Friday, June 22, 2012
Mailbag: K-State cupcakes, schedule gripes
By ESPN.com staff
Thanks for all your emails this week. Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say.
Kyle in Corpus Christi, Texas, wrote: Hey David, Just want to start by saying I love the blog. I have two questions for you. 1) You have West Virginia listed the "chance to impress" game for Texas, which is understandable, however don't you think the ONLY SEC-Big 12 contest is a little more intriguing and a bigger chance to impress? 2) I've never been to a LongHorn game and I plan on going to one this season but it HAS to be at DKR so The Red River Shoot Out won't be the one for me this season. I was thinking The West Virginia or TCU game would be my best option. Any suggestions?
David Ubben: Thanks for the kind words, but you're talking crazy, Kyle. There's not some magic fairy dust that gets sprinkled on SEC teams, and the league was awful top-heavy last year, anyway. Nowhere near that top? Ole Miss. Just because it's the only game between the two leagues next year doesn't mean Texas is going to impress anybody by winning it, even though it is on the road. Credit to the Longhorns, by the way, for being the only Big 12 team without an FCS team on its schedule.
It's an intriguing game, I guess, but not one that gives Texas a chance to impress.
If you're picking just one game to go to this year, there's no doubt. Make it the West Virginia game. That's going to be one heck of a game. The league's best defense versus its best offense. I. Can't. Wait.
SoonerSonics in Seattle wrote: Care to respond to this? Not that I care - Ima Sooners fan..From your colleague Ted Miller,"And, yes, it is kind of a drag that the Ducks have a weak nonconference schedule. But it isn't the Ducks' fault Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Surrendercats made like mewling kittens and ran away from a 2011-12 home-and-home series."
DU: My official response: ... he's right?
Listen, Bill Snyder's not shy about this issue. I asked him about the Oregon game the first time we spoke when I took this job all the way back in 2010, and he busted out laughing.
"I’m not going to go to those games now, whether they remain scheduled or not," Snyder said of the Oregon series. "Yeah, that’s just not our philosophy in regards to scheduling. And that doesn’t help. That doesn’t assist our program."
Snyder wants games in Manhattan, unless he absolutely can't get them. And he wants games Kansas State is going to win. Call K-State out if you want, but Snyder knows his philosophy and sticks to it.
No, it's not gutsy. Yes, you can make fun of it.
It's not changing.
Caleb Clutter in Tulsa, Okla., wrote: How many wins do you predict the OSU Cowboys to have this season?
James D. in Rolfe, Iowa wrote: David, how many wins do you see for Iowa State this year? I see the potential for up to eight wins, but that's probably wishful thinking. Realistically I think they'll get to six wins and make a bowl game. I'm predicting they win three of their first four games. Your thoughts?
DU: This is the question I get most often. I have some good news and bad news. The good news? You'll know that information very soon.
The bad news? I'll be trickling it out week by week in my season prediction series. If you've missed it on the blog so far, scroll down and check it out.
Jason A. in Houston wrote: "Schedule analysis: Oklahoma"How do you not see Texas Tech even as threat. Im a Sooner and thats a no brain-er. OU hasn't won in Lubbock since 2003 ... How is that not a "gut-check" game if i've ever seen one, on top of that after the massive upset last year. Boy Ubben, I hope for your sake Tech doesn't do well, because you will get quite the fan mail on that bust of a call if they turn out 9 or more wins. Sad thing is, they will probably be pretty good this year. (I like them better than WVU & TCU record wise)
DU: It's not like I see Texas Tech as a non-threat. The Red Raiders will be good enough to beat anyone in the Big 12 next year. Tech and Iowa State proved that from 1 through 9 in the Big 12 last year, anybody could beat anybody. Heading out to Lubbock is never easy (except for Oklahoma State in 2011, I guess), but that game against Kansas State is one more the Sooners will have to strap it up for. An early-season game vs. Kansas State, a likely top-20 opponent? That's much more of a gut check than playing a team coming off a 5-7 season and trying to prove itself.
As for Tech, no, I don't have a problem with them. It's not my problem I predicted way back in 2010 that the transition from Leach to Tuberville would not be a smooth one. I still think Tuberville can turn it around, but it's been an underwhelming couple of years for Tech, regardless of the reasons for the slide to just 13 wins in two years. (The good news? That's the same number Texas has over that span.)
I think Tech will just be pretty good this year, but nine wins? Not in a league this deep. No way. There's no team in this league that will be dominant and looks likely to run the table, but there are about five teams with a decent shot to win 10 games. Tech isn't one of them.
Marc in Denver wrote: I've noticed from the complaints about weak non-conference schedules that ISUs grudge match with U of Iowa is rarer than I thought. Outside of notre dame's usual matchups, are there many other annual grudge matches between nonconference foes where both schools are from power conferences?
DU: There are a few. Oklahoma and Texas used to be one of the best before the formation of the Big 12. Now, Florida State-Florida is probably my favorite. Georgia and Georgia Tech is a great rivalry. I love Clemson-South Carolina, too.
Iowa and Iowa State is the only long-standing out-of-conference rivalry in the Big 12, but there needs to be some renewal of these rivalries with former Big 12 members. It'll happen again in about a decade.
Bank on it.