@SiliconValleyHusker: I would just settle for a Marshall family reality show, straight out of Wichita.
@Steve: I don't envision spring games going away. However, I will have to research the ASU situation, which intrigues me. Nebraska's spring game has become more about recruiting than anything else, and for that reason alone, I can't see it every going by the wayside.
@Zadi: You would have to torture me before I would let loose with a name.
@Steve: Yes, quite a few, actually. Chris Weber has bulked up for the inside linebacker spot. Same goes for Luke Gifford (215 to 240) for the outside LB position. Mick Stoltenberg got quite a bit bigger in the lower body, or so it appears. I was surprised how strong Mikale Wilbon looks out of pads. He's a legit 200-205 pounds at 5-foot-9. I think Stanley Morgan Jr. has grown into his frame really well. Yeah, a long list.
@Steve: Very dangerous, all things considered. Nebraska won't overwhelm Arkansas State with its talent.
@wonder: I don't think a seven-win season ever would be viewed as a success in Nebraska. It's hard to imagine that day ever occurring.
@wonder: You're right. A lot will have to fall together for a big season (10-plus wins). But I say it often: Nebraska has enough talent to win the division. Riley has said repeatedly that the changes on defense don't necessarily preclude having an excellent season. He says it with enough conviction that I believe him. If anybody is conceding "middle-of-the-road" status, I would like to think they believe it's only temporary. Once you settle for "middle of the road," that's what you become.
@Steve: I personally believe Mick Stoltenberg could be a solid answer at the position, though he has to prove it. Khalil Davis also is in the "prove-it" category. Davis is an example of a player the media has built up with hyperbole. It's time to find out if he can really play.
According to an amendment released by the NCAA last month, the start date for the hiring of a 10th assistant could be pushed back to January of 2018. It was originally scheduled to be implemented "immediately" if passed next month.
@JimNE: It was certainly an interesting question by Wonder. And it is certainly an interesting theory by you. But I'd like to hear what you base it on.
@Steve: I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the offensive line in the wake of its awful performances against Iowa and Tennessee. No way I'm pumping sunshine on that unit until it shows it can move the ball on the ground against a defense as ordinary as Tennessee's.
@wonder: I think Stanley Morgan Jr. is that caliber of player, but I admittedly don't have a great feel for the wideout position throughout the Big Ten. I think Chris Jones would merit consideration. But those two are about it. Yes, that's a concern. If Nebraska wins big (10-plus wins), it will be because: 1. It has a strong "team" approach; 2. Players are developed well; 3. Players fit the systems well (a la Wisconsin); 4. The team is exceptionally well-coached.
@Steve: I think Tyler Hoppes might surprise folks. The 6-4, 245-pound senior is an excellent athlete -- a dangerous down-field threat. Matt Snyder, a 6-5, 250-pound sophomore, is beginning to show why quite a bit of hype accompanied his recruitment. Jack Stoll, a 6-4, 250-pound redshirt freshman, is a tough kid. All things considered, I'm only mildly concerned about the position, in large part because of my regard for Hoppes -- a walk-on from Lincoln Southwest who began his career at Wayne State.
@Dick: I couldn't agree more. I like that Wisconsin has a clear identity in both football and basketball. The Badgers, in both sports, have recruited to defined systems for years. They have a blue print that works for their particular situation. And yes, the teams usually are tougher than hell.
@CD: Tommy Armstrong did far too much for the program to denigrate him in that manner. It frankly gets old. A lot of fans do a really great job of kicking players and coaches out the door. Bottom line, a coaching change necessitated that he try to fit into an offense that was designed for a different style of QB. That's hardly Armstrong's fault. He tried his best to adapt. In fact, he adapted well enough to beat out Ryker Fyfe and Patrick O'Brien for the job. Nothing was handed to him.
@wonder: Not at a level to consistently win championships.
@JimNE: I like the way you think, in part becomes your level of cynicism somehow eclipses mine. You just said something that long has fascinated me. That is, your "wild opinion" about the Chryst-Anderson-Riley moves. Based on what I know, it's not such a wild opinion. And if you listen to my radio show tomorrow at 7:20 a.m., I plan to ask Jeff Potrykus, UW football beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about that very theory. (93.7 FM The Ticket in Lincoln).
@CD: I think Hoppes is a down-field threat. He might surprise folks if he plays the way he's capable.
@Steve: Excellent question! Freedom Akinmoladun had four sacks last season to lead all returners. But we all know his new role in a 3-4 may mean less attacking and more clogging up blockers for linebackers to make big plays. With that in mind, I would guess either Alex Davis or Marcus Newby might end up the leader in that category. Both are OLBs. If Davis is able to grasp the system and unleash his athleticism, he could be a dynamic pass-rusher.
@Steve: No doubt about it. The offensive line is going to need to improve in a big way, in part because defenses may be able to rush more freely knowing there's a stationary quarterback waiting for them. The run game becomes very important, in part for the sake of keeping defenses honest. In a lot of ways Armstrong was a pain the rear end for defensive coordinators -- at least when he was healthy and clicking on all cylinders.
@Steve: I think Carlos Davis may fit perfectly at the short-side defensive end spot, and he's in a situation where he's going to play a ton of snaps. I think this defense may be well-suited for DaiShon Neal, a 6-7, 270-pound specimen who backs up Freedom at field-side defensive end. Neal, though, is another player with a lot of proving to do. Also, Chris Weber seems an excellent fit for strong-side inside linebacker. He's big and gets downhill in a hurry. In a somewhat unrelated matter, I think the possibility of moving Joshua Kalu to safety makes a lot of sense because it would get more speed on the field. I like the Husker safeties, but there isn't a lot of speed in the group.
@JimNE: Great question. It is hard to gauge the running game because there was no live tackling -- just thudding up. So, it seemed there was much more emphasis on the passing game in the red zone. The running part, I'm guessing, will be worked on at a later date.