Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Monday Mailbag (4/6/14)

We had a ton of help this week from the folks over at Fancred.com, a definite must join if you enjoy sports and a fun, well-kept social network. Today’s haul should get some fun responses. Let’s see what we’ve got this week…

Serious question: What’s the one food that every Nebraska fan has at their football tailgate? I’m hungry. – Landon Howell (Fancred)

This is a legitimate question, and one of the many culinary-themed ones I get regarding Lincoln’s cuisine. You’ll always find burgers and more often than not, they’ll be forged from high-grade Nebraska beef. That’s like…what we do, man. Not necessarily a food, but you’ll often find homemade rubs and spices. An item that’s starting to show up more and more is Sparky’s BBQ sauce which is produced in Grand Island, Nebraska.

With Kevin Dillman’s commitment, should we be concerned about the number of quarterbacks on the roster? – George Cunningham (Husker Corner Mail)

Brandon: If they were all destined to be quarterbacks, I’d say it would be a worry, but let me put this into perspective to ease your concern. As it stands, Nebraska has Tommy Armstrong Jr., Johnny Stanton, Zack Darlington and A.J. Bush on scholarship. Let’s assume Dillman signs on the dotted line because we have no reason not to.

I’m going to freak you out even more for a second and suggest Nebraska lands another quarterback prospect. What do the Huskers do with six? They’re likely not all going to be quarterbacks. As I mentioned about Dillman, he can both throw passes and likely intercept them. I feel the same about Bush.

I personally feel Darlington’s status is up in the air right now and wouldn’t let him see the field this fall until his head injuries could be evaluated further. I just took all but two scholarship quarterbacks away from that depth chart. This isn’t factoring in possible injuries to Armstrong Jr. or Stanton (knock on wood) or the myriad of things that could happen between now and a year from now.

To summarize: deep breaths.

I’m an Ohio State fan, but I have a question I could ask you. Can Tim Miles and the basketball program overtake the football program in terms of support and expectations? Especially as long as Bo Pelini is still at the helm. – Jason Gibbs (Fancred)

Brandon: No. Why not? Perfect example: If you want into a sports bar and I’m wearing a Nebraska hat, what’s the first thing you think of? It’s something related to Huskers football whether it’s Pelini, the fans, whatever. That said, Miles has rapidly raised the expectations of Nebraska men’s basketball in two years’ time. He essentially spun straw into gold.

Fans are already clamoring for him to get a long extension with a big, fat raise immediately. The season ticket waiting list had a waiting list in a snap. After getting back into the NCAA tourney this year, not only do Nebraska fans want that first win in program history, but Miles wants it more.

Many see him as the potential Bob Devaney of Nebraska basketball. I think he’s already reached that point. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Nebraska in a Sweet 16, dare I say Final Four within three years at this rate.

Did Jack Hoffman save Pelini’s job? Does anybody remember Pelini’s derogatory remarks about the school’s fan base? – Beau Henry (Fancred)

Brandon: No, Jack didn’t have anything to do with whether or not Pelini was fired. I genuinely believe that he does care about kids in Jack’s situation, especially after reading a somewhat recent article by Gregg Doyel. Pelini did a great thing almost a year ago and I was fortunate to be there to see it live.

That said, the fan base is split on what he’s being paid to do. Some fans feel he wasn’t referring to them in the infamous tapes released after last season’s UCLA loss and are defending him fervently. Others have taken great offense and are sick of the program being stuck in neutral with four losses per year and nothing to show for it. I’ve seen no middle ground.

Personally, I believe this should be Bo’s make or break year. Michigan left the division, Ohio State’s not on the schedule and it’s littered with teams that Nebraska should beat. If there isn’t any new quality hardware (think conference title or better) in the Huskers’ trophy case after this season, let alone four more losses, Nebraska should cut the cord. That’s said strictly from a business perspective.

Bruce Pearl to Auburn — are the Tigers relevant in the next few years? – Beau Henry (Fancred)

Brandon: Well, he had success at Tennessee and I think he has the ability to put together a competent staff, so sure. Why not? Auburn vs. Nebraska in the Elite Eight some time.

Thoughts on the Duke/Mercer game? Where is the origin of the parity in college basketball? – Beau Henry (Fancred)

Brandon: While I haven’t really dived so deep into the college game until recently, I’ve learned to never be surprised when it comes to March Madness (duh). To me, basketball’s a game that can be won and lost on emotion alone sometimes. I saw it myself in Nebraska’s final regular season game verses Wisconsin.

That said, I think we’re starting to see kids who want the opportunity to play different roles or just be the guy go to a place that’s either closer to home or simply more comfortable. Why? The ability to see nearly (if not literally) every game we want thanks to more channels, the Internet, etc. My kid doesn’t have to go to Kentucky for me to see him dominate.

He doesn’t have to get a scholarship to Texas, Florida or North Carolina. He can go to a place like Mercer with a nucleus of guys who believe in themselves, their coach and what they’re capable of. Then you’ve got a recipe to be overlooked by a big dog.

Thanks for all of those who contributed this week! Have a question that you’d like to see featured in next week’s mailbag? Leave it in the comments below, sent it to us, tweet at us or join Fancred and chime in when we sound the horn.

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