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 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 doing this on Monday evening and of course this mailbag wouldn’t be nearly as fun without a cold beverage right next to me. Tonight’s drink of choice? An Orange Show beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Houston, TX) Cheers!
@tracks182 asks: Reassure me that Iowa State can and will do better next year despite having to rebuild their offensive line and defensive interior.
Duke: I honestly think the media will still like Iowa State in 2020, you know why? Because they (Media including myself) love returning quarterbacks. Brock Purdy heading into the 2020 season is the best quarterback in the Big 12 in my opinion. That will cover up a lot and don’t forget about running back Breece Hall who appears to be a complete monster in the running game, and he will likely only get better. Not to mention if Charlie Kolar returns at tight end and Tarique Milton at wide out. There are weapons there, but you are right, the offensive line will need some work next season. As for the defense, if Jon Heacock is running the show, I feel good but again, you hit it right on point because there are pieces that will have to be replaced. Recruiting and player development will be key, but I feel like this staff is doing a good job at bother especially getting the most out of guys. Iowa State will still be good next season. Big 12 title good? Maybe not but I still think they are a top half team in the conference in 2020.
@joemathieu asks: Way too early 2020 Big 12 preseason rankings?
Duke: C’mon Joe you’re killing me man. You must want people to hate me for the 2020 season and it’s not even here! With plenty of things still pending until we get there such as transfers, injuries, hires etc., I will give you a six in no order. I’ll say Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Iowa State. Those would be my top Big 12 teams with TCU, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas on the outside looking in until they can get some things cleaned up. It’s simply too early for me to be calling my shot right now but get back with me during the spring and I’ll give you a much better answer.
@thestevevaughan asks: How would you rank the top five Big 12 quarterbacks as the regular season is over?
Duke: I’ll just keep this short and sweet.
- Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma): 49 total touchdowns and is second in the conference in rushing as a quarterback. Maybe not the best passer but his ability to run the football matters to me.
- Brock Purdy (Iowa State): Brock took a huge step up this season and is third in the conference in passing touchdowns (27) and is the only player in the Big 12 to throw for over 3,500 yards this season as he has 3,760.
- Sam Ehlinger (Texas): While many say he has had a down year, Sam is close to his passing numbers from last season. In fact, his completion percentage is up, and he has thrown for more touchdowns this season than last year. It’s just that his rushing numbers are down.
- Charlie Brewer (Baylor): Charlie has quietly been effective this year throwing for 20 touchdowns to just 6 picks. Not to mention, his completion percentage is sitting at 65.5%. He may not be the most explosive quarterback, but he has been efficient.
- Jett Duffey (Texas Tech): I bet you didn’t see this one coming. Jett has improved a ton from last year especially when it comes to taking care of the football as he threw just 5 interceptions this year. Sure, he doesn’t have the greatest passing statistics, but he has been efficient as well throwing for 18 touchdowns this season starting in just ten games. I was torn between him and Spencer Sanders at five.
@tgslevi asks: What, if any Big 12 assistant coaches are most likely to land a head coaching gig for 2020?
Duke: Honestly, I don’t see a whole lot of guys from the Big 12 landing coaching gigs. A lot of changes are happening right now but by changes, guys are getting let go. Texas, TCU and maybe even Tech will let some guys go. I don’t see any movement from Oklahoma or Oklahoma State although Alex Grinch may be a candidate this time next season if things continue to trend up for the Sooners defense. The same goes for Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and West Virginia. I don’t see any of these coordinators landing head coaching jobs. However, with me being down here in San Antonio, I am hearing one thing about the open UTSA job. Baylor assistant head coach Joey McGuire is getting a lot of buzz for that job and since he was a high school coach here in Texas for over ten years at Cedar Hill, he knows high school football and he was incredibly successful there. Of course, moving up at Baylor was a huge step and I hear nothing but good things about him in Waco. I think he is a name to keep an eye on this offseason.
@KBehr68 asks: Since Iowa State is done until their bowl game, this weekend do I smoke baby back ribs or a boneless loin pork roast? And what do I drink? Double oak twice barreled Jim Beam or blackberry moonshine?
Duke: These are the types of questions that matter people. So I will give you suggestions on what I would do here with your choices you have given me. I’m honestly not a big rib guy unless they are beef because, Texas that’s why so I would go with the pork roast because roast is amazing. Little potatoes on the side and of course some type of sauce or gravy. I am a simple man when it comes to meat and potatoes. As for the drink, I would go Jim Beam. I have never had blackberry flavored moonshine but I have had apple pie, the original white lighting and the strawberry. Of course I have had the good stuff which comes from someone’s garage or out in the middle of nowhere. But when it comes to moonshine, if it’s not 100 proof I don’t want it. That’s just me though.
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