ever been as much of a thing for me. BUT, I will forever have the strongest memory of Wisconsin beinItin a bowl game when I was younger, I think it was the year they upset top 5 UCLA. I don’t remember much about the game beyond my family being happy, but I DEFINITELY remember the g-d announcer or color guy who said WEST-sconsin at least 1,000 times during the game.
BRT: It’s honestly not any more special to me than any other top-tier bowl game. Obviously, I would be ecstatic if Nebraska made it to the Rose Bowl, but that’s more because it would mean Nebraska was achieving much greater things than they have in recent memory, not because of any inherent meaning attached to it being the Rose Bowl. I do think it would be a really fun bowl to attend, and I would try to do so if I had the opportunity.
WSR: Come on, you guys. We’re B1G! And if you’re B1G and you don’t belong in the playoff (and to date only one school has shown that they belong in the playoff), then the goal is to go to Pasadena and watch the sun setting over the San Gabriels. THIS IS WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR! WHOA NELLIE!
I mean, there’s no brain activity...so...
Is Wisconsin Dead? - Megatongue
Thumpasaurus: To paraphrase Frank Zappa, Wisconsin isn’t dead, they just smell funny.
Boilerman31: To quote Dogma, “Was Wisconsin really that bad?” (WSR Note: Does anybody know how to make a “Holy badger?”)
Beez: The school? Football team? State?
BRT: Democracy in the state might be… but nah. Their time of unquestioned dominance in the West is perhaps over, but I don’t think they’re going to turn into an Illini-style pumpkin or anything on the basis of this season.
WSR: Dead? No. Paul Chryst is just doing the Lord’s work and remaking the program in the image of his wisconsin football team he played for.
NDSU vs. Alabama would be pretty fun...
What was the biggest missed opportunity for a bowl game (besides UCF/Florida)? - DtownK
Thumpasaurus: Obviously Rutgers-Louisville, what kind of a question is that?
Townie: I wanted to see either OSU or Michigan vs Georgia in the runner up bowl. Georgia vs Texas is stupid. This is a UT team that got beaten down by Maryland playing a Georgia team that almost beat Bama. It’s a bad bowl choice.
Beez: Ohio State-Michigan. You telling me that both teams wouldn’t go balls out trying to win a rematch in the same calendar year? Would be the most competitive and bloodlusty bowl game of the year.
WSR: This is just my opinion, but I feel like the world could use an Ohio State - Appalachian State matchup.
It’s a vacation with football!
Would you attend, or are you attending, a bowl that doesn’t involve your team? - I AlltheIowanamesaretaken
Candystripes: I won’t even go to the Big Ten championship unless my team is there, and that’s a shorter drive for me than any bowl game.
Thumpasaurus: Might be going to the Detroit bowl because triple option football within 25 miles of my house?!?! Sign me up.
Townie: I once watched FSU destroy Colorado in the Gator Bowl. It was hot. I wanted to leave early, but rode with folks that had a rooting interest. So, I sat and drank beer in the broiling sun. That kind of killed my interest in going to someone else’s bowl game.
Beez: I would consider going to a bowl game if it were in the city where I lived. Otherwise, nah, not unless it involves one of my teams.
Boilerman31: I might consider attending the Playoff Championship game but other than offering me free tickets, no.
BRT: I would! Unfathomably, however, there are few bowl opportunities in central Nebraska. I know, right? But if I were in the same city as one and could snag cheap tickets, sure, why not?
WSR: Absolutely! I love football, and I love traveling. If I had the opportunity to go watch what I thought was an interesting matchup in an interesting place, I wouldn’t even think twice.
NYITTY (Next Year Is Totally The Year)
Any Way Too Early (tm) Bold Predictions (tm) for the 2019 college football season? - vaudvillain
Townie: Wisconsin loses to Nebraska, Purdue, AND Minnesota.
Beez: A very, very, very down year for the B1G.
BRT: Over-optimism from both Nebraska and Iowa fans, mutual cheers when each others’ team steps in something smelly, and accusations of obsession.
WSR: How bold do we want to get here? Are we talking Penn State finishing behind Maryland? 5th-place in the West wisconsin? Rutgers winning 2 games?
Thumpasaurus: I become extremely sad.
That one with the alcohol, right?
What’s the best boozy winter drink? - MNWildcat
Townie: I find myself drinking more brown liquor when the thermometer crashes below 60 degrees. I drag out the box of longsleeve shirts, don some flannel to run out to the orange tree for a fresh fruit. Then I mix up a nice bourbon drink, put my feet up on the palm log out back, and enjoy the sunshine.
Beez: Either eggnog with bourbon, or anything with Bailey’s. Or just cold Bailey’s.
BRT: Baileys and coffee. God bless winter break. ;)
WSR: It’s tough to beat a good Irish Coffee while taking the dog for a walk on a crisp winter morning.
Over? It’s time for recruiting and spring practices and transfers...
Should I get more excited about Squeakyfouls or Shootypuck (or competitive grabass) once football is over? - KetteringLex
Candystripes: Uh, it is already Squeakyfouls season, my dude. Football is done until August AND NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.
Townie: Any sport dominated by north carolina schools sucks. Competitive grabass was my sport of choice for the winter months back in the old days.
Beez: Are you going to be able to see hockey live on the reg? If so, hockey. Otherwise, bball.
WSR: ALL OF IT! Get into the spirit of the season! Complain about Tom Izzo’s whining, and Gopher Hockey fans being arrogant prats, and how we’re all chasing Penn State wrestling. It’s a lot of fun, and the fans are going to be much better behaved than football fans because it’s too damn cold to go fight outside.
Thumpasaurus: What are you, some kind of communist? Wrestling season is upon us.
The one where everybody talks about Purdue.
What was your favorite moment this year that had to do with your team, and favorite moment this year that had to do with any other Big Ten team? - Mochila03
Townie: I’m going to say my favorite moment of the year came early in the Pitt game, when KJ Hamler broke a 30+ yard jet sweep for a touchdown. That was the moment when, I think, all of Nittany Nation saw his potential. He really stepped up for us this year. I’m looking forward to what he will do in the future.
My favorite moment of the year for another team had to be from the Purdue/OSU game. Isaac Zico makes a crazy one-handed catch for the first touchdown of the game. He jumps up and does the Saquon Barkley celebration. Made me smile...and Purdue went on to put up 49 in the win.
Beez: Woof, not a lot to choose from here. I guess my favorite Wisconsin moment would be Taylor’s game-winning run against Purdue. My favorite non-Wisconsin moment was the Rondale Moore career debut game.
BRT: Favorite moment was watching Nebraska finally win a game. It was a really rough start to the season to lose so many games in a row, so to see them finally start to get it together and beat up Minnesota was pretty fun. The joy of delayed gratification. :) I also loved watching Purdue beat OSU--they were so excited, and they just murdered them--it was really fun to see.
WSR: This is really simple. When Bryce Williams went around the edge and trotted into the endzone a play after Carter Coughlin stripped Hornobrook two plays after Emmit Carpenter missed a 28 yard FG. That was the moment I let myself believe that our Axe was finally coming back. I jumped up off the couch at my Mom’s and jumped over the loveseat and took a lap around the kitchen. It was incredible, and my nieces and nephews and kids were all laughing their asses off at me because they’d never seen anything like it out of me.
And as for anyone else, it was sitting in Kinkaider with BRT after her favorite Nebraska moment and watching Purdue just take out some righteous aggression on Ohio State. Rondale Moore going just through and past everyone wearing scarlet and grey was amazing.
Thumpasaurus: Mike Epstein’s touchdown run on the first play of the drive to seal a win against Rutgers that broke a 13-game Big Ten losing streak was really something else. I briefly felt alive.
Everyone forgets about Maryland beating Texas. That was some pretty good stuff, especially for Tre Watson (not the RB but the LB). Although I think Northwestern’s loss to Akron might be my very favorite.
So...other than wisconsin?
Which B1G team (OTHER THAN YOUR MOST DESPISED RIVAL) do you most want to see lose their bowl game in a humiliating manner? Which team, not your own, do you want to see win and why? - StewartRL
Townie: I’m rooting for you all...so kiss my ass. Actually, I’d like to see Joe Moorehead win over Iowa. But I’m not rooting against the Hawks because fuck the SEC. I would be rooting against Michigan, but I HATE UF. Just writing that makes me feel bad...like I need an enema.
I will be actively cheering for Purdue, Northwestern, and Minnesota. Don’t let me down, you fuckers. These are our middle of the road teams. We need them to stand up and kick ass, to prove that the B1G is the best conference.
Beez: I want Northwestern to lose, because reasons. Well really I want all of your teams to lose in a humiliating manner. I don’t want to see anyone win their bowl game. I’d be least sad about Purdue winning though.
BRT: All of them. Nebraska isn’t in a bowl, so I want you all to suffer too. :D
WSR: What I want from bowl games is to be entertained, and I can’t think of a more entertaining, hilarious outcome than Kentucky beating Penn State because of just how utterly preposterous it would have been to imagine it happening before the season started. Just say it out loud once and you’ll know what I mean. “Kentucky beat Penn State. In football.”
Thumpasaurus: Let’s be real here. It would be beautiful for Urban Meyer’s last game for at least a couple years to be a 42-0 loss.