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.
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). I want to thank each one of you who submitted a question this week. The mailbag was stuffed so I had to break it up into two parts. So, if you do not see your question here, it will be released for part two on Wednesday. As for my choice of beverage, it is just a coffee here on a Tuesday morning as I have some time off from my day job. Cheers!
@RPTexan asks: QB play in the B12 has not lived up to expectations overall. Purdy has been better lately, as has Rattler, but most QB’s are +/- average. Why do you think QB play hasn’t been better overall?
Duke: I think the shortened offseason has something to do with it. Early in the season, I noticed a bunch of struggling offensive lines and overall, the timing between the quarterbacks and wide outs were not exactly what I would call normal. Those types of things get worked out in practice where guys are taking a ton of reps. That did not happen this season and now it seems like some of these guys are starting to look like who we though they could be.
I would say due to the lack of practice is probably the number one reason. Some things need time to gel and time is one thing we did not have this year. That said, yes, the quarterbacks get some blame too. Outside of Spencer Rattler at Oklahoma, what quarterback is playing lights out right now? They all have flaws yet at times, we see flashes. I could go on and on about each quarterback but overall, I think the consistency has not been there this season with these quarterbacks whether it is due to turnovers or inconsistencies in the passing game.
@TheThomasFitch asks: It feels like outside of Kansas and maybe Tech, anyone in the Big 12 can beat anyone else. Do you agree with that and should we expect more chaos/mutual destruction in the last month of conference play?
Duke: Oh absolutely. The top eight teams (outside Kansas and Texas Tech) are teams that can beat up on each other. There is no “great” team this year in the Big 12. Nobody has really separated themselves yet and I am not sure if someone will. It is highly likely that this year’s Big 12 champion will be a two-loss team. I am not saying the Big 12 is bad but this conference is much deeper this season than it has been in years past. Outside of Kansas and Tech, the other eight teams have playmakers at key positions. Do not get me wrong though, a lot of these teams have flaws or a glaring weakness so that is why I believe we are seeing teams beating up on each other. But I am curious to see how the Big 12 does this year if we have bowl games.
@SethLDow asks: Bedlam and ISU/UT are probably play in games for the B12 championship. Pick the winners and layout paths to the Big 12 title game for the losers.
Duke: Technically, Kansas State is still in the hunt but out of the four teams you mentioned (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas) they are probably the weakest team out of that group and I don’t think they will be in the mix for much longer. As for my Big 12 title pick, I would go with Oklahoma and Iowa State. Oklahoma is playing like a totally different team from earlier in the season and I would pick them over the Cowboys in Bedlam. As for Iowa State and Texas, I still do not trust this Texas team. Yes, they are winning but how good are they? They still look sloppy on offense and I do not trust them to win out. I would pick the Cyclones over them now.
Now, If Oklahoma loses, they are out. If Texas loses, they are out. No three-loss team in conference play will make the title game. With that said, if Oklahoma State loses, they need Texas to lose to Iowa State or lose a game. If Iowa State loses to Texas, they need Texas to have another loss somewhere. Sorry, I know it is confusing. Heck, it is confusing for me so we will find out much more in a couple weeks.
@istudiedtrees asks: Say one of the top teams (mainly looking at ISU couple Bears did not travel to Ames due to COVID) gets a canceled game due to COVID. how does that effect Dallas? Still h2h??
Duke: As of right now, the weekend of December 12th remains open outside of Baylor and Oklahoma who had to reschedule an earlier meeting. So that weekend is open for all other teams and as of now, it looks like the conference title game will be on December 19th. Other than that, there really is no wiggle room in the conference slate out of this upcoming weekend. And yes, head to head matchups will matter but as of now, it appears everyone will play the full nine conference games. Let’s keep our fingers crossed down the stretch.
@WalterG_III asks: how many pats are too many? And then he just held his hand to QBs butt.
Duke: In case you do not have twitter, my mailbag question call featured this video.
I do not know about anyone else but a pat on the butt is common in sports. One is more than enough but four pats on the butt is three too many. And like I stated in my earlier question, refs should not be helping players up in my opinion. His offensive line should be doing that but that is just me. Not only that, but perhaps what was even weirder outside of the four butt pats was his hand after he did that. I have seen a lot of bad officiating in the Big 12 but this is not bad. It is plain weird and wrong.
@cychas87 asks: So, do you feel that official helps anyone up but a longhorn? Yes, the small l is intentional.
Duke: I am going to assume you are already fired up for the Iowa State/Texas matchup on Black Friday? Are we starting the smack talk early? That is fine by me, but you got to take care of business against Kansas State first. As for the official helping up Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, it was odd. Officials should not be helping players up, their teammates should. Just my two cents on that.
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