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 Dome Faux’m from 8th Wonder Brewery. Cheers!
@zbonner86 asks: Is this the best answer to a realignment question this off-season? True or Very True? “We win. If you want to continue to win, come play for us.”-Matt Campbell
Duke: I would say it is probably the best answer I have heard but he is right on the money there with that line. Coaches are focused on winning games. It doesn’t matter what conference you are in because the goal is focused around one task which of course is winning. They have to be able to block out outside distractions and get their team focused for the season ahead and Matt Campbell will do just that.
@SethLDow asks: Considering current trends, how long will each coach be at the school they currently coach? Who’s the first to be fired/move on?
Duke: I apologize for skipping the first part of your question because I think that would make for a great article down the line. Now let’s look at the current coaches. I think most coaches will be at their current school for a few years. Neal Brown, Steve Sarkisian, Lance Leipold, Dave Aranda, and Chris Klieman are either brand new or fairly new in the conference, so I see those coaches being around for the next few years. Of course, Lincoln Riley isn’t going anywhere, and neither is Gary Patterson or Mike Gundy. I’d say the same for Matt Campbell. However, the first coach to go is likely Matt Wells at Texas Tech. If he doesn’t get some momentum going this season, then he could be out of a job come December.
@kacie4238 asks: If Oklahoma State has another mediocre season do they unload the HC?
Duke: I don’t think so. During these realignment times I think stability is kind of important and Mike Gundy even said it himself when discussing realignment posibilites for OSU. The Cowboys are in a great spot despite being left behind by Texas and Oklahoma. I think Oklahoma State is a desirable program to have in any conference and Mike Gundy has played a HUGE role in that. Despite falling short on occasion, I think Mike Gundy has been consistent over the years and has done a good job building up that program in Stillwater. With that said, I don’t see Mike going anywhere even if the Cowboys finish 6-6 this season and by the way, they won’t. I see Oklahoma State winning eight or nine games this year so don’t worry.
@finnegap asks: Who do you feel are the top three AD’s in the conference and why? Will this give them an edge if they have to find a new conference?
Duke: Well, I hate to burst some bubbles here, but I think two of the top three athletic directors are leaving for the SEC. I believe Joe Castiglione is an excellent AD and has done a fantastic job at Oklahoma. The same goes for Chris Del Conte at Texas who has done a nice job at turning around some other sports and making some good hires. Of course, we still will need to see how Steve Sarkisian works out. Lastly, I think Jamie Pollard belongs in that top three. He has been at Iowa State for awhile and the Matt Campbell hire was genius. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good AD’s in the Big 12 but I believe these guys would be my top three.
@strawny asks: Most delusional leftover-8 fans regarding their realignment prospects? Rank 1 through 8 with rational.
Duke: I don’t really think I can answer this question. I don’t think there are many delusional fans when it coms to realignment because a lot of times they are fed crap by us media people who are clueless sometimes. I have not really been paying attention to fan reactions much but all I can say is that I hope everyone finds a home and is able to make money. I don’t want to see a Big 12 school go somewhere else and struggle financially.
@MasonBurkhart asks: How does the going to streaming change realignment? If it all leaves tv (except some broadcast network games) and fans are only watching the service (like peacock) that televises their conference, unless they have the service for another conference already, they won’t pay to watch.
Duke: Well, streaming is important when these conference bids come up. Maybe someone like Amazon or Apple steps in to bid on airing games which would be weird, but it makes sense because those companies have deep pockets. But I don’t know if streaming plays a huge part in realignment because no matter what, companies will bid to air college football games. Eyeballs on a screen are no different whether it comes from a stream or cable. I would say that the important thing for teams during realignment are having eyes on their games. Conferences are more willing to add teams who are a bigger draw and teams who casual fans find more interesting. They want to see schools draw millions of viewers because it will help add value to their conference.
@CoachVanScoyoc asks: If Texas and Oklahoma were both on fire and you only had one bucket of water, would you rather see the water freeze in an Ames winter or boil in a Lubbock summer?
Duke: Are you trying to blow up my Twitter mentions with this kind of question? I get called every name in the book already and I would prefer not to have more thrown my way again. I get the frustration with Oklahoma and Texas, but I am not going to lie, if that kind of money was on the table, I would leave too. With that said, I wish no ill-will to any teams, and I will do my best to fairly cover this conference until it blows up one day. By the way, congrats on question of the week!