Cincinnati Bearcats

HCS Mailbag: Big 12 Chaos, Officiating Issues, Who Will Be the New Texas, Oklahoma

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!


@BearcatMta says: Nope, everything is fine in Cincy.

Duke: If we are talking about Chili or beer then yes Cincinnati is fine. However, if we are talking about the Cincinnati Bearcats football team then that may be a different story. They are currently sitting at 2-7 and are the only Big 12 team without a conference win. There will be no bowl game this year so at this point all they are playing for is to try to win at least one Big 12 game. Their best chance is this weekend when they go down to Houston and if they don’t win that game then I think there is a good chance they finish 0-9 in Big 12 play.

@CMack0507 asks: Regarding the ISU kickoff return that was blown dead because the official assumed (horribly, egregiously incorrectly) that Noel stepped out, and could not be challenged or even reviewed because of stupid rules, do you think the NCAA looks at revising that rule preventing replay?

Duke: Unfortunately, I do not. Like you said, once an official blows a play dead then there is nothing they can do. If the official wasn’t sure if he stepped out, then he should have let the play continue and then they could always go back and review it. Instead, he got whistle-happy and blew it during the play. The more I go back and watch the replay of that kickoff return the more questions I have because none of it made any sense to me. I mean, what was that guy even looking at?

@sameSchmitt asks: The conference has been chaotic so far. What games go differently than what is expected in the last three weeks of the season?

Duke: There really aren’t a ton of big-time matchups left in the conference. The two games I would circle would be the Sunflower Showdown (Kansas State/Kansas) and the Texas/Iowa State game in two weeks. Those two games will have a big impact on the Big 12 title race. And at this point, nothing would surprise me in the Big 12 because like you said it has been total chaos this season and I love it.


@ted_rood asks: Was it smart of @CycloneFB to confuse Jayhawks by continually running off tackle despite marginal success?

Duke: I would have liked to have seen Iowa State be a little more aggressive on early downs. It seemed like they were a little predictable at times and that has not been the case over the last few weeks. When the run game wasn’t working, they should have let Rocco throw the ball on first down. Maybe mix in some screens and short passes. Heck, throw in a trick play or two if you have to.

@troyboy8ball asks: Who’s more likely to lose a game over the next three weeks: Texas or Oklahoma State?

Duke: Let’s take a look at the remaining schedules for each team.

Oklahoma State: @UCF, @ Houston, vs BYU

Texas: @TCU, @Iowa State, vs Texas Tech

To me, it’s Texas. All three of their opponents are better than anyone left on Oklahoma State’s schedule. The TCU game could be tricky, and I am circling that Iowa State game on the road. Jack Trice at night is not an easy place to play.


@Vectoze_ asks: Just out of curiosity, which program will assume control of the Big 12 once Texas and OK leave? Who are the new “Texas” and “Oklahoma” of the Big 12? Lastly, I’m raising my glass to Dusty Baker and his one hell of a career!

Duke: I think the beauty of this conference is going to be that there is no Texas or Oklahoma. Let’s be real here. Texas doesn’t control anything. They have won two conference titles in the last twenty years. Oklahoma on the other hand has won a lot but the funny thing is that neither team has controlled the Big 12 because neither school has played for a Big 12 title in the last couple of years. To me, I don’t see one or two schools running the conference year in and year out which should make for some great action. It’s going to be almost unpredictable and this conference will be one of the most fun conferences to watch in all of college football.

@ShroudedLlama asks: When should OSU fans stop giving the Sooners a hard time about us winning the last Bedlam? I’m thinking never.

Duke: Oklahoma State fans should celebrate that win for as long as they can. That was a historic win and one that Cowboy fans will probably remember for the rest of their lives. Of course, someday I hope these two cross paths again because Bedlam is truly one of the best rivalries in all of college football.

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