Ready, aim, fire away ...
@Aaron: I wish I could explain it. However, I do wonder right now about Nebraska's commitment to a physical running game. How could you not wonder about the commitment after the last two performances? As for the Tennessee-overflows-with-talent discussion. I never heard a peep about the Volunteers' talent-laden roster before the bowl game. I still don't think the Vols are all that good. If you took away their top three players (Barnett, Dobbs, Malone), the teams in that particular game would have been on even terms.
@Zadi: I can't help but think you're right.
@Mike: My read is yes, although I think that would be unfair.
@SiliconValleyHusker: If I could answer that question, I'd be a highly paid consultant working for the Nebraska athletic department.
@NateBP: "Massive" may be overstating matters. I would only say "massive" if Nebraska remains outside the top 30. If that occurs, "massive" may apply in part because Shawn Eichorst has upped the ante on recruiting by stating publicly that the roster needs a talent upgrade. Folks are watching the situation closely. By the way, Nebraska's 2016 class ranked No. 25 nationally. Pelini's last five classes averaged 26.2.
@JimNE: Good points. But based on my sources, Tim Beck had agreed to be Texas' offensive coordinator before the Clemson game. So, I don't give Meyer a bunch of credit for making a change in that regard. It wasn't as if Beck was pushed out the door. He was already gone. Getting back to your point, the Wilson hire by Meyer could be a big-time upgrade. I thought Wilson was extraordinary at Oklahoma as O.C.
@Aaron: Good points, but I would argue that Michigan also had a sizable talent edge on Nebraska -- not as sizable as Ohio State's, but sizable enough. As for the "know-who-you-are" sentiment, I couldn't agree more. I've said it many times. Iowa and Wisconsin have a distinct advantage over Nebraska in that area because of the long careers of Kirk Ferentz and Barry Alvarez. Alvarez's influence on the Badger program remains profound, and will stay that way as long as he's A.D.
@rickylee41: I read Twitter a lot. Having a president like that seems fitting.
@Billyc: I do sometimes think we put too much emphasis on the coaching element. No matter who's the head coach/assistants at Nebraska, recruiting players to Lincoln involves significant challenges that many other programs don't face.
@Zadi: I anticipate Nebraska coaches making a spirited run at Calvin once the dead period ends on Jan. 12.
@Billyc: I've heard people speculate the same. I would have to talk to recruits to see if that is an issue.
@JimDuryea: The issue is this: Most teams want seven-to-eight receivers, not only three. You need depth. You need to be able to shuttle receivers in and out. Nebraska is hoping to recruit three or even four more receivers, and it hopes two or three signees are ready to play.
@JimNE: I like the way you think, except for this: What about the staff continuity that Tom Osborne espoused for all those years and became a program staple? For instance, Osborne gave McBride time to get the defense righted when it was struggling for a period of years.
@NewportRed: Do I expect it? No. Do I rule it out? No.
@Steve: It's a good idea in theory. As for practicality, I think there are some holes.
@G-Dub: Dabo Swinney has done a marvelous job recruiting to a school in the middle of a hotbed recruiting region. Swinney has benefited greatly from having a Heisman-caliber quarterback in Deshaun Watson who often has played to his enormous potential. Ohio State snagged Urban Meyer, and the Buckeye program took off like a rocket. Look at Penn State's recruiting region - - 12.5 million people in Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions roster is loaded with in-state talent.
@Robin: It's hard to stay middle of the road when Nebraska loses by 30 to an ordinary Iowa team (and Nebraska's effort is lethargic) and then runs for 61 yards against a Tennessee defense that allowed 400-plus rushing yards to Kentucky and Missouri.
@NewportRed: I've had one NFL scout tell me that he goes to college coaches with this question: "Why SHOULDN'T I draft so-and-so player?" The reasons teams SHOULD draft players generally are apparent. The reasons teams SHOULDN'T often are less apparent, except in Gerry's case.
@CD: I think that's why many folks eagerly anticipate the 2017 season, which might give us a more accurate read on what's to come in the Riley years. That said, Riley/Langsdorf picked Armstrong to be their starter, even though Ryker Fyfe showed against Maryland and Tennessee that he might've been a legitimately viable option, and one who would have better fit the pro-style system.
@Robin: I agree for the most part. I think there's been a lot of overreaction to what happened to Nebraska at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. That said, it did seem to add urgency to the weeks leading to national signing day.
@CD: I think you're on to something there.
@Zadi: I think Clemson will win the game.
@Steve: Wouldn't it require the Beatrice school to begin and subsidize a program and find a conference?
@JimNE: From 1985 to 1991, Nebraska won one outright Big Eight title. I remember those years well. It got pretty negative around here after Nebraska lost 45-21 to Georgia Tech in the Citrus Bowl to cap the 1990 season. McBride had a lot more time to get things squared away than you're giving Banker.
@CD: This was James Franklin's third season. And he inherited a program rocked by scholarship reductions, still managing to push program to a Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions return all but a handful of players from their 2016 two-deep. They return 18 starters in all.
@NewportRed: The record was a major improvement, and I think you saw improvement in some crucial areas (fewer big plays allowed, fewer turnovers, better pass defense with more interceptions), but generally speaking, there wasn't a lot of improvement from 2015.
@CD: The media saw 11-12 practices combined in spring and August. I thought Fyfe was ahead of O'Brien. In other words, I don't think it was an overly difficult decision to redshirt POB.
@Steve: I like the way you think.
@JimNE: That seems like a fair analysis.
@rickylee41: I always appreciate your input, Ricky.