Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Chat: Big 12's rival, Ash, Geno, surprises
By David Ubben
Thanks for all the questions in today's chat. Here's the full transcript. It was an active one today. Sorry if we didn't get to your questions.
Got more to say? Send it to my mailbag.
Time for some highlights!
David (DC): Ubbs, with this recent UT resurgence, I'm sick of sportwriters and bloggers saying unequivocably that the team now has solid quarterback play as if that was the sole reason for two seasons of mediocrity. How hard is it to understand that having 2.5 dominating tailbacks and a mature set of WRs is the great equalizer?
David Ubben: Well, that's part of it, but the truth is Texas has no hope of returning to dominance if it doesn't get good play out of the QB spot. Even without great backs and receivers, Texas wins at least eight games in each of the past two seasons with good QB play. Now, if David Ash plays like he did last week every week, Texas will pretty much have it all and the rebuilding process will be complete. It's just a matter of winning games now.
Tony (Florida): Could you see 9 of the B12 teams( everybody but Kansas) playing in bowl games this year?
David Ubben: They're all good enough to do it, but it's barely even mathematically possible. It's not happening. Eight at the most.
Tony (Florida): Who in B12 has surprised you the most so far in B12?
David Ubben: No huge surprises, really. You could say Texas Tech in some ways for being even better than I thought, mostly on defense. You could also say Oklahoma State, which hasn't been quite as good, but I still think you can boil down that loss in Arizona to uncharacteristic mistakes. They're a lot better than they showed in Tucson.
lance (utah): J Grey hasnt gotten nearly the carries that everyone expected. also a bunch of players from texas have praised him saying he is the hardest working freshman and at one point i think vacarro said he acts like a senior in his work ethic. are we not seeing very much from him because there just isnt enough carries to go around or is mack saving him for bigger games like OSU WVU and OU?
David Ubben: Oh, a little bit of both, but mostly the first. He'll be ready if he's called on, and I've heard much of the same thing. When Bergeron and Brown are averaging like six yards a carry, though, it's hard to reason getting Gray the carries some would like him to see. It doesn't make sense. Still, you need depth at the RB position more than any, and if Bergeron and Brown get banged up (Bergeron is already dealing with a shoulder injury), you'll see more and more of Gray.
Dave (DC): Most overrrated/underrated team and player three weeks in?
David Ubben: We don't know yet, but man, can't shake the feeling that the Sooners are overrated. They're in the top 10 on name and last year's results only. We'll know more this week. Feels like both Texas Tech and Iowa State can be underrated, but they've got to show me something when we start conference play. The bottom line on this: The Big 12's nonconference slate is so bad across the board, we really know as little about this league through three weeks than I can ever remember.
Randy (New Orleans): I know most rankings have Big12 as the top conference and SEC as the second. Do you think if SEC had not taken A&M and Mizzou, leaving these weaker teams in the BIG12 that SEC would have the top conference "statistically"?
David Ubben: Ha, it's possible. It's not so much the exit of Mizzou and A&M, which will both be just OK this season. It's more the entrance of WVU and TCU at the right time, giving the Big 12 a good look to start the season with a top 10 and a top 20 team, instead of two unranked teams.
David Ash (Austin): What are my chances of hearing some Heisman talk? I know I will not win, I just need a mention.
David Ubben: Honestly, not as far off as some might think. If Ash goes up to Stillwater and throws for 300 more yards and four TDs without a turnover and wins, how do you not at least put him on the Heisman dark horse list?
Patrick (Philly, PA): Ubbs, give me one game where Geno Smith can win the Heisman, and one game where he could lose it.
David Ubben: Well, he doesn't really have anything to prove at this point, so he can't really "win it" in one single game like RG3 did last year vs. Oklahoma. Smith is the front runner. If WVU keeps winning and he keeps putting up good numbers, he'll be in the mix. If WVU suffers a loss, Smith can get back into the race if he knocks off Oklahoma at home, and cleans up KU and Iowa State to close the season.
brad (dallas): Are there any true take-aways from the first 3 weeks for Big 12 teams?
David Ubben: Kansas still has a long way to go. West Virginia's offensive talent is what we thought it was. Texas Tech's defense is a lot better. Those are kind of the big three for me. Everything else feels very TBD.
Mike (Texas): Is it just me, or do you see some kind of massive rivalry being created before our eyes between the Big XII and the SEC? The message boards are full of flame fests between the two (In regards to fans). What is your opinion on that?
David Ubben: I wouldn't call it by message board flame fests, but there's no doubt there's a rivalry between the two leagues. For now, it's mostly one-sided because the Big 12 hasn't really beaten the SEC much on the field. (Check the recent history in the Cotton Bowl and in the BCS). But after the SEC poached Mizzou and A&M, and the Big 12 has proven itself as the second-best league with the best offenses, it makes sense that it'd want to take on the SEC. To be the best, you've got to beat the best. I don't think the SEC's fans care as much about the Big 12 as Big 12 fans do about the SEC.