Friday, July 8, 2011
Mailbag: Gilbert, stumbling OU, UT running
By ESPN.com staff
Not a strong set of questions this week. You guys gotta step up your game. Until then, enjoy the weekend, everybody. Didn't get yours answered? Send me a better one.
Sheldon in Angleton, Texas, asked: If Oklahoma loses to FSU and then wins out, what are the chances they still get in the national championship game? (Assuming FSU is top 5) OU wouldn't drop that much and with wins over A&M, Mizzou, and OSU would that be enough?
David Ubben: As long as there's only one undefeated team, Oklahoma would probably be the best contender with one loss. So, I'd say the Sooners have a pretty good shot.
You're talking about a best-case scenario loss for Oklahoma if it loses and wins out. One, it was to a very good team. Two, it's early in the year. Three, it's on the road. Four, it's out of conference, so the Sooners don't have to worry about sharing a conference title. If you're going to lose a game and still get to the national title game, FSU would be a nice time to do it.
Brett in Kansas City asked: What feature are you most looking forward to in NCAA 12?
DU: I actually finally got to play the demo yesterday after downloading it awhile back when it came out. I've been busy. Anyway, I really liked the new tackling physics. Much more realistic, and a good next step toward what they've been trying to do for awhile.
The new grass looks ridiculous, though. It mostly looks like it needs to be mowed, rather than looking more realistic.
Hunter in Dallas, Texas, asked: Are there rumors about whether Jaxon Shipley will redshirt like his brother did or play as a true freshman?
DU: Everything I've heard is he's stood out this summer enough to play. We'll see, of course, and that might change once they get into fall camp, but Texas is pretty shallow at receiver, and he's not going to have to beat out very many guys to earn some time on the field.
I'd say the safe bet is he ends up playing if he can run a solid route, catch the ball and play instinctively. After spending a few months working out with his brother Jordan like he did after graduating early, you've got to think he's learned a lot.
Ben in San Antonio asked: David, Are you ready for some college football?
DU: Yes. (Email of the week.)
Clark in Lima, Ohio, asked: Why are you such a hater? Some sort of scam? Can't report the news without adding your own personal bias or jealously!
DU: I assume you're talking about my remarks re: Maty Mauk. To that, I say your sense of humor needs tweaking.
But seriously, until I see Matt Mauck and Maty Mauk in the same room, I will remain skeptical.
James in Scottsdale, Ariz., asked: Can UT find a way to win 10 games if they receive just "average" QB play? Or does the fate of a 10 win season rest on the shoulders of the potential for greatness in Gilbert?
DU: Yeah, definitely, if they can run the ball. Of course, I think that would produce much better-than-average QB play. If Texas can run the ball as well as Bryan Harsin's offenses at Boise State have been able to do in the past, Texas has a great shot to win 10 games. I doubt their its to do so because its offensive line hasn't given me much reason to believe, regardless of the back toting the ball.
To your second point, though, no: I don't think Texas' whole season rests on Garrett Gilbert's shoulders. For one, there's not a lot of pressure on Texas this season to do much more than get back to a bowl game. The pressure to start getting back to Texas' big winning ways will probably come next year.
And to do that, it's going to need great quarterback play. Is Gilbert the guy to provide it? My guess is we'll find out pretty quick this year.
Todd in Houston asked: Do you really think that Marquis Goodwin will return to football. I just think that after an entire year of no football and all track, he'll definatly be less likely to return.
DU: I hadn't really considered it, but now that you mention it, yeah, it's possible. However, he might have to if he wants his education. I'm unsure of what the rules are, but I'd think if he doesn't play football, his scholarship wouldn't be honored. And I highly doubt he'd just not come back to school at all.
I suppose it's possible, but right now, I think he's got every intention of coming back. I don't know him well and haven't really talked about how he sees this whole track thing in relation to football, but I'd be surprised if he never played another game for Texas. That said, if he doesn't, I don't think Texas fans would lose a ton of sleep. He's done a great job for the track team, and had some memorable moments on the football field, but he's not exactly a game-changer.
Evan in Columbia, Mo., asks: I know it's still early and we won't know how James Franklin will develop, but do you think Maty Mauk could compete for the starting job his freshman year?
DU: You kind of already hit on it. The only person who can ultimately answer that question is James Franklin. If he's at the very least solid this year, we'll feel a bit ridiculous looking back on this question. But if he struggles, I could see it. Especially if Mauk enrolls early.
Corbin Berkstresser and Ashton Glaser will be in the mix, too, but Franklin struggling would certainly spice up Missouri's spring next year.
That said, I think Missouri's coaches would much rather have a boring spring after the season with no questions about their quarterback.
Justin in Houston writes: You officially have ZERO credibility. I hope you enjoy eating crow, and your words, because there is no chance Baylor finishes ahead of Texas. Seriously are you out of your mind? How much dope were you smoking in Cali? Stay with your boys in Jokelahoma this year, because you are not welcome in Austin.