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 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? An ice-cold Crawford Bock from Karbach! Cheers!
@tracks182 If Iowa State were to jump conferences this year, would it be easier for them to win the Pac-12 or the Big Ten?
Duke: I would say the Pac-12 simply because Ohio State doesn’t play in the Pac-12. If the Cyclones were in the Pac-12 right now, they would be my favorite to win that conference. I couldn’t say that if they were in the Big Ten. In fact, the Pac-12 has been weaker than the Big 12 has for quite some time now. When’s the last Pac-12 team to make the playoff? It’s been five years and since Oregon made the inaugural playoff back in the 2014 season, the Pac-12 has a total of seven points scored in the CFB Playoff. That’s embarrassing.
@clonesjer asks: Thoughts on rebranding the remaining schools as “The Excellent Eight”? If the mickey mouse sports network is going roll with b.s. we might as well lean into it ourselves.
Duke: Well, I would like to say that Bob Bowlsby is not a Mickey Mouse fan after all this. Mickey stabbed him in the back (figuratively speaking) and Bob is now kicking sand in his eye. The remaining eight schools have already been labeled as the ‘irate eight’ but if I am the Big 12, I am looking towards expansion. Maybe I add a UCF or a Cincinnati, but something needs to happen so these schools can try and stick together. I don’t see a conference of eight teams working so at this point, I believe expansion is the best option for the Big 12 to survive.
@RPTexan asks: It seems that Southlake Carrol QB Quinn Ewers will skip his senior year of HS to enroll early and make NIL money. 1. If this happened to you in HS, would you ever be close friends w/ him again? 2. I was repeatedly told NIL money will be a good thing for everyone. How is this ‘good’ for his teammates?
Duke: 1. If I was his teammate, I probably wouldn’t be too thrilled. They made the state title game last season and fell short to Austin Westlake, and they have a good chance going back to play for another title this season. Without Quinn Ewers, Southlake Carrol probably doesn’t make it back to state and if I am a senior, I would not be too happy.
2. This is not good for his teammates; this is good for Quinn to get some money and for Ohio State. He will get some money, not risk injury, and enroll early. This is a dream for Ohio State fans. If I am Quinn, I probably would take the money too but why can’t he play his senior season and enroll early for next year and still get his money? I have no idea but there is still a lot to learn from this stuff when it comes to high school athletes. When I played ball, the name of my town across my chest meant the world to me. That’s what I dreamed of. Maybe that’s just a small-town thing. However, I will say that you still see big time NFL prospects that are projected to go in the first round play their third season of college football when millions are on the line. I know he will get there earlier but this is going to be awkward if he ends up being a bust.
@mike_haden asks: Even if the Big 12 had been proactive in maybe adding teams in previous years, could the Texas/OU jump to the SEC been avoided? I don’t know what teams could have been added to avoid this.
Duke: Possibly. I think the wise thing to do looking back would have been to add more teams a few years ago or even ten years ago. Maybe the conference would be on more stable ground right now, but the problem is, there is no Oklahoma or Texas type of program that could walk in the Big 12 and be on their level. This move is all about money and the SEC was always going to be the conference with the deepest pockets. It’s hard to say which teams would have helped keep Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 but if I had to guess it would be a school like BYU or bringing back a school like Nebraska or someone else. With that said, I am not sure this could have been avoided.
@LetsGoClones asks: Which conference position matchup are you looking forward to the most this season?
Duke: I know you are talking about specific positions here, but I will be honest with all of you who read this. While I am excited to see how things unfold in the Big 12 and see which teams can take a step forward this season, all I can think about is the Iowa State/Oklahoma game in November. There is a good chance both teams could go into that game undefeated and forget about one position. I want to see it all. I want to see the Iowa State offense against the Oklahoma defense and the Oklahoma offense against the Iowa State defense. That game gives me chills just thinking about it and I think it would be an interesting appetizer to the main course at Jerry World for a Big 12 title.