Here is the rest of the questions for my weekly Big 12 football mailbag. Enjoy!
@JSamTTU asks: What’s Gary Patterson’s problem with Tech? Why does everyone feel the need to smear false information about Texas Tech just to feel superior?
Duke: Yeah, I am not sure what to make of this. I didn’t go to Gary’s table at Big 12 media days because our own Pete Mundo was over with TCU while I was running around elsewhere. I have no idea what brought up Texas Tech, but I guess someone asked him about playing in Lubbock and he did mention that there is a huge difference between day and night games there. Gary is right because night games in Lubbock are AWESOME. The crowd, the booze and of course the TORTILLAS. Well I guess Gary didn’t care for things being thrown at his players and I don’t blame him but there are plenty of other teams in the Big 12 that must play there so get in line with the complaints. With that said, I am ready for the Tech/TCU game on November 16th.
@maverick76904 asks: Name your all Big 12 coaching staff.
Duke: I am going to cheat a little here and assign coordinator roles to some head coaches but my all-star staff would go something like this: HC: Matt Campbell (ISU HC), OC: Lincoln Riley (OU HC), WR: Kasey Dunn (OSU WR), RB: Stan Drayton (TX RB), OL: Bill Bedenbaugh (OU OL). DC: Gary Patterson (TCU HC), DL: Oscar Giles (Texas DL) LB: Chad Glasgow (TCU DC), DB: Jon Heacock (ISU DC)
@Cychas87 asks: How many Big 12 teams go bowling in 2019
Duke: I don’t have a long answer for this one, but I’ll say seven. I think Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech make a bowl game this season.
@kylekubiak2 asks: Who emerges as the lead running back for the Cyclones by the end of the season?
Duke: Right now, it is a five-man battle at the running back spot for Iowa State. Sheldon Croney Jr., Kene Nwangwu, Johnnie Lang, Breece Hall and Jirehl Brock will all battle it out. Croney and Nwangwu will likely get first dibs in my opinion but I truly believe that true freshman Breece Hall will be the go-to guy by the end of the season. He’s big and physical and has a tough running style that just fits right in with Iowa State. I have seen him play with the best of the best here at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio and I am telling you that this guy is the real deal. He has the potential to be a first team All-Big 12 running back down the road and I think he will have a good freshman campaign.
@T_REX1991 asks: Does the simplicity of Big 12 team uniforms across the board, such as Baylor moving away from the multiple helmet and jersey combos, reduce the “Swag/Flash” that recruits/players enjoy in this day and age?
Duke: This is a cop out answer, but it totally depends on the player. Just like in recruiting, different kids are looking for different things whether it’s academics, coaches or the campus etc. I would hope that no recruit chooses a school based off uniform alone, but I wouldn’t be surprised in this day and age of social media. But I don’t think the Big 12 is getting away from the uniform combos. Look at some of the “Blueblood” schools that now have some different uniform options. But focusing on the Big 12, outside of Texas, Kansas State (I know they have a camo helmet I believe) and Oklahoma (Although they have alternate uniforms), everyone has different uniform combos to wear. You don’t need 1,000 different combos to look good. Sometimes less is more. Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas and WVU all mix it up a bunch as well as your team, Baylor. Heck even Iowa State is rolling out with new stuff. Teams may be more consistent with the uniforms but there are still plenty of combos out there so nothing will get old. I think the uniforms in the conference are just fine.
@PrairieReportOU asks: Name your starting offensive line based on Cereal Boxes.
Duke: I am guessing you meant cereals because all boxes are the same when it comes to cereal. I don’t know because like I mentioned in the last mailbag, I am not a big cereal guy. But I will go with this.
LT: Frosted Mini-Wheats. A good hearty but quick filling cereal. Will keep you full without over doing it.
LG: Raisin Bran: Very hearty. I need this in the middle
C: Cheerios: Keeps you smart and healthy just like a center should be.
RG: Quaker Oatmeal squares: Just like Raisin Bran, it is filling and will likely be slowing you down. Good for a big, slow guard.
RT: Fiber One: Like all the others, it doesn’t take a lot of this to get your day started with a nice bathroom trip.
@Nmcleod03 asks: Which Big 12 unit (Offense/Defense) do you predict will have the biggest jump in production from last year?
Duke: Offensively for me, it is TCU. TCU averaged 19 points per game last season during Big 12 play which was dead last in the conference. I know they have a quarterback battle going on and between Max Duggan (Who I think will be the guy), Justin Rodgers, Alex Delton and Michael Collins, someone will step up to the challenge and get the offense going because they have weapons at running back such as Darius Anderson and all conference wide out Jalen Reagor. They just need a quarterback to jumpstart that offense which is easier said than done.
On the defensive side of the ball I would say either Baylor or Oklahoma State. I could throw Oklahoma in there as well with new DC Alex Grinch. Baylor has a few pieces on defense and should tighten up and not give up so many big plays. OSU has a strong secondary but has question marks up front. But I think OSU DC Jim Knowles in his second year will have the defense better than what it was last season.
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