"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Ben from Columbus, OH
Vic, could you go over the significance of the Association of American Universities as it pertains to college football again? Is there anything to the Big 10 and the PAC 12 postponing the season due to their involvement? Would this have anything to do with Nebraska wanting to go rogue since they are not a member?
The AAU is not a sports league; it's an esteemed membership based on academics. Nebraska is the only school in the Big 10 not a member of the AAU; it was a member when it joined but lost its accreditation shortly after. I never understood why the Big 10 extended an invitation to Nebraska. It didn't offer recruiting ground or a TV market. Now it's lost its AAU membership and its performance last week was an embarrassment and an insult to the conference. I think the Big 10 commissioner called Nebraska's bluff hoping they'd quit the conference. The PAC 12 is also loaded with AAU schools. What I think we're seeing in the Big 10 and PAC 12 decisions to not play football this year is evidence the academicians are still in control in those conferences.
Adam from Wausau, WI
Humans are creatures of habit. As an avid Packers fan, I’m getting used to no sports. I haven’t opened up packers.com in weeks (previously it was a daily habit). I’m also enjoying life more than ever. Will this virus break our need for sports habit?
No, but it might help put that need into a little better perspective.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
What does standardization in college football mean?
It means five conferences pulling in the same direction instead of against each other. It means more meaningful scheduling, pooling of revenues and tighter scholarship restrictions so more good players are available to schools other than the powerhouse programs. It means coaches not job-jumping while still under contract. It means something closer to the NFL model. It means a more level playing field.
Brian from Sugar Land, TX
Perusing the preseason pro football magazines at the pharmacy, I took a look at some of the individual player rankings. The Packers only had one player in the top 10 of any position category, and his name was not Rodgers. The experts seem to agree Rodgers has dropped to the middle tier and likely fading. Still, Green Bay is a consensus divisional contender, likely to make the playoffs. It was a sobering trip to the news rack for a Packers fan. Of course, no one has played a game. Fair assessment from your viewpoint?
Close. I think Rodgers is still a top 10 quarterback, but not top five. I think the unique circumstances confronting this season make it impossible for any fan of any team to have a feel for what might happen, but if this was a normal season, my expectations for the Packers would be subdued. The loss in San Francisco is difficult to dismiss and, on top of that, the Packers drafted and avoided free agency in a way that suggests they're not all in. I think there's a message in that.
Bill from Olathe, KS
Vic, I bet Brett Favre's little golf outing this weekend got your blood boiling. But I bet when Obama golfed with Kaepernick you were good with it. Do you see your own double standard and hypocrisy?
Why would it bother me Favre and Trump played golf together? Bill, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
Dave from Savage, MN
Do you miss it when you read notes and see clips from day one of practice?
I saw enough first days of training camp to satisfy my enthusiasm, plus, as first days of practice go, today's examples are soft and boring. Now, if they did an Oklahoma I'd probably feel differently.
Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI
If Big Ben is healthy, can the Steelers win the Super Bowl?
I think a team can come out of nowhere to win the Super Bowl this season, if there is a season. I expect play to be subpar and unpredictable, so, I wouldn't count the Steelers out, but Roethlisberger is attempting a huge comeback from a major injury that is usually career-ending or, at the least, career-changing.
Ron from Hell, MI
Is there a trick to beating Baltimore that isn't something obvious like grind down the speed of the game and tire their defense, which seems like a strategy against all teams?
Make him be a passer.
Gabor from Budapest, Hungary
Vic, long-term, record-setting contracts became team friendly lately. I think the growth of the salary cap made it possible. Will this trend change, if the salary cap drops?
Team friendly is another way of describing contracts that are high in signing bonus that can be pushed out on the cap and low in salary in the back end of the contract. There'll be nothing friendly about that contract if the player underperforms and has to be cut, or if the player reaches the high-salary years of the contract and has to be signed to an extension that converts salary to signing bonus and pushes more money out. Just remember this: You pay it, you claim it. Again, we're likely to see a reset year due to the altered revenue circumstances caused by the virus. The league and the players association will figure it out. Neither one wants to kill the golden goose.
Adam from Denver, CO
Which question would you ask Aaron right now?
Can this team win now?