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Carriker Chronicles transcript

Nov. 28, 2016

Welcome, Husker Nation, to the Carriker Chronicles, and if you’re looking at me and you’re wondering why I’m so poorly dressed today, it’s because I lost a bet. Thanks a lot, Huskers.

Now, as a few of you may remember, about 4 or 5 years ago when Georgia played Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl I had a bet with my friend Bill Goldberg; and when Nebraska lost that game I honored my bet and my word as I’m doing today because that’s what I believe in. And I had to dress up as Bill Goldberg the wrestler. I did the baby oil all over, I did the tight wrestlers tights, the trunks, the arm bands, everything. I did it all and I put out a picture. Now I don’t know if I’m going to put out that picture again, I might know where it is, but I don’t know if I’ll put it out again. But I’m a man who honors his word – hence the horrifically horrible outfit today.

But I do have some good news, I have some somber news and I have some bowl projections for the Big Ten Conference and of course, most importantly, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

But first, let’s start off with the good news. Congratulations to the Huskers volleyball team on their Big Ten Championship season. I’ve watched quite a few of their matches this year and they are fun to watch and I cannot wait to watch them make another run in the NCAA tournament.

Now, the somber news, Mike Riley fired our special teams coordinator on Sunday. Now before you go rejoicing or getting mad or sad or whatever your reaction is. Keep in mind, this is a man who has a family who has to put food on the table for his family. This is not some person’s face you see on a video game you can delete, create or trade. So I wish him and his family, Coach Bruce, all the best in the future.

That being said, this is a business and he was being paid and you expect a return on your investment. And the special teams have not played very well this year. I never root for anybody to be fired; never glad when anyone is fired. But I like the message that Coach Riley is sending. He let go of the D line coach after national signing day, and this move. Again, not happy they’re fired, never happy anyone’s fired; but I like the message it sends. This is not good enough, because that is how all of Husker Nation currently feels.

Now let’s get to those Big Ten bowl projections. I’m just going to start at the top of the conference.

Ohio State, they are most likely gonna end up in the playoff; and if Clemson wins the ACC title game, they are probably going to play Clemson.

Then you’ve got Michigan who is ranked 5th and 6th – in one poll they’re right behind Wisconsin, which I don’t understand as they beat them head to head. They should be 5th in both polls. But they are projected to go to the Orange Bowl and play either Florida State or Louisville.

Up next is the winner of the Big Ten Championship game – Penn State and Wisconsin. The winner of that will most likely go to the Rose Bowl and either play USC or Colorado. The loser of that game is not as cut and dried, could possibly go to the Cotton Bowl, the Outback Bowl or the Citrus Bowl. Although the Citrus Bowl will probably have an ACC team this year instead of a Big Ten Team to play the SEC.

But the odds are the loser will go to the Cotton Bowl and most likely play Western Michigan or Navy. One of those two teams will get the automatic bid as the highest ranked conference champion not from a Power Five conference. So that would be an interesting bowl game to watch. I always enjoy watching those Cinderella Bowls.

But, before I break it down a little more throughout the conference I want to address this possible College Football Playoff dilemma we could have going on.

Let’s say if Penn State wins the Big Ten Championship game, they will be Big Ten Champs and they will own a head to head victory over Ohio State.

Now if Wisconsin wins, they’ll be Big Ten Champs and they will have had a really tough schedule.

But let’s break down Penn State first. You have to look at the system we are in. They system we are in dictates you have to have four teams in every game. Now you can’t tell me that the four best teams are always going to be from four different conferences. I’ve always been of the mindset you should have to win your conference to have to play for the national championship. If you’re not the best team out of 10 teams, 12 teams, 14 teams, whatever it is – how are you going to be the best team out of 128 teams?

But the system we have dictates that four teams have to have a chance to play for the title at the end of the year. Like I said, four teams, the four best teams may not always be from four different conferences. So that being said, you have to look at the whole body of work, and if things get close, that’s when you err towards the conference champion. That’s when you give the benefit of the doubt to the head to head winner. When there is separation you look at the whole body of work. You look at Ohio State’s whole body of work; they’ve beaten #5, #6 and #7 teams in the country. Two of those three games were on the road.

You look at Penn State’s whole body of work and they lost to Pittsburgh and they lost by almost 40 points to Michigan and that’s like a loss and a half or two losses in my mind. So I don’t understand how Penn State can get in when they have two losses, a really bad loss; I understand the argument for them but it doesn’t make sense if they win they would be the third highest rated team from the Big Ten. Ohio State will be ranked higher, Michigan will be ranked higher. Penn State would be the third highest rated team, yet they’d get in above both of them?

And with Wisconsin, they have a really tough schedule, two losses; but I could forgive that because of their schedule. But they lost to Ohio State and Michigan head to head; hence you err to the head to head winner. So to me it’s gotta be Ohio State.

And some of the other teams I’ve heard mentioned that could possibly get in are Oklahoma if they win the Big 12 Championship game. I don’t even think they belong in this conversation at this point in time until we see what happens this weekend because they lost by 3 touchdowns to Ohio State and got beat soundly by Houston. If either team from that Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma St. game that becomes the Big 12 champ (whoever wins that would have an argument) but Oklahoma State early this year they literally got robbed by the refs. The Big 12 conference came out the next day and admitted Oklahoma St. literally had the game taken out of their hands; and I forgot what school it was, one of the smaller schools. And they should have one loss this year. The Big 12 Conference flat out admitted it. They didn’t have the guts to actually make the change. In my mind they would have an argument if they won on Saturday. But in my mind neither team does. I’ve even heard people say the two teams I wouldn’t want to play right now in the country are Alabama and USC. Like USC a three-loss team with a loss of 46 points to Alabama and a loss of 17 points – three possessions – to Stanford belongs in the National Championship conversation?

Going through all these teams I noticed Pittsburgh, well they beat Penn State and Clemson, let’s put them in. They’re only 8-4 but what’s it matter?

You gotta look at the whole body of work, having to have four teams in and when things are close that’s when you give the benefit of the doubt clearly to the conference champion and the head to head winners.

Now, if Clemson or Washington or one of those one loss teams lose this weekend, things that’s when things could get interesting. This is college football, you never know what can happen; but as of right now, I think it’s pretty cut and dried that Ohio St. should get in from the Big Ten, in my opinion.

Now let’s get back to breaking down the rest of the bowl match ups for the Big Ten teams and most importantly, Nebraska. Next up is Iowa (cough, cough, cough, sniff, woo!). Excuse me.

Iowa could possibly go to the Holiday Bowl or the Music City Bowl, not that we care.

Next up is Nebraska. Now, the two bowls that I’m hearing about are the Outback Bowl and the Music City Bowl. Now, back on October 6, bye week, when Nebraska had a bye week, I made a couple predictions and one of them was that Nebraska could end up in the Outback bowl vs. Florida, so I’m curious to see how close I am to my accurate prediction. If you want to check out that video, you can. I also said they could possibly be in the Orange Bowl and that didn’t work out. But the Outback Bowl could possibly happen. Possible opponents I’m hearing are LSU, Florida and Tennessee. Now, if we get in the Outback Bowl, those are some great opponents. Well recognizable opponents, respected opponents and that’s a big time bowl game, it’s become one on New Year’s Day so that’s something to get excited about. Even if we go to the Music City Bowl I say we do what we did last year when we played UCLA. I say we stomp a mud hole on whoever they put in front of us in that bowl game.

Now as far as when I’ll do the next Carriker Chronicles, that will be Wednesday, kind of just that every other day type thing. I’m not sure what I’m going to do moving forward, just simply because now the season is over, I have to get in a semi-offseason routine; but it’s not really the offseason. So for right now, my next show will be Wednesday. I will be answering your fan questions. I will be posting a post on Facebook tomorrow morning, Tuesday morning bright and early and tweeting out a tweet on Twitter bright and early tomorrow Tuesday morning. Reply to those tweets and posts with your questions. Because I will then answer them with the Chronicles I then put out on Wednesday.

So, you know, I have worn this thing for a while now, you know, a good portion of today and it’s just sticky and it’s nasty and it smells funny, you know, I think I’ve honored my bet and it’s time to take this crap off.

Go Big Red, and always remember to Throw the Bones!