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Friday, March 29, 2013
Mailbag: Kingsbury staff, Week 1

By David Ubben

Thanks for all your emails, everybody. Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say. To your mail!

Robert Powell in Plano, Texas, writes: Sir,While I like the Kingsbury hiring, I am concerned about 1. his lack of experience, and possibly more disconcerting, is the coaching staff's overall lack of experience. He seems to have hired friends and a few people he respects, but they are all very young. This is similar to Tubs' first 2 years. Very young and enthusiastic, but short on experience and that cost Tech a couple games. What is the national 'thought' on Tech's coaching staff?

David Ubben: I hear you, Robert. That's a concern I have in some ways, and it's a concern I've heard from others. In general, the youth on the staff is reason for question. In the same breath, I also think it's too early to add a ton of validity to those questions until we see it on the field. Sure, there's a lot of youth on staff, but we haven't seen Tech play a game yet. I spent some time talking to Kevin Sumlin about his thoughts on that issue, and he shared some similar sentiments.

You can go a lot of places and find an experienced coach, but not all experience is good experience, he said. Sometimes, experience on its own can be a little overrated. Gray hair alone doesn't mean you really know anything. There's something to be said for that. Ultimately, we'll see if having such a young staff hurts Tech. I'm guessing it will in some ways, but the payoff in fresh ideas and energy on the recruiting trail will pay off more than the inexperience hurts.




Ron B. in Plano, Texas, writes: David:About the Week 1 Big 12 Ultimate Road Trip. Think about Tech/SMU being a Friday night game and Ford Staduim is in close proximity to Cowboys Staduim. You could actually see Tech/SMU and LSU/TCU the same weekend. What a way to kick off the year!!!

DU: That would be pretty awesome. I like it more on a Friday, honestly, because it's like a bit of a delicious college football appetizer heading into Saturday's main course. On Sunday, after watching two top-20 teams go head-to-head in what should be a great atmosphere in America's best stadium, seeing Tech and SMU play at Ford might be a little disappointing. A great game, most likely, and it'll be good to see Kingsbury and Co. get started, but I like playing it on the Friday. On Saturday, it could be a great game swallowed up by other, bigger games, but it'll have a nice spotlight to kick off the season.




Josh in Manhattan, Kan., writes: If Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, or A&M happened to come knocking back on the Big 12's door, would we answer? Say to get back to 12 teams, would we/ should we one day even offer?

DU: Oh, I don't know that this is really worth discussing past the extremely, extremely theoretical. I just couldn't see a scenario in which either side would ever consider re-establishing those relationships which were so splintered by the time they officially ended.

I do think Missouri would be much better off in the Big 12. Colorado is definitely better off in the Pac-12, though. Nebraska I don't think really matters all that much. They're a huge national brand and would be fine in any league. I don't think its program as a whole would be impacted much by the league it is in, but it wanted a more harmonious conference, and got it in the Big Ten.

A&M is the most complicated case here. I agree that A&M's profile has risen in the SEC, but there's definitely a case to be made that A&M's win over Alabama could have come in the national title game this year if it was in the Big 12. We'll never know, of course, but I think time will tell. The biggest negative for A&M leaving is being in the SEC West makes winning big even harder than it was in the Big 12. They got past that some last year, but they also had the best team the Aggies have had in a long, long time and only made it to the Cotton Bowl, the same bowl they played in two years earlier with a pretty good team led by Ryan Tannehill and Von Miller. Welcome to life in the SEC.




David in St. Cloud, Minn., writes: David, do you think people are underrating North Dakota State, the 2-time defending FCS Champions? As a K-State fan, I"m scared to death of that season opener, and I think the Bison are a far tougher matchup than most of the FBS directional schools. I think they could beat anybody in the Big 12 outside OU and maybe Okie St. But K-State's schedule can't get any love. What gives?

DU: Couple things with this. One, you're giving NDSU a little too much credit. The athletic gap between most teams in the Big 12 and NDSU is really, really wide. K-State has a weird habit of playing poorly in season openers against FCS teams, so you probably have reason to be a little nervous. If you're a competent team, you should have little trouble. KU played one of the ugliest games of the year back in 2010 when it lost to NDSU, and it only lost 6-3. I totally disagree that the Bison could beat anybody in the Big 12, but there's something to be said for being a confident team that knows how to win games. NDSU is absolutely that, and I'd agree that they're a tougher matchup for that reason than low-level FBS teams used to losing. If it gets in a tight game late against a team it knows it can go toe-to-toe against, you're in big, big trouble. K-State needs to be sharper in its opener than it was against Eastern Kentucky in 2011 and in the first few quarters against Missouri State.