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Big 12 Mailbag: Who is the Big 12 Darkhorse?

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor

Here is part two of this week’s Big 12 football mailbag. Enjoy!

@tdhuffy asks: Without crazy turnovers, TCU beats Ohio State, Texas and Tech in 2018. Have you seen Matthew Baldwin’s high school tape? If he is eligible, can TCU get to the Big 12 title game in 2019?

Duke: Breath man, breath. Better? Let’s clear up some of the air here and then we will get to the bottom line. Why? Because this is my mailbag and I make the rules. Ok, maybe Pete makes the rules, but you get my point. Yes, without sloppy quarterback play, TCU’s season would have looked a lot different last year. Also, they probably Don’t lose to Kansas either which you may or may have not forgotten. If I were you, I would have drunk that one out of my system by now. As for Matthew Baldwin (Ohio State QB transfer for those who don’t know), we have no idea if he is eligible for the 2019 season yet as I am writing this so we will have to wait and see. I am not sure if Baldwin would beat out Max Duggan or Justin Rogers or even Alex Delton right now. Ok, he would be ahead of Delton but Justin Rogers to me still has the highest upside, but his health is still an issue in my mind. I’ll be honest, I have no earthly idea who will win the job in the crowded quarterback room in Fort Worth, but I’ll say this about Matthew. I really like this kid out of Lake Travis which has been a quarterback breeding ground for what seems like forever now. He has a nice arm, is accurate and is a little more athletic than what people think. In fact, he reminds me a little of current Baylor quarterback and former Lake Travis quarterback, Charlie Brewer which is a huge compliment. Again, not sure if Matthew is the answer this season but whoever starts for TCU will be an upgrade from Shawn Robinson who is now at Mizzou.

 

@MatthewCarson11 asks: Given the expected increased production from Deshaunte Jones (ISU WR) and Tarique Milton (ISU WR), how far does the La’Michael Pettway (Arkansas WR Grad Transfer to ISU) pick up at WR alleviate some of the uncertainty at the position?

Duke: We talk a lot about Iowa State in these mailbags because Cyclone nation loves our site and to be clear, we greatly appreciate that here at HCS. Now, on to the question here. I for one have been skeptical about the current wide outs on the roster because the production of the guys left, isn’t anything to really get too excited over. Now Tarique and Deshaunte are both nice role guys to have but I am not sure if either one of them could be that go to receiver as both guys stand at about 5’10. The Cyclones have enjoyed those big bodied receivers such as Allen Lazard and Hakeem Butler over the past few seasons. Well now you get a guy like Pettway from Arkansas who is 6’3 200 lbs. Not to mention he put up similar stats as Jones and Milton on a bad Arkansas team last season. I think this was a huge pickup for Iowa State and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if he became the favorite target for this upcoming season. Whether it’s a one man show or a trio of solid wide out play, adding La’Michael certainly makes me feel better about the Cyclone wide out group and it should make you feel better too.

@T_REX1991 asks: Third year under Matt Rhule and with Charlie Brewer much more experienced, is Baylor the sleeper that everyone should truly fear?

Duke: Either in last week’s mailbag or the one before that, someone asked me who was my Big 12 sleeper team. You guessed it, it’s Baylor. I really like Charlie Brewer, but I would like him a whole lot better if he had some help in the run game and if he wasn’t running for his life. The offensive line needs to improve, and I think it will which should help the run game. Also, with Hurd gone can Denzel Mims and Tyquan Thornton step up at wide out and be consistent? Defensively, I am still a bit skeptical but overall, I expect Baylor to take another step forward this season. I think this team could get off to a hot start and I wouldn’t be surprised if this team started off 5-1 in their first six games before the schedule picks up in the back half.

 

@WideRtNattyLt asks: Why does the universe continue to punish Iowa State with 11 AM kickoffs?

Duke: First off, I am not sure who runs your account on Twitter, but they need a raise because they do an excellent job running the social media page. Iowa State isn’t the only ones being punished here. I can remember Oklahoma getting an unusual amount of 11 AM kickoffs last season, In fact, looking back Oklahoma had only one home game that started at 7 PM and it was the Army game but maybe it was best for the Sooners to not have any more late kicks after that near disaster. In the Big 12, I feel like Iowa State is a very respected team, but I am not sure if the average college football fan feels that same way right now. The average college football fan probably looks at Iowa State and doesn’t think much but this isn’t your Paul Rhoads coached Iowa State team. This is Matt Campbell’s program now and I truly hope that the rest of the country gets up to speed on what is going on in Ames, Iowa. Trust me, I HATE the early kickoffs but that seems to be the normal in the Big 12 right now. If I could find the people who decide some of these 11 AM kicks, I would punch them in the face, and I wouldn’t care if I broke every bone in my hand to do it. I would do it for the people because I am a man of the people. Cheers!

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