Mailbag: Best play, NU troubles, UT coaches

Phillip in Gering, Neb., asks: The Huskers just had another player suspended. Are these indicators that the players minds aren't fully on the game coming up and with that does it put Nebraska on upset alert?

David Ubben: No, it's not an indicator of anything more than a couple guys making bad decisions during a month-long stretch without a game. Obviously, after the Big 12 championship game, I highly doubt they're as fired up as they'd be if they were in the Fiesta Bowl, but I don't think that has anything to do with the DUIs. One of those was on the night of graduation, which I'm sure contributed to the problem and the other was mostly an isolated incident. Terrence Moore is quite capable of filling Baker Steinkuhler's role, and Rickey Thenarse wasn't even a starter at the end of the year. You don't like to see guys make mistakes like that, especially someone who has been through as much as Thenarse, but I don't see anything to read into.

Faith S in Austin, Texas, asks: David, Do you think Texas is going to lose out on the chance to hire some great coaches with Mack insisting on waiting until after bowl season to officially hire replacements? A lot of the names I have heard thrown out there (the most recent being Addazio, now headed to Temple) are being hired by other schools, and it has me curious to see if we really will get the best replacements possible. Happy Holidays!

DU: It's possible, but Texas is reaching out to various guys and letting them know of its interest. It's not like it's sitting there waiting on bowls to be finished. There's been a whole lot of misinformation with this search, so it's hard to tell exactly what's going on, but it sounds like Mack Brown is spearheading this whole thing. Like I said earlier this week, there aren't a lot of home-run candidates in play right now, but ability is infinitely more important than name recognition. Texas is Texas, and plenty of people really want those coordinator and position coach jobs. Not everyone will wait, but plenty of good candidates will.

Louie in Texas asks: Dubbs, Will you be sporting an ascot, smoking jacket, and pipe in your next video?

DU: That's the plan for 2011. It's the only way for fireside chats to go down. I'm also currently in the market for a monocle if anybody can help me out.

Brett in Kansas City asks: David, Why do they have conferences wouldn't college football be simpler without without them?

DU: The short answer is no. Logistics and travel birthed conferences, which begat tradition that most schools wouldn't like to stop. As much complaining as schools do about the difficulty of scheduling four (now three for the Big 12) nonconference games, what would happen if that number ballooned to 12 for everyone? I can't even imagine. It's an interesting world to consider, but not one that could ever realistically even come close to a possibility.

Patrick in Pensacola, Fla., asks: I've been wondering about the amazing play made my Brown for Okie St isn't treated as a forward lateral. I'm assuming its just a gray area in the rule since it doesn't happen that often?

DU: Interesting question, but no. Brodrick Brown never established full possession, so he was well within his right to tip the ball forward to Shaun Lewis for the interception. I hadn't even considered it until you brought it up, but I could see how some might wonder.

Chris in KC, Mo., asks: As a Mizzou fan I hear all these things about how we don't travel well and on the other end of the spectrum how Nebraska fans are so great. I see Nebraska fans post comments on all media about how we get the bowl snub because we don't travel and they do. With the most recent bowl selections this year and the fact that Nebraska for once got snubbed and they are dealing with dissapointment, they all of a sudden aren't such a proud flocking fanbase. Do you think Nebraska fans are just like the rest of us and when they deal with dissapointment they aren't so loyal? I mean it's easy to go to snatch up tickets when you go to a bowl game that is above your expectations.

DU: Well, no. There's lots of reasons to believe otherwise. By Nebraska standards, the Huskers have had some pretty poor teams over the past decade. Fans still filled opposing stadiums like they're known to do, and that sellout streak never stopped, and now has 300 games well in the rearview mirror. Nebraska has been a powerhouse for the better part of those 300 games, but not all of them. Despite that, the streak lived on. A decade of consecutive losing seasons might end it, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

As for the bowl game this year, anyone going out to that isn't going for much more than a trip to San Diego. A banged-up Washington team the Huskers beat by 35 in Seattle in a bowl game that Huskers fans already went to last year -- and saw another beatdown of a Pac-10 team -- is about the worst possible draw you could ask for in convincing fans to travel for a bowl.