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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Talking Big 12 future, Tech-TCU, best names

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Thanks for all the questions, Tuesday. A great chat, as usual. Here's the full transcript if you missed it. And a few highlights:

Ryan in Missouri asked: How do feel Missouri will end up placing in the Big 12 now that Aldon Smith and Blaine Gabbert have left for the draft?

David Ubben: Aldon Smith is a great player, obviously, but Missouri can replace him. They should have a solid front four next year. Brad Madison looked capable of stepping in for Smith when he did it during Smith's time away with a broken leg. Gabbert, obviously, is the tough guy to replace. Missouri's pretty solidly in the second tier of teams heading into next year, behind OU, OSU and Texas A&M. If they get some great play from James Franklin or Tyler Gabbert, the Tigers might be able to challenge for a league title. I wouldn't bet on it, but it's possible. Missouri looks like it's headed for about 8-9 wins next year if I had to guess.


Greg P in Staten Island, N.Y., asked: David, w/TT now dropping TCU from their sched 2yrs in a row does pose a problem for these 2 teams to sched future games against one another? Also, it seems a little late to drop a major team from your sched, what does TCU do as far as filling their sched for 2011(only 9 gms sched.)?

DU: Yeah, I could see things being a little icey between the two schools. I don't have a problem with Tech dropping them. Too many times fans get so defensive about people thinking their team is "scared" to play this team or that team. Whatever. It's not what was best for Tech. With the new nine-game schedule, now is not the time to try and play TCU. Tech will be fine. TCU replaced them with Texas State.


Matt in Tulsa asked: With the head coaching carousel ride over. Does Mike Leach/Mike Gundy give serious thought about a Leach led offense next year?

DU: I think you have to at least give it serious consideration. My big problem with it is it's probably a one-year deal. And when Leach leaves, you're trying to recruit a new OC without Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden to attract them.


Tommy B in Stillwater, Okla., asked: Who has the toughest conference schedule next year?

DU: OSU definitely has a claim. The differences are a lot more subtle with the new round-robin schedule, but they basically boil down to where you have to play those games. OSU gets to host OU again, but they have to play at Texas A&M, at Missouri, at Texas Tech and at Texas. That's not easy. Baylor has to play at A&M and at OSU, too. That's a tough one that's going to make climbing the Big 12 ladder tough.


Zach in BA, Okla., asked: Steele Jantz has to be the best name in the Big 12! Agree? It's not Julius Michalik, but good nonetheless.

DU: It's definitely up there. I've always been partial to Missouri receiver Forrest Shock, or as I like to call him, "Agent Orange." Nobody tops Barkevious Mingo at LSU, though. I finally got to see him in person this year at the Cotton Bowl. My favorite name in sports history is a guy who played basketball at Florida A&M in the 90s. I saw him play against Arkansas when I was a kid. Scientific Mapp. He had a brother named Majestic. I wish I was making this up. Google it.


Steve in Oklahoma City asked: How much do you value recruiting rankings? 'Where do you draw the line on a successful class?

DU: They're not irrelevant, but they're also not the golden standard. They're a decent reflection of future success. There's always busts. There's always so-called "diamonds in the rough." Development once they get to campus is a big deal. I'll have some more on this as we get closer to signing day.