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. There are PLENTY of hot topics this week, but we are having our first freeze of the season here in south Texas. So, I opted for some late-night hot coffee instead of the booze. Cheers!
Just a head up, this week’s mailbag was so full I had to break it into two parts. So, part one will be released on Tuesday while part two will go out on Wednesday.
@tracks182 asks: Does the winner of the Big 12 championship game have any shot of the playoffs?
Duke: As much as I hate to say it, I do not think the Big 12 champion will be in the final four when the season ends. Right now, there is no top ten team in the conference and unless something dramatically changes with the top ten, there is next to no hope for the Big 12 to sneak their way into the playoff this season. The only shot the Big 12 had was if a team finished with one loss and that went out the window weeks ago. If Oklahoma did not lose to Kansas State or Iowa State in the regular season, I believe they would be considered as would Iowa State if not for the week one disaster against ULL.
@Cylights asks: Who is the best backup quarterback in the Big 12?
Duke: Man, that is tough to answer. Simply because a lot of these guys are unknown, and some have not played a meaningful snap yet. The most proven to me has been Texas Tech quarterback Henry Columbi who took Alan Bowman’s job before Bowman won it back. But if we are entering the “unknown” territory and as of right this very second, I may lean towards Baylor quarterback Jacob Zeno. Jacob provided a much-needed spark on the biggest stage last season when Baylor took Oklahoma to overtime in the Big 12 championship game. I would have liked to see him play this season as Charlie Brewer has struggled but across the board, several Big 12 teams have quarterbacks I like in the future. So, it is hard for me to just pick one.
@ColeConverseIA asks: Tom Herman helped move me into my freshman dorm room way back when. Where will Tom Herman be moving to in 2021?
Duke: Small world huh? That is crazy. If I were Tom Herman and I got fired, I would take that 15 million and never coach a down of football again as I retire on a beach somewhere. But that’s just me. If I had to guess he would go somewhere where all the fired football coaches go to rejuvenate their career. That place is Alabama under Nick Satan, I mean Saban. Charlie Strong did it and if Tom Herman does it, that makes two former Texas head coaches on staff. I will end with this. Tom Herman could be a decent power five football coach. However, I see him more of a group of five guy so maybe there is a smaller school willing to hire him.
@cychas87 asks: Is Tom Herman gone because of Iowa State?
Duke: Iowa State was the final straw for Tom Herman. He will get fired for much more than the loss to Iowa State. Tom Herman is 30-18 overall at Texas with a Big 12 record of 21-13 since taking over in 2017. While the numbers are better than the Charlie Strong era, it still is not good enough at Texas. Tom made early improvements when he arrived by beating Oklahoma and making a Big 12 championship appearance. But after that, things have been on downslide ever since the famous “We’re back” quote by quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Since that moment, Texas is 13-8 overall with a Big 12 record of 9-7.
With all the resources Texas has and the talent they bring in each year, making one conference title game appearance in four seasons doesn’t cut it at a place like Texas. That is the bottom line and that is why Texas should move on and fork up the money.
@spursnsalsa asks: If Urban Meyer is the guy at Texas is that good or bad for the Big 12 as a whole?
Duke: Well if and I mean a big if Urban Meyer makes his way to Austin, it would be good for not only Texas but the Big 12 as well. Everyone says this conference is better when Texas is relevant. And as much as some cringe at the thought of that it is true. I hate to say it but when you are a blue blood, you get treated differently. When you win, you get the respect even when you do not necessarily deserve it. You get the benefit of the doubt more times than not and you always are ranked high when you win the smallest of games.
If Urban comes to Texas and turns the program around, that will give this conference another major player in the top 25 and brings better competition. Meaning if you beat a good Texas team, then your team will get a bigger ranking jump than beating some average or below average Texas team. Blue blood programs draw eyeballs to the tv and that means more money. Bob Bowlsby would love that. Some enjoy the misery of Texas football, but wouldn’t you want your team to knock off a good Texas team instead of a mediocre one? No matter what people pack the stands when the Longhorns come to town. But imagine if your team hosted and knocked off a top ten Texas team. That victory would be that much sweeter.
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