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B1G 2020, Potluck #4: Build Your Own Runza—How the 2020 Nebraska Cornhuskers Will Fare

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Grab some comfort food and take a gander at a schedule that...might’ve gotten easier?

NCAA Football: Iowa at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry about that power outage yesterday. Tubes got clogged in the ol’ OTE warehouse.

We’ve got some more pneumatic fluid for them and fixed the leaks, though, and everything’s back online and ready to go. We know you were scared for us, and we still don’t know if we’ll have Northwestern Week predictions. But for now, here’s how the Nebraska Cornhuskers will finish up in 2020, assuming there’s a season.*

[*Yes, we’re assuming that. We know that football’s probably not happening in 2020. Keep it to yourself. We know you’re brilliant and hilarious and unique, just like us.]

The Football

With the news that the Big Ten would drop its non-conference football games in 2020, the tightrope walk for the Nebraska Cornhuskers got that much more precarious:

Our WhiteSpeedReceiver has used his insider connections and basic logic to produce a powermatched 10th game for each Big Ten team, so that’s the Michigan State matchup explained.

That’s a brutal crossover of Penn State and Ohio State, though the sweet treat that is a road trip to the boardwalk should provide a little comfort for the Huskers. But with its West road trips slated as Iowa and wisconsin, plus the possibility of Ryan Field Northwestern without the comforting home crowd of 30,000 screaming Big Red fans, Nebraska Cornhuskers might not enjoy its usual advantages.

Having lost a date with the dangerous G5 contender Cincinnati and the always-frisky FCS South Dakota State Jackrabbits, though, the switch to an all-Big Ten schedule might be a net gain for Scott Frost.

(1) How do the Bugeaters fare with this shortened Big Ten schedule?

(2) Could a shorted schedule with opening games against, say, Purdue and Northwestern work to the advantage of teams like Nebraska—rather than opening against a motivated FCS or G5 program?

Stew: Since football isn’t going to happen, I feel free to go full nihilist/hater and will use the Who’s Line Is It Anyway guidelines: the rules are made up and the points don’t matter.

0-10.

Done.

Eat at Arby’s.

pkloa: That is not an easy schedule, by any means. While I could see Nebraska winning six games, with Minnesota the closest to a tossup, I could also see Mel Tucker’s Michigan State squad as better than expected, and the Huskers ending up 4-6.

I’ll split the difference and predict 5-5.

Beez: I see zero sure wins on that schedule, but 4 true tossups and a couple other “if they don’t live up to the hype” win possibilities. I think they win 3 of the 4 tossups, one of the “hype” games, and possibly pull off a “for real” for real upset to get to 5-5. But 1-9 is not out of the question.

And yes, Nebby is less likely to lose to both Purdue and NW than they are against teams who still get mileage out of beating a team named Nebraska.

BMan31: I’m gonna go 3-7 for no particular reason.

MNW: Give me Purdue and Illinois at home, Rutgers on the road, and one of Northwestern away and Michigan State at home. That’s four, yes?

So 4-6 for me, though one thing I’d think Frostie needs to do in 2020, should it happen, is begin to crack the top two teams in the West. So a trophy game win at either wisconsin or Iowa is a huge necessity.

Jesse: I think 5-5 is pretty reasonable. While people are going to continue to think Rutgers is suddenly a tossup because Nebraska is the worst team that has ever played, the reality is that it’s a middling team that is probably average, but that’s better than Rutgers, Illinois, and probably Northwestern.

So then it’s a matter of tossups for me, which is like Purdue, MSU (because they’re more even than you’d like to believe), and Iowa (not because they’re not better either, but because that game can’t be not-dumb). I think Minnesota is better right now, but they need more than one season to back up all of their absurd shit-talking that led to…second place in the West, so let’s see some consistency first maybe? PSU and OSU are better, and Nebraska is incapable of beating Wisconsin.

All that to say, I’m going 5-5 like Beez with more dumb words.

Poll

How does Nebraska finish in the Big Ten?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    0-10
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    1-9
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    2-8
    (15 votes)
  • 9%
    3-7
    (18 votes)
  • 29%
    4-6
    (53 votes)
  • 15%
    5-5
    (29 votes)
  • 13%
    6-4
    (25 votes)
  • 6%
    7-3
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    8-2
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    9-1
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    10-0
    (12 votes)
182 votes total Vote Now

The Food

As for the food, we’re going back to the comfort foods for Nebraska Week: Our friends at Corn Nation tell us Runza is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with a Texas competitor. With all this going on, though, I hope they gave them an extra second to respond.

So, writers:

(1) Please order a Runza off the menu. No substitutions, no omissions. Which one of these are you eating?

(2) DESIGN YOUR OWN RUNZA.

(3) Any copycat stores tried to brand your state’s signature food? Were they successful?

Stew: Speaking of Arby’s, Runza!

I guess give me the Spicy Jack runza from that menu. But how there isn’t any Philly style runza or even a french dip runza seems like a major oversight. Gimme some roast beef, melty cheese, wrapped in delicious bread.

pkloa: I dunno if maybe anybody ever tried it, ya know, but maybe if yous ever did try to copyright cheesesteaks, maybe Rocky might come and, you know, pay yous a visit.

Beez: oooo I’m going with either cheese or black bean southwest. Never had a Runza before, but they look fantastic. If I’m designing my own, I think I’m going pepperoni hot pocket style, which would just be a regular runza shell filled with impossibly melty cheese and a million “pepperonis.”

What’s Wisconsin’s “signature” food? Brats? Cheese curds? I’ve certainly had cheese curds out in the world that are just mozzarella stick bites, which should be a crime. I’ve also had the best fried cheese curds of my life at a place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The curds were amazing, but they served them with sweet chili dipping sauce, which tells me they have some work to do.

BMan31: Gimme a BBQ Bacon.

Iowa’s doing a fine job of claiming Indiana’s Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. On a more positive note, haven’t seen anyone come after the Sugar Cream Pie yet.

MNW: The only Runza I want are the two I drunkenly pounded while at the Hail Mary game with Jesse. Holy hell, I love them so much. (That, or give me the Cheese Runza.)

Minnesota’s signature food—the tater tot hotdish—works amazingly well with the Runza conceit! Pack some ground beef, corn, green beans, and a little cream of mushroom soup in there? Hell, keep the cabbage in there! A couple tater tots stuffed in, and we’re golden. Goddamn, I’m so hungry for one of these now.

This link notes the absurd concoction the New York Times came up with when they tried to give a more urbane version of the tater tot hotdish (hint: it involved no “cream of” soup, instantly disqualifying it). Like, look at this:

Well that’s interesting, NYT.

Jesse: I stick with the classics. Give me a cheese runza with frings and a Dr. Pepper. It’s a great meal. The swiss-mushroom is basically a philly btw. It’s not my favorite, but people like it.


Tell us your Runza order (and Runza-style concoctions!) in the comments! Thanks for your patience throughout Nebraska Week, feel free to put some Nebraska Hate in a Fanpost (we’ll front-page it!), and thanks for reading OTE!

Nebraska Week 2020

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thurfriday:

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