Big 12: Austin Wuebbels

Offseason to-do list: Missouri

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
1:15
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We're taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three! Who knows?

Next up: The Missouri Tigers.

1. Figure out what/if the offense has to change. The Tigers, like Texas A&M, are headed for the SEC, and there are plenty of questions about how well Mizzou's wide-open, fast-paced attack will work in their new league, which is known for having the biggest, strongest and fastest defenses in all of college football. This season especially, those defenses were responsible for the league winning its sixth consecutive national title.

2. Solidify the defensive line. Mizzou's defensive line was the most talented in the Big 12, but was somewhat underwhelming in 2011. It was good, far above average for the Big 12, but nowhere near dominant. Well, defensive lines in the SEC are like quarterbacks in the Big 12: The grade is much stricter. The Tigers lose Jacquies Smith and Terrell Resonno, as well as one of the Big 12's most productive tackles, Dominique Hamilton. Brad Madison is back after a 2011 that had him slowed by injury, but this unit will face much different offenses in 2012, and needs to be better.

3. Develop chemistry on the offensive line. Left tackle Elvis Fisher's status for an additional year from the NCAA after a preseason knee injury is still in flux, but if he's gone, Mizzou's big hole gets even bigger. Guards Jayson Palmgren and Austin Wuebbels are gone, as is right tackle Dan Hoch, one of the team's top talents. The line of scrimmage is where games are won, and though Mizzou's been really solid on the offensive line the past few years, that will have to continue against tougher defensive lines in the SEC.

ESPN.com's All-Underrated Big 12 team

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
4:30
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We unveiled our All-Big 12 team last week with lots of talent.

Time for a new take, with a little help from the Big Ten Blog: The All-Underrated team.

My criteria: The conference's most underrated player at each position. This is, of course, subjective. This isn't for the second-best player at each position. It's for the player who doesn't get enough respect. The only rule: He can't be on my All-Big 12 team.

Here goes:

OFFENSE

QB: James Franklin, Missouri
RB: Christine Michael, Texas A&M
RB: John Hubert, Kansas State
FB: Braden Wilson, Kansas State
WR: Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
WR: Tevin Reese, Baylor
WR: Josh Cooper, Oklahoma State
TE: James Hanna, Oklahoma
OL: Clyde Aufner, Kansas State
OL: Philip Blake, Baylor
OL: Austin Wuebbels, Missouri
OL: David Snow, Texas
OL: Lonnie Edwards, Texas Tech

DEFENSE

DE: Toben Opurum, Kansas
DT: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, Baylor
DE: Meshak Williams, Kansas State
DE: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
LB: Steven Johnson, Kansas
LB: Elliot Coffey, Baylor
LB: Alex Elkins, Oklahoma State
CB: David Garrett, Kansas State
CB: Leonard Johnson, Iowa State
S: Terrance Bullitt, Texas Tech
S: Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State

SPECIALISTS

P: Trey Barrow, Missouri
PK: Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
PR/KR: Jarvis West, Iowa State

Coach: Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

Talking new teams, A&M drama, rivalries

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
4:25
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Thanks for all the questions this week. We had some fun. Here's the full transcript.

Didn't get your question answered? My mailbag is always open.

Now, on to the highlights:

LT in Birmingham asked: What do you think about the BYU to Big 12 chatter?

David Ubben: It's in its very, very early stages, but it'd be mutually beneficial for both sides.

Cris in Waco asked: Hey Ubbs! Can't get enough of the blog or Baylor. What do you think of Lache Seastrunk's chances at being eligible this season, and if so what kind of impact to you think he could have for the Bears offense?

DU: He's better off sitting out by now. It sounds like the decision might take awhile, and if it's already a game or two into the season, he's probably not going to get much out of this year as is. Best to wait until 2012. Might have been different if he transferred in July.

Thomas in Columbia, Mo. asked: How much of an impact do you think the A&M drama affects other Big 12ish schools on the recruiting trail? It seems to me that high caliber players would not want to come o schools where there is uncertainty in the league.

DU: Interesting question. That's something that hasn't been explored yet, but I don't imagine it's a problem for schools like Texas and Oklahoma. Places like Iowa State and Kansas State? Hard to believe it wouldn't be, at the very least, a concern.

Brent in Utah asked: Have there been any rumblings of the pac-12 renewing it's interest in the Texas Oklahoma additions they sought last year?

DU: Not yet. I think Oklahoma would be wise to at least look at the option, but it sounds like everybody's "on the plane" as a man I know once said, regarding the future of the Big 12.

James in College Station asked: Dave, I'm one of the few that is skeptical of the SEC move but for competitive reasons but I'm sick of people sayings its our fault if the Texas-A&M game goes away. That's ridiculous. We want that to continue no matter what. Why are we the bad guy?

DU: Ha, nobody's saying that. At least not anybody who knows what they're talking about. Texas will probably put the dagger in the rivalry, but let's not act like A&M was an innocent bystander in the whole deal.

Evan in Aggieland asked: Hey Ubbs, has ESPN told you where all you're being sent this weekend yet?

DU: Yep. Will be announcing on the blog on Thursday.

Ryan in Ohio asked: Do you miss the Missouri--Illinois Arch Rivalry?

DU: I do. It was a great game. I'm guessing Ron Zook will not miss it.

Andrew in Missouri asked: Do the Tigers have a prayer in Norman this year?

DU: Yeah, probably sometime before the game, either in the locker room or just before they take the field. Most likely led by James Franklin.

Shep Klinke in College Station, Texas asked: I better make your post-season Big 12 All-Name team!

DU: My apologies. I was so disappointed in myself when I saw that on A&M's depth chart. You'd knock Austin Wuebbels off that team in a second.

Matt in Columbia asked: Oh David, saying the Big 12 won't fold is a little na´ve don't you think? How does the Big 12 survive if Missouri bolts?

DU: Sorry, I can't read your question behind that gigantic if. Can you submit it again?

Jerome in Toronto, Canada asked: Why didn't you list Arizona and Arizona State as your pipe dream teams? Earlier this year, you went on and on about adding these PAC teams. Did you finally see the light and realize they were not going to leave the PAC for the Big 12? Just curious why all of a sudden you didn't include them

DU: After the Pac-12 signed that new television deal and announced the new television networks, it pretty much ended that dream. ASU and UA aren't happening. I wrote as much back when it happened, I think.

Raiderttu06 in Lubbock asked: What are your thoughts on the Red Raider Defensive Line now that Delvon Simmons has gotten the all clear from the NCAA. Looks like the Depth is back on Defense which was missing last year with injuries.

DU: Very underrated entering the season, but a lot of unknown commodities. The best news? Those guys up front may be able to mask possible problems on the back line.

HawkFanBeau in Waffletown asked: If the three best teams comes down to a undefeated B1G, undefeated non-OU/Texas Big XII and a one loss SEC. Who plays for the chrystal ball?

DU: The Big Ten team and the Big 12 team while the SEC's fans wail, thrash and scream.

The Big 12's Official 2011 All-Name team

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
11:00
AM ET
We talk about it constantly and haphazardly throw players on it, but here's your official 2011 All-Name team, courtesy of yours truly.

Any player on a current roster, regardless of role on the team, is eligible.

The only requirement: Your name must be awesome, for any number of reasons.

OFFENSE

QB: Steele Jantz, Iowa State
RB: Mister Jones, Texas A&M
RB: Brandon Bourbon, Kansas
FB: Joel Ossom, Oklahoma
WR: Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M
WR: Jaz Reynolds, Oklahoma
TE: Trent Ratterree, Oklahoma
OL: Trevor Marrongelli, Kansas
OL: Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State
OL: Austin Wuebbels, Missouri
OL: Spencer Drango, Baylor
OL: Manese Foketi, Kansas State

DEFENSE

DL: Stephen Ruempolhamer, Iowa State
DL: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, Baylor
DL: Pearlie Graves, Texas Tech
DL: James Castleman, Oklahoma State
LB: Toben Opurum, Kansas
LB: Tom Wort, Oklahoma
LB: Cqulin Hubert, Texas Tech
DB: Quandre Diggs, Texas
DB: Terrance Bullitt, Texas Tech
DB: Happiness Osunde, Texas Tech (formerly Junior Osunde)
DB: Sawyer Vest, Texas Tech

SPECIALISTS

K: Bobby Stonebraker, Oklahoma State
P: Michael Reichenstein, Oklahoma State

Any snubs? Who's the MVP?

On the spot: Insight Bowl

December, 17, 2010
12/17/10
10:30
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Missouri's headed to the Insight Bowl, the program's sixth consecutive postseason trip under coach Gary Pinkel.

Iowa carries a three-game losing streak into its matchup with the Tigers, but the Hawkeyes will be a different kind of challenge than Missouri has seen all season. So, who needs to play well for the Tigers to get the win?

The offensive line. Suspensions and transfers have Iowa playing without its leading receiver and its two best running backs, but the Hawkeyes have a defense capable of shutting down Missouri's offense. Specifically, it can do it on the defensive line.

Although Iowa finished the season at 2-3, it was giving up just over 17 points a game during that stretch. Adrian Clayborn headlines the defensive line, but fellow linemen Karl Klug and Mike Daniels both had more tackles for loss. The trio combined for 29 TFLs and Iowa ranks sixth nationally in rush defense, giving up just over 100 yards a game.

Missouri's offense can look pretty smooth when it gets its running game rolling, but a one-dimensional Tigers offense with Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball 40-plus times isn't nearly as effective.

The Hawkeyes ranked just 55th nationally against the pass, but the Tigers cannot live on the pass alone. All-Big 12 center Tim Barnes leads a very experienced unit flanked with a pair of experienced tackles in Dan Hoch and Elvis Fisher and guards Jayson Palmgren and Austin Wuebbels. They'll need to pave the way or Missouri's undersized set of backs, De'Vion Moore, Kendial Lawrence, Henry Josey and Marcus Murphy.

Iowa isn't likely to make many big plays offensively, but if Gabbert takes a free shot to his blind side for a costly fumble or is hasseled into mistakes, the Tigers could give up that big play to the defensive line.

Keep them at bay with a steady diet of screen passes and jet sweeps, and Missouri could win its third bowl game in four years.

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