Big 12 mailbag: Postseason scenarios, Iowa State coaching search


In an early, Thanksgiving edition of the Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss multiple playoff scenarios, Iowa State's coaching search and, as playoff czar, how I would construct the playoff format.

This week, Max will be in Austin for Texas Tech-Texas, Brandon will be Fort Worth for the Revivalry and I will be in Stillwater for Bedlam.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. I know I will.

Now, on to the 'bag:

Trotter: It might be possible, but I think it's unlikely. It would require something like Notre Dame beating Stanford 59-0. I don't see how else the committee could bump Oklahoma down two spots following a win against No. 11 on the road. As for Oklahoma's weakness? Maybe pass protecting for Baker Mayfield. That is one area Oklahoma State can exploit and maybe cause the Sooners problems. Then again, Mayfield's ability to escape has been off the charts. The Cowboys can get to Mayfield. I'm just not sure they will be able to get him to the ground often enough.

Trotter: It might require one other upset (UCLA or USC over Stanford?), but either way, this is not an unthinkable scenario. At 11-1 with a Big 12 title, coming off a victory against No. 3, the Cowboys would be a formidable candidate for playoff inclusion. Of course, Oklahoma State has to win Bedlam first for this to be possible. And that is going to be a monumental task.

Trotter: One way it could happen. Oklahoma beats OSU. Baylor beats TCU. Stanford beats Notre Dame. USC/UCLA beats Stanford. Florida State beats Florida. Florida beats Alabama. That would leave the playoff at Clemson, Oklahoma, Big Ten champion and either Baylor or a second Big Ten team like Ohio State. There are other scenarios in which Oklahoma and Baylor could both make the playoff. Not an impossibility.

Trotter: If the Big 12 gets someone in the playoff, it's going to be status quo.

Trotter: I don't have a sense yet of which way Iowa State is leaning. But I think the Cyclones should make a hire that goes against the grain offensively. Doing what everyone else does in Big 12 is just not going to produce much different results. The Cyclones have major recruiting disadvantages residing in a state that doesn't produce a lot of Big 12 talent (which they also have to share with the Hawkeyes). Much like Texas Tech did with the air raid in 2000, Iowa State needs to level the playing field with scheme. So I'd go after Navy's Ken Niumatalolo to bring the option to Ames. There is precedent for this thriving with Georgia Tech, which brought in Paul Johnson from Navy. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have gone to seven straight bowls. I guarantee you, every defensive coordinator in the Big 12 would be annoyed if Iowa State began running Navy's offense. Because defending an attack you almost never see is always a challenge. That could give Iowa State the edge it so desperately seeks.

Trotter: Though they don't play anymore, I always thought "The Holy War" for Utah-BYU was pretty good. As for active rivalries, "Bedlam" actually might rank up there.

Trotter: Just a feeling. Tech hasn't defeated Texas since the Michael Crabtree game, and hasn't won in Austin since 1997. The Red Raiders have the better team. I just have a feeling the Texas defense is going to come to play in this one. We'll see. If I'm wrong, I'm probably going to be really wrong. Tech has the firepower to beat Texas by 30.

Trotter: It's hard to say at this point, because the NCAA has yet to reveal how it's going to select 5-7 teams. But if APR becomes the determining factor, Kansas State will be in decent shape. In 2013-14, the Wildcats had an APR of 975. Of the teams that are at or can reach five wins, that ranks seventh.

Trotter: According to AccuWeather, it's going to be cold and rainy. That would seem to favor the team with the better running game, and here, that is clearly the Sooners.

Trotter: If I were in charge, I would expand it to eight. Five power conference champions, two at-larges and the highest-ranked Group of 5 team. As a man of the people, I don't like the premise of the Group of 5 teams being completely excluded. Also, if you're a Power 5 conference champion, you're in. That would take human bias, perceived or real, largely out of the equation. The committee would still be there to select the at-larges and come up with the seeding. How could everyone not be on board with this idea?