I'm here to chat so if you want to chat, we should do that.
@marcus: All basketball all the time! Kidding. I always make it clear I don't cover the team, but I watch it closely. Say hi if you are at the PBA. I'm in section 209. So I love to talk hoops. Best week of Nebrasketball since the final week of the 2014 regular season. Amazing how that whole convo flipped in a week.
@Zadi: I don't know what I'd call it, maybe cautious optimism about the O-line. I think it's based off mixing a trio of juniors-to-be with that trio of redshirt freshmen to be, along with maybe a Jalin Barnett and Michael Decker, and NU fans looking for hope the thing is going to take off and have the depth it hasn't in recent years. I don't blame people for wanting to believe in something, because if they don't have that, well it's hard to be to get excited about the next couple years without optimism about the trenches. And I do think those young O-linemen have some nastiness to them. At this point, though, you want to see what looks good on paper translate to the field, and anyone's skepticism is well-founded.
@marcus: Yes, maybe, and this probably hasn't been said enough. You can't make excuses in this game if you are inside the program walls, but I'll say it since I am outside the walls: NU had a tough draw for that game. Not just the injuries, but playing a team in its backyard that had everything to prove after some pile-on stories about their coach. Nebraska was going to get Tennessee's best effort, and did. That said, it was the bad tackling on defense mixed with a healthy O-line getting nothing going in the run game that seems to have produced such sourness, and I get that as well. It's a smart football crowd, and one I think that sees NU was hanging on the edge of getting its doors blown off at times in that game.
@RedRun: Given those options, I'd say something in between. Both the other words are too strong on each end. The good parts: NU won all the games on its home field, and won all the games it was supposed to, and showed some grit early in the year after a true tragedy to a teammate. The bad parts: The top-tier competition exposed all the flaws in a major way. And, while the record is all that matters, I think everyone's eyes and the numbers show how difficult it was at times to get there. Whereas last year I felt NU was a better team than 6-7 said, when you step back and look at some of this year's data points you would almost not conclude the team ended 9-4 if you didn't know that prior.
@Stlhusker: Always an interesting question. I don't blame a coach for answering that question honestly, and maybe some current players realize it too. But I always wonder the same thing.
@casualobserver: Fickle business. A week ago everyone wanted to run the guy out of town, it seemed.
@casualobserver: I have said that I think Danny Langsdorf is pretty sharp, and I'm not going away from that even though the numbers are basically an eyesore from this season. It always comes back to the guy in charge, so those arrows are going to come, but I think of the challenge of trying to calling plays when you're getting inconsistent push from your O-line in the run game, and then your QBs are only hitting on 50 percent of their throws. So there's plenty of fault to go around for it.
@Wonder: Lot of mysteries to next year's team. Too early to stage a guess. I wouldn't sugarcoat it. There's a lot of the changing of the guard at key positions -- QB, running back, WR, TE, certain LB spots, D-end. But for the glass half-full crowd, the O-line play can only go up in my book. And while I'm not ready to say Tanner Lee or Patrick O'Brien just steps right in and rocks it, I think there's some educated hope over there that one of them fits the offense better. I mean, that's really the biggest question of all, right? We can't know for sure what QB looks like. But if it looks really good, that soothes a lot of things in a hurry. No question to me the schedule is tougher though. Penn State added as a crossover game, Oregon on the road. Heck, even the opener against Arkansas State isn't a piece of cake though they're losing some key people too.
@Zadi: I thought he did a poor job of presenting it. I didn't mind that he said he hoped Mixon did well with a second chance, but he didn't include the victim at all. It should have been phrased much differently. Honestly, probably better to just report it as a news story and leave opinion out of it.
@marcus: Oh, boy, that's a tricky guess considering we don't even know who is in the recruiting class fully. I'd say Morgan, Pierson-El, Reimers, Spielman, one of the true freshmen as my wild stab.
@Trashman: I do think it was a team that was riding an emotional ride few Husker teams have had, due to the death of a teammate. And I thought the Ohio State game was as much about them hitting a wall for a week as anything else. That and OSU is just more talented right now. But not 59 points more talented. The Iowa game was just plain bad execution on defense and a hurt QB running an offense that looked to be based more off chucking it deep and praying than anything else. I don't know that I'd say it was because of lack of buy in. It's possible, and Husker fans hate to admit this sometimes, but it's possible that that's just how good this team was. It had dogfights all year long against some lesser teams in which there were warts seen. They just really got amplified as the competition got tougher.
@Trashman: My argument for the meaning of it is more based off this: Think of the reaction to the Husker season if NU goes down there and wins that game? There's a much different tenor in this chat and everywhere. And now there's sort of this negative vibe that comes with conversations for the next eight months. I'm not saying it's something a new team with new leaders can't overcome. But I think it's another little hurdle to deal with.
@TO: I think one of the biggest differences you see are absolute game-changers at spots like D-end and linebacker. Guys who just fly, and erase. A play that looks like it might go 8, goes 3. Things like that. Obviously Nebraska has to keep upgrading there. And I'm really interested to see how the linebacker battles play out. They have some experience like Newby, Weber, Young back, but I think you have to take a long look at some of those young guys too and see if anyone is ready to break into a rotation. I don't know that Nebraska's scheme was that bad against Tennessee. What I saw were bad angles, bad tackling and, in key moments, Tennessee just being a half step faster.
@JimNE: Darnay Holmes has been thought to be a UCLA lean for a long time, from all the analysts I've talked to on the West coast. I haven't written a lot about him because I think it's always been a tough fight for NU. (Update: Although I've heard Huskers fans shouldn't abandon hope on Holmes.) Joseph Lewis, they certainly have been right there with, but you know, two months ago, USC looked like it was a mess and now the Trojans are Rose Bowl champions and play 10 miles down the road. I think this staff has a deeper pool of recruits in a year ago, so if they miss there, I think they can still find some pretty good options. But there are no guarantees obviously and I'm not going to say it's good or bad until it plays out.
@NewportRed: Ozigbo said the injuries really did bog him down. There's not always more even though everyone wants there to be more. Also, he has to get better at pass blocking. A few examples from the bowl game will show that. He ran hard, and I think definitely looked like that guy running the ball we saw back in September, even with limited holes. But he's got to become the complete package over the next eight months. People might consider Tre Bryant and him game-breakers but I do think they could give a solid 1-2 punch if they fine-tune their games.
@Wonder: I don't know what you're proposing, I guess. Blowing something up that just got started? What Nebraska football was in 1985 was never guaranteed to last, even though no one around here probably appreciated how remarkable it was what was going on at the time. NU's got some things going for it, the passion for the game and love of the university by the fans being a top thing. But this staff also walked into a program that hadn't won a conference title since before kids they are now recruiting were born. So I'd say let a staff let it's plan play out a few years before everyone loses their wits about it.
@JimNE: I haven't read everything on what Meyer is doing, but that Beck move to Texas was in the works before their goose egg the other night. I don't know if Beck felt the heat from Meyer or just liked the idea of working for Herman and getting a fresh start. I don't know if I would use those words, however, if a coach was forced out in such a scenario. Ohio State is in a different situation than Nebraska at the moment. That defeat for them is probably akin around here to how people felt when the Huskers got ripped by Iowa.
@Trashman: The conversation is completely different around here this week if Nebraska wins that game. I'm not arguing that it was the biggest game in the world. I'm not saying it impacts how Tanner Lee throws his first pass against Arkansas State. I'm saying it impacts the working climate around the program in some way. Instead of some fluffy story about the team being ranked in the top 20 for the first time in a while next week, there will be mention of how they're unranked again. There are little chain reactions to every Husker game that matter. I also know our HuskerExtra Twitter account was getting mentions as testy as ever on Friday for that bowl game no one supposedly cares about.
@Steve: Nebraska. Not saying they will, but I think the Huskers are going to swing bigger recruiting and that's the only way to really, really play with the big boys. Make no mistake, Nebraska would have loved Iowa's season a year ago. But I think most would agree that Hawkeye team wasn't confused in the same category with those elite teams. (I'm really not saying this to dog on Iowa, either. I kind of admire the way Ferentz goes about some things. They're generally solid. and their O-line play has been better than Nebraska's.) As for NU, swinging big doesn't mean it will connect big either. So it might not happen. But I think they'll take a few more big cuts, which is why I'd answer NU to that particular question.
@Trashman: I think the temperature of the fan base can be gauged by a variety of things, and never known completely. I think it's honestly a silly discussion to debate if a Nebraska game "mattered to most." It always matters when that team steps on the field. I'd also turn it around on you and say because you think the game didn't matter doesn't mean that's how most people felt. Are people as fired-up mad as they were after they lost to Purdue last year? No, I don't think so. But a 10-3 season with a win over Tennessee in Tennessee that put them in the top 20 would have carried something really positive to people. Heck, last year's win over UCLA did.
@Steve: I'll have to take notes, I guess.
@Redrealist: That didn't just pop up yesterday, but yes, I think the Ohio State and Iowa game had already proven this year that the destination isn't necessarily just a block away.
@Steve: They've been in the top 10 a lot more consistently over the last 15 years, too. If Nebraska was coming off its 1999 season and lost games this year 62-3 and 40-10, it'd be the same here.
@BigRedneck: A lot of programs go with the best five, but I do think in the Big Ten, you have to at least feel good about 8 going into the season. Because guys are going to get beat up. You're going to be down a couple guys in some game in October or November. I think Cavanaugh was playing with a tough hand this year, but that group has to make a jump next year and if people are saying at the end of it that there's no depth again, that's more about lack of development than lack of talent.
@Trashman: I mean, 11-7 still is hard for me to connect with a Nebraska team that just a week ago everyone was crapping on. But if you go win at Indiana and Maryland right out of the shoot, it sort of announces that you could make something like that your intentions. I won't say don't ask me next week, but man, if they're 4-0 when we're bickering here next week :) .... well, then you're talking about going .500 the rest of the way and you've hit the mark. I give credit to our new writer Chris Basnett. He said 10-8 or something was possible before the season after watching them, and I was doubting him. But there's a reason maybe you should tune in for his chats on Thursday. My prediction is they'll split these two games at home. Just a gut feel based off nothing but gut, gut, gut. Long haul, I'll say 9-9 in the league. But if they consistently play like they did Sunday, 11 is very much doable.
@JimNE: I don't know Jim. Cavanaugh is a good recruiter, and while I know some roll their eyes at it because they'll say coaches always stick up for each other, the late, great Milt Tenopir really liked the way he coaches and how he teaches. He's got some good talent that he helped bring in here that he gets to put to use this season, so I think you need to see if some of those young colts take off.