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Mailbag: Nebraska is at 6.5, Over or Under?

April 08, 2020

It’s Wednesday. That means Mailbag time. Let’s get to it.

If college football resumes in the fall – even with a delay – so will all other fall sports. If football doesn't play, which fall college sports might still play? Volleyball? Soccer? Cross-country? (@Shortguy1) 

Erin Sorensen: The sports with smaller rosters would be easier to maintain if certain precautions needed to be in place (and I assume there will be). A roster of 15-20 is far more manageable than a roster of 150, especially when it comes to testing quickly, etc. However, the sport with the best likelihood of resuming—if the NCAA allowed some to happen and not others, which is an entirely different discussion—is probably cross-country. That can be handled without requiring athletes to be right next to each other. They can run in smaller groups or entirely on their own. 

Mike Babcock: The bigger question is whether the campus will open back up for classes, or will it remain closed, with on-line classes continuing. If it opens, I would think that’s a sign all sports would compete. But if one sport doesn’t, I’d guess none do. 

Since I've been home the last 22 days, I've had more time to eat cereal for breakfast (and lunch, supper, and late-night snack). What are your top five cereals now, then, forever? (@Corn_Huskers) 

ES: Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cap’N Crunch’s Crunch Berries, Reese’s Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Basically, the more sugar the better, I guess. 

Jacob Padilla: I like cereal, but I don’t eat it all that often. I’m not typically an early riser, so if I’m home I don’t eat breakfast and if I have to get up early and go somewhere I’ll either grab something to eat on the go or swing through a gas station to pick something up. That being said, my cereal roster isn’t very deep these days. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is 1-5 for me and the only cereal I almost always have on hand. The cereal I’ve probably eaten the second-most in my life is the store brand version of Fruity Pebbles, Fruity Dyno-Bites. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios has been in my rotation at points throughout my life. I liked Reese’s Puffs as a kid. I guess I’ll go with Raisin Bran at No. 5, though I could pick any of a handful of cereals.  

Greg Smith: Special K Red Berries, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs and French Toast Crunch. I’m pretty sure I’ve had them all recently. 

MB: Don’t eat that much so I don’t have five: Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, and what used to be Sugar Crisp, might be Golden Crisp now. 

Derek Peterson: In no particular order: Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (I call them adult Apple Jacks), Cinnamon Toast Crunch (I call them the GOAT), Frosted Flakes, and Reese’s Puffs, which I had for breakfast this morning. 

What are some of the tech tools that the coaching staffs (not just football) are using to stay in contact with current athletes and future prospects? Any uniformity or do different coaches utilize different platforms? (@korupteddonkey) 

GS: Speaking to football specifically they are using Zoom and FaceTime to stay connected to prospects. They were already using FaceTime but the big difference now is that video calls are being used more frequently. With more people at home, the staff is taking the time to also speak with family members of prospects via video since that can’t be done in person. I just think overall these video calls are more extensive than they had been previously.  

JP: It’s the same for basketball – a lot of video calls with recruits – and John Cook has talked about Zooming with the team a couple of times to stay in touch.  

Saw an article on ODU's athletic department expenditures. My question is: what is the upside to a school keeping sports that lose a lot of money each year and attract very little audience or attention: such as men's and women's swimming?? (@InDaWilderness) 

JP: I think a lot of it is that sports help drive enrollment and they also help students that otherwise might not be able to attend college have a chance to do so. Sports are a way to stay in the public consciousness and build a brand. There are also Title IX implications in terms of the number of programs offered in order to balance scholarship numbers between women and men. 

MB: Right now, I think the biggest consideration is Title IX and balancing men’s and women’s scholarships. 

Brandon Vogel: Those two answers pretty much cover it. Opportunities for athletic scholarships have to be in proportion for men and women, which is a tricky thing when football alone can have 85 and no women’s teams are that big. But every school is looking for ways to boost enrollment, and locking in a handful of students every year who will be enticed by even a partial scholarship in a non-revenue sport helps with that. 

Who do you think the coaches’ top priority targets are? I think they are Fidone, Bollers, Lewis, and Mbow to name a few. (@Go_Big_Red) 

GS: Those four are in the latest version of Greg’s Guys so I’d agree with them. Fidone, Bollers, Lewis and Avante Dickerson are the top 4 targets overall in my opinion. Other top priorities include quarterback Peter Costelli, linebacker Seth Malcom, wide receiver Keagan Johnson and defensive end Ru’Quan Buckley. 

With the announcement of Mbow taking an OV in June, is this a sign of something positive to come? Is there something that we don’t know? I mean you can easily regulate OVs. Have 10 visitors or less and spread them out with each family in different areas then rotate. (@Go_Big_Red) 

JP: I don’t know that this particular visit is a sign of anything other than the staff continuing to build relationships with recruits and make sure they’re prepared when restrictions do lift or lessen. It’s a lot easier to cancel a visit than to set one up out of the blue. Nebraska is in wait-and-see mode with all of its June events from what I can tell at this point. 

GS: I agree with Jacob that this isn’t a sign of anything other than Nebraska lining up visits in hopes that people can visit in June. I don’t think visits will be happening if teams have to consciously think about social distancing during visits. For me it’s an all or nothing type of thing. It’s a good sign though that Nebraska is lining up visits because competition for those spots will be very tough on a shorter timetable.  

If you had to make the perfect NCAA player using only the traits of certain Huskers which traits/players would you use. (@tklim2430) 

MB: Part of my created player would come from Wan’Dale Robinson, determination, and part from Adrian Martinez, leadership . . . 

BV: Give me Wan’Dale’s awareness, Luke McCaffrey’s acceleration, Cam Taylor-Britt's speed and Cam Jurgens’ strength and agility combo. 

DP: Does it have to be current players? I didn’t think it had to be current players when I read this question so I’m going to go with all-time. My perfect defensive college football player would be Ndamukong Suh with… ope, nope that’s it. Ndamukong Suh. My perfect offensive player would combine Wan’Dale Robinson’s athleticism and vision with Tommie Frazier’s size and physicality and Scott Frost’s toughness. Hello Heisman.

Caesar’s says 6.5 over/under. You have to bet your house, what are you taking right now today? (@hotovy) 

ES: If I’m betting my house, I’m probably not making this bet right now without knowing what a season looks like. But if we’re assuming there is a full regular season, I’ll take the over. Barely, but I’ll take it. 

JP: I’m on the same page as Erin. The bet would need a stipulation that it is void if Nebraska doesn’t get to a play a full 12-game season. With that established, I’d probably take the over at 6.5 (though if it moves up at all I’m going the other way). Mostly, even with the tough schedule, if Nebraska falls short of that mark it’ll mean there probably just hasn’t been all that much progress, and nobody around here wants to believe that’s the case.  

GS: I’d hate having to make this bet today because there are so many things I need to see or hear about first. But if my house is on the line, I’m going to take the under. There are questions at every position besides secondary for me even if the questions are on a sliding scale. I just need more information and would love to revisit the bet in August. 

MB: That’s tough, right at the line. But I’m going with Greg, under. Too many questions on defense and proven depth at wide receiver, with the emphasis on “proven” not potential. 

BV: That market correction happened quickly, didn’t it? When DraftKings put out its win totals a few days ahead of Caesar’s the Huskers were at eight, which struck me as pretty high. At 6.5, however, I’d be over. 

DP: Don’t hate me, but I’d have taken the under here even if the world was operating like normal.

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Tags: 2020, Mailbag