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 a Monday night and of course it would not be a proper mailbag without a drink next to me. Tonight’s drink of choice is a water. After a long weekend, I need it.
@cychas87 asks: Did Matt Campbell really say gosh darn? Chances Iowa State finds it’s special teams mojo?
Duke: I am not expert lip reader, but I can tell you that Matt Campbell did not say gosh darn. There were plenty of expletives though and I am not one to frown upon a little foul language in the game of football. As far as Iowa State special teams go, it has been ugly to say the least. The punt and kickoff coverage has been bad, and Brent Bloom from Cyclone Fanatic said that since 2019 the Cyclones have given up the most special team scores in the entire country. I think it is time for Matt Campbell to fix the special teams. Whether that means having starters contribute or whatever is necessary to fix it. The goal this offseason should be to find a reliable kicker to kick it out of the endzone.
Note: If you’re looking for context, here was Campbell this past Saturday.
@rvastevevaughan asks: What is more surprising to you TCU’s defense looking so bad against SMU or Baylor’s offensive improvement?
Duke: I will be the first to admit that I was flat out wrong when it came to Baylor. Their aggressiveness on offense has been fun to watch along with their run game. However, the biggest surprise for me has been the play of Gerry Bohanon. He has been fantastic so far this year. With that said the most shocking thing to me from this past weekend was that TCU defense. I have never seen a Gary Patterson defense look so helpless trying to stop the run. SMU ran for 350 yards averaging nearly seven yards a carry. That to me is the most mind boggling.
@spursnsalsa asks: Throwing rankings out the window, which Big 12 team has looked the best?
Duke: That is tough because there has been so much parity in this conference. Right now, I would have to say that Baylor has impressed me the most this year and they have looked like the most complete team in the Big 12. Their defense has been excellent as expected and their offense is what has really blown me away. Their tough, physical and love to run the football but Gerry Bohanon has surprised me more than any Big 12 player. I didn’t expect him to play at a level like he has been and if they can continue playing this way, watch out.
@TheThomasFitch asks: Is Baylor a legitimate Big 12 contender? And who finishes with a better record, Baylor, or Oklahoma State?
Duke: This mailbag is Baylor heavy and rightfully so because they deserve some credit after this weekend. I mentioned why I like Baylor in previous answers from the offense to the defense. Right now, I would say they are a more complete team than Oklahoma State is. Both defenses are good but what separates the two is the Baylor offense. I trust the Bears offense and Gerry Bohanon more. I think Spencer Sanders shows flashes, but I think there are more flaws with the Cowboys offense than the Bears.
@ankorleski asks: If you had to settle on writing on one Big 12 school for the rest of your career, who would it be and why?
Duke: I was saving this question for a slow mailbag, and I finally got to use it. First off, I just want to say don’t be upset if I don’t pick your favorite team. I have lived in Texas all my life and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon so that would eliminate any team outside this state. I don’t see myself in living in a big city so I would prefer to live outside city limits. I could pick the Houston area for a future Big 12 school, but I think I would pick Texas Tech. I could live in a small town outside of Lubbock and I would say that west Texas suits me better than any other choice I would have. I know it isn’t a popular choice but that’s just who I am and I don’t mind west Texas at all.