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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Talking top 25 player gripes, top traditions

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Had a lot of fun in the weekly chat today. Here's a few highlights and the transcript if you missed it.

David Lewis in College Station, Texas, asked: We all know Oklahoma is the preseason #1 and favorite to win the Big 12 title next season. What do you think about Texas A&M's chances to win the Big 12 title next season? Is there more of a need for the Wrecking Crew to show up and play on a consistent basis or for the Offense to put up big numbers? What's your take Ubben?-Yes, we lost Von Miller, and yes t.u., we are still going to beat you next season.

David Ubben: Yeah, A&M has a shot. They should be good on both sides of the ball, but Oklahoma's offense is going to be pretty solid everywhere this year. Beating them will start with slowing that offense down. The big negative for A&M trying to win the league is they have to go to Norman. They got embarrassed last time they went to Norman, and the Sooners aren't 72-2 there under Bob Stoops on accident. A&M may need some help to win the league. I'm not betting on them handing Stoops his third loss.


Robert in Washington, D.C., wrote: enjoying the top 25. Just seems like a lack of players from A&M...

DU: Cyrus Gray was really, really close to making the list. Based on his second half, he should have been there, sure. But you can't ignore the first half. Just a guess on my part, but A&M isn't done making the list. Tannehill isn't that close yet, but I like his chances next year. I don't think there was anyone on defense that's been omitted that deserved serious consideration.


Ben in Norman asked: Which Big XII athlete has the best twitter? Kenny Stills cracks me up.

DU: DeMarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) has been pretty good since he joined a couple weeks back. Brandon Weeden (@bweeden3) is pretty entertaining. Von Miller's (@MillerLite40) is usually pretty good. Landry Jones (@LandryJones12) goes through spurts where he'll have interesting stuff.


Mike in DFW asked: Reading about the Lyles investigation, I noticed 3 big 12 teams names linked inot it. Baylor, Okie State, and Texas A&M. Should these programs be worried as well?

DU: Right now, it's just a lot of smoke and nothing definite in terms of Big 12 schools. But it certainly doesn't look good. As long as the NCAA isn't on campus, there's not a ton to worry about, but it's something to keep an eye on. I'm sure someone at all three schools has at least given their links to Lyles a once over in anticipation of something happening.


Steve in Moore, Okla., asked: What are the chances of A&M winning a NCG in your lifetime?

DU: Ha. A lot better in the Big 12 than in the SEC. That work for an answer?


Jimmy K in Toronto asked: Love how TAMU still refers to their defense as the "wrecking crew." When was the last time you were actually that? The Coryatt days?

DU: 2010.


Kyle in Edmond, Okla., asked: David- So how close was Coryell Judie on your list of top 25, I know it came late in the season, but seems to be an outstanding kick returner.

DU: Not that close. I felt bad leaving Alex Henery off the list, but he's the only special teamer I really considered. A kick returner just doesn't have enough impact on every game every week to warrant inclusion. Henery is an exception to that rule, but there were 25 more guys more valuable. It's always weird, though. We bloggers disagree about the placement of special teams guys on lists like this. I'm generally against it, just because they're not on the field for enough plays.


Kevin in Dallas asked: Now that the Buffs are gone, which university do you think has the best on field tradition?

DU: If Missouri would man up and get a real tiger, they would have it. Other than that, I'll take the Masked Rider at Tech or the Baylor line at Baylor, the only place where fans rush the field before the game.


Rational Texas Guy in Texas asked: So, unless A&M spams the reming spots on your list, can the argument be made that they did less with more? I know they're not lightweights, but your list illustrated that solid production doesn't Always mean star power.

DU: Absolutely. I mean, look at Mizzou, too. They're going to have all of two players on the list and they won 10 games. They had a ton of really good players with really only 1-2 great players, one of whom was an offensive lineman. They didn't put a ton of guys on All-Big 12 teams, but look at A&M. Almost every one of their starters earned All-Big 12 honorable mention.