Roundtable For April 20th: Turf dreams, Taylor's Heisman Hopes, Baseball's Stretch Run

Leon Halip

The staff got together again to sing KUM BY AH and talk about this week in Husker athletics. One of those 2 things is true.

1. The LJS put a piece out on Wednesday wondering out loud about Taylor Martinez and when the AD should start promoting Taylor for things like the Heisman and such. We’ve been down this road before, but since this is his last go around, should things be different?

Brandon Cavanaugh: With Rex, I feel the campaign was more respect than anything, and more than appropriate. However, good publicity is good publicity and bringing attention to Taylor’s work ethic over the past two offseasons wouldn’t be the worst way to showcase how the current staff can help you improve.

Unless Nebraska wins the B1G and is BCS-bound, there’s no way Martinez is even invited to New York. However, I’ve been getting Teddy Bridgewater materials since he was a sophomore which makes Louisville stand out slightly more. Not a lot, but when they won the Sugar Bowl, it was hard to look at the Bridgewater bubble gum and forget the performance.

In summary: Why not?

David McGee: Mostly agree with Brandon here, but I think the biggest campaigning Taylor can do is have huge games vs. UCLA and Michigan and then in the B1G title game. If he has a huge year and they go 11-1 or 12-0 before heading to Indy, it will be very difficult to keep him off the invite list. I almost feel like his involvement in the Jack play, even though all the hype was about Rex and his relationship with Jack, was more valuable than anything the athletic department could do by sending flyers to voters or buying billboard space in Times Square. Playing for a program like Nebraska and in a conference like the Big Ten lends itself to getting more than enough attention. Now, he’s just got to go and do it.

Salt Creek: I agree with David here. Don't forget, RG3 won his Heisman off of Bob Stoops' dare late in the season. Let Taylor win his against the Buckeyes in December.

Mike: Teddy Bridgewater was a relative unknown until Louisville started campaigning for him. Even then, it was his late season performances that mattered more. Martinez is a three-year starter who’s led his team to two conference title games. He’s not an unknown; everybody knows what he can do, and more importantly, knows where he’s failed. Sending out postcards, pencils, and notepads isn’t going to change that.

Andy Ketterson.: Does anyone actually know how much of an effect the school campaigns really have? It seems, especially the way the last few have gone down, that the best campaign technique would be having a close relative high up in the production department at ESPN. The voters seem to be watching highlights,and, in the case of certain highly overrated linebackers, weepy stories about imaginary dead girlfriends.

Brian: I don’t know what more you can do outside of having a defense not lose you ballgames that Taylor wants/needs. I get some of the propaganda, to have you get that preseason attention. Then again, you’re going to be #2 in the conference behind Braxton Miller in a lot of people’s eyes no matter what. The one saving this for Taylor that gives you hope is that RG3 won at Baylor with Phil Bennett having one of the worst defenses in recent time (even so to this coming season, because having your offense score 63 and losing against West Virginia is cool). So instead of that, just win games, but play well and look good no matter what the scoreboard says.

2. Exactly one month left in the B1G season for Nebraska baseball with 18 games left, 12 of those in conference play. What does Nebraska have to do record wise before the B1G Championship Tourney to get a peek at an at-large bid?

Brandon Cavanaugh: Sitting at 16-19 with Kubat back in the saddle, if he stays healthy, I expect them to sweep Purdue and the opportunity’s there to win the remaining B1G series. This alone puts Nebraska at 25-22.

Picking up the final game against Kansas State would be big. Dropping Creighton and Rutgers in the upcoming TD Ameritrade Classic would be great, especially with the Scarlet Knights’ RPI. Splitting the OSU games seems acceptable. This gets the Huskers to 29-23.

Taking that final game from Creighton to put Nebraska at 30 wins should be adequate for tourney play.

DM: Let’s get this out there right here and now, it’s going to be very difficult for this team to get an at large berth. Speculating here, but with 18 games left, they probably need to get to 34 to be in the at large discussion which would mean nearly winning out plus a game or two in the conference tournament. Really, they need to win that thing to get in, I don’t think they’d get in otherwise.

Mike: I laughed at the idea before...but then Nebraska swept Arkansas. I do believe they have to win in Minneapolis, but a solid performance in the final month might be enough.

AK:I don’t see it. The Big 10 might get 1-2 bids and there’s six teams with better records despite some big Husker wins. Too many bodies to jump over.

Brian: Kubat’s return is going to have to spark some major winning over this timeframe to get them to NCAA play. I would say just win the B1G tourney and remove all doubt, but getting to 30 wins and not crapping the bed in the tourney could probably do it. That’s a lot of wins you haven’t been getting (K-State for one), however tourney committees do seem to love teams playing their best ball at the end of the season a lot.

3. There’s been a lot of chatter about replacing the turf at Memorial Stadium this summer, but odds say it’s going to wait till after the 2013 season. What would you do with the design of the field when it gets replaced? Or, would you keep the 2 toned field status quo?

Brandon Cavanaugh: Keep the two-toned field. Not only is it a nod to the past, it’s a boon for coaches and fans to keep track of down and distance.

DM: I like the two toned field, too. Keep it. I’d probably prefer a font more similar to the "N" on the helmet, because, it seems that’s the only place that lettering is used anymore anyway. That’s what I’d change.

Salt Creek: Let's go scarlet and cream. We waste a timeout every game anyway.

Mike: Since it’s a Steve Pederson creation, drop the two tone look. Besides, we don’t want to look like a Rutgers clone. Keep the big Iron N at midfield, and then put in black endzones with red lettering, outlined in white.

AK: Two-toned red field, baby. Eat a dick, Boise St..

Brian: I’m kinda torn on the whole two-toned thing. On one aspect, it looks great when the field is new, however (to me at least) the more the field wears, the worse it seems to be. I would change the end zones makeup. Have it back to the day where the North side had the red "Nebraska" and the South had the white "Huskers" on it. I think I could get used to the black color in the end zones, but if anyone goes anywhere, it’ll be scarlet because the sheer outrage from the purists would drive us all nuts.

4. Nebraska football has one commitment so far for the 2014 cycle, but there are a tremendous amount of offers going out so far. With not many spots available this cycle, are you okay with not many commitments so far? Or is this cause for concern?

Brandon Cavanaugh: Having only Gifford on board is somewhat concerning, but the staff seems to be hitting the pavement hard.

They absolutely must close a fair number of prospects this summer before their senior years begin as thus far into the Pelini era, if a recruit doesn’t commit immediately after their visit, it’s still a toss up for their pledge.

For now, I’ll stick to "It’s only April."

DM: I don’t know, I don’t follow recruting that closely. My twitter feed tells me they’ve got lot of offers out there right now. They’ve got, what, ten months until signing day? I guess I’m not going to get too worked up over it at this point.

Salt Creek: Nebraska's coaching staff seems content with waiting until after senior seasons to secure commitments. While that may result in the occasional late bloomer, I'm guessing it will result in missing out on some program-changing talents. But hey, Ross Els is on it.

Mike: Ummm, maybe that’s because these kids have two proms to find dates for before they arrive on campus? Yes, I know that Nick Saban is recruiting junior high school kids.

AK: It’s only April. I think early panic is kicking in, because several other schools are out there with 5-10 guys already. In my opinion, that’s fine on paper, but I think schools can get in real trouble nailing down too many kids before they play a down their senior year. Texas seems to have their entire nationally ranked classes signed by opening kickoff, and that’s not working out so well for them in recent years.

Brian: It is only April, but the lack of commitments doesn’t sit ok with me too much, but you do have to like the fact there are a lot of offers being thrown out. I guess I’m the one that would like to see a little progress in this aspect, but the effort is being put out there.

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