Mail-time: Ask the N-Siders (5-27-11)

In our third installment of "Ask the N-Siders" we take a look at the division races in the Big Ten. Plus, touch on Darin Erstad and possible scholarships opening up.

How do you guys feel the Big Ten will play out this year with your preseason standings in both the leaders and legends divisions, and why? - HuskerNTX
This is actually a couple articles that are coming really soon, but until then, we can talk about our thoughts on some of the teams that will be up there.

We start with the Leaders and obviously the tougher preseason Big Ten Division in 2011. There are three legitimate teams who could win this thing. Ohio State would have to be the front runner, but will the tattoo gang cost them? Yes, they are back for conference play, but will they be rusty. Wisconsin should be solid again, but probably not good enough to win the division without Ohio State falling a couple games early. The one good thing about the Badgers is they get Nebraska at home. The dark horse, if you can call them that, is Penn State. It seems every couple of years, Joe Pa gets his team to win 9 to 10 games when should only win seven. My early prediction is Ohio State.

Now for the Legends Division. Michigan State should be solid once again with Kirk Cousins at the helm, but I can't get that beat down they took against Alabama in the Capital One Bowl out of my mind. I don't expect Brady Hoke to have a division winning impact on Michigan in year one. Iowa should be solid with quite a few returning starters, but a new quarterback means they could start off slow. Nebraska has to be and is our clear favorite to win the division.

Now that Nebraska is the odds on favorite to win the Big Ten, go undefeated, and play in the BCS Championship Game, will it have an affect on how Nebraska prepares for the season? Rutt0
We can't tell if you are being serious or not, but it could definitely happen. Most teams will you give you some sort of coach speak when their team is in this situation. They talk about how they can't change what they are doing...if it was that easy, there would be a lot more teams that would win every game like they are supposed to.

With Bo Pelini at the helm, it's safe to say that Nebraska will not change one thing going into this season on how they prepare. They will play it out just like every other year. "You are gong to get what you earn on the field," - Bo Pelini.

Now that Erstad may be out of a part-time job with the baseball team, would Bo consider adding him to the football squad as a K/P coach in some form? bigredmouth
Erstad is not out of a job. The new coach will decide what he wants to do with the assistants. But, if he wants a job, he will have it. Osborne won't let a new baseball coach come in and force Erstad out if he wants a spot. No, he will not be doing any football coaching this year or our guess ever.

Is there any speculation on the number of possible transfers or medical hardships this summer? -SKERBACKER
This week news hit that Kody Spano's career is over. The quarterback will get into coaching a bit and focus on his academics.

Now the rest is hard to gauge. As Bryan Munson likes to say, we are tip toeing on a minefield. We are not rumor mongrels. Could there be other guys possibly taking medical hardships down the road. Yes, but with injuries we are not going to be putting guys names out there until we get the okay to do so. At this point, there are one maybe two guys who we could see taking a medical hardship scholarship. WE HOPE THIS IS NOT THE CASE. But it does happen.

As far as transfers, if nothing happens in the next week or so, we don't expect to hear anything until right before the season. To say it couldn't happen isn't the case, but usually players decide to leave right before summer starts and spring is over. Guys talk it over with parents and decide to get out and get somewhere early enough to participate in summer drills elsewhere.

- Bryan Munson contributed to this report -

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