Mailbag: What Would Happen if Mike Riley Won Out?
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Mailbag: What Would Happen if Mike Riley Won Out?

November 02, 2017

Nebraska is looking forward to Saturday when a 5-3 Northwestern team comes to Lincoln to try and knock off the Huskers on the road for a third time in four tries, but our readers are already looking ahead to the end of the season.

Hail Varsity's Brandon Vogel, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson answer your questions on Scott Frost and what would happen if head coach Mike Riley actually won out.

Riley wins out, then what? (@lredeugene)

GS: If Riley wins out, he gets a vote of confidence from Bill Moos the day after the Iowa game. That would be one of the most impressive and improbable coaching feats of his career.

DP: I’m in agreement with Greg, if Riley wins out, that means he’s ending the season with a victory over Penn State on the road. That’s enough to give him another year in my book because it shows that the players are bought in, they haven’t quit on the season and they haven’t quit on the coaching staff. There’s something to be gained from that.

JP: I agree with Greg and Derek, and Derek’s last point is key. Beating Penn State would show that the players are going to fight tooth and nail to keep their coach, and it will show that the team has taken some big strides since the Ohio State game. A 5-0 finish would mean there was a plan after all, and that the pieces are coming together.

BV: I’ll disagree with everyone else to keep things interesting and because I believe it. The circumstances that have arisen around Nebraska and prospective candidates (wink, wink) combined with the urgency Bill Moos has displayed in numerous interviews have me thinking the decision to retain/dismiss will be based solely on if this program is trending in the right direction. Is 8-4 enough to show that? That’s what many people predicted coming in, but the context has changed. Winning out would be impressive, but does it show there’s more on the table or simply that, with their backs against the wall, Nebraska can punch out of a corner? Bo Pelini’s teams were always good at that, but it’s still not an identity in my mind. And you have to have an identity in college football.

Would it be wrong not to watch the NU vs PSU game and go to UCFvsTemple with a banner that says “there’s no place like Home #GBR”? (@hubcapone)

GS: Yes, but I wouldn’t be surprised by this.

DP: As long as you’re wearing red slippers this is okay. You’ve got to be willing to go all out. Show Scott he’s worth it.

JP: Yes. Don’t be that guy.

BV: It would not be wrong. I’m married to someone from Pennsylvania and have thus spent much time there. Based on those experiences I will say (and will always say) go to Philadelphia. You’ll have much more fun there regardless of context.

Ric Flair or Junkyard Dog? What personality would you rather have in head coach? Style, profilin' recruits or Down and Dirty get the job done? (@Corn_Huskers)

JP: Not a wrestling guy but that’s a false dichotomy. You can bring in high-profile recruits while also instilling a physical mindset in the team.

Could decommitment of Bookie stem from internal uncertainty of the staff not being back next season? (@jmr2142)

GS: Yes. Imagine being one of the most sought after recruits in the country, you go to the coaching staff you are committed to and ask them about the speculation about their job. Then at best the answer the can give you is “we honestly don’t know.” Then you go to other programs with A-plus stability, not difficult to see how we got here with Bookie.

DP: Like Greg, I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people to reach this conclusion. It has nothing to do with the media, it has nothing to do with the fans and everything to do with the fact that an 18-year-old kid looked at Nebraska’s situation and thought “I have no idea where they will be in three years,” and then looked at Oklahoma and said “I know exactly where they will be in three years.”

Men’s basketball: over/under 15 wins? (@hotovy)

JP: I’ll take the over. I see somewhere in the area of 16-19 wins as a fair range for what this team should be capable of. If it goes off the rails, 12-15 is probably the range. If everything clicks and they pull off a couple of upsets, they could potentially crack 20.

DP: Granted, I’m new and still learning the team, but this feels, to me, a little bit like the Oklahoma team I covered last year. That team had talent and a vet point guard sliding to that “go-to scorer” role, but lots of new faces and a lot of inexperience. They lost 20 games – a lot of them late – and I don’t see that happening here, mostly because Nebraska has two guys in Isaac Copeland and James Palmer Jr. that Oklahoma didn’t have, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nebraska ends up being a 15 or 16-win team with some tight games that slip away late.

What are the reasons Scott Frost would and would not take the Nebraska job if offered? (@Corn_Huskers)

GS: Would: It’s important to him to be the home state hero, he wants to raise his family in Nebraska, he has a deep love for the program, Tom Osborne wants him to. Would not: CFB has changed and it’s harder to win here, Florida has a high number of athletes yearly suited to his offense. I use Florida’s recruiting because 1)I’m the recruiting guy and 2) I believe Frost is either at UCF, UF or Nebraska next year.

BV: Would: Tom Osborne, relative security in an insecure profession. Would Not: All of the things Greg said.

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