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. This week’s mailbag was so full, I had to break it up into two parts. Part one will be out Tuesday while part two will go out Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. You guys are what makes this mailbag great.
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. Was a crazy Turkey week for me as I went to two Thanksgiving from different sides of the family. I had one Thursday and Friday of last week all while squeezing some work in as well. Saturday, I got to relax and kick back to watch some Big 12 football. Sunday, I did a little bit of yard work before getting the week started. On to the mailbag!
@Doc_Texas asks: What will go down as the top 5 games in the Big 12 this season?
Duke: Just going to throw out the list for you and add a bonus.
- Oklahoma vs Texas
- Oklahoma @ West Virginia
- Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma
- West Virginia @ Texas
- Texas Tech @ Iowa State
- Texas @ Oklahoma State
@FitzDaddy85 asks: Who’s going to play Kansas in the Big 12 football championship next year?
Duke: You feeling alright there Fitz? Have you been hitting the whiskey bottle before you asked this one? At first, I was thinking basketball, but the question clearly states it’s about football. Right now, the words Kansas football and championship don’t mix well. Even next year, those words won’t mix well. If Kansas makes it to the Big 12 title game next season in football, it means that every other team was out for the entire season with some sort of illness. So that means they wouldn’t play anybody. They would get the conference championship by default. That’s the only way I can think of.
@jonkev50 asks: What was the play of the year in the Big 12?
Duke: Man, that is tough. There were so many great plays this season from Hakeem Butler catches to Lil’Jordan Humphrey catches and so on. Some Jalen Reagor plays pop up in my mind. But for some reason one sticks out to me more than others. It was in the Red River Showdown. Oklahoma was down 14 with less than five and a half minutes to go. On the very first play of that drive, QB Kyler Murray took it 67 yards to the house and brought the Sooners within a touchdown with a little over five minutes left. That run was magical, and I remember just saying wow not just because of his speed but in that moment of the game, that was HUGE. Oklahoma would eventually tie the game before losing late thanks to a Texas field goal. There are probably plays better than that and some I am forgetting but that run by Kyler Murray sticks with me every time I watch him play. He deserves the Heisman and that to me was my favorite moment from him even though they lost the game.
@mundodelovoide asks: Do you agree that without a championship game this weekend, Oklahoma would not have a chance to make the playoff? (Just sitting watching the Ohio State game in the Big Ten title.)
Duke: I would agree with that 100%. We all know how the committee is. Ohio State is like a shiny toy for them because of the name value. Everyone seems to try and figure out ways to get the Buckeyes in the playoff. Hell, even when Oklahoma beat them head to head last year some people still wanted Ohio State in which made about as much sense as some of the crap that comes out of Paul Finebaum’s mouth. If Oklahoma sat at home this weekend and Ohio State won the Big Ten title, we would be hearing repeatedly about the Big 12 not having a conference championship game just like 2014 all over again. Thank the lord we have this game now because the Big 12 needs all the help it can get when it comes to earning the respect of the national media and the playoff committee. If Oklahoma and Ohio State both win on Saturday, I believe the difference will be the conference title game because Texas is a much better win than Northwestern.
@WarrenAltobello asks: Why should Alabama get into the playoffs if they lose to Georgia? They could fix it by losing and insuring both SEC teams get in, why allow this? Win or you are out!
Duke: As much as I hate to say this, depending how bad Alabama would lose, they would likely still be in the top four. Now if they get blown out by 30 or more, then I don’t think the committee would allow them to remain in the top four. But if Bama loses by 14 or less, I think the committee would keep them in. So yes, even if Bama loses it could screw things up for the Big 12 by getting two SEC teams in. The only way this “Win your conference and you’re in” argument would happen is if the format and the criteria for making the playoff changes. But since that isn’t the case, the SEC is going to get a team in no matter what happens on Saturday. This will make ESPN happy.
@camerontvance asks: Big 12 title contenders next year not named Texas and Oklahoma?
Duke: I think there will be some teams that improve but if I had to say right now and it is SUPER early I would say TCU and Iowa State. Iowa State will have QB Brock Purdy back and that offensive line should improve as well. Now they will have to replace Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery if they leave early so that will be tough. Defensively, they bring a lot back from an already solid defense. The question marks will be at skill positions on both offense and defense that I worry about. For TCU, they will likely have RB Darius Anderson back and that line will improve to help the run game. WR Jalen Reagor comes back and defensively, I never worry too much about a Gary Patterson coached team. The BIG question is at quarterback. If Justin Rogers can step up and be “the guy” next season, this team has some serious upside.
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