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 your favorite drink, and relax as I answer all your Big 12 questions. For those interested, I will send out a tweet (@Derekduke25) every Monday 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 late Monday evening and of course this mailbag wouldn’t be nearly as fun without a beverage right next to me. Tonight’s drink of choice? Some Woodford Reserve. Cheers!
@RPTexan asks: Derek, the playoff has been improved, now what can be done to improve the bowl games in order to keep fans interested and players from opting out? Have the CFP (or similar entity) pick all bowl matchups? Cancel all bowl tie ins? Put bowls in pods and have a +1 game? Other?
Duke: Always glad to see you asking questions Robert and this is a great question. The truth is, I am not sure how we can fix these bowl games. Anything outside of the playoff seems a bit irrelevant to some programs especially the power five ones. Say Texas plays in the Texas Bowl. Sure, the game will draw tickets, but players would be willing to opt out of that game and to be honest, Texas really doesn’t want to be there. However, say a school like Texas State makes a bowl game, that is a HUGE deal to them, and they would love to be in any bowl game and would give it their all in that game.
I think these smaller schools benefit from these bowl games more, but I am not sure how some of these other bowl games can keep fans and players interested. The good news is now that more teams will make the playoff, that’s a few more games where opt outs won’t happen.
@fraseriii asks: Over/under 2.5 starting QBs for the Jayhawks this season.
Duke: This may sound crazy to some, but I am taking the under. As bad as the Jayhawks were last season (0-9), they only used three quarterbacks last season. This year Kansas added North Texas transfer Jason Bean who seems like will be the starter and they return Jalon Daniels who started a bunch of games last season as a true freshman. Outside of that, I don’t think the Jayhawks will turn to anyone else outside of those two players unless of course some injuries start to pile up at quarterbacks.
@bob66668047 asks: Which one of these are you most confident in?
1. OU goes undefeated to CFP
2. OU loses to ISU or K-State again
3. OU does not win the B12 championship?
Duke: I am picking the Oklahoma Sooners to win the Big 12 title once again this year, so the third option is out for me. I think one and two are the most likely choices. I could see Iowa State or Kansas State upsetting the Sooners in the regular season because Oklahoma always trips up somewhere during the season. However, this is the best Oklahoma team in the last ten years and both sides of the ball have some serious talent. The reason I say that is because this Oklahoma team is more complete from top to bottom than some of those Baker Mayfield led teams that were all just offense. If you made me pick one, I am saying the Sooners go to the CFB Playoff sitting at 13-0 fresh off their seventh straight Big 12 championship. But it’s a close decision for me.
Before we continue, we have a two questions from Facebook that were sent so you for sending questions on Facebook!
Mark Reams asks: Now that the NCAA is allowing student athletes to receiver compensation for NIL, how long will it be before it backfires?
Duke: I see you gave an example of player creating his own brand and tabbing his brand as a “rule breaker” for being a dirty football player. Here is the thing with that, a football player can say he hits the hardest and plays dirty but at the end of the day, he still has to play be the rules on the field. As for this whole thing “backfiring” I don’t think it will unless something drastic happens. Athletes are making money for themselves by using their NIL and I am all for it. That’s a win in my book. Now are we going to see some possible changes and more rules in the future? Possibly but for right now everything is so new so let’s see how this thing goes first but again, I am happy for the players.
Patrick Quinn asks: What is your thought on the CFB Playoff expansion effecting conference expansion?
Duke: I think we will see some changes more with smaller conferences, but I think the SEC and Big Ten are staying the same. Maybe the ACC can add a school like Notre Dame, but everyone points to the Big 12 and Pac-12 for changes. Right now, I think the Big 12 is happy the way things are and despite having less teams than other conference, each Big 12 team is playing nine conference games. Obviously, we are still a few years away from shakeups so things can definitely change in a short amount of time. I could go on and on about this but with the season around the corner, I am willing to hold off on expansion talk and maybe we can get some interesting tidbits at Media Days next week.
@AsherWright3 asks: Who do you think has the best roster to compete with Oklahoma on both sides of the ball?
Duke: For me, that is an easy one. It’s the Iowa State Cyclones. The return Brock Purdy, Breece Hall and plenty of other passing weapons such as Charlie Kolar and Xaiver Hutchinson. They return a ton of experience from their offensive line and if I am being honest, this should be their best offensive line sinch Campbell got there. Defensively, they have talent at all three levels and Jon Heacock is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. Since you are a college student, I want to give you question of the week so you can rep that HCS koozie on campus. Congrats!