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MAILBAG ANSWERS!

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Behold the glory of a bunch of us answering questions!

“Hello darkness my old friend...”
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

What do you think of BYU’s icing the thiccker strategy? Was it diabolically genius of them to call two consecutive timeouts to plant the seed of expectation in Gaglianone’s mind that they’d call the third one and messing up his concentration? - Hollywood Hawk Hogan

Thumpasaurus: I don’t know if you meant to target me specifically, HHH, but I direct you to the infamous Purdoink of 2016. I don’t care to recap it.

Beez: There never will be a way to test whether icing “works,” so when I’m president everyone will have to shut the fuck up about it and find some other nonsense “conventional wisdom” to yack about while we wait 10 minutes to run one play. And in response to the loosers and haters out there, no, I will not ban the practice of icing as President, for I love freedom; however, you will all have to suffer through watching a “smart,” “tactical” coach “ice” the “kicker” without being allowed to comment on it.

Boilerman31: Meh, icing the kicker just lengthens a game already filled with enough delays. One timeout, okay, sure. More than that, you’re just being a Harbaugh. Stop it.

WSR: The only time I’d consider icing a kicker would be if I had 3 times outs and could call two of them. In this case, I think the only reason it worked on Gaglainone is because it made him wait even longer before he got to his next meal and he started to think about food.

Jesse: Sometimes a kicker misses. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a coach calls timeouts much to the chagrin of most everyone watching. That’s my non answer here.

BRT: I mean, “diabolically genius” as a descriptor for a common game strategy? Let’s pump the brakes there, Iowa guy. Though I suppose it makes sense that something as outside the norm as TWO timeouts where there is usually only ONE does seem so exotic and decadent to an Iowa fan that the confusion is understandable. :) Anyway, I’m not sure if this strategy “worked” or not, but it appeared to, and that’s enough for icing the kicker to continue to be a go-to move. Most importantly though, Gaglionone is adorable. If he needs comforting after any more missed FGs this season, let me know.

Scott Frost inherited a bad team. His QB got hurt in the first game. What are reasonable expectations for the season and is his 0-2 start disappointing or expected? - Badgers & Bruins

Thumpasaurus: I’m not actually that surprised; installing a new offense can take some time before all the decisions become automatic, and it’s not like he took over a prolific winner of a team. I picked Colorado due to their quarterback, and I really wanted to pick Troy because they’re good. Nebraska could have a rough season here, and there’s no Illinois until November to make them feel better. I think you have to take this season with an enormous grain of salt, and to their credit I think Nebraska fans know this.

Beez: This is tough. It seems like it’s reasonable to expect Nebraska to be in the 7-9 range of the conference this season, although I couldn’t tell you how much of that expectation is based on Frost and and healthy Martinez, and how much is based on the West being v bad.

Jesse: It’s tough. Both games were super winnable if not for mental errors so in that respect, it’s disappointing. However, you will have a hard time getting me to feel too worried. This season has some potential still but it was always going to be about the rebuild. Cupboard isn’t empty but these kids need to learn to win.

BRT: I wouldn’t say it was expected (honestly, I thought we’d probably be 2-1 right now, not 0-2, even though my expectations for the season as a whole were in the 5- or 6-win range). I think at this point, it’s highly unlikely (possibly miraculous) that we make a bowl, and while that’s a bummer, I also don’t think it’s going to cause a lot of panic, at least among Husker fans who don’t call in to post-game shows (ie: sane ones). It’s not a good schedule for a rebuild, and that’s pretty obvious. I think we’ve already seen improvement in a lot of aspects of the team, and hopefully we will still be able to find that throughout the season.

WSR: Did he really inherit a bad team, though? There are some pretty nice pieces there, he was just missing a QB and some heart. I think the real issue is the number of people who get paid to write about football that were proclaiming that “Nebraska is back!” before a game was played. While Martinez does look electric, you need to keep him alive to be able to properly use him and make progress.

Is it possible to arrange METEOR in Iowa City @approx 7:31 PM CDT 9/22/18? If that cannot be appropriately arranged, which of the 2 QBs pulls their best Tanner Lee pick 6 impression? - mnfanstc

Beez: I do not expect Iowa to get shut out Saturday. Given that their only 2017 against-Wisconsin scorer left the team, and their offense looks pretty, pretty, pretty bad, point are going to be a challenge. Nonetheless, Hornibrook is more likely to have a repeat of last year and throw Iowa a pity points pick 6. Unlike Tanner Lee, though, it won’t actually hurt his team.

Jesse: I don’t know. I sorta like this match up. If Iowa wins, Wisconsin’s ascension to the upper echelon of college football is out on hold which is kinda funny to me. If Wisconsin wins, the Iowa’s schedule has sucked narrative ramps up. I’m fine with those storylines. Also, let’s leave Tanner out of this. He can’t hurt anyone anymore. It’s fine.

BRT: I don’t know, but after this game, I hope it’s so disastrous for both QBs and teams that henceforth we’ll be talking about Hornibrook or Stanley impressions. The nicest thing I can say about his game is that he would have been a perfect fit under the Kill/Claeys regime. And as for the meteor...only if we can get Urbz there as well.

WSR: I’m curious as to why people haven’t started putting quotations around “quarterback” when describing Hornibrook.

If Indiana gets 4th in the East, which other team(s) are on suicide watch? - nunwhacker

Beez: None of them. Before the season the obvious answer would have been Michigan State, but it’s clear they suck again, that the 3-9 season is more representative of who the team is than last year’s record, and that their fans no longer expect them to do anything worthwhile this year. Thus, Indiana finishing 4th in the East, ahead of MSU, should be expected.

Candystripes: Probably whoever finishes 5th, 6th, and 7th, though the latter two may not have anything to do with Indiana’s performance.

WSR: Rutgers, Maryland, whomever else finishes behind Indiana, and Michigan because they’re not going to beat aOSU again.

What is the worst, dumbest, stupidest loss you have ever witnessed in person? - MNWildcat

Thumpasaurus: Last year’s Rutgers game had the atmosphere of a funeral, but I’d say it’s between the aforementioned Purdoink game and the famous Fresno State track meet in 2009 that ended with the Fresno quarterback lobbing the ball like a grenade while being dragged to the ground and a DB swatting it straight to an offensive lineman who fell into the end zone to win the game with no time left.

Boilerman31: I’m a Purdue fan, pick one, any one.

Candystripes: Either the 2010 Michigan game where one stop of Denard Robinson would have at worst forced overtime in front of an amazingly raucous IU crowd, or the 2012 Ball State game where what I still believe was an obvious incomplete pass was called and upheld as complete (in Bloomington, no less), leading to Ball State kicking the game winning field goal as time expired.

Jesse: In 2004, I watched Nebraska double up Southern Miss in yards and still lose. There were 5 Nebraska turnovers. We threw the ball 42 times despite evidence that was a bad idea. I would have put the Northwestern have with MNW if not for that being a win because that game sucked until the Hail Mary.

BRT: You know, this is actually a tough question to answer. When I was growing up, they just didn’t lose. And once they started losing, the losses have tended to be curb-stompings, not moronic flukes. Also, I think I kind of block out memories of bad games. But assuming an ass-kicking can be a dumb game, I found last year’s OSU game pretty stupid, but memorable--pretty much the entire stadium was empty after halftime, and those of us who decided to stay in the cold and drizzle until the end, hoping we’d at least score developed kind of a “survivor of a disaster” camaraderie, united by being witnesses to the disaster in front of us.

WSR: 2016 Michigan. Shut up and go away.

When the “writers” around make sure to mention rutgers and Kansas as a P5 matchup, are they being sarcastic? - JayMPSU

Boilerman31: I’ll be honest, it took me reading this three times to understand the question. To be further honest, I’m just going to ignore this question any further.

WSR: Look, we’re a very pedantic, literal bunch. And by the strictest definition of the words, Rutgers and Kansas are P5 teams that just played each other. So it’s still somehow true, in spite of everything we actually know.

Jesse: There are rules and those rules say that both these teams get P5 money. Until we can change that, here we are.

Can Rutgers only win a conference championship if they drop down to the FCS? - IceIceThatGuy13

Thumpasaurus: Rutgers won a conference championship in 2012, which is more recently than Michigan has. Mid Major Madness!

BRT: You didn’t specify a sport, and I believe they are decent at women’s soccer or something, so I suppose they could win in that.

WSR: Using BRT’s idea, now I’m trying to figure out if Rutgers is closer to winning the B1G in football or volleyball. (It’s neither.)

Is it just me, or is there a bunch of teams dealing with O-Line deficiencies? Is there some sort of shortage? Or normal to blame them for every loss? - KetteringLex

Thumpasaurus: Virtually every Tim Beckman offensive line recruit was a massive bust, and unfortunately we still have Luke Butkus as our OL coach. He has a proven track record of not developing our offensive line at all. We have some great physical specimens that have no idea what they’re doing.

WSR: Finding OL can be tough, especially if you have attrition. It’s not that they’re deficiencies, per say. It’s more that plenty of teams don’t have the depth required to survive an entire season. The fact that the Gophers got through last season with the number of fat kids that they did should be considered a miracle, moving P.J. Fleck one step closer to his inevitable sainthood.

With six P5 victories, should the AAC replace the B1G West? Followup, would the B1G West put fun P6 stickers on their helmets, or would it clash with the area codes? - pkloa

Thumpasaurus: Although Ludacris was born in Champaign, “217” does not appear in his published list of area codes in which he has hoes.

Jesse: I have no answer but wanted to highlight that thump’s answer is my favorite thing in this week’s mailbag.

I want OSU vs Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game this year Am I a bad person? - Littering And

Thumpasaurus: Yes. We shouldn’t expand in the middle of the season, and even if we did, Oklahoma State should not be the target.

Beez: Wanting OSU in the CCG is a healthy part of the grieving process known as “acceptance.” Wanting Iowa in the CCG means you’re either an OSU fan who wants a cakewalk to an undefeated season, or you’re a garbage human being who roots against Wisconsin or a realllllllllly garbage “human” being who actually roots for Iowa.

Boilerman31: Yes, and you should feel bad for it.

Candystripes: Yes, but did you know that Iowa beat OSU 55-24 last year? Because mentioning these two teams in the same paragraph this year seems to require that fact to also be stated. Why, I don’t know, but I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.

BRT: I wouldn’t mind it. The runup to it would be awful, of course. A steadily increasing stream of humorless, blowhard Iowa fans polluting the comment section throughout the season (which we’re probably going to get anyway, thanks to that schedule) would be unfortunate. However, they’ll also start talking themselves into how they have a chance against OSU, because did you know that they actually won that game last year, and they’ll start believing it WASN’T a fluke/dark magic, and convince themselves they have a shot, and then when OSU blasts them into outer space and we get to see all the sad people in yellow crowd shots it will be pretty funny. And then they’ll go lose their bowl game too, as is tradition.

So yeah, in a season where my team is unlikely to win more than… I don’t know, two? games, this would be pretty entertaining for the CCG.

WSR: I don’t know if you’re a bad person, but you need to look at what’s important here, and that is that we should enjoy watching the West sacrifice get smothered. It’s fun. And so if it’s Iowa, so be it.

Rank the B1G coaches hired since 2016. - LLSota

Thumpasaurus: Head coaches only? Because I’d put Garrick McGee well below the vaunted “Getting hit by a car” spot

BRT: This would have been a more effective question if you’d listed those coaches, because we are too lazy to look them up, and you should know that. Scott Frost #1. Brohm #2. PJ #3. Ash #467

WSR: Allen, Ash, Brohm, Durkin, Fleck, Frost, Smith. You did want them alphabetically, right?

Who do you want on your Red Dawn squad to repel the Communist RPO invasion? - Vaudvillain

Beez: Bosa, backflipping Olive Sagapolu, T.J. Edwards, Trace McSorely as the double agent who gives his RB the ball 5 yards behind the LOS as three defenders close in, and Charlie Sheen.

Thumpasaurus: Butkus, Howard, Hardy, Rice, Gardner, Vontae, Bennett Williams to replace Vontae in the second half.

WSR: Antoine Winfield Jr. Why would we need anything else?

Boilerman31: Da ‘85 Bears.

Is Maryland the 2018 B1G Chaos Team? - HoyaGoon

Beez: My recollection is that Indiana was the original B1G Chaos Team because they won one significant upset once and then lost a bunch of close games against vastly better B1G teams. Maryland isn’t getting anywhere close to UM, PSU, or OSU, and there isn’t anyone left in the West whose losing to Maryland would be true “chaos.”

Thumpasaurus: You say that, but when Maryland knocks off #14 Illinois to give them their second loss of the year it’ll make headlines.

Candystripes: Purdue would like a word with you.

Is there any likely scenario where the Iowa-Wisconsin rock fight this Saturday night does not turn out to be the de facto divisional championship game? I said “likely”, not “theoretically possible”. - Midnight Rambler

Thumpasaurus: If Pat Fitzgerald has gotten all of the coaching diarrhea out of his system, this is entirely possible.

Beez: I haven’t looked at the schedules recently, but my recollection was that Iowa’s schedule was the only one that really gave someone other than Wisconsin a shot to win the division. Nebraska had a seemingly manageable schedule too, but lol they’re not winning the division. I suppose Northwestern isn’t a terrible choice, given that Fitzgerald thinks the best thing you can do is lose non-con games you have no business losing and then go on a run when nobody is watching and the narrative has already set in that you’re a middling team.

Jesse: I’d like to start by pointing out that Nebraska never had a manageable schedule and wasn’t winning the division this year. We crossover OSU/UM/MSU. That said, don’t sleep on chaos. Any of these West teams can probably lose any week to any team not named Rutgers.

BRT: Yeah Beez, you might want to look at Nebraska’s schedule again. A much better team than the Huskers would not be winning the division with that schedule. ;) Anyway, the most likely scenario is, yes, this is the de facto divisional championship game.

WSR: Sure. First of all, if wisconsin loses, they’ve still got games at Michigan and Penn State. That doesn’t mean that Iowa’s automatically the team that wins, but it could put a huge crimp in the badgers’ chances. Iowa’s offense looks to be rather atrocious when they’re playing anyone other than the powerhouse that is UNI, and Northwestern is still undefeated in B1G play. Who knows what’ll happen, but this isn’t the be-all, end-all of the West. I mean, I fully expect wisconsin to still win the West, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be pretty. We just need to keep remembering that there’s absolutely no reason for them to have ever been in the Top 10. They’re a good team that should be ranked around 15 that doesn’t have a QB.

How quickly will we all forget about this past weekend’s shit show when our teams start beating up on each other and letting us pretend they’ve improved? Or, do we get all the way to bowl season before reality bitch slaps us upside the head? - Waw

Thumpasaurus: lol a bunch of our starters already had bowl season and that’s why they’re suspended

Beez: Wait, is “reality” the idea that we’re actually good and improved? Because your question seems to be asking whether we’ll quickly think our teams our good or will it take until bowl season before we think they’re good...which would mean they’re actually good? Bad question, waw.

Candystripes: I don’t know what you’re talking about, my team has clearly improved. (LET ME HAVE THIS MOMENT, OK?)

WSR: Last weekend was awesome. I don’t understand why people keep complaining about it.