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 want to thank each one of you who submitted a question this week and for tonight’s drink of choice? You will just have to see for yourself. Cheers!
@BryanJMetcalf asks: What is everyone’s path to the championship currently (besides TCU already being in)?
Duke: This is a great question Bryan but unfortunately it makes my head hurt due to all the possibilities. After TCU clinched its spot in the title game, I texted our staff at HCS and I asked, “What happens if Kansas State loses in the final two weeks?” As we started going through the different scenarios, we all concluded that things start becoming cloudy in the Big 12 title race if that were to happen. Kansas State, Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma State are still technically in the race, but Kansas State is the clear favorite to get that final spot. If the Wildcats go down, then we will do a piece on all the possible scenarios because it is too long to even get through right now.
@CMack0507 asks: What are your thoughts on 5-7 teams getting to bowl games?
Duke: I know bowl games aren’t what they used to be, but I still enjoy the bowl season as a fan of college football. It is one of my favorite times of the year. With that said, I believe that getting to six wins means something and I am not a fan of 5-7 teams making a bowl game. However, I do understand some getting in if there aren’t enough teams with six wins. I guess at the end of the day as long as we still have the bowl games, I am happy so I shouldn’t complain too much.
@aaronIwall asks: Why does Iowa State keep losing close games?
Duke: It’s almost mind-boggling to think about how many close games Iowa State has lost since the start of the 2021 season. Since then, Iowa State is 3-10 in one-score games which includes a 1-5 record this season. Obviously, the offense is the one to blame for most of the struggles this season. The defense has been extremely good all season long and has been the only reason they have been able to play in so many close games. I know Hunter Dekkers hasn’t been at his best lately, but the lack of a run game has really hurt the offense. Keep in mind, even with Brock Purdy at quarterback, the Cyclones had Breece Hall to lead the way.
As of now, Iowa State has the worst rushing offense in the Big 12 and it’s not even close. In fact, they don’t even have a top-100 rushing offense in the country. When you aren’t able to help out a young quarterback with a run game then things aren’t always going to go smoothly. Not to mention the bad drops in key moments by the receivers either. And don’t even get me started on the special teams.
@troyboy8ball asks: Will you still cover Texas and OU when they move to the SEC? They will still be located in the “Heartland”, plus will remain big-time recruiting rivals and frequent on-field foes of the Big 12.
Duke: Once Texas and Oklahoma leave the Big 12 Conference, they are no longer my concern. While I am still disappointed in the decision to leave the Big 12, I understand the opportunity they were presented by the SEC. It is hard to blame them for taking the money in this situation because I would have done the same thing.
But once they are out the door, I will no longer be covering or writing about either one of them. I will have four new schools to write about and my job is to cover the Big 12 Conference, not the SEC. I am sure at some point Texas or Oklahoma will meet some former conference but outside of that, I will not be watching them as I do now. Until they are officially out, I will do my best to provide fair coverage. Hopefully we still have a few years left with them in the conference, but I am a little doubtful that will happen.