Big 12 Football Mailbag: Coaching Changes, Players of the Year and More!
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. In fact, this mailbag was so full, I had to break it up into two parts. Part one will be released Tuesday and part two will go out Wednesday.
There are probably some that don’t give a rat’s 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 was off all last week as I took some time off from work to relax. As usual, the week went by way too fast. Friday, I went out of town before heading back for a FULL Saturday of Big 12 football. Sunday and Monday, I did a few things around the house before starting a late work week on Tuesday. On to the mailbag!
@RPTexan asks: Once Kliff is fired at the end of the season, IF YOU were him, what would be your next job (Not what he would do), OC at a high power 5 school? HC at a mid-level CFB school? OC in the NFL?
Duke: I have a hard time seeing Texas Tech fire Kliff Kingsbury at the end of the season but that’s a totally different conversation for another time. So, if I am Kliff Kingsbury I take another power five offensive coordinator job. Why? Because I only have to focus on offense which is obviously my specialty. I don’t have to worry about managing an entire program and with my experience I can likely make around 800K per year. Sounds pretty good if you ask me. Eventually I could likely get another job as time goes on, but I could be more selective with the next opportunity. All this putting me in Kliff’s shoes talk is making me feel bad because I’d trade jobs with Kliff any day and would live large wherever I go.
@Kbehr68 asks: Campbell and Rhule in a cage match, who you got? Seriously though, K-State @ Iowa State, late November night game in Ames. How many layers would you wear for that one? How many “hot cocoas” would you require?
Duke: Let’s dissect this question into two parts here. First off, I think it would be one hell of a cage match between Matt Campbell and Matt Rhule, but I would lean Matt Campbell on that one. He seems to be in better shape and late in the match, I think he would barely edge out Rhule. Again, Rhule looks like a scrapper but I still like Campbell in that one. Now, I would love to go to Ames anytime but especially when they play K-State. Farmageddon? SIGN ME UP. That’s one of the best underrated rivalries in all of college football. I would say I would wear some good layers for that one. Being from south Texas, I don’t think our standards for “cold” are the same with folks up in Iowa. Also, to my knowledge, the press box at Jack Trice Stadium has no heating or air conditioning. Not sure if that’s entirely true or not but I would make damn sure I wear some stuff to keep me warm up there. It may not be all HCS gear but blame Pete for that. Anyways, as for the “hot chocolates” I would enjoy getting a feel for the tailgate scene before making my way to the stadium. I hear a flask goes a long way into warming a body up. Not that I would know or anything like that.
@wtxkj asks: Call your shot, who coaches Kansas and Kansas State football next year?
Duke: Well, it’s not what I would want but here are my predictions for the two schools. I think Kansas will hire Les Miles to try and rejuvenate that dead program. Do I really like that? Not crazy about it but it would provide some attention in Lawrence and not for basketball reasons. As for K-State, I’ll say North Texas head coach Seth Littrell. I think he would be a good fit at a place like K-State. I am not confident in the Kansas State pick because I truly have no idea what the decision makers are thinking up there or if they are thinking at all right now.
@jonkev50 asks: Who is the Big 12’s player of the year on offense and defense?
Duke: If the season ended today here would be my two picks.
Offense: Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. He has been nothing short of spectacular this year and while I thought the offense would drop off some from losing Baker Mayfield, this offense may be better. Kyler is averaging the most yards of offense (From a single player) in the Big 12. He has 39 total touchdowns through just 10 games and I don’t think there is a doubt in my mind that he deserves the Heisman just as much as Tua does. Don’t get me wrong Will Grier is damn good too but what Kyler can do with his legs puts him over the top.
Defense: I don’t mean to brag here but someone at Big 12 Media Days picked this next player as his preseason defensive player of the year. While others scratched their head, WHO IS LAUGHING NOW? WVU LB David Long Jr. was my pick before the season and is my pick right now. He is second in the Big 12 in sacks (As a linebacker), first in tackles for loss and fourth in total tackles in the conference. David Long Jr. is the best defensive player in the league and I am glad someone asked that so I can brag about my pick.
@meekercp asks: Has Coach Rhule lost control of his team? And what do you see as the future of Baylor?
Duke: Absolutely not. I went back and watched the scuffle several times. Outside of Greg Roberts, the Baylor players were trying to break up any fights and trying to get Greg to calm down. Most importantly the entire bench for Baylor didn’t move. They stayed on their sideline. Under a Briles regime, I am not sure that happens. A few years ago, that scuffle would have turned into something much, much worse. The future of Baylor to me looks bright as long as Matt Rhule is running the show. He’s cleaned up the program from the attitude and culture and overall is legitimately a great person. Not just off the field but look at what they are doing right now. Last season they went 1-11 and now they will probably make a bowl game after they beat TCU this weekend. Matt Rhule has done a tremendous job in Waco. At first, I was skeptical of the hire but as time goes on, I like the hire more and more each day.
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