The Hail Varsity staff (sans Erin Sorensen, who randomly said she hated the mailbag and never wanted to answer another question in the piece again. . . weird) returns to answer your Husker questions. Let’s get to it.
What college football team's jersey would you pick to wear to an Ugly Sweater party? (@Corn_Huskers)
Mike Babcock: I’ve seen some Maryland jerseys that would qualify.
Derek Peterson: Iowa’s yellow base/black shoulder feathers combination this season was really rough, as was Michigan State football’s randomly neon-embracing turn (I know basketball has been doing it for a while but they’re at least good enough to pull it off and basketball allows for more creativity than the stuffy football played in the Big Ten). I will defend Maryland’s traditional home/road uniforms alone if I have to; I greatly enjoy the wacky and truly individual helmet. Nothing has been quite as bad as those grey, swamp-inspired Florida alternates from a year ago, though. That thing is going to be a relic for a long time. I’d wear that to an ugly sweater party every year.
Brandon Vogel: Derek took my gator-skin pick, so I’ll rescue a uniform off his “donate” pile. Give me Michigan State’s neon, supersized STATE jersey. Matching pants, too, if I can get ‘em. But not football pants. That would be weird.
If I told you the Husker football team would have a 5-Star recruit commit AND sign in the 2021 class, which position would you predict it would be? (@Corn_Huskers)
MB: An offensive lineman, probably tackle.
Jacob Padilla: Give me a pass rusher, whether it be an outside linebacker or a defensive end. Scott Frost talked about needing a guy who can get to the quarterback on his own like Ohio State’s Chase Young earlier in the season, so I’ll follow his lead and start there.
Greg Smith: The not-as-fun answer from me would be offensive tackle because Teddy Prochazka gets bumped up. However, I’ll also mention defensive back because Travis Fisher can really connect on the trail.
DP: The easiest path here would be Avante Dickerson continuing to blow up on the trail and becoming a 5-star, wouldn’t it?
A 2020 recruiting class rank prediction…? Fifteen sounds about right. (@navymousel)
DP: The class currently ranks 29th nationally in the 247 Composite and 35th by Rivals. I have been of the mindset for months now that struggles in Year 2 on the field and regression (at least from a perception standpoint) at quarterback really hurts the pitch on the trail. Nebraska has a staff of closers, so I’ll say mid-20s, but not the excitement or success to crack the top-20 like last season.
GS: I’ll go with 20.
Do you think the Big Ten goes down to an eight-game conference schedule, since the CFP committee is cool with it? (@ScNOTty_Frost)
MB: Yes, if the SEC can do it. Plus, it would mean, in most instances, another home game (revenue) against an (expected) overmatched opponent.
JP: I don’t really see them going backward. A nine-game schedule might actually help down the road once the playoff expands. It would be nice if the committee valued it more right now though.
DP: Maybe at some point, sure, but this season produced an unbeaten playoff lock in Ohio State, so I don’t see any pressure mounting to weaken the strength of schedule. Ohio State’s résumé was a legitimate case for it earning the top overall seed in the field. This isn’t the year to change things around.
I know that the staff already has eyes on a couple, but do we see the addition of more grad transfers to the roster this year? I know that the staff was looking at Khalil Herbert before he committed to VT and Brenden Schooler. (@Go_Big_Red)
GS: Define looking at? If that means they were aware of them, sure. We have to be a bit careful with every report of the staff looking into transfers. That was long way of saying, yes, I think we will see transfer additions this year.
BV: A lot will depend on how the scholarship numbers shake out after 2020 recruiting is finished and attrition drops the final bill, but if both are close to expected I think it’s somewhat inevitable that the Huskers will be active in the transfer market.
Over/under 20 signees on the December signing day? (@TheBkm)
GS: Good line. I will say over.
What are your Heisman predictions and your College Football Playoff predictions? (@Peyton51533)
MB: Joe Burrow’s name comes up as soon as the Heisman is mentioned. Ohio State wins it all even though the Buckeyes have the more difficult route, having to play Clemson—because the committee flip-flopped Ohio State and LSU for no substantial reason. The first round should be LSU-Clemson, Ohio State-Oklahoma. But it’s not. The rating process is flawed. Still, Ohio State because it’s solid on both sides of the ball.
GS: I 100% agree with everything Mike said.
JP: What Greg said.
DP: What Jacob said. (I’ll add an aside, though: Ndamukong Suh not winning the award meant the end to any future discussion about a defensive player winning the award. That year made it an offense-only award in my eyes. Who’s the hands-down-best this year? Chase Young. But that’s not what the award is about anymore. And before I’m accused of pandering, I’ve had this belief pretty much since the year it happened.)
BV: I’m guessing Burrow takes home the trophy in fairly dominating fashion. As for the playoff, Ohio State has been really, really good this year. That said, I’m very wary of a Clemson team given the opportunity to lurk a bit. And by a bit, I mean for most of the season. I’ll be more surprised if Clemson doesn’t find a way to win this thing than I will be if they don’t.
How many football players do you expect to go portalling? (@RandallKolman)
DP: A lot.
MB: More than a lot.
With the Husker women’s basketball team having a record of 8-1, are they an underrated team in the eyes of the National Media? Is there any chance they are ranked in the near future? Three out of five 8-1 Big Ten teams are ranked. (@rybread120)
MB: If the women continue to win, they’ll be ranked. Last season’s record (14-16, 9-9) probably wasn’t sufficient to give them a preseason boost, so they have to win their way back.
JP: If you don’t start the season ranked, it’s harder to crack that top 25 without a big-time win, even with a good record. If they get to 13-1 which would include a win against a ranked Michigan State team, I’d be surprised if they aren’t in there for the Week 10 poll.
Whatever happened to the Los Huskers account? I must’ve listened to the call of the Northwestern game 100 times and I was hoping for more. Any chance we see it for volleyball or basketball, too? (@huskerfan4life9)
BV: No official word on future plans but I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see more Spanish-language broadcasts going forward. Based on public response it seemed to be a welcome and useful thing. Maybe if Nebraska volleyball makes it to the Final Four? That would be a fitting return.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.