I'm lurking and ready to chat. Fire your thoughts and questions while I eat the last of my Taco Inn.
@Zonabraska: I assume you're referring to Greg Johnson, the athlete from Los Angeles, who visited this past weekend. All I can say is Nebraska gave him something to think about and the Wildcats aren't exactly lighting it up this season. Not easy to flip those West Coast guys, but it sure can't hurt that he's teammates with Joseph Lewis, who is going to talk up Nebraska in their conversations.
@Bobby: I think it's a combination of Wisconsin getting a few points for home-field advantage, the fact Nebraska hasn't been able to blow out anyone even while not playing the stiffest of competition, and NU's O-line injuries. I thought the spread would drop a little after the news yesterday about Wisconsin's leading tackler being out, but there hasn't been a lot of movement yet. I'm not a betting man but I wouldn't touch that spread. That's a lot of points to give to Wisconsin, since the Badgers are averaging just 24 points a game. I thought the spread would be closer to 6 or 6 1/2.
@JimNE: What'd Jack say, Jim? I pride myself in my pop culture knowledge, but admittedly have never seen the movie.
@Ddey: Always interesting to read people's opinions, but not much different than the stuff that was appearing in our letters to the editor for weeks. So it didn't move my needle too much. And we already knew what Hal Daub thought about matters.
@Zadi: Appreciate it. We'll keep em coming.
@JimNE: I'm guessing that phrase didn't make it into the convo between Mike and Paul, but you did get a "I hate that guy" from Riley yesterday. ...................................................................................................................................................... OK, he was joking, but still he said it.
@Ddey: I noticed. There was some fresh content in there from the general public, but I didn't see anything from any of the people important seats that moved the story forward.
@Tim: It's been a pet peeve of mine long before Saturday. Watch line judges spot the ball. A few do it really well. But a lot of guys will walk in, then suddenly take a step to their left or right when they get next to the ball. Or some lineman will bump them out of the way a little bit and they'll let it impact where they spot it. It's so dang random. To miss two spots in four plays by a full yard? Yeah, that actually happened.
@Jlunz: Obviously can't go into the game just expecting you can't run the ball. In 2013 against Michigan State, for instance, a Husker O-line that had been lackluster suddenly started running it right at a good defense with effectiveness. Football is weird that way. But I think Nebraska might have to use the pass to set up the run. Stretch the field a couple times early just to keep that Wisconsin back end honest. Find ways to use the short passing game as an extension of the run game. The screen game probably will be important, too. This feels like the type of game where one team might be beating its head against a wall, then, boom, they catch a team in the wrong defense and go 40 yards on a screen or something. When it comes down to just running the ball, though, it's much more on the O-line than the playcalling. Last week they just weren't giving any lanes to the backs. It doesn't really matter what you call if you're getting stonewalled like that.
@Bobby: Oh, I think Nebraska will get some real love if it goes to Madison and wins this game. I think a lot of pundits will still expect the Huskers to get whupped in Columbus (I saw an early line that favored Ohio State by 20 1/2), but anyone with any football sense should recognize the significance of a Nebraska win on Saturday. The West Division wouldn't be wrapped up completely, but the Huskers sure would have a firm grip on it before November even arrives.
@Jdplph: Sure. Even if Nebraska loses to Wisconsin and Ohio State, it's not a given the Badgers won't trip and fall to someone. Also beware of three-way tiebreakers sneaking into play.
That said, I'd cast whoever wins in Saturday as the favorite to win the West even though Nebraska would still hold a one-game lead in the standings. Wisconsin does play Northwestern in an interesting game the week after, however, which will be worth keeping an eye on. The Wildcats are a sleeper that has figured out how to play offense. They've suddenly become the best win on Nebraska's schedule so far.
@NickKelley: I noticed that. I don't know. Husker fans and Herbstreit need to hug it out. Nebraska fans let national media types get under their skins to much, though I'd agree I thought the GameDay segment wasn't very professional. I know it's an entertainment show, but if you're going to have a discussion about if Nebraska is a Top 10 team, have a real discussion. Plenty of rational Husker fans see the validity in saying they're not just so long as you don't make a joke of it in the process. Maybe he'll be calling the Nebraska-Ohio State game in a week. Won't Husker fans enjoy that?
@PThusker: I'm not sure where he's living right now. I don't know that he's still in the hotel. I don't follow on how it's a disadvantage. Why does it matter at all?
@rickylee41: Why's what Tom Osborne doing in his retirement years of any bother to you?
@Kaleb: Sure, branding always matters, but I also think it's the benefit of the doubt given to certain programs that have won a lot the last 5-10 years. Nebraska used to get that same benefit of the doubt but hasn't been consistent enough to warrant it of late. Have to earn that back.
@Bobby: I would think it's a strong possibility, though I haven't looked at what other games are that day.
@NewportRed: Probably, but not in any recent seasons that I remember. No sugarcoating it. It's not good. They've been fortunate it hasn't cost them a game already. It very well could have against Indiana. That unit has to be on point on Saturday. And the true frosh is going to have to have a strong game. Because I think it's going to be a field position game as much as anything. One area where NU does seem to have an advantage, though, is kicking. Wisconsin's backup has struggled. Drew Brown, despite a miss last week, is pretty solid. If it comes down to that, the edge is to the Huskers.
@NickKelley: Biggest Husker concern is the lack of run game consistency. It puts a lot of weight on Tommy Armstrong if he doesn't have that to lean on. Biggest reason for optimism: The Huskers have a good defense too that is good at causing turnovers and is going against a freshman QB. If the Blackshirts are dialed in, NU has enough skilled weapons on the outside to possibly make just enough plays to pull off a win even if that run game takes on the same pattern of the past three games.
@CDS: Yes, put the 155-pound guy out there and see how that goes. I'd be much better holding the cord for the coach's headset, back when headsets used to have cords. Think of all the jobs lost as cordless headsets have grown in popularity.
@Pipeline: They're likely to play. But we won't know how healthy they really are until Saturday. Don't expect any Husker coaches to go putting percentages on them this week.
@Pipeline: Seems like a reach to decide that based off just how the 2015 season ended up. What if Nebraska wins Saturday? Is Riley suddenly the better coach. Wisconsin did have a good year record-wise in 2015, but also didn't beat a team with a winning record until the bowl game. Prior to that, Chryst went 6-7, 7-6, 6-6 while at PItt. I think he's a good coach, by the way. I'm just saying let some more data be accumulated before saying one guy is better than the other. We'll see who wins more divisions over the next four or five years. I'm as interested as you to find out.