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 month 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 beer myself to help me work my way through the mailbag. We had so many questions this week that I had to split it up into two separate posts. If you don’t see your question in this article, it will be in the next one on Wednesday.
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. I didn’t do a damn thing this weekend. I drank some beer this weekend and caught up on some shows I haven’t seen in a while. Anyways, On to the mailbag!
@FitzDaddy85 asks: How bad is the KU 2019 recruiting class and how concerned would you be for the future of the program if you’re AD Jeff Long?
Duke: So, for those of who live under a rock and don’t follow me (@Derekduke25 on twitter), every Monday I tweet out the current Big 12 recruiting rankings from 247. As of right now there are 130 FBS teams and anyone have an idea where Kansas falls in there? Try 145th. Yes, you read that correctly 145th in the country behind D2 teams like Central Arkansas, Illinois State, Montana State, Indiana State, you name it, Kansas is likely behind it. What’s funny is that I can remember writing an article in early 2017 about how Kansas had a top ten recruiting class at that time for the 2018 cycle and now that seems like a distant memory as they dropped tremendously in the rankings and are continuing to fall to this very day. The question recruits are having are “David Beaty and his staff want me to come to Kansas, but will he even be there by the time I am ready to sign?” With so much uncertainty with his job status (At the moment), it would be hard to blame recruits for taking a wait and see approach with Kansas for the upcoming season to see how things play out. Bottom line here, if I am Jeff Long I give Beaty this season to show me some improvement and something that makes me say, “This guy DESERVES another season.” If not, it’s time to move on.
@ted_rood asks: Do you think Big 12 offensive production (In terms of points scored) will drop this season after Mayfield and Rudolph departed?
Duke: Anytime you lose key players at quarterback in the conference, offensive production is likely to drop but by how much? Right now, in the Big 12 (In terms of QBs) we say there’s Will Grier and everyone else. I think Charlie Brewer at Baylor is a good quarterback too but there are a lot of guys who are very unproven right now. Will some of these quarterbacks step up to the spotlight and become solid quarterbacks? Absolutely. Will hat happen right away? Maybe? But my gut instinct here would say not right now. When this conference has a lot of veteran quarterbacks, that’s when you see those ridiculous numbers because this conference (Whether you like it or not) is a quarterback driven league. Put a gun to my head and I would say that there would be a dip in offensive production overall as a conference compared to last season. Will it be a huge dip in numbers? I don’t believe so.
@StrawnBob asks: Which Big 12 coach would you want in your foxhole and which would you avoid? How material will the new kickoff rules be to the game?
Duke: This is a great two-part question here so let me break it up for you. If had to pick one coach for the foxhole, it’s Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. The energy and passion he brings makes him somebody I would want on my side. He is a total “we before me” kind of guy and that is damn rare nowadays. The guy who I wouldn’t want is Bill Snyder SIMPLY BECAUSE OF HIS AGE. He is a hell of a man but I am not sure I would want somebody at his age going to battle with me.
First off for those who don’t know the new kickoff rule, a player can fair catch a kickoff inside the 25-yard line and the ball will be brought out to the 25 yard-line. So, if the player calls for a fair catch at the 10-yard line, the ball will still be placed at the 25-yard line. I know they are trying to protect players and that this rule has a lot to do with safety and these small steps are getting closer and closer to the days of where kickoffs are extinct. But for me, I don’t like it. I think the rule is ok because players can still choose to return the kickoff, but I don’t like the overall outlook of where this whole kickoff thing is heading towards.
@RPTexan asks: If Heartland College Sports turned into Thunderdome, where all men enter and only one-man leaves, who’s the toughest guy at HCS and why?
Duke: For the one king of the ring battle, I will take Dave. Dave is the biggest guy and he looks like he can kick some ass and he probably did kick some ass back in his day. He is a small-town Oklahoma guy and being from a small Texas town myself, I think small town guys are a little rough around the edges but are built differently. That’s just my opinion though so take it as you please. In general, we are all nice guys and most importantly we are all great people.
@1012podcast asks: Which new starting quarterback in the Big 12 this season are you most concerned with and which one are you most confident in?
Duke: Let’s get the easy one out the way first. Will Grier is the quarterback I am most confident in heading into the season. He has all the tools, has proven himself and is a Heisman contender. He is the one quarterback that has the least amount of questions right now in the Big 12. Now as for the guy who I would worry about I am not sure of. Why am I saying that? Because Kansas hasn’t settled on a quarterback yet. I am worried about Peyton Bender, Carter Stanley and Miles Kendrick because they don’t have much to fall back on in their offense. Go back and look at our position rankings for the offensive units in the Big 12. Here is how Kansas shaped out in our rankings: QB: 10th RB: 10th WR: 9th OL: 10th. You see the problem here? No matter who rolls out there for Kansas, they won’t have much help meaning they will likely have to do more themselves which leads to more mistakes sometimes. So, yeah, I would be worried for any quarterback who plays there right now.
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