It’s that time of year where football is scarce across Big 12 country. If you’re like me, you need a football fix and quick. This mailbag is for all you football junkies out there who root for a Big 12 school who not only have questions about your team, but other teams in the conference as well. So, join me, grab a cold brew or your favorite drink and relax as I answer all your Big 12 questions in my mailbag. For those interested, I will send out a tweet (@Derekduke25) every Monday at noon until last call (No, not 2 AM) at 8 PM CT for you to send in your questions to be answered every Tuesday right here at Heartland College Sports.
I will pick the best question for each mailbag and label it as my question of the week. The winner gets a free HCS Koozie to keep your beer cold (Unless you like it warm, but that’s just plain wrong). It was a busy Monday question wise which shows that this mailbag is working better than me at my day job. Unlike the “Big 12 blog” over at ESPN (I say that loosely because one story a week is a tragedy), we here at HCS are determined to give you the best Big 12 coverage on the planet. I want to thank each one of you who submitted a question this week and for those reading, I am glad you could join me. Let’s get this party started!
@LaranDeason asks: I would like to know about Kansas and what to expect. Seems like they have some pieces on offensive line for Meecham (OC). And they have some talent on each level on defense. Also, what do you know about the QB commit they have? Looks like a RG3 clone to me.
Duke: Since 2012, Kansas is 10-62 overall and has a conference record of 3-51. Also, they haven’t won a road game since 2009. Head Coach David Beaty has won 3 games in 3 years and has a Big 12 record of 1-26. Do we have expectations for this team? Because I don’t. Their best chance at winning a game is in the non-conference where they play Nicholls State, Central Michigan and Rutgers. Best case they win 2 out of those 3 and call it a season. As far as the pieces on offense, there are only 2 in my opinion. RB Khalil Herbert and WR Steven Sims Jr. Last season this team was dead last in scoring offense and total offense in the Big 12. The offense line is still a work in progress and who is the quarterback? So many questions and really no answers. Defensively, they have a trio of good players with DT Daniel Wise, LB Joe Dineen and DB Mike Lee. Besides those 3, there really isn’t anyone else to hang your hat on. I do want to mention that I had Daniel Wise and my defensive lineman of the year last season in the Big 12. As far as the QB commit, are you talking about Lance LeGendre? I haven’t watched the film, but I will tweet you my opinion soon.
@Chrisboom_ asks: What are the hottest HC seats in the Big 12 and how well will each have to perform in order to remain?
Duke: Just look at the pervious answer to the question above and bingo, there is one answer right there. Kansas HC David Beaty is 3-33 overall and 1-26 in Big 12 play since 2015. That’s an average of ONE win per year. Look, I’m not here to completely crap on Beaty but where is the progress? Have you seen it? Because I sure as hell haven’t. Positivity is great but when the results look like this, then there shouldn’t be much smiling going on in Lawrence, Kansas when it comes to football. If Kanas is somehow able to win 4 games this season, Beaty stays. If not, then it’s time to part ways. This seat is about as hot as it gets in the coaching world.
The other guy must be Texas Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury. In 5 seasons as the head coach, he has had 3 losing seasons record wise. In the last five years, the Red Raiders have only one 8 or more games once and that was back in 2013 (His first season as HC). Overall, he has a 30-33 record and a Big 12 record of 16-29. Not exactly what folks are used to in Lubbock. While he is a Texas Tech guy through and through, this marriage could get ugly if Texas Tech doesn’t reach a bowl game this season. I firmly believe that if Texas Tech didn’t beat Texas last season, Kliff would have been gone. He needs to get to a bowl game to keep his job.
@Jonkev50 asks: Who has the best tailgating experience in the Big 12? (Question of the Week)
Duke: Boy I am sure that there are some great ones out there. However, I have only been to Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and the Big 12 title game in Arlington. Texas was very spread out, but people were always friendly. In Lubbock, there was beer and booze like the sun wasn’t going to come up the next day. In fact, I saw a guy double fisting bud lights and offered me one. Maybe I looked like I needed one? Or he was just drunk? Anyways, nice guy. Baylor had a scenic tailgate right on the Brazos River where I saw people come to the game by boat which was cool. The SicEm365 tailgate in Waco was awesome. There are so many Big 12 schools I haven’t checked out the tailgate scene yet, so I am not really qualified to answer this question. However, be sure to keep up with the website because we could be headed to a tailgate near you tossing out beer and koozies!
@mundodelovoide asks: Is Dakota Allen from Texas Tech a preseason candidate for Defensive MVP? What other players should be considered for this award?
Duke: Absolutely! Dakota Allen is one of the best linebackers in the Big 12 and should be considered as a preseason defensive Big 12 MVP candidate. Will he be on my ballot for that pre-season award? Probably not. Nothing against Dakota because he is a great player, but TCU DE Ben Banogu is going to fill that spot on my ballot. Other guys that come to mind are DT Daniel Wise (Kansas), LB David Long (WVU) and a wild card pick here, LB Gary Johnson (Texas).
@JoSCobbs90 asks: 1. What is the ceiling for West Virginia this season in your opinion? 2. Why are Oklahoma fans so defensive about anyone other than them getting preseason love?
Duke: Since you put numbers in front of your question I am going to put numbers before my answers. See how nice I can be? Alright, let me take a crack at these.
- As far as a record goes, the ceiling for this WVU team is 11-1 or 10-2 during the regular season with a birth in the Big 12 title game in December. Like I have said many of times, Will Grier is by far the best quarterback in the Big 12. As we all know, if you have a quarterback, you always have a chance. The offense is going to be fine, but my concern is the defense. The depth of the defensive line, the size, you name it. They gave up over 200 yards a game on the ground to opponents last season. That needs to be fixed ASAP if this team is going to contend for a Big 12 title. They have had several defensive grad transfers come in, but will it be enough to carry them through the season? Who knows. It all depends on the defense for the Mountaineers.
- I can’t speak for the entire Oklahoma fan base, but I doubt they are complaining that badly. When you win 3 straight Big 12 titles, Oklahoma has a right to be confident and a little cocky. WVU, TCU, Texas and Iowa State should be top 25 preseason teams as well, so Oklahoma will have to share that. The great thing about all this? EVERTYTHING WILL PLAY OUT BECAUSE IN THE BIG 12, YOU HAVE TO PLAY EVERYBODY (Unlike the SEC).
@SDuke108 asks: Conference realignment can’t be over. Is there any truth to the Pac-12 teams being unhappy? Is it enough for them to search for a new home and is the Big 12 proactive enough to react? Maybe a super conference merger? What do you think?
Duke: Boy people just eat this stuff, up don’t they? Alright let me put my crazy hat on and see what I can do. It’s no secret that the Pac-12 is struggling on and off the playing field/court/swimming pool/track, you get the picture. Ok, mainly just the money sports (Football and basketball). The Pac-12 went 1-11 in bowl games and in the NCAA Tournament this past season so that certainly isn’t making anyone happy except for other conferences because they now can point the finger at the Pac-12. Throw in the fact that the Pac-12 Network is about as stable of a house of cards because it has been a complete and utter failure. Think about it, do we really care about Pac-12 football besides USC right now? I don’t. I can’t speak for every team, but I am sure some are very unhappy and are unsure of their future in the conference and if it will crumble. Money wise and success wise, the Pac-12 is behind the other 4 conferences.
There have been rumors about the Big 12 being interested in the two Arizona schools but do we really need them? No but to be honest, it’s not a bad fit from a football and basketball standpoint. Probably more basketball at this point but I personally would be more interested trying to add USC and UCLA but that’s just my two cents. I am no expert in this stuff, but I have a hard time seeing a super merger because there are simply too many schools. If it came down to that, I think other conferences would have to be switching schools around and shuffling.
@KBehr68 asks: Kansas has won five conference games since 2008, how long will it take them to win the next five?
Duke: So, from 2009 until now, Kansas has won 5 conference games which makes me laugh and feel sad for that fan base at the same time. So, I guess Charlie Weiss and Turner Gil got paid for running the program into the ground? As far as the next 5 conference wins go, I am thinking a century or so? Totally kidding. I do think David Beaty will be gone after the season and I don’t think they will win a Big 12 game this season. If I had to guess, I’ll say either by the end of the 2020 or 2021 season DEPENDING on who they hire. Right now, the roster doesn’t look so great considering how many JUCOs have been brought in. It’s going to take time to fill in the holes on the depth chart. Boy, 2 Kansas football questions today. Is everyone feeling ok?