Welcome to the HCS Big 12 mailbag. 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.
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. Friday, I covered a local high school game as I do every Friday. Saturday, I lounged around and watch a full day of Big 12 football as I pretty much always do unless I go cover a game. On Sunday, I traveled back home to visit family to wrap up the weekend. On to the mailbag!
@LongHornFrenzy asks: What is your take on Kansas State? Purple Wizard’s team appears to be struggling.
Duke: Kansas State is a hot mess right now. Offensively, I have no idea what’s going on. The quarterback battle between Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton doesn’t seem to be settled, RB Alex Barnes has been disappointing up to this point and the wide outs besides Isaiah Zuber have done little to nothing so far this year. Skylar Thompson has started the last couple games for K-State and it hasn’t been pretty. They don’t throw a lot which is his strong suit and instead, they run him which would normally favor Alex Delton. I think Bill Snyder is struggling to juggle these quarterbacks and unless something drastically changes, they will keep struggling and be stuck in the mud. Defensively, they are still working on stopping the run and tightening up in the back end. I’ll say this about the defense, it’s hard to point any fingers at them because the offense has really been non-existent for most of the season so far outside the UTSA game.
@Doc_Texas asks: Can we admit that Kingsbury can bring a fan down from the stands and that person would probably put up ridiculous numbers at QB in his system?
Duke: While I agree, his system is fantastic, he still must find the right guy to run the offense. Since he has taken over at Tech, quarterbacks have filled up the stat sheets. Think about it, Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb, Patrick Mahomes, hell even Nic Shimonek had some games where he lit up the stat book. However, if Jett Duffey or McLane Carter had been the starting quarterback this season, I don’t think either guy would have been a guy who puts up insane numbers. I think Kliff is good at not only running his system but finding the right guys to run it. He has an eye for quarterback talent like few coaches in the country have. If Kliff ever gets fired from Texas Tech, he will have job offers within seconds of him being let go. Do I think any average joe could just waltz in and put up numbers? No but Kliff would find a way to still move the football. Again, I am more impressed with his eye for talent at quarterback than his system.
@RPTexan asks: At 1/3 through the season, what does each team need to do better/more of to be a legit contender for the Big 12 title?
Duke: I could write for a long time on this topic but for easy reading, I will just list quick notes for each team on areas of improvement. These are my short thoughts in a nutshell now.
Texas: Pressuring opposing QBs
Baylor: Stopping the run/Offensive Line Play
TCU: Taking care of the football
Texas Tech: Consistent Defense
Oklahoma: Consistent Defense/Pressuring opposing QBs
Oklahoma State: Giving RB Justice Hill more touches/Consistent Defense
Kansas: Pray as much as possible
Kansas State: Everything on offense/Stopping the run
Iowa State: Consistency on offense/OL Play
West Virginia: Running the football
@scottwildcat asks: Is there anything K-State can do short of waiting for Bill Snyder to hang it up and making the right hire to get back to contending for the Big 12 again?
Duke: I am going to be brutally honest here and not sugar coat anything. I think Bill’s time is up. I really believe that. I remember last season I had high expectations for Kansas State and that blew up right in my face and I thought they could be sneaky good like usual this year but after the first 4 games, I am throwing in the towel on this team and Bill Snyder. I need to say this, I respect the hell out of him and he built that program from the ground up, but father time ALWAYS wins at some point and I think that time is now. He has lost a step or two, I don’t think there is any question about that but right now this team is sinking and sinking fast. A loss against Texas this upcoming weekend will have people on the edge and depending on how this season plays out, you may see more people wanting him to finally call it quits. Where I would be concerned as a K-State fan is the fact that Bill Snyder does not recruit at a high level. In fact, his classes rank amongst teams in the Sun Belt, Conference USA, and quite frankly at a group of 5 level. He picks out the guys he wants to fit his system and the next guy who takes over will have a large hill to climb because if he changes the offense, how will the guys on the roster fit to a new scheme? It would take a couple years to rebuild in a new regime. It’s just so hard for me to picture anybody but Bill Snyder having consistent success at a program like Kansas State. It’s not impossible but it will be very difficult for the next guy who takes over.
KBehr68 asks: Amount of money some coaches spend on haircuts and hair care products yearly O/U $339.99 … Kliff Kingsbury? O/U $133.99 … Mike Gundy? O/U $13.99 … Dana Holgorsen?
Duke: I think I found this week’s koozie winner. This is fantastic. So, let me start in order here. Kliff Kingsbury is over 339.99. Are you kidding me? He is a Ryan Gosling look alike and if you are going to be a Ryan Gosling look alike you spend more than $330 on haircuts and products in a month. If I was a betting man here, I would say Kliff probably spends over $1,000 per year on his hair easily. Mike Gundy is a different guy now. He is the guy who doesn’t wash his hair daily and doesn’t mind his mullet being a little greasy. I don’t think there is a lot of care into his mullet besides the trims every now and then. I assume he washes it and wets it down from time to time, but he is old school. I could see Mike enjoying being out in the woods for a week and not bathing once and most importantly not caring what the hell he smells like out there. I can’t say the same for the other two. Lastly, Dana Holgorson. No way he spends any money on that haircut. He just throws the visor on and that’s pretty much it. I bet he sleeps wearing a WVU visor too.
JoSCobbs90 asks: Who do you have in the WVU/TTU matchup this weekend and how much does it say about WVU that they can play like it’s their first day and still own the Snyder Cats?
Duke: To start my answer here, let me say this about the K-State game. IT MEANT NOTHING! Like I have mentioned earlier about Kansas State, they are a mess right now and a team that is a sinking ship. I am not going to take away much from a blowout win at home against a bad Kansas State team. Now, this week’s matchup is much more intriguing. Both offenses can score points, so I do think it is going to be a shootout but right now, I think West Virginia has shown me more defensively to pick them in this contest. Points will flow like a river but who can get that key stop when needed? Mountaineers get the VERY CLOSE win on the road in Lubbock. Also, I will be heading to Lubbock this weekend to cover the game. If anybody wants to offer a cold refreshment there, I would be more than happy to accept one.
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