Welcome to the HCS Big 12 Football mailbag. This mailbag is for all you football junkies out there who root for a Big 12 school, and 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. I want to thank each one of you who submitted a question this week and for tonight’s drink of choice? You’ll just have to see for yourself. Cheers!
@RCJGraves asks: Which was more impressive in Manhattan last Saturday night: K-State’s defense, K-State’s O-line, or Sonny’s sideline theatrics while getting his head handed to him on a purple platter?
Duke: How about Kansas State everything? What I watched them do to TCU was criminal and somebody should have called the cops. Kansas State DOMINATED TCU from start to finish in that game. The offense rushed for over 300 yards and converted 10/13 third downs. It seemed like every time they had the football, they got points. Meanwhile, the defense shut down TCU’s offense. Josh Hoover looked like a shell of himself on Saturday and the Horned Frogs only converted two third downs all game long. TCU hasn’t been beaten that badly since the National Championship Game.
@CMack0507 asks: How much does losing Quinn Ewers hurt #HornsDown and what are the chances they drop a game or two during his absence?
Duke: Even with Quinn Ewers playing for a good chunk of their game against Houston, Texas wasn’t doing that great. Yes, they got off to a fast start in the first quarter where they were up 21-0, but they fell off a cliff after that on both sides of the ball. With that said, I still believe that Quinn is a very important piece for this Texas offense. These backups have come in with a lot of hype, but they are unproven up to this point. Texas should squeak by BYU, but I would circle that Kansas State game in two weeks.
@mat_with2ts_ asks: Do you think Campbell is proving everyone wrong, seeming to right the ship after one bad season? Actually “winning in the margins” this time around in conference play.
Duke: Without a doubt, he is. Nobody was talking about this team before the season and now this team is still in the Big 12 title hunt in late October. I didn’t even think this team would make a bowl game and one could argue that Iowa State could win seven or eight games this season. That is incredible. We all knew that the defense would be good for them and while it is, it has been the offense that has surprised me. Rocco Becht’s confidence is growing each week, you have receivers and tight ends making plays, the offensive line is getting better and even the special teams are doing well. There is a lot to like about this Iowa State team right now.
@louisdjKSU asks: How many Big 12 teams get a bowl game? It seems like games not involving OUT are unpredictable.
Duke: I am going to say that at least nine teams make a bowl game. Texas and Oklahoma are already bowl-eligible and other teams that will get there include Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas, BYU, West Virginia, and Iowa State. That makes eight and think at least one other team between TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech get there as well.
@soundthemsirens: Is Farmageddon a play-in game for the B12 championship?
Duke: Both of these teams would have to beat Texas to make that a play-in game. And as much as I like these two teams, I am not sure if I can confidently say that right now. If I had to pick a team to knock off Texas, it would be Kansas State because there is a chance they could play Texas without Quinn Ewers. Sure, Iowa State has a chance to beat Texas at home in mid-November, but I am not sure that will happen. But I am all for a Farmageddon game with a trip to the Big 12 championship game on the line. I may make a special trip up to Manhattan for that.
@ABear91 asks: Baylor has a shot to go bowling; yay or nay?
Duke: Do they have a shot? Absolutely. Will they? I am still not convinced. Beating Iowa State would be a big step in the right direction and even then they would still need to win two more games. Looking at the rest of the schedule they still have to play Iowa State, Houston, Kansas State, TCU, and West Virginia. I can see them beating Houston and TCU, but I am not sure where that final win would come from because I am taking Iowa State to beat them this weekend.
@tracks182 asks: Which new team will Derek get accused of being a homer for first? And what are the odds for each of the four?
Duke: Since I started covering this conference back in 2016 (which feels like 100 years ago), I have been accused of being a homer to just about every team in the Big 12. I was even accused of being a Kansas fan once, which was odd considering how bad they were back then. As for the new teams, I think I have already been labeled as a UCF fan since I went to Orlando a few weeks ago for a game. Sorry to burst your bubble.