@GarretP: Anytime you lose three seniors at a position and have very limited or no college game film at all from the guys who will be required to replace them, I think it's of some worry. I think Tyler Hoppes, who will be a senior next year, is a key bridge guy at the position, who can hopefully give you a solid year as a pass catcher in the offense while some others grow. But the others need to grow fast. Matt Snyder, Jack Stoll, David Engelhaupt. Those are three scholarship guys who will all have at least a year in the program by next fall. So it's not overboard to ask that one or two of them be ready to give you solid snaps come next fall. Recruiting? The Leiato loss hurts this close to signing day, no question. He's a good player who has some really good options to choose from. But NU has no time for woe-is-me. Look at the board, and see if you can't find another couple of guys you believe in to sign. And it's not like Snyder, who NU beat out Michigan for, and Stoll, who NU beat out Texas for, weren't really good recruits at the position.Player development has to be on full display these next 8 months.
@Josh: Not at all, save for that dramatic 5-set rally by Nebraska against Penn State in volleyball. I can't say I'm that shocked by what's happening in hoops. Football? Wouldn't have guessed a three-month drought without a commit. It's a rut. It's a rut they can climb out of, but it's a rut. And for those that don't think the bowl game matters, think how much the program could use that pick-me-up win after what happened in Iowa City.
@HusketGreg: Don't know the latest on the RB, partly because that one is such a personal situation, I try not to get into a grade watch with any recruits until there's a definitive one way or another. But I hope it works out for him, because he is a great talent on the field and Nebraska has interest. There will be some good news in January for Husker recruiting. There always is. One of the key guys to me is that D-tackle Daimion Daniels from Dallas. I think he's a really solid recruit and have always felt like Nebraska had the leading shot at him. They need a guy like that to raise his hand soon and change the narrative. This class could still turn out quite good, but it does seem like it will be more of a January scramble than I suspected it would a month or so ago.
@SiliconValleyHusker: I think they're hopeful, but I think it's a staff who is also well connected with fan perception, and understands there's some angst. I compare recruiting to following a baseball season. You can't overreact pitch to pitch or game to game. You are going to have winning streaks and losing streaks. But you have to let it play out before you make bold statements one way or the other.
@rickylee41: Well, the other guy, Fyfe, was in bad health himself. Couldn't even take snaps under center that game because of his wrist. That game wasn't lost because of what QB played, though the play at the position did leave plenty to be desired. It was lost by bad play in all three phases of the game.
@Robin: Ham or prime rib on Christmas. Whatever mother serves. I'm big on prime rib, but I don't like to be a backseat chef. Also, I'm leaving for Nashville on Christmas, so my dinner will probably be Panda Express in an airport. Christmas Eve fondue is a tradition in our house, however, and a very good one.
@Zadi: Not a dumb question. Position is actually coached by GA Tavita Thompson, who is a very good young coach. Only a GA in title. The full-time assistant coaches on the staff view him very much as an equal. Will he be the 10th guy if NU is allowed to hire a 10th guy? Not sure, but I'd think he'd be in the conversation.
HusketGreg, I see your question. I better not answer that one out here right now, but I don't believe there's a sure decision on that yet.
@Patrick: I'll be honest, 9-3 would be pretty solid because I think the schedule is tougher. I know Wisconsin and Ohio State are home games for Lincoln, but sometimes that puts even more pressure on a team. By that, I mean, Nebraska had a nice setup this year to go 7-0 at home and get seven wins right there. Getting those seven Ws at home is incredibly more challenging in 2017. Also, that road game against Oregon will be plenty tricky against a team fired up about a new coach and Nebraska starting a QB playing his second game as a Huskers.
@Troy: I honestly wouldn't read too much into it. He basically has a torn hamstring. Injury is worse than it was against Iowa, and it wasn't good going into that game.
@Josh: Our fondues aren't fancy. They are battles! Basically each person putting four wooden sticks into a pot at the same time, hot oil jumping out of the pot. You must be strong or you should just excuse yourself from the table and go listen to Buble's Christmas in the other room.
@Corby: Silent commits are sort of like me telling my wife I'll paint the bathroom before the football season ends. It's quite possible it will happen, but I wouldn't bet everything you have on it.
@Trash: I listen to Dan Patrick some. I'm not big on guys abandoning their team with one game left, no, but have also said I think the conversation has been invited by coaches jumping away from their teams in December for better opportunity. It kind of makes me think of a parent saying, 'Do as I say and not as I do.' I can see where a player like McCaffery says, why shouldn't I do what is better for me professionally just like a coach was. I can see that while also not really liking it. As for Dan Patrick's opinion on bowls: I am not acting like the Music City Bowl is something bigger than it is, but if Patrick handled a postgame radio show after, say, a 45-14 Nebraska bowl loss, he'd perhaps have a different take on what it means to Riley and his staff. It's like saying the Gardner-Webb game didn't matter to Tim Miles. Easy to say beforehand, but if the thing goes the wrong direction in a big way it matters plenty.
@Sport: I heard he was 2. Get your facts straight.
@Corby: Darnay Holmes looks like a UCLA guy to me. All the guys on the coast think that. Jamire Calvin, perhaps a different story for Nebraska.
@Troy: I'd favor Tennessee, but I wonder how motivated they are going to be to play in a bowl game 2 1/2 hours from campus. Having more fans in the stands is an advantage, but Nebraska might gain some benefit by getting locked into bowl prep the final few days away from home and distractions.
@Patrick: Those are two of the biggies. I'd say O-line as a whole has to show they can be more consistent and build depth so that when a couple guys go down with injuries, they can overcome it without struggling to run the ball against teams like Purdue. QBs, too. Promising guys in the competition, but let's see it in games before we assume there's a jump at that position.
@Huskergreg: I like that idea, too. I don't know if as many true freshmen would play as some imagine, but I like getting three or four or five guys who have earned the right a chance to play some snaps in a real game. Fans would be drawn in more,no question.
@SiliconValleyHusker: He's been taking snaps. We'll ask more on that about how ready he appears today and Thursday. We actually have access in about 40 minutes.
@rickylee41: Fair comments, Ricky. I think over time, it will be worth exploring the seat width throughout the stadium, which would drop the seating capacity and allow it easier to sell the place out while also giving fans a more pleasurable gameday experience. I haven't sat in stadium seats there in a long time, but I do know when I was a kid that if you didn't get your butt seated early, and if you didn't claim your spot with a chairback, you were flat going to get squished by some of the ... bigger people in the row.
@Patrick: I think the standard should be winning the West. Win the West and you've always got a chance to make it a successful season. Win the west and you'll win close to 9 or 10 games at least every year. I'm not saying you win the thing every year. But it should be an expectation of Husker football that they're in the mix every year, and don't go four or five-year droughts without winning it at all.
@Robin: I think NU's chances come down to the O-line more than anything. That's the one spot where the Huskers are healthy now. That's the spot where they need to consistently win, stay ahead of the change, make it easier on Fyfe or whomever, and control clock. One stat NU has been good at this year is time of possession. I think it can be an overrated, and sometimes misleading stat. But in games like this, it'd be a huge service to the defense if NU could control it for 33 minutes or so, and limit the plays of Tennessee's skilled guys on offense.
@JimNE: It'd be a bad deal if that happened. That's why I don't act like this game doesn't matter. I'm not saying it's a program-changer, but it certainly impacts the narrative. As I say, Dan Patrick could take calls after a four-touchdown bowl result, win or lose, and he'd see how much it can change the perception for a staff.
@CD: I haven't heard anything recently that suggests changing divisions are just around the corner. But who knows what Delany has cooking.
@Trash: I just don't like falling into this thinking that one game in a season of small sample size of 13 doesn't matter. I mean, at some point, NU has to start climbing some rungs on the ladder. One rung they can climb here is finishing ranked in the top 20, winning 10 games, avoiding four losses for the first time since 2001. Does that mean that win would translate into what happens in eight months with a new QB and new key players involved? Not necessarily. But when judging this season, finishing on a bowl win with 10 wins sounds a lot better than finishing 2-4 over the last six games and unranked.