- David Ubben, College Football
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Thanks for all the e-mail this week, everybody. Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say. Let's get to your mail.
Nicholas in Houston writes: What do you think is roughly the likelihood of the Big 12 champs being decided prior to the last week of conference play regardless of who wins or loses? How likely do you think it is that the winner will lead by more than one game?
David Ubben: We haven't seen this happen since the Big 12 merged divisions after becoming a 10-team league. Granted, that's only a two-year sample size, but the point remains. This year, the scenario you laid out is as unlikely as ever. For a team to run away with the Big 12 like that, it would almost certainly have to go 9-0 in Big 12 play. Even if it was 7-1 going into the final weekend, the next-best team would have to be 5-3 for the Big 12 title to be officially locked up. That is hard to envision.
I don't really see a team that's got legitimate potential to go 12-0 in the Big 12, but there are four teams who could hit 11-1 or 10-2. That is a clustered bunch, and the gap between those four teams (Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma and TCU) is tiny. The league title (or at least a share) will almost assuredly come down to the final weekend.
Gavin in Cleveland writes: Ubbs-What is your take on Ivan McCartney coming back to WVU? I feel like he could be an essential piece of the offense is he gets his head on straight.
DU: Yeah, it's definitely possible. His decision to leave surprised me, mostly because of all the opportunity that awaited this season with Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin in the NFL. He's also part of the pipeline from Miramar High down in Florida up to West Virginia, so he's walking a trail that had already been blazed, knew other guys on the team, and had an offense that gave him tons of opportunity to succeed.
He said he left for "personal reasons."
A lot of good players who leave teams never get another chance (Hello, Austin Haywood and Oklahoma), so McCartney should know he's part of select group. Here's hoping he takes advantage of the opportunity he's been given. Always hate to see talent go wasted.
Pat in Spencer, N.C. writes: David it seems every year there are teams that do better/worse than expected. Which teams do you feel will be those teams this year and why thanks.
DU: Among the league favorites, I'd say the biggest potential for disappointment lies with Texas and TCU. Among the bottom half of the league, the teams with the best chance to exceed expectations and finish in the top three are definitely Kansas State and Texas Tech.
Tom in Austin, Texas writes: Ubbster, In your mailbag last week, it was pointed out that Boise State wasn't on the list of blocked schools by Coach Gundy. We don't play BSU until 2018 and Wes Lunt will have been gone by then. Also, for all those Gundy haters out there ... this doesn't seem to be effecting our recruiting.
DU: I wanted to address this. Pure mistake on my part. When I got the email, I remembered Oklahoma State's first game against Boise State was in 2016. That was incorrect. I'll do my best to make sure mistakes like that don't happen.
To your second point, I don't believe that one elite recruit still wanting to go to Oklahoma State proves anything one way or another. The effects would always be more big-picture, and more of a slight decline with word trickling out periodically. Though it's possible, I don't believe the whole Lunt issue will have a tangible, negative impact on Oklahoma State's recruiting. The only thing that could change that is Lunt telling his side of the story and painting Gundy as a real villain, and lobbing accusations that eventually are proven with documents or something like that. Doing so would be a bad idea that wouldn't have any positive effect for Lunt, so don't bet on that happening.
Will other coaches bring up the Gundy/Lunt issue to recruits? I definitely think so.
Will those recruits and families ask Gundy and his staff about it? Also yes.
They might cause a few raised eyebrows, but Oklahoma State's recent rise on the field is strong enough to outweigh this stuff when it comes to recruiting.
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