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Big 12 mailbag: Conference championship game, David Boren, expansion

In this week's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss the pending conference championship game, Oklahoma president David Boren, possible expansion, potential sleepers next year and who would play Bram Kohlhausen, Gary Patterson and yours truly in a movie.

As this week proved, there's really no offseason in college football, is there?

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: How does a championship game give the Big 12 more leverage than it already has with those schools looking to make a move up? As the only Power 5 conference that has shown any interest in expanding via a Group of 5 member, the Big 12 already has all the leverage in that regard. Adding a championship game is really just about whether it gives the Big 12 a better path to the playoff. That's it.

Trotter: I think Boren is going to make sure that doesn't happen. Just hours after the deregulation vote carried, he issued a statement to the Oklahoma Daily student newspaper and to ESPN.com saying the Big 12 won't resolve, in his words, its "disadvantage" until it gets back to 12 members. Boren carries a powerful voice within the Big 12 leadership. And as long as he's pushing for expansion, it won't be dead in the water.

Trotter: Boren knows he has leverage. If the Big 12 ever dissolved, Oklahoma would have a Power 5 landing spot somewhere. The same can't definitively be said about everyone else in the Big 12. So Boren can push his agenda, knowing that the other Big 12 members will have to acquiesce or risk Oklahoma bolting, which, in effect, would be the end of the Big 12. With that in mind, Boren is also clearly trying to send a message to Texas. The Longhorns obviously could join any conference they wanted to. But they also wouldn't have it as good as they presently have it in the Big 12, financially. So Texas has something to lose, too, and Boren is attempting to exploit that by getting the Longhorns to come to the table on his agenda, which, as he has stated, includes expansion and the formation of a conference network on top of adding the championship game.

Trotter: If the Big 12 ever decided that BYU was the answer, Colorado State would make some sense. The Rams would expand the Big 12 footprint back into Colorado and give BYU a travel partner. The best bet for Colorado State would be the Big 12 coming around to BYU. Given the other options, the Rams would still probably be a long shot. But at least that would put them in play.

Trotter: By middle-line, let's assume you're talking about Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas. From that bunch, I'd go with the Red Raiders. Yes, Tech's defense has been deplorable. But if you look at the Big 12 champions of the past, they all usually have at least one thing in common: outstanding quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield, Trevone Boykin, Bryce Petty, Collin Klein, Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, Vince Young, the list goes on. Of those four middle-tier teams, Tech clearly has the best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. For that reason, in spite of the other flaws, the Red Raiders, in my opinion, would stand the best chance to make a run.

Trotter: Arizona State's defense was bad. But remember, West Virginia played that game without Jovon Durante, too. In Shelton Gibson, Durante, Daikiel Shorts, David Sills, Ka'Raun White and Gary Jennings, I think West Virginia has a chance to boast one of the top two or three receiving corps in the conference next season. The play of QB Skyler Howard obviously is going to play into that. But this is a receiving unit with a ton of potential.

Trotter: I give Jarrett Stidham a chance, but a small one. Because of his own injuries, Stidham never really had a chance to establish himself. That leaves Russell as the heavy favorite. It's easy to forget, but before the neck injury, Russell was one of the best quarterbacks in the country last season. Nobody, in fact, finished with a better QBR than Russell.

Trotter: I'm open to your suggestions, but be kind, and do keep in mind, I do now sport a beard.