Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Chat: Best defenses/offenses, WVU, 2012
By David Ubben
Good to see you all in this week's chat. Here's the full transcript.
Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say, too.
Time for a few highlights:
go pokes (colorado): can monken keep the cowboys offense flowing with all the new players? mainly with a true freshman running the show?
David Ubben: OSU should be good, but they'll take a decent dip from their production last season. Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith will be great this year, but you can't replace the Weeden-Blackmon combo. The good news for the Pokes: The defense should be much, much better from what was already an underrated unit in 2011. The Cowboys are a solid dark horse for the Big 12 title. Also, they won't have a true freshman running the show at QB unless Wes Lunt wins the job. J.W. Walsh redshirted last year and Clint Chelf is a junior.
Jim (Tennessee): Any more word on possible expansion? I'd like to see the Big 12 get back to 12 and have a championship game.
David Ubben: I doubt it in the immediate future. Certainly a possibility down the road, but there's not much momentum in that direction just yet. Louisville is probably the only school about everybody in the Big 12 could agree on. A 12th member could get a little sticky.
John Tirpak (Whitehall, PA): What do you think the chances are of West Virginia running the table and winning the Big 12 championship? And if so, what are the chances of seeing them in the National Championship game?
David Ubben: Probably not great, though they get K-State and Oklahoma in Morgantown. There's just not really an elite team in the Big 12 this year. If I was guessing, I think the Big 12 champ has two losses. It's too deep at the top without a team that should run the table. WVU is good enough to win the league on paper, but how will they handle the transition? It's different for everybody. We won't know for sure until the fall, but I do think the immediate transition will be easier for WVU than TCU.
Matt Rob (Pittsburgh): Which Big 12 teams do you anticipate being ranked in the AP Top 25 in week 1? How many do you see in the Top 10 (Oklahoma, WVU)?
David Ubben: My official guesses: Oklahoma will be around 4-6. WVU will be around 7-11. K-State will be around 10-15. TCU will be around 14-18. Texas will be around 16-22. OSU will probably be around 17-23. So, six teams in the top 20 or 25.
Ryan (Houston): We all have noticed your recent obsession over WVU, we get it...you love them. But when they go 8-4 / 7-5 (give the Big 12 some credit here people), how will you feel then? By my count there is only 1 team thats a sure lock (Kansas), every other team has a shot at them. I highly highly doubt that a team that plays like Big 12 teams but has never played in the Big 12 will succeed in its 1st year (succeed meaning 9 or more wins). I know Geno's good, but these defenses are used to this style afterall. In fact, we have to be the hardest conference for teams like TCU/WVU to come into because they play Big 12 style but have been doing it against weaker opponents. Thats quite the change for these two teams and I just don't know if you have realized that yet. 9/10 Big 12 teams have a slight SLIGHT advantage in that respect, the fact that they go against this on a regular basis...thoughts?
David Ubben: Easy there, Ryan. That was quite a rant. I'm going on plenty of visits this spring, and when I get back, there's lots of coverage on that team. WVU opened its doors to us, thus, there's a whole lot more coverage. Doesn't have anything to do with loving or hating anybody in the league. I don't do either. As for WVU on the field, it's not like they're trying to surprise anyone. Simple fact: They might be better than everybody else at running what everybody in the Big 12 has run for quite awhile. Call it the Holgorsen Quotient.
W (Anaheim): David - Which BigXII vs. FCS is most intriguing this season?
David Ubben: The ones that get canceled by weather.
Michael Miller (Fredericksburg, VA): Who do you think will have the better record, TCU or WVU?
David Ubben: WVU in Year 1. TCU over the next decade.
FRF (Heaven on Earth - TEXAS): Do you think anyone can go undefeated in the BIG12?
David Ubben: No. Too many really good teams. No truly elite teams. OU's got the best shot, but do you like their chances to run the table vs. K-State, WVU, TCU, Texas and Oklahoma State? With as many question marks as the Sooners have? I'd give them about a 10 percent chance.
Nick (Charleston, WV): Has the opportunity to visit Morgantown, watch practice and speak with the coaches and players changed your opinion on where WVU will finish in the Big 12 this season (for better or worse)?
David Ubben: No, not really. Here's the thing: WVU is just as good as any team in the Big 12. So is TCU and K-State. It's just a matter of getting some good bounces and playing well in the fall. Those four on paper can all win the league. They just have to prove it. OU has a touch more talent then the other three, but it's not anything insurmountable.
Casey (Ft Stewart, Ga): SEC fan here, and I am not bashing nobody in the BIG-12 by any means...just wanted to know a couple of things...Who is your Top 3 Defenses and Offenses coming in to this season? And how do you see the WVU Mountaineers playing in their 1st season? Can they reach 9+ wins facing BIG-12 teams week in and week out now?
David Ubben: Offenses: 1) WVU 2) OU 3) Baylor. Defenses 1) Texas 2) OU 3) Oklahoma State. Plenty more with legit cases in that top three on both sides, but that's where I'd lean for now.