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Mailbag: UT future, OSU title, mediocre MU?

Thanks for all the mail this week. We'll have plenty of coverage from the Fiesta Bowl over the weekend, so keep on coming back.

In the meantime, you can try again with more questions or comments right here.

Jon in Davis, Calif., asked: Think OSU would be playing LSU in that BCS title game if the B12 still had a conference champ game (and they won it of course)?

David Ubben: No, I don't think so. If we learned nothing in this process, it's that no amount of wins -- no matter how impressive -- were going to let Oklahoma State outrun that Iowa State loss if its prime competition to face LSU was Alabama. K-State would have won the Big 12 North this year, but even blowing out the Wildcats wouldn't have been enough. It might have made it closer, but it wouldn't have been enough.

It didn't help OSU that it's not an established college football power and plays in a conference other than the SEC. I don't fully buy the idea that "if it were Oklahoma in the same position, it'd get in over Bama easily," but it might have been closer.

Still, in the situation presented, neither of those teams were going to get in over Bama with a loss to a six-win team.


Trip in Houston asked: From what you are hearing. Is the Big 12 going to be around for at least 5 years? If so do you think the Big 12 will expand to 16 teams

DU: How quickly people forget. The Big 12's remaining eight members and two newcomers agreed to grant their media rights (more on what that means here) to the Big 12, which basically assures the league will be around for at least the six years those rights have been granted.

Call it security. Call it handcuffs. Whatever. The Big 12 will be around at least that long.

I've heard nothing really to suggest the Big 12 is seriously interested in expanding, and certainly not to 16 teams. I could see the league adding Cincinnati and Louisville at some point in the future, and I'd support that move.

For now, though, the league will have to hang on to its pejorative moniker of the Big 12-2-1-1+2.

For you non-math majors, that's a 10-team league.


Kendall in Corpus Christi, Texas, asked: How does Texas look for the 2012 season after coming off a Holiday Bowl win against a 7-6 California?

DU: It's got to be so painful at this point. Texas is built to win big. Everywhere, that is, but quarterback. The offensive line was better this year than it got credit for, and the injuries hurt the Longhorns offense all over, but this is a team that could truly be great.

If it had a big-time quarterback. It doesn't. David Ash showed some nice things in the Holiday Bowl, but I don't buy him as a guy who's going to be more than serviceable in 2012, and we'll see what Connor Brewer has to offer when he arrives. He'd be well-served to do so in the spring.

Texas, now, just doesn't have the necessary piece at quarterback to win this league. Its importance in this conference can't be underestimated. No matter how good your defense is, you have to score a lot of points. Texas can't do that without great quarterback play.

Without it, the Longhorns aren't much more than a dark horse with decent potential in 2012.


Mark in Louisiana asked: I think you need to slap some sense into you colleague, Ivan Maisel. How in the world is Mizzou a "mediocre" team? Anyone who would do a little homework would realize how underrated Mizzou is. Use ESPN's fabled "eye test" if you have to, or are today's journalists too biased to give an accurate report. I love how biased journalism is becoming...

DU: I think people got too hung up on the word "mediocre" there. Missouri was OK this year, but clearly not a great team. The way the year worked out was just humorous. Underrated? Missouri, for the reasons Ivan listed, might be the most accurately rated team in college football.

No truly impressive wins. Nothing close to a bad loss.

1-1 in overtime games. 1-1 in games decided by four points or less.

Buck at the word "mediocre" all you'd like, but the harmony of it all is notable.


Mike in Dallas asked: Would like to see your accountability this year. You have a lot of opinions about the big 12 college coaches and players. How about throwing your miscues out there for everyone.

DU: Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, Mike. I'm not insane. I'd never do that. Take it easy with the crazy talk.


Bill in Orange County, Calif. asked: It's an interesting innovation, but do you think Baylor should continue fielding a defense comprised of fans selected at random an hour or so before the game starts? It seems an odd way to compliment a top-notch offense, but maybe I just don't get it. Thanks.

DU: Listen, just because you don't understand it or agree with it doesn't mean it's not a good idea. The Bears won, didn't they?