We sent these hard-hitting questions to BON. They were answered very quickly, almost like something clairvoyant was happening.....
What is your impression of Bill Callahan as a head coach?
BON - Truth be told, my impression of him coming into this week as a bit caricatured, I'm certain. He's been the brunt of quite a few rounds of college football blogosphere jokes, which have stuck more than anything he's done on the field.
Now that game week's here, though, I'm looking much more closely at the Huskers, and getting a feel for what's going on in Lincoln under Callahan. The team is running the football pretty well, and passing it efficiently. You know who the Huskers remind me of, Jon? Pittsburgh. Coached also by a former NFL man. Both teams got beat soundly in early non-con games, but have rebounded to perfect conference starts, albeit against lesser opponents.
Someone told me that if you do a reverse "Hook 'Em" sign to a Longhorn, it's like flipping them off. Is that true?
BON - No, because people get pissed off when you flip them off. The upside down Hook 'Em is just lame. And ubiquitous. And something that Longhorn fans don't understandd. Honestly, you'd be amazed at how many colleges are more devoted to being against Texas than for themselves. It's sad, really.
Just root FOR Nebraska. No need to join the rabidly insecure Texas hating crew.
Do they have required classes on how to properly do that "Hook 'Em" horns sign? Or do you just beat the hell out of incoming fresman until they get it perfect?
BON - It's the most natural hand signal in the world. Folks across the world celebrate great music and moments of euphoria with the Hook 'Em hand sign unconsciously. No classes needed. Just stick it high in the air and yell in celebration. I'm sure you've done it before.
How can you beat Baylor by 32 points and still feel bad about it?
BON - You obviously didn't read the Prelude To The Baylor Breakdown, Jon. It was noted as required reading! Seriously, we were careful to point out that no one at BON was feeling bad about the game. We were critical of mistakes made, sure, but hardly out of touch with what it was - a blowout win.
My wife wants to know if you have Matthew McConaughey's phone number. Well?
BON - Matt's in my closet smoking a blunt and banging on my bongos. No need for a phone call.
That's what you wanted to hear, right?
Texas has a long history of playing the other major Texas colleges - Tech, A&M, and obviously, the rivalry with Oklahoma. Where does Nebraska rank in terms of Texas' opponents? Do we register with Longhorn fans?
BON - I think this game means a lot to Texas fans, both because of its importance to our goals this season, as well as because of Nebraska's place in college football history. As you well know, we've enjoyed remarkable success against the Huskers since joining the Big 12, but we by no means take this season's game for granted because of that. I think there's a special anticipation about a game between two programs like this. Texas fans know their college football, and we're all very excited about a trip to Lincoln. It's great for both schools, as well as the Big 12.
Last year I rooted for Texas against USC. Have you ever rooted for Nebraska, and why?
BON - Oh, certainly. As recently as September, when y'all faced USC. (See, we're more alike than you realize!) Going back, though, I was a big fan of the 1995 Tommie Frazier Cornhusker team. I was thrilled when y'all took out Florida for the national title.
When Texas fans talk about Nebraska football, what is it that gets mentioned most?
BON - Two things. First, the tradition. We've got a lot of it here at Texas, so we're appreciative of other programs that are a part of the fabric of the sport. Second, the reputation of the fanbase as one of the classiest in the country. There's no doubt that Husker fans have the respect of the Burnt Orange Nation. Big Red Country is universally respected as one of the most passionate, knowledgeable, and classy groups around. I wish I were going to Lincoln. I really do.
The old cliche - "This game will be won in the trenches" - how do you see that applying to this game?
BON - Throw out the X's and O's, Jon. You've nailed the key to this game. First, Nebraska's defensive line is good enough not to get steamrolled by Texas' massive, talented, and experienced offensive line. With two injuries to start-of-the-season starters, Texas is maybe even at a disadvantage here. I certainly think Nebraska's best chance at winning is to get big time pressure from the front four. If they can, they can be competitive.
On the other side, though, I wonder if the Husker line is ready for Texas' defensive line, which (with apologies to Nebraska's outstandidng line) is the best in the conference. I really do think that whichever D-Line has the better day will be key to victory.
How good are Texas's special teams, particuarly kicking?
BON - They're good, not great. The punt block and return team is outstanding, the field goal kicking is virtually non-existent (Mack even said the team is actively avoiding field goals this season, and the kickoff coverage is solid.
What is your impression of Nebraska's version of the "West Coast Offense"?
BON - I haven't seen it enough to comment with any expertise. The numbers look good, though. Still, Texas has had a lot of success shutting down offenses like Nebraska's. Zac Taylor -must- play well for Nebraska to have a chance.
Have you seen enough of Colt McCoy to answer: Chris Simms or Major Applewhite?
BON - Applewhite, easy. Colt is smart, gutty, accurate, poised, determined, and not easily rattled.
What's going to happen Saturday? How's it going to happen and what will the final score be?
BON - We save our game predictions for Fridays, so you'll have to wait with everyone else. We're pretty lousy at predicting losses at BON, and with only one in our last 27, it's been a pretty easy job. That said, I'm firmly in the "Texas can't just show up and win" camp for this game. Nebraska's not an elite team, but they're a very good one, and they have the pieces to knock Texas off. Wouldd it be an upset? Sure. Would it be a stunner? No way. I'm really, really excited.
Anything else you want to add about Nebraska, the game, or college football in general?
BON - I think we covered all the good stuff, Jon. I'll just re-emphasize my, and our, respect for your university's football team and its fans. It's a great Saturday for both schools.
And keep up the great work here at Corn Nation. I love the passion to the state and its premier institution that you bring every day.