Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Chat: New rivals, preseason POY, UT's shot
By ESPN.com staff
Thanks for all the questions in today's chat. Here's the full transcript.
Time for some highlights:
QueenP (Lubbock, Texas): Being that A&M is no longer in the Big 12, do you see the TTU/UT rivalry growing?
David Ubben: No, probably not. They've obviously had some great games over the year, but I don't think so. If anything, some of that energy may spill over into the Red River Rivalry, as hard as it is to believe.
Tony (Richmond, Calif.): Don't you have to feel the conference is yours for the taking in Austin this season with OU having to travel to both Morgantown and Fort Worth at the end of the season with archrival Okie State sandwiched in between? Texas gets WVU and TCU at home, so they really have no one to blame but themselves if they don't return to the top of the Big XII? Your thoughts?
David Ubben: Texas needs to worry more about its quarterback spot than Oklahoma's schedule. Develop David Ash. Then let's talk Sooners.
Jeremy from Parkersburg, W.Va. [via mobile]: The Mountaineers will have a need to find a new rivalry game now that the Backyard Brawl with Pitt is possibly done. Who from their new Big 12 brothern would most likely step in to fit that bill. By the way, thanks to all for our warm Big 12 welcoming. Looking forward to see how we stack up against big boys.
David Ubben: Texas Tech and Oklahoma State make some sense because of the Holgorsen connection. Ultimately, though, rivalries are born out of great games stacked back to back.
Hornsfan (Best City in the USA): Ubbs, any way that UT qb play is worse next season?
David Ubben: No. I think it'll be better, but still a decent chunk away from being good enough to win the Big 12.
Kevin (Kansas): Collin Klein have a shot at Offensive Player of the Year in the Big 12?
David Ubben: Definitely, but he has to improve as a passer and have similar rushing output. There's going to be some tough competition this year. Look out for the new QBs, Casey Pachall and Geno Smith, too. Landry Jones is probably the frontrunner for the award, though.
Tony (Richmond, Calif.): Will this Texas defense rank among the best in Mack Brown's tenure by season's end?
David Ubben: It's got the talent to do it, but replacing the leadership from Acho, Robinson and Gideon is going to be tough. Those guys kept young players in position and motivated their teammates. UT will have the athletes, but who knows how it looks in Year 2 under Manny Diaz? I think it'll be really good, but you never know. Those guys left big holes.
ClarenceOveur (The Cockpit): David, you believe that TCU has more "potential upside" than WVU in the Big 12 due to its location in the DFW Metroplex and its familiarity with other schools in the conference. Did you consult TCU's prior record in the SWC at all before coming to that conclusion? At one point they went 35 years between conference titles. What about the Frogs makes their outlook that much better this time around? Also David, do you like movies about gladiators?
David Ubben: I think it's unfair to look at TCU's history. Look at it now. Gary Patterson's built something big there since. He's got them rolling. They'll be better with some more talent. He's also made TCU a much better job. He's got a lot of time there, but when he leaves, TCU will be in position to get a great replacement.
Steve (Philadelphia): I am thoroughly enjoying your coverage of my new league so far. However, I have never closely followed any Big 12 team and from BE country there was always a feeling that Big 12 teams were grossly unbalanced with high powered offenses and no defense to speak of. I would cite my Mountaineers Fiesta Bowl victory over the Sooners but that wouldn't be fair would it? Any evidence to the contrary?
David Ubben: Yeah, I think it's unfair to make that assumption. Teams like UT, OU and Nebraska have had some great defenses. The problem is one, the offenses are that much better than every other league, and they run a whole lot more plays. If I remember the numbers correctly, OSU faced something like 1,050 plays before its bowl game. LSU, meanwhile, had faced something like 615.