I'm here, with burnt ends from Phat Jacks in my belly. Content. Let's chat.
@LarryG: I don't tell people to be excited about anything, excepting when they see their dog after a long day of work. But ... OK, I'd say because Nebraska only plays 13 or 14 of these a year. And because it's against an SEC team. And because it's not like Nebraska went 5-7 again, even though some are acting it. I get the displeasure about seeing your team lose by 30 to Iowa. It confused the situation plenty on how to discuss the season that was. But I also notice that people like to talk down bowl games like this, then they ultimately watch, and these games do shift the narrative one way or another because it's the last people will see of the team for eight months. Just think of yourself on May 21. You'll be wishing you could watch a Nebraska-Tennessee game about that time of year. OK, did I convince you?
@BK: I wouldn't necessarily call them frontrunners. I'd say their odds increased, though. I think Nebraska and USC are in a real fight for Joseph Lewis. At the end of September it looked like the Trojans were going to be a mess. Now they're in the Rose Bowl, have momentum, and are 10 miles from Lewis. So ... let's not act like that's an easy fight for Nebraska. But it's one I still think they can win. Greg Johnson? I talked to a couple guys who know West Coast recruiting real well and they both agreed Williams helps NU, but that Johnson's recruitment is still wide open. Donte Williams is REALLY close with that Hawkins staff, but Williams has a different challenge than he does at Arizona. I'd say he's recruiting to a better program with more resources, but he also now has to convince West Coast guys to leave the West Coast. He sounds like the type of recruiter who can do it, but we should watch it play it out first before we make bold statements.
@TO: No. It's the home of the Tennessee Titans. It's not a bad bowl. It's not the Rose Bowl by any means, but there will be fans at this game and it will be a good lead-in to the Orange Bowl between Michigan and Florida State.
@CDS923: Exactly. Relish football while it is before your eyes. Don't go sulk right now.
@Adam: That Nebraska needs to start winning to make it feel like more of a rivalry than each fan base just making lame jokes about how the other fan base dresses. I'll say Creighton by 10 in a hard-fought game.
@Robin: I almost respect a guy's personal season more when he puts up numbers like that when he's surrounded by crap. I am fortunate enough to have a vote -- I think there's about 18 or so that vote in this state -- and this year was a challenge. We're not supposed to share our top 3 so I won't, but I will say that there are sometimes guys who you could put anywhere between second and sixth that you have to leave out just because you don't have enough spaces. I thought it was odd two OU guys made the Top 5. I like what Dede Westbrook did, but it seems overkill to have two offensive dudes who took full advantage of a conference that plays little D. I'd like defensive guys to be considered more. I try to vote for one defensive guy a year if at all possible.
@CDS923: Suh should have won that year. If the Texas game had come a week before, and he had one more showcase game after it, I think he would have. For whatever reason, some goobers submit their votes before the final games are played, which makes no sense to me.
@BK: Can't say, won't say. Not necessarily.
@BK: By the way, I would say if they didn't threaten to take your vote if you did. I think the ballots should be open to the public. I'll give my top 3 next week ... not that the world is waiting.
@SteveUofN1964: The best I can explain it, last year's team was a little better than the record showed. This year's team perhaps had a record more flattering than their level of play. I hate to say that, because Nebraska found a way to win those games and you can't take away those fourth-quarter finishes. But there were warning signs during the 7-0 stretch that this team had very limited margin for error. Eventually inconsistent line play, which NU had on offense for most of the season, will bite you in the butt. That's why I keep saying that while Nebraska does need to win recruiting battles on these skilled position game-changers, they just as much need to develop those guys in the trenches because the guys on the outside don't make much difference if you're getting manhandled between the hashes. I think in the Big Ten you almost need 8 or 9 O-linemen you feel pretty good about going into a season because you know the wear and tear will knock a few guys out. As we saw this year.
@lredeugene: Tommy, Foster/Utter/Farmer, Aaron Williams/Kieron Williams. I cheated.
@Pipeline: I think so. I actually think Michigan has the best chance of anyone to beat Alabama because that Wolverine defense would keep it close. I also think it's possible Alabama, while very good, isn't ready to lap everyone like some people seem to think. Not a great year in the SEC. I don't know that Bama was tested as it normally has been in the past. I like the playoff at four teams, honestly. Sure, Penn State has a beef. But there have been a lot better teams in college football past that have missed out on a championship opportunity than PSU, which lost a game by 39 points.
@Robin: I think Jonathan Allen from Alabama deserved consideration but if Suh can't win it, I don't know if any D-lineman can win it. I'll tell you the wild card I thought long and hard about -- Curtis Samuel from Ohio State. Doesn't touch the ball that much, but look at the yards accumulated and how his presence on the field completely changes what a defense does. Also, he made the play of the game against Michigan that allowed Ohio State to go for the fourth-and-1.
@Pipeline: That's hard to say right now. I don't know if any. Greg Johnson maybe. I don't know if other guys will want to reconsider this late in the game. You can really like a coach, but that doesn't mean you're ready to follow him wherever he goes.
@SoSuhme99: I think it's a dangerous game to get into that, "Oh, he smiled during a loss" thing. That's what I'd say. You know people react to different scenarios or conversations differently. I saw him after the game and he wasn't laughing at all. I'd say Tommy didn't ever quite develop in the passing game quite as much as hoped. I'd also say NU's receivers frankly didn't make some plays on some balls I thought they could have in the losses as well. It wasn't just an Armstrong thing. He didn't let Iowa score touchdowns of more than 60 yards on back to back plays. If ever there were just a total team loss, that was it.
@TO: Don't know about that, but I'd like to see a RB in the class.
@JimNE: Tough one to answer Jim. It's one of those where the weight room stuff is so hidden, you don't really know what Nebraska is doing compared to other schools. I think the biggest difference is it's no longer a clear-cut advantage. It stopped being so about 20 years ago because every Power 5 school started putting a lot of resources into it. I will say that when I watched the Big Ten title game and looked at Wisconsin's linemen in the huddle, they did jump out to me as just massive dudes. But where it gets tough is ... Nebraska was also right there with Wisconsin. Right there.
@BK: No, but I respect his longevity, his competitiveness and the way he handled criticism. It's quite a thing to be one of the Top 5 most recognized people in the state from age 19-23. I think we know what warts he has in his game. But I'll tip my hat that he generally showed up to talk -- good or bad. What holds him back is signature wins were hard to come by.
@HuskerDoginColo.: Ryker wasn't himself either. Would have been tough for him to go as well. Could've thrown Darlington out there, I suppose, and while I would have sat up in my seat like everyone else to watch that, the real games don't usually play out like people's imaginations have them in scenarios like that.
@TO: I think the schedule is tougher. And while I leave open the possibility that QB play could give these coaches more of what they're looking for I'm also not just going to assume that. And, yes, they have to replace three top receivers, three top TEs, top running back, and their best player at each level on the defense. I know some might not agree with my take on the schedule, but when you're hosting Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Iowa, it puts that much more pressure on you to hold serve at home. Oregon on the road, regrouped with a new coach, will be plenty tough. And Penn State gets added as a crossover game. It's not as rough as the 2018 schedule, but no question it's tougher than this year in my book.