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. This will be part two of the weekly mailbag. On to it!
@JoSCobbs90 asks: You buying TCU ahead of WVU in the AP poll and also: Deep dish or pan pizza?
Duke: Let’s start with this “AP” poll here. First off, I hate preseason polls. I think they are a complete joke before we even play a game and it will all shape itself out anyways in the end. For the most part, we don’t have a clue what team is in the proper order however, I am here to answer your question, not bitch about the AP poll. But no, I am not buying TCU ahead of WVU in any poll. I have West Virginia competing for a Big 12 title this season where as I think TCU will be on the outside looking in in terms of a conference title race. Don’t get me wrong though, TCU is still a great program and last I checked, Gary Patterson is still there so they will be fine. But ahead of West Virginia right now? I don’t see it. Also, I enjoy pizza, but I don’t really care for pan pizza. Between deep dish or pan pizza, give me deep dish all day long. What I really like though? Hand tossed.
@McBeeWVU asks: With WVU having the best QB and WR in CFB and the highest expectations since the 70 – 34 team, where do you see them shaking out.
Duke: Call me stupid here but I am not sure what team you are referring to. While I agree that Will Grier is probably the best quarterback in college football at the moment, I would have to ask who the best WR in CFB is right now? Are you talking about David Sills or the wide receiver group as a whole? Sure, David caught an absurd amount of touchdown passes but I don’t think he is the best receiver in the country. Maybe he will prove me wrong though. Right now, I have the Mountaineers at finishing third in the Big 12. Yes, the offense will be legit, but will the defense step up to become respectable this season? I am not sure. They gave up over 200 yards rushing per game and that isn’t something you just magically fix right away. They did add some pieces up front on the defensive line, so we shall see if that is enough. IF the defense can be just an average defense, then I wouldn’t hesitate to put them in the Big 12 title game and possibly winning the Big 12.
@cychas87 asks: What will be the keys for Iowa State to take down Oklahoma two years in a row? Also, what are the odds Urban Meyer is fired and Ohio State targets which coach the hardest? Bob Stoops or Matt Campbell? Both are Ohio boys.
Duke: The thing I like about Iowa State playing Oklahoma this season at home the most? They catch the Sooners early in the season. This will be the toughest test for Oklahoma up to that point in the season so could they catch the Sooners while they are figuring things out? Maybe? I highly doubt that Lincoln Riley forgot about that loss at home last season to the Cyclones, so it would be tough for me to say. The keys for Iowa State, do what they do best. Play sound, fundamental defense. By the way, the OL/DL matchup in that game will be incredible! Great matchup there. So, play sound defense and RUN THE FOOTBALL. Keep the ball away from that Lincoln Riley offense and limit their possessions. Those would be my keys for the Cyclones in that game. As for the whole Urban Meyer thing, Ohio State would target Matt Campbell over Bob Stoops. I don’t see Stoops coming out of retirement especially now that his twin boys are playing football at Oklahoma and the fact that Matt Campbell is one hell of a coach that any program would be lucky to have.
@TheGrizzofBU asks: What will be the biggest upset in Big 12 conference play this year?
Duke: Damn, this is a tough one. If I had to pick just one, I would probably say go to Saturday, November 17th. TCU at Baylor. I think the TCU defense will still be good but probably not as good as last season but offensively I have some questions for the Horned Frogs. What will that offensive line look like? How about Shawn Robinson at quarterback? I think their offense could have some growing pains this season and with the Bears hungry in that game, I could see Baylor knocking off TCU at McLane Stadium in Waco. Charlie Brewer is a solid quarterback and I wouldn’t be shocked one bit if Baylor pulls off an upset or two this season.
@SethLDow asks: Who do you think leads the league in passing, rushing and receiving yards?
Duke: I am going to give you a rapid-fire style answer.
Passing: Will Grier-WVU QB
Rushing: Justice Hill-OSU RB
Receiving: Marquise Brown-OU WR