Big 12 Sports Articles

Big 12 Football Mailbag: Ranking Defenses, Media Perception and Cocky Fans

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas State

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 an ok Monday question wise, but I figured most people had plans for Memorial Day. Speaking of Memorial Day, if you have served in the military, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! 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!

There are probably some that don’t give a rats you know what about how my weekend was. If you do care or even if you don’t, I am going to tell you anyways. Didn’t do much but on Sunday I found myself in Austin, Texas drinking beer at several different breweries. I managed to fight through hipster crowds to get my beer but overall it was a nice Sunday. One complaint or two should I say is that it was HOT and do any breweries frost their mugs? That would have helped some. Overall it was not a bad weekend.


@LongHornFrenzy asks: In your opinion, what is the national media perception of the Big 12 in football?

Duke: So, the key phrase here is “national media” perception. As much as I hate ESPN, their numbers were very interesting for their gameday locations for the College Gameday show. Not counting non-conference games, they went to 2 Big 12 games this season (WVU @ TCU & OU @ OSU). They went to 4 Big Ten games, 1 SEC game and 3 ACC games. You know who was left out? The Pac-12. I talked about the Pac-12 conference stability in the last mailbag so if you’re curious about my thoughts on that help yourself. I know ESPN has the SEC Network and Paul Clownbaum is the ring leader, so you can say they are biased. However, I don’t get the chance to talk to a lot of other folks who cover other conferences because most of the games we cover are Big 12 conference games. Of course, we do some non-conference and bowl games but it’s not something I really think about when I am there.

I will say, there isn’t much Big 12 love out there when it comes to covering the conference. We do our best here and I truly believe we are the best when it comes to covering the Big 12 with articles/podcasts/radio/etc. I have been around to several different Big 12 venues along with the other guys on the staff, but I can remember one thing surprised me. During the Big 12 title game back in December, that press box in Jerry World must have had close to 100 people in it and was jam packed. Any other Big 12 game would not be like that normally. We saw so many people that I am sure never covered a Big 12 game last season or simply were forced to go there to cover the game for work. I think the media perception of this conference will only get better if the conference thrives and by that, I mean wins.

@Badgerbanker asks: How long until Matt Campbell is known to most college football fans regardless of conference?

Duke: I can’t really speak for other college football fans, but you could show me some Big Ten and ACC coaches names and I’d have no clue which school they coach. Why? I don’t watch every single team. With that being said, after Iowa State knocked off Oklahoma in Norman last season, that put ISU on the map. Last October Iowa State showed up in the top 25 for the first time in forever and heading into that TCU game (Who was ranked in the top 10 at the time), a lot of college football fans were watching. Of course, when the Cyclones pulled off the big victory they were the talk of the Big 12 at the time. LB Joel Lanning also helped bring some publicity to the program as well. Some people may forget about him because they may not be in contention for the conference title but if he gets to another bowl game, other schools and the NFL will be taking notice. If people don’t know him, GET TO KNOW HIM!

@Mr_AlbieShore asks: How many times do people mistake you for that David fella from Louisiana?

Duke: Probably as many times as you get mistaken for somebody important.


@Wiggitwiggit asks: How would you rank the Big 12 defenses?

Duke: I am going to keep this one short and simple because I could go and on about this. If you have an issue, tweet me (@Derekduke25) your thoughts.

  1. Texas
  2. TCU
  3. Iowa State
  4. Kansas State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. West Virginia
  9. Baylor
  10. Kansas

@StrawnBob asks: Cyclones as good as their fans are cocky? How far does OSU fall? How about KU’s coach-sorry forgot his name? Snyder die in the chair as he reportedly talks to recruits?

Duke: You are all over the place Bob but that’s ok. I am going to keep these answers short and to the point here.

  1. I don’t think Cyclones fans are cocky at least the ones I have seen and spoke with in the media. I think most expect a bowl season but by no means does any sane person have them winning the Big 12 this year.
  2. I like Oklahoma State to finish around 6th or 7th this year in the Big 12. I know Cowboy fans want to rip my head off but unless Spencer Sanders is a top quarterback right off the bat, it’s going to be a rebuilding season for Mike Gundy like the 2014 season. I think a bowl game would be good for the Pokes this year. I just don’t see the wins on the schedule like others do.
  3. The Kansas head football coach is David Beaty. C’mon you knew that. I talked about him in my last mailbag being on the hot seat. My prediction? He will be gone after the season.
  4. Bill Snyder will out live everyone. He is a wizard and wizards don’t go away, EVER!

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