Let’s say a world existed where you could only watch sports live (with no replays) or never watch sports live (only replays). What side do you choose? It’s a tough question and it kicks off this week’s mailbag. Beyond that, there are plenty of questions about Tim Miles, spring football and whether or not hotdogs or sandwiches. Talk about a mixed bag for the mailbag, right?
Brandon Vogel, Jacob Padilla, Jake Jensen and Erin Sorensen answer your questions in this week’s Hail Varsity mailbag.
Q: Choose one: you can never watch live sports (only replays) or you can only watch live sports (no replays). – M.S., Cook/Tecumseh, Neb.
JJ: Give me the replays. When I can’t sleep, I watch old football games, so getting rid of replays is not a good scenario for me.
BV: I think you have to go with the replays. I, too, love revisiting old games, particularly during the offseason. That’s something I can’t give up.
ES: I’ll take live sports. I would miss replays, but I love the social element of live events. Following along on Twitter as it’s happening is one of my favorite things to do. Because of that, I’ll take the live events. Good question though.
JP: The problem here is that I kind of need to do both for my job. Why are you trying to get me fired, M.S.?
Q: Stealing your Fan Poll question… Which incoming freshman are you excited to see most during spring football? – K., Neb.
JJ: Avery Roberts. That kid can just flat out play.
BV: Agree with the above and I was a bit shocked to see the degree to which Roberts was running away with the poll. I’d put Jaevon McQuitty second, and, even though he probably won’t play this year, Tristan Gebbia third.
ES: I am also excited to see Roberts play, as well as Gebbia. Like Brandon mentioned, Gebbia likely won’t play this year but we’ll get to see him in action a bit this spring and that’ll be something to keep an eye on. His high school film (and numbers) are outstanding and I’ll be anxious to see how that plays out on the practice field.
JP: I’ll take Jaevon McQuitty. I wrote a feature on him (Premium) and his Hudl film was quite impressive, plus his high school quarterback and best friend raved about him. I think he can make the rotation at WR right away and am looking forward to seeing him in person.
Q: What is a sport or sports that UNL doesn’t have that you wish they did? – K.B., Omaha, Neb.
JJ: Lacrosse. I always thought lacrosse was an awesome sport and I wish I had gotten the chance to play it.
BV: Lacrosse would be fun, as would ice hockey but my top pick would be men’s volleyball. Given the state’s passion for the sport and that it takes place in the spring, I think it would draw really well and it’s an incredibly fun sport to watch.
ES: I’d take men’s volleyball (for the reasons Brandon suggested) or ice hockey. Nebraska does have a club hockey team (https://twitter.com/HuskerHockey) but it’d be great if it was a cool sanctioned sport.
Q: How safe is Tim Miles’ job? – C.K., Wood River, Neb.
JJ: I think he is still safe for another season and the main reason I think that is the recruitment of Isaac Copeland. I just don’t see how Nebraska could even get in the door with Copeland unless Miles had been assured at least one more year to recruit.
Q: Does Nebraska fire Miles or go through another down season? I feel like he can recruit but not sure he can coach. – M.H.
JJ: I think Nebraska should keep Miles for another year, if nothing else to keep Nebraska from having to start from scratch again. Coach Miles has hitched his wagon to the underclassmen at Nebraska, as he has brought in a talented group of freshmen and sophomores. That’s good, but with how transfer-friendly college basketball is, getting rid of Tim Miles would likely lead to Nebraska losing at least half of its underclassmen, which would lead to whoever the new coach is to having to scramble just to fill out the roster.
JP: I’m not sure what to think. Miles did a heck of a job coaching the team during the run to the NCAA Tournament in 2014, but Nebraska has several baffling losses since then. Miles struggled to recruit a full team early on, but over the last couple years he’s significantly picked it up on the recruiting trail. The one things that we’ve seen consistently from the program under Miles is inconsistency. If he gets another year (which I think he does) that has to change.
Q: Is heat really on Miles aside from message boards? In Denver so I’m outside the bubble. Before Big Ten play, I didn’t hear much. – J.M.
JJ: I think it started as mainly a message board thing that then snowballed. The thing I don’t get about the whole hot seat thing is that expectations for Nebraska were incredibly low entering the season. After Andrew White’s transfer Nebraska was supposed to be dead in the water and lucky to win 10 games, but after Nebraska beat Dayton the expectations suddenly skyrocketed.
BV: I’m in the same boat as Jake. I never got the sense that there were any internal rumblings that might indicate Miles’ job was in jeopardy. Big picture, I also don’t really see how the Illinois loss made things dramatically worse. This season is what it is at this point. This inconsistent and young team remains inconsistent and young. I remember having the conversation with a group of Nebraska reporters outside a Music City Bowl practice about how many Big Ten games Nebraska basketball would win. The consensus over/under was 4.5. Nebraska might only end up with six, but that only bolsters my personal feeling that this season was essentially what we assumed it would be, maybe even a shade better.
JP: I don’t think there’s real pressure on him this year, but that changes next season. Glynn Watson Jr., Ed Morrow Jr., Michael Jacobson and Jack McVeigh will all have a year under their belt and Isaiah Roby, Jordy Tshimanga and Jeriah Horne will all have a year in the program, plus Isaac Copeland will be eligible during the second half of the season. They can’t continue losing to bad teams with that group.
Q: How many lights are left in PBA? Seems like every team comes in and shoots them out. – S.S., Adams, Neb.
ES: Like this? (Also, don’t watch that if you epilepsy. I’m not kidding. It’s a real warning on the video.)
Q: You think Saban or Meyer will ever get busted by the NCAA for cheating? – B., Lincoln, Neb.
JJ: Their assistants might, but neither of those guys will ever get popped by the NCAA. They’re like mafia bosses.
BV: No, mainly because I don’t think Alabama or Ohio State need to cheat. Or, if you believe everyone cheats to some degree, they don’t need to cheat to an obscene degree as reportedly happened at Ole Miss, historically an SEC also-ran that needs to find an edge in hopes of keeping up. Alabama and Ohio State don’t have to do that. They’re the kings of their respective conferences.
Q: Will DPE punt return in 2017 or Tyjon Lindsey; so he is involved in the game until he catches up on the playbook? – B.C., Overland Park, Kans.
JJ: I would expect either Tyjon Lindsey or J.D. Spielman to win the punt returner job. I’ll always lean toward playing younger guys on special teams; it just makes things more exciting, both in a good way and a bad way.
JP: I wouldn’t be surprised if they take Pierson-El off special teams and let him devote all his time to refining his skills as a wide receiver, but at the same time, we’ve seen how good he can be when he gets a bit of blocking and it would be hard to just give that up. People are excited about the young guys coming in, but every year dynamic athletes come in and very few of them ever approach what Pierson-El has accomplished as a returner.
Q: Is a hotdog a sandwich? – J.L.
JJ: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says no.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.