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2012 Northwestern Preseason Q&A - Where Corn Subsidies Are Important!

Venric Mark  - He looks tiny and he's not even 'shopped!!
Venric Mark - He looks tiny and he's not even 'shopped!!

Northwestern. The real NU. I didn't think I'd come to hate Northwestern as much as I do already but here we are.

Hey, you know what the N stands for on the side of a Northwestern football helmet?


Rodger Sherman from the SB Nation site Sippin' on Purple joins us for a preseason Q&A where he reminds me (again) that I was way overconfident heading into last year's game. Methinks me wasn't alone in that regard (as in joined by the Nebraska football team and 99% of Husker fans).

You know Gomer Pyle's philosophy on life, right? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (I hope this is the last time I mention Gomer Pyle this season.)

Name one thing you learned about Nebraska or its fans that stood out last season.

How about something that stood out over the offseason? Northwestern fans are no strangers to other teams filling Ryan Field: we're a small school in a small stadium that's still way bigger than we need. However, you guys sold out Northwestern's matchup with Nebraska before single game tickets went on sale to the general public, which means thousands of you huskin' fools bought season tickets to Northwestern football for the sole purpose of buying additional tickets to see Northwestern-Nebraska before it sold out.

Thanks, I guess? So I guess what I learned is that you guys are incredibly devoted, but horribly inefficient, fans.

Now that Nebraska's honeymoon season is over, is there anything you'd like to say to Husker fans before the 2012 season starts?

Chill out, guys! Never come into a game saying you'll win by 40! Say "we should win, a win would be nice", not "YEAHHHHH WE'RE NEBRASKA WE'RE GONNA HUSK ALL YOUR CORN OUR MASCOT WEARS A HAT AND SMILES CREEPILY YEAHHHHH SUCK IT SUCK IT SUCK IT". We already have Ohio State for that. You might not have been tried to sound like that, but you did! But people get off on the wrong foot sometimes. You guys just happened to also lose in football after doing it.

[So y'all know, this is largely in reference to an appearance I made on the Sippin' On Purple podcast last year in which I stated that Nebraska would win by 40. Apparently, they ain't letting go of that one, and honestly, I can't blame them. - JJ]

You beat us in most sports because we beat your debate team last year. Admit it. Then give three reasons.

You punks are SO lucky that "why are corn subsidies important" happened to be the category in that final debate.

Anyway, first off, fumbles. Sure, Northwestern had more turnovers against Nebraska in football and still won, hah!, but Nebraska's two turnovers were both flukey balls that popped loose and derailed potential scoring drives in a game you lost by three.

Second, there was the NU juju. It wasn't cool, coming into our conference and asking us to give up our abbreviation. This is all basically just a lesson in house guest etiquette 101, y'all: don't show up, trod your filthy husk-filled boots all over the house and clog the toilet with whatever a Runza does to your digestive tract. Be gracious, guys, sugar water catches more flies than vinegar, or something dumb like that.

Third, no offense to Nebrasketball, but get used to losing to a lot of Big Ten schools in that sport with the hoops..

Why is Northwestern full of really smart people who are better at football than, say, schools like Minnesota and Indiana, all of whom are not full of really smart people but somehow manage to suck a lot more than Northwestern.

There's actually an explanation for this. If you're Northwestern, recruiting against the best of the Big Ten will rarely go your way. So why recruit based on geographic fits when you could recruit on academic fit?

Who is Northwestern more likely to beat in a head-to-head recruiting war: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, or Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Duke? Instead of landing 5 percent of the talented players the Midwest has to offer, NU chooses to land 30 percent of the talented players who are going to choose based on where they can get a good degree.

People say Pat Fitzgerald is a try-hard stickler hurting his team's talent by limiting himself to guys academically qualified to perform well in the classroom at NU, but I think he's opening himself up to a better talent pool than he'd get out of the bigger B1G schools passed over, and I think Indiana and Minnesota prove that point.

Also, don't believe what douchey Wildcats fans on the interwebs say: you don't have to be a super-genius to graduate from Northwestern. If me and the idiots I drank heavily with for four straight years pulled it off, it's easier than it sounds.

Name three players on your team that Husker fans should be aware of. Do not include a quarterback or that wide receiver from USC Kyle Prater.

1. Rashad Lawrence, aka the guy who will probably actually be Northwestern's best receiver. Prater, it seems, is still a project despite all the talent.

2. David Nwabuisi. Northwestern has one (1) defensive player who is a lock to be competent this season, and it's gonna be this linebacker.

3. Venric Mark: former WR, now a running back. He doesn't look like a football player at 5-foot-8, but he's lightning in a tiny, tiny bottle. Northwestern's best return man, great out of the option, and even did some work playing QB spy against Michigan making sure Denard Robinson didn't bust loose.

Pre-season game prediction - what happens this year in Evanston?

I predicted a loss last year, so I'll stick with what works: Nebraska wins, 31-17.