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 busy question day which tells me that this mailbag is working harder 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. I am enjoying a late-night cocktail myself and 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. After work on Friday, I headed down to the Texas coast to spend a weekend at the beach with my family. While there were plenty of cold drinks, there was one thing that was hot. My freaking knees! Out of all the odd places to get sun burn, my knees? Really? Anyways, it was a great last getaway before the football season kicks off. On to the mailbag!
@Doc_Texas asks: Sports Illustrated has 2 marquee Big 12 games that will be pivotal for conference playoff hopes. TEX/OU & WVU/TEX. Do you agree?
Duke: I think that is fair. I have Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia in my top 3 Big 12 teams for this season so I would have to agree with those two games. For TCU fans who are angry about me not mentioning them, they must get through Ohio State and then the entire Big 12 slate. TCU has a very tough path for me to consider them a legit playoff contender. If I had to add one more game, it would be Oklahoma at West Virginia the last week of the season. If both teams are undefeated going in, there would likely be rematch the following week or even if both teams enter that game with one loss things would be interesting heading into championship weekend. The great thing about college football? EVERY WEEK MATTERS! Every game has playoff implications when you stop and think about it.
@FitzDaddy85 asks: Should the Big 12 ever expand back to 12 teams? And if so, who would be the best options?
Duke: I have sworn to the people who read this mailbag that we will not go down this road! I am happy with the current setup and there are no two obvious choices to add right now. Please, for the sake of all humanity, let’s leave the expansion talk back in 2016 and never speak of it again (For now).
@LongHornFrenzy asks: Give us your take on the Maryland and Ohio State situations.
Duke: Boy oh boy, where to being in all this madness? Let’s start with Maryland. Long story short for those who don’t know, DJ Durkin and most (If not all) of the staff has been treating players like bodies instead of actual human beings. Heckling, humiliating and abusing players for not doing things up to their likings. And in one case, it cost someone their life trying to complete wind sprints. Bottom line: Fire his ass and that entire staff. Get rid of the toxic culture ASAP!
As for the whole Ohio State thing, Urban Meyer had to know. If he and his wife are that involved with everyone (Including coaches), they had to know. Are we going to see physical proof of them knowing? I am not sure, but I have a feeling Urban is staying and we won’t see the physical evidence of Urban knowing. Either way, Zach Smith should have been fired years ago. Both these stories make me sick and angry that these people were coaching young minds.
@TedFlintKansas asks: Compare each Big 12 coach to a superhero and why?
Duke: This would be an excellent question to someone who watches a lot of superhero movies but unfortunately you asked the wrong guy here. I enjoyed the batman movies growing up and the Dark Knight series was outstanding and probably my favorite superhero series of all time. But other than that, I don’t watch superhero movies. I can’t give you a fair comparison for these coaches. I am sorry to disappoint but it was a nice try though.
@CamBrockVoice asks: The Premier League started this weekend. The top four teams qualify for a Champions League to determine the best club in Europe. The bottom three are regulated to a lower division. There are 20 teams in the Premier League. Money aside, do you believe college football would be better suited for Promotion & Regulation instead of a playoff system? There are 130 FBS teams. Many FCS, D2 and D3 teams are pursuing the FBS because of TV money. This despite having no shot at the CFB playoff.
Duke: I don’t know much about soccer, but it doesn’t seem like a bad idea for soccer to keep it interesting because I can’t watch it. For me, soccer is about as exciting as watching my grass grow on my lawn. Anyways, I would just leave the playoff system in and tinker with it as time goes on. If it expands to 8, awesome if it doesn’t, so be it. I am not going to punish and FBS team for sucking and kick them out for a year or however long it takes them to get back. Imagine UCF back in 2016 when they went winless. That would have moved them down and the following season they go undefeated? Just leave everything as is. Plus, the bowl games help those smaller schools to have something to look forward to for having some success. I think they fact of staying home during bowl season is bad enough punishment for the teams who don’t get there.
@JackKively asks: What are your thoughts on the rumors that Bob Stoops may come out of retirement to take the head coaching job at Ohio State if Urban Meyer is fired.
Duke: My thought is don’t believe the rumors. Bob stepped down for a reason at Oklahoma. He was done, and I can think of several occasions of him saying he didn’t want to coach much longer now that he is older. He isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore and I really and truly believe he is enjoying his life and getting to spend more time with his family. Don’t forget that he has two sons who are playing football at Oklahoma as well. They are just walk-ons, but I highly doubt he is going to miss attending an Oklahoma game over the next few years with his kids on the team. Not to mention, if Urban was to get fired, talk about some headaches you would have to deal with as the successor.
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