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Week 1 Mailbag: Who is your school’s Graham Mertz?

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We all have one. It’s just a question of how much we’re willing to unblock things our therapists helped us through.

This pass attempt was probably the least likely to be intercepted of Graham Mertz’s weekend.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 is in the books, and everyone is looking forward to the upcoming weekend...except Thump. And maybe our Nebraska “writers.” And...OK, you know what? I am. And I’m happy about the weekend and its games.

Here’s what we’re thinking this week, and be forewarned that this week’s DWT;WT is impending so take your Advil now. Good night, have a pleasant tomorrow, and please remember to duck and cover when Graham Mertz or Spencer Petras drop back to pass in your area.

Going back however far you need to...who is your school’s Graham Mertz? (And define your terms however you want.) - Kind of

MC ClapYoHandz: Graham Mertz, next question.

misdrevavus79: Anthony Morelli - 5-star guy who simply couldn’t get out of his own way. Some folks may want to say Christian Hackenberg here, but at least Hackenberg had an excuse. When Temple can rush two and still get to the quarterback, life is going to be hell for anyone in his position. What excuse did Morelli have?

Stewmonkey13: Jake Christensen

MNW: Hunter Johnson. Enjoy pain, wisconsin.

LPW: what MNW said.

87townie: Christian Hackenberg. Let the memefest commence….

WSR: MarQueis Gray.

MC ClapYoHandz: I know it sounds weird, but our Graham Mertz might actually be Austin Kafentzis

He was a high school QB: Where do I start? Shane Lamb, Scott Weaver, Tim Lavery, Mark Hoekstra, Tim Brasic, Jon Beutjer, but most of all, Wes Lunt.

Thumpasaurus: Wild wild wes

RU in VA: lol. Sitkowski.

Green Akers: Has to be Andrew Maxwell, for my money. Perfect storm of never getting any game reps when he was a backup, the descent of AMSUOLHG over the program, extremely questionable playcalling by Dan Roushar, his own tendency to fire frozen ropes at his receivers…still think he could have been good, but boy was he not.

Beez: Mertz and Kafentzis are certainly near the top of the list of “people I was excited about who are (so far) still leaving me hanging.” Frankly, though, I think my off-the-board answer is Anthony Lotti. A punter, I was hoping and expecting that he—an actually rated punting recruit—would give Wisconsin a good punter for the first time in a long, long time. He wasn’t that, and the 3 and outs become even more disappointing than expected.

Buffkomodo: Despite my urge to say Gunner Kiel, I’m going with Sampson James. Indiana doesn’t get a lot of eye popping commitments, and for an “Ohio State” commit to flip to Indiana, do….not a ton….and enter the transfer portal twice…final answer.

Creighton: In my lifetime? Jake Christensen.

BrianB2: Kasim Hill, maybe? Kept trippin over his own knees. I don’t think we really have time to list all of the underperforming Maryland quarterbacks though.

RockyMtnBlue: Oh hell. Too many to count. Let’s go with 5-star running back Derrick Green. He was a big back with speed, BUT he had no vision, couldn’t cut, and fell over if you looked at him mean.

Please list the B1G coaches getting fired this year. - pkloa

WSR: Scott Frost, Jeff Brohm. One of them might be able to land softly at Louisville before he gets fired.

misdreavus79: I don’t actually think there will be any forced departures this season. Scott Frost, the most likely candidate, will find a way to make a bowl game and keep his job. Of course, if the results of that NCAA investigation lead to anything substantial, all bets are off.

RU in VA: Jim Harbaugh. I’m so excited for this.

Beez: Frost is the low-hanging fruit, so I’m gonna say he’s safe. Brohm is a solid choice, but he’s at least been more good than bad, right? Everyone else is, I think, pretty stable! I’m going to say my list is exactly zero members long.

Green Akers: Frost feels like the only half-sensible candidate for a firing; I get that Brohm has underwhelmed, but Purdue’s historic stinginess makes me think they give him another year unless he goes 2-10 or something.

Thumpasaurus: I’m already storyboarding one In Memoriam video but I’m prepared to do another one in case of emergency. Yes it’s Frost and harbaugh.

Buffkomodo: Frost for sure. Maybe Brohm. Shit, if Nick Sheridan doesn’t get his shit together, it’s definitely going to be him.

LPW: it’s gotta be Frost. Harbaugh if we’re lucky.

BRT: If Frost wins four games or less (a real possibility), I think he’s gone. If he’s above that, I think they give him another year.

Creighton: I’m going to say Frost and Harbaugh do the absolute bare minimum required for them to stay. Given the buyout implications for each I really think the bar is 4 wins for Frost and 8 for Harbaugh. I think they clear those and Brohm is the only one to lose his job.

BrianB2: Frost and Harbaugh is the only answer.

BoilerUp89: In a few weeks I’ll start tracking this on a weekly basis. Maybe sooner if we start Scott Frost watch following a loss to Buffalo. The safe bet is still mostly coordinators, but if you are looking at head coaches the other realistic options in order are Harbaugh, Frost, and maybe Brohm if things completely fall apart and Purdue magically finds a rich booster.

In honor of El Assico Week, what is the *second* best non-conference instate rivalry in college football? - Hollywood Hawk Hogan

WSR: BRING BACK TOMMIE-JOHNNIE! Also, El Assico is the 2nd-best because BYU-Utah is the best.

misdreavus79: My team vs my team’s rival (Penn State/Pitt).

Beez: How many games even fit this mold? Pitt-PSU, of course. App State-UNC/ECU/WCU, naturally. Clemson-South Carolina? Florida State-Miami? Would love to see Wisconsin and Marquette turn their yearly basketball rivalry into a football rivalry, too.

RU in VA: Nonconference instate? WVU and Marshall is a shit show from the stands. The game isn’t that competitive usually, but man. Two fanbases where no couch is safe.

Green Akers: Most of these involve SEC-ACC, such as Florida/FSU or Georgia/GaTech, and have therefore become uncompetitive, or are no longer always played ala Pitt/PSU. WSR is correct that the Holy War is the only answer here.

Thumpasaurus: no love for Clean Old Fashioned Hate? It’s not competitive anymore but boy is there some history there. I love when fight songs have a shot at a rival in them. In the case of Illinois, Oskee Wow Wow merely mentions Princeton and Wisconsin as examples of “schools with cheers that simply don’t do it for me the way that Oskee Wow Wow at Illinois does.”

Take that, Princeton.

I do appreciate Illinois beating NIU in 2010 and then going “alright that’s it we’ll never play them again.”

But anyway, Kentucky and Louisville need to play more

Buffkomodo: Prior to the SCAC falling apart, the easy answer was the Monon Bell game with Depaw and Wabash. They’re in the same conference now so that sucks. Give me UofL and UK for 600 Alex.

BRT: Holy War. Like El Assico, it has a terrific name. El Assico gets the nod because they once played for a Precious Moments figurine, and it’s hard to top that, IMO.

pkloa: Florida/FSU. They are almost dead even since Bowden arrived at Florida State, and the balance of power never seems to shift for too long. They played three times in 364 days in 94-95, with a perfect 1-1-1 result.

Creighton: Notre Dame and USC. I would also like to see Rutgers and Princeton come back into the fold (Princeton currently holds a 53-17-1 series lead lol)

BrianB2: Maryland/Navy, duh. I feel like most of the obvious one’s (the aforementioned ACC v SEC rivalries) have not been terribly competitive in the past decade. Thus I have arrived at Tulane/LSU.

RockyMtnBlue: We keep our in-state rivalries in-conference, thank you very much.

MNW: Rutgers vs. Syracuse is RIGHT THERE, you guys.

(It’s Holy War, but I’m hoping there are some highlights in New Mexico State-New Mexico this weekend. I also wouldn’t discount Texas-Texas A&M, given how fucking insane Texans are.)

If you could guarantee a championship for your team in your favorite sport, but it required sacrificing a family member – how quickly would you legally adopt beezer? - waw

WSR: Beez, my youngest has a couple Nick Punto cards available for trade and a few shirtseys that you two can share for as long as you’re around. Try not to get into too many fights with the cat over beds. Hers is the pink one, yours is the blue one.

Beez: If you legally adopt me with plans to sacrifice me, you better do it the day those papers go through or I’m gonna be all over you like nonsense motivational phrases and PJ Fleck, grumpy old man takes and Pat Fitzgerald, or low level recruiting/rulebreaking scandals and, eventually, Ryan Day.

WSR: You act like that isn’t me on a daily basis…

Beez: You sacrifice family members daily? Dang.

misdreavus79: I don’t think I need a championship in my life that badly.

Green Akers: I would Kali-Ma the entire OTE masthead live on Twitch if it meant a football natty for MSU.

HWAHSQB: I have one cousin I would sacrifice for a single football win over Iowa, but I want a basketball championship more than any other sport.

Buffkomodo: Just executed the paperwork. Big fan of execution. May execute Beez later.

BRT: You know what? I’m a fan of Beezer and I’m not afraid to say it. (This is my Ben-Wyatt-Claiming-Friendship-with-Jerry moment). He’s good people. Obviously, I’d adopt a few prominent politicians for my sacrifice. In fact, Nebraska could have a solid decade of winning courtesy of my new family.

Creighton: I know it’s windy, but Beez would you mind going up in that scissor lift and taking a look at something for me?

BrianB2: I wouldn’t sacrifice much for a Maryland football championship as it is such an overt impossibility in my mind that it is not terribly desirable. A field hockey title however...watch out mom!

BoilerUp89: Unlike ND’s head coach I’m not pro executing people. Beez gets a stay of execution and is also not adopted.

RockyMtnBlue: It would take a while. I’ve got a LOT of family the world would be better off without.

What books do you just keep returning to? - boilerup86

Beez: The books I’ve read more than any other are probably The Giver, Maniac McGee, and this random non-Star Wars Timothy Zahn book called Night Train to Rigel, which as of today I’m learning is part of a five-book series. I should probably track down the rest. And just generally, if I didn’t spend so much time rereading books, I’d probably have most of the books written in the last 50 years read. Or I’d almost never read for fun...hard to tell.

misdreavus79: They are all, unfortunately, books about the stuff I do for work. That said, I happen to enjoy what I do for work, so it’s not a chore for me to read some of these again and again.

RU in VA: A Walk in the Woods is good for a re-read every few years. I love a good spin through Websters 21st edition as well. A lot of new words!

HWAHSQB: I’ve read the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander a lot. I will even admit to hating my own children for a bit when they said they were boring.

Buffkomodo: Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. I don’t read a lot. Words are hard.

LPW: That’s one of my favorite graphic novels BuffKomodo! I like to read a lot of stuff related for work. So very dry technical reading in the computer science field.

BRT: I find the topic of re-reading a really interestingly divisive one. Personally, I’m a re-reader because a lot of my for-fun reading is for fun and self-care (I also read a lot for my job, but this tends to be neither fun nor comforting, albeit often interesting), and although it’s corny, it really does feel like visiting familiar friends when I revisit a book I love. I read probably 40-50 books for fun a year, and usually 2-3 of them are re-reads—so it’s not the majority of my reading, but it is a constant in my reading life.

My most frequent re-reads are Jane Austen’s works. In fact, if I’m reading Jane Austen, it’s a safe bet I’m really freaking stressed out. They are like fairy tales for adults, that also happen to be extremely hilarious. I’m sure I’ve read Pride & Prejudice at least a dozen times. Other favorites I’ve re-visited are Jane Eyre, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (awful title, great book), and O Pioneers! I’ve plowed through the Harry Potter series a few times too, mostly on audio. I don’t know. I love books. I wish I could just read all day, but only the things I want to read and none of the things I don’t.

Reverse mailbag: I like to read a big, chonky book during the winter so my brain remembers how to do it. Last year it was Middlemarch (which I loved). I’m debating between two for this winter: Lonesome Dove and The Count of Monte Cristo. Weigh in on which one should spend the winter with me!

pkloa: I’ve read The Watchmen more than any other book, and since it’s a graphic novel, that shit counts. My next read is apparently Kingdom Come, which is highly recommended by people in the know.

Creighton: I don’t re-read books as much as I used to when I was younger. Currently Dune holds the record for the book I’ve started the most times without ever actually finishing (I’m actually finishing it this time though because the movie comes out soon!) The book I’ve read cover to cover the most times is either Ender’s Game or a tie between all the Rogue Squadron books.

In the last few years: I’ve read the Southern Reach trilogy twice and am currently on my third time reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. Both are excellent.

BrianB2: Someone bought me “Infinite Jest” as a gift once because they said it reminded them of my sense of humour. After re-reading the first 50 or so pages of that book a handful of times, I am quite certain that person hates me and finds me to be terribly unfunny.

RockyMtnBlue: Damned near anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, but especially The Sarantine Mosaic. I adore his storytelling voice. I also reread technical books from time to time, but that’s just because I’m old and senile.

WSR: So I’ll start with Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons. Go ahead and laugh, but it’s really good. I also revisit a few other books on occasion, like Catch-22, most of Pynchon (Why was Bleeding Edge written? Did you have some gambling debts or something?), and Twain. Much like re-watching some of my favorite comedy movies, I’ll go and grab my favorite books to try to brighten my mood.

Poll

Do you re-read books?

  • 55%
    Of course! A great book is always worth a revisit.
    (93 votes)
  • 15%
    No. Why would I waste my time doing that?
    (26 votes)
  • 18%
    No. My unread book pile is taller than BRT and growing.
    (32 votes)
  • 10%
    No. I went to wisconsin and there’s no point in going back to a book you’ve already colored in.
    (18 votes)
169 votes total Vote Now