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B1G 2018: Nebraska Mailbag Answers

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The Prairie Cognoscenti Responds

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NCAA Football: Iowa at Nebraska Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Does Scott Frost have a longer leash that the prior regimes post-Osborne? Is patience now a Husker fan’s virtue?-- dlrhawks

Jesse: I think it sorta depends on what you mean by leash. Bo Pelini, for example, literally was caught going on an expletive ridden rant about the entire fanbase and was defended - even by me - as rational. Bill Callahan and Mike Riley were fired after fairly abysmal results. The only real ‘no patience’ hiring is probably Frank Solich who, I might add, came off a 7-7 season and then went 9-3 with each loss being a blowout including one to unranked Kansas State. Would I have fired him? No, but like, come on… this fanbase was coming off titles. You had to see that coming. You think Bama right now - who Nebraska was at the time - would keep the Saban replacement if he went 7-7 and then got murdered by like Ole Miss or something the next year and went 9-3? No. No they would not.

THAT SAID, yes, Scott Frost is getting a long leash because Nebraska literally cannot fire him. They will be admitting absolute dredges of football hell if they do anything but let him do his thing. Outside of absolutely dismal results - like, multiple 3 or 4 win seasons in a row - or non athletic related issues, we’re looking at about as long a leash a Power 5 school will give.

BRT: Jesse covered this pretty well, but yeah, the leash has to be super long if the AD has any sense. As a few Michigan posters pointed out this week, firing “The Guy” is a fraught enterprise.

But no, patience is absolutely not a Husker fan virtue, now or ever. Have you met us?

Dead Read: Frost will have a long leash. He is a favorite son who has demonstrated an ability to turn things around. The torch and pitchfork brigades will be held at bay for the foreseeable future.

In what year, if ever, will Nebraska have a winning record over Indiana?--87 Rides A Surfboard

Jesse: Are we in the same conference?

BRT: What are we, like two games back? I’d give it 3-5 games. So… like 2072, I guess, if the schedule stands.

Dead Read: I believe Nebby is one game under .500. So, probably sometime in the mid 2020’s.

Can you tell us how a team that got curb stomped by Minnesota in 2017 will be ready to play in the College Football Playoff by 2019, or 2020 at the latest?-- gopherguy05

Jesse: I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ME WATCHING THIS.

BRT: Counter-question: How does it feel that Coach Boat’s signature win came over a four-win team?

Dead Read: I reject the premise that I am supposed to respond to this question.

I’ve driven across Nebraska 5 times in my life. What am I most missing out on between Chimney Rock and Omaha that’s not a Huskers football game?-- KetteringLex

Jesse: Generally speaking, everything not on I-80 - both north and south - is better looking and more interesting than what you’ve seen. There’s the Nebraska National Forest, the 321 mile Cowboy Trail (old railroad trail to a bike/hiking trail), the Sandhills, amazing golf, and a bunch of other things that are not on I-80 because they aren’t in a river valley that is marked by its flatness and therefore a great place to put an interstate.

BRT: Western Nebraska is a hidden gem. A quarter of the state is covered by the Sandhills, gently rolling grassy sand dunes--it’s beautiful. The northwest corner has strange rock formations that make you feel like you’re on the moon, not in Nebraska. Tubing the Niobrara River along the northern border of the state is also beautiful and peaceful. It’s also nearly unpopulated--four of the US’s ten least populous counties are in the Sandhills. That freaks some people out--I met a lot of people when I lived out East who seemed to feel weirdly exposed by wide-open areas. But I think it’s great. Many places in the country have natural beauty, but you’re still contending with crowds (see: Yellowstone in July). The vistas aren’t as dramatic as Yellowstone, of course, but it’s still an inexpensive place to enjoy outdoor beauty and be alone (really alone) with your thoughts for a few days. There aren’t actually a lot of places you can do that, when you think about it.

If you’ve got time to spare on a cross-country trip, get off I-80 and take Hwy 2 instead. It’ll cost you a few hours, but it’s a gorgeous east-west drive through the heart of the Sandhills.

Dead Read: Get on the two lane highways. The Sandhills are a gem, particularly in the Spring/Summer. The Niobrara River valley is a personal favorite.

How is it that Nebraska claims the 1917 Missouri Valley title with only two in-conference wins?--OklaClone

Jesse: Because (a) 1.000 > .750, and (b) we beat Kansas and Iowa State didn’t.

BRT: Chutzpah.

Dead Read: I thought Husker fans lived in the past.

What are one or two things you DON’T like about Memorial Stadium that aren’t food/beverage/bathroom related?-- SpartyOnHuskers

Jesse: It’s honestly a great place to watch a football game with good sightlines and usually good people - within reason… don’t @ me with your stories, this isn’t the worst place by any means. I do generally dislike some of the attempts at trying to be too accommodating. The, ‘we’re nice fans’ thing is odd. I do find the seats a little tight but whatever. I don’t know, it’s my home stadium, what do you want?

BRT: Seating is tight. But yeah, it’s overall a great stadium and a fun place to watch a game. Even visiting fans seem to generally have a good time, except MNWildcat.

Dead Read: Those sanctimonious signs. That spawn of the devil.

Outside of Wisconsin football, what three factors are the biggest impediments to Nebraska competing for the Big Ten West title every year?-- ICEICETHATGUY13

Jesse: This seems rather specific, but I’m answering all the questions. Let’s say, (1) We haven’t won a title since 1999, which seems like a fairly big factor. (2) WE HAVEN’T WON A TITLE SINCE 1999. (3) I don’t know, probably the curse of Bo Pelini or something.

BRT: TEXAS. Wait, can’t use that anymore. I don’t know, Wisconsin has been a pretty significant impediment for us.

Dead Read: I am sure people can take this in several directions, but I will look at interior factors. They all have to do with discontinuity. First, a consistent football identity needs to be established. Who are we? Second, we need to collect and maintain a coaching staff that will stick together. Some defensive backs had four different coaches in four years - stuff like that is a recipe for failure. Third, we need to keep the best players in the state. Harrison Phillips became a great player at Stanford. Noah Fant got away. These were both huge recruiting missteps.

These three things are necessary, if not completely sufficient.

Also, is Scott frost a “Nice Guy” ?-- ICEICETHATGUY13

Dead Read: I am not sure that “nice guy” is the way I would describe him. I think the line on him is that he is smart, hardworking, and honest. The other word people use is “confident” bordering on “cocky.” Hey, he is a national champion quarterback who played in the NFL. He is coming off an undefeated season and earns five million dollars a year. I am not going to begrudge him his confidence. If Scott Frost cannot be confident, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Jesse: In the Bo Pelini to Mike Riley scale, Scott is probably three steps right of Bo Pelini and two steps left of Mike Riley. This is a dumb scale that means nothing.

BRT: I’m not sure what he’s like, but he seems inoffensive enough to the Husker Media, and ultimately, that’s who decides if he’s a “Nice Guy” or not. He’s probably a pretty average early middle aged white guy.

Dead Read: BRT has a point. He doesn’t rant and rave. He also speaks softly. Some people might interpret that as kindness or humility. It isn’t.

What do you do when you’re not rigging internet polls?--MNWildcat

Dead Read: When I am not rigging internet polls, I attend coding classes. My other hobbies include the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, and long walks along the Platte River. I am also a Shriner (I love a good fez and a tiny car).

Jesse: Remember that time that we went to a football game together? And then we laughed because LOLOLOL this was going to be a stupid football game? And then you went up late and we said, “won’t it be funny if/when Nebraska does something stupid and wins?” and then Nebraska did something stupid and won? WELL DO YOU MNWILDCAT!?!?

BRT: Read books. I mention this because I know it surprises people, since we’re from Nebraska and non-AAU and everything, so of course we’re all morans here. But yeah, chapters and minimal pictures and everything.

List all the BIG coaches on a scale that has Hope on one end and Hype on the other.

Hope…………………………….Hype

I would think that Meyer lands dead center because of how well OSU actually performs, but your mileage may vary.

--MsuNavyGrad

Jesse: I literally don’t know if I can name every coach anymore… It’s like you expect me to watch the damn games.

BRT: Is this scale saying that James Franklin is the best coach in the conference? Because… I am not sure I buy that? Or are we ranking based on how hyped they are/were by the fanbase and media? The latter sounds more fun, so I’m going to do that, starting with the Hope end.

Ferentz--Kirk is allergic to hype

Maryland guy

Lovie

Paul Chryst

Fitzgerald--been there too long for hype

Chris Ash

Tom Allen

Dantonio

Urban Meyer

Jeff Brohm

James Franklin--Yeah, even Coach Hype is like 4th on this list right now

PJ Fleck--ROW THE BOAT SO EXCITING WOOOOOOOOO

HARBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!!

Scott Frost--When you read our Frost Merchandize piece, this ranking will become clear. Hype unbounded.

Dead Read: Scott Frost is a paragon.

True or False? Italian Runza > Valentino’s > Original Runza.--MK Mastodon

Dead Read: False. In fact, this is completely backwards. I dislike cheese, so I haven’t had a pizza this century. I love an original Runza on a cool day. Chili and cinnamon rolls is better than anything you listed.

Jesse: <takes off Nebraska hat> Valentino’s sucks </puts Nebraska hat on> What are we talking about again?

BRT: Italian Runza? Da hell?

Is this the year of destiny? With the return of the MackScott Frost and Zima returning to shelves, is it really 1997 all over again and time for Nebraska to return to glory?--HoyaGoon

Jesse: Ten years from now, we’ll still be on top (lol, if only we knew in 1997…)

BRT: It would make no fanbase more confusingly happy/self-loathing than the Iowa Hawkeyes. :)

Dead Read: Absolutely.