Thanks for all the e-mails this week, everybody. It's been a fun season, and we'll obviously keep the blog rolling.
If you've got more to say, here's where you can reach me.
Also, don't forget to join our Big 12 Blog Readers Bowl Pick 'Em contest for your fabulous prize.
Let's get to your questions!
Kendall in Austin, Texas writes: What do you think about the option of looking into the JUCO route in order to try to find a QB for Texas? I feel Ash played well at times this year and should get another shot however if he chokes down the stretch again, a former JUCO QB wouldn't be a bad idea.
David Ubben: I really like the idea. There's nothing wrong with competition, and it needs to be in place if Ash doesn't develop into what Texas hopes he will next year. Tyrone Swoopes will be there, but there's no telling if he'll be ready to step in and play if Case McCoy isn't good enough, and I still maintain that Texas' offense is too limited in what it can do and what defenses have to respect when McCoy plays. An experienced guy with a big arm would be nice to have in the garage, too. Texas is being held back by its limitations at the position, and when its defense faltered this year, the margin of error was tiny, and Ash fell well short.
Jarrod Sawyer in Canyon, Texas writes: So this year was better than last for Texas but do you see Ash developing or do they just need to look for a new guy? Also I was wondering why the four game playoff was held off till 2014. I truly dislike the BCS, I know it will still be neccessary but still no fun. I would like to see DI take a page out of the DII book.
DU: No, I'm not selling on Ash at all. What we saw from him early in the season was flashes of a QB that's definitely good enough for Texas to win a Big 12 title, and maybe more. Ash regressed as the season went on, but I still think you can hang Texas' failures this season more surely on the backs of the defense. Ash wasn't great, but he got a lot better from last year to this year. I expect him to be even better next year, and in a year with a lot of turnover, he could easily ascend to become the Big 12's best quarterback. He'll need to be a lot better, but it's possible. The defense had no reason to drop off as much as it did between last year and this year. Losing Jordan Hicks hurt a lot, and hurt their chances to replace Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho, but there wasn't much Texas did well consistently all season, save an affinity to get in the backfield with some regularity on the defensive line.
As for the BCS, it can't change because the conferences signed an agreement through the 2013 season, so the remainder of the BCS contract must be played out before the playoff can kick in. Yes, I hate it too. It's just how business is done.
Daniel in Saginaw, Mich. writes: David,Can OU fans and media please stop blaming somebody for not getting to a BCS game? It is not the Big East or the B1G fault. Bob Stoops early in his career said, "No excuses." We played 12 games and we could have won 12 games, but we didn't. We won 10. If we want to go to a BCS game we have to at a minimum win the Big 12, outright. OU has only OU to blame. It is time to own up. P.S. I'm very excited OU is going to the Cotton Bowl. 1. I like Dallas more than Phoenix. 2. Playing in the best stadium in the WORLD! 3. Right in the middle of OU's recruiting footprint. 4. We'll be playing not only a long time foe, current SEC power, and also the only team that has beat Alabama to date. Keep up the great work on the blog!
DU: Daniel's looking on the bright side. In some ways, I'm with you here, Daniel. Oklahoma was only getting into the BCS because of the rule that prevents more than two teams from a conference from earning bids. It just got pushed out by another BCS rule that allows access for teams from non-AQ conferences.
Ultimately, I don't think it's a huge deal. The Fiesta Bowl thing is kind of overplayed, because OU would have been headed to the Sugar Bowl, so you're off on that point. Playing in a great stadium in nearby Dallas will be fun, but I actually think this might be a tougher matchup for the Sooners. Florida's resume is amazing. No arguments there. However, Oklahoma matched up much better with the Gators and had a better shot to win that game than they do beating A&M. Johnny Football, Heisman or not, is a tough matchup for the Sooners D.
Steve in Point Pleasant, W.Va. writes: Hey David in case you dont understand Morganotwn WV is very cold in the winter. WV has played games in the snow for years. So the Fla boys can handle the snow. WVU will win by 21. Thanks
DU: I got a ton of e-mails on this. Let me clarify. It's not like I think West Virginians can't handle the snow. For me, it's a matter of motivation. Most bowl games are in warm spots, and no doubt, the Florida guys would love to get back to Texas or San Diego for a week. Instead, they're up in NYC, where it's anything but warm. It should be a fun experience, but the weather won't be something they're looking forward to in that game. They already got enough cold when they got sent to Iowa State in late November.
Tony in Charleson, W.Va. writes: Just a trivial thought for the upcoming bowl game for WVU. With Syracuse being the opponent, this will give Darwin Cook a chance to tackle a second "orange" mascot.
DU: Fantastic. I hadn't even considered this option. I will consider this game a failure if Otto doesn't get "accidentally" taken out at some point. He's got plenty of padding. He'll be OK.
Josh in West Virginia writes: What do you think of Syracuse not putting the Schwartzwalder trophy on the line for the Pinstripe Bowl? I understand that there is already a trophy on the line for a crappy bowl that is three years old, but this trophy has been given to the winner of this rivalry since 1993. So its only 19 years old, but it represents a rivalry that goes back to 1945.
DU: Bush league stuff. I don't really understand it. The argument from Syracuse is so silly. Adding a second trophy would lessen the impact of the Steinbrenner Trophy and be some kind of disrespect to the bowl? That's silly. Also, it's the Pinstripe Bowl. It needs all the intrigue it can get. A second trophy adds to that, it doesn't take it away.
There's zero compelling reason to not put the Schwartzwalder Trophy up for grabs, and this same sentiment goes for any future Big 12 games against ex-Big 12 foes in bowl games or in any other scenario.
Bill in Orange County, Calif. writes: Care to speculate on Northern Illinois' record if they played in the Big 12?