NCF Nation: Kirby Van Der Kamp

Thanks for all the emails this week. Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say. Until then, let's get to your mail!

Honest Abe in Washington, D.C., writes: In celebration of Halloween, is there a team with a more mysterious and scary second half in store than Oklahoma State? They could easily lose every single game left on their schedule, just as they could (not easily) win every single one. They have the horses and coaching to play with anyone, yet they have the injuries and execution of the 9th place team in the league.

David Ubben: I'd agree with that, Abe. I definitely feel like Oklahoma State is better than their record, but the results haven't been there yet. Getting Wes Lunt back (whenever that is) will definitely help, but my gut says somebody falls and hits 5-7, leaving the Big 12 with just eight bowl-eligible teams, instead of nine. Oklahoma State and Baylor look like the two most likely candidates at this point.

Those same teams, though, aren't out of the mix of rising up to win nine games, either. Just a crazy, crazy league this year with a whole lot of parity. Completely unpredictable from week to week.

Josh in Norman, Okla., writes: Can we please stop with the "if K-State wins this weekend, the second half of the season is a coronation" talk? Would you like for me to list the Big 12 teams over the past dozen years who have gotten through the (seemingly) most difficult parts of their schedules only to stumble (sometimes inexplicably) before their season ended? Oklahoma 2002 and 2003, Texas 2006, Oklahoma 2007, Texas 2008, Oklahoma 2010, Oklahoma State 2011. Need I say more? Going undefeated is really hard and, given KSU's style of squeaking out close wins, the odds are stacked against them.

DU: Good list there, Josh. What do most of those teams have in common, though? They won a Big 12 title. Oklahoma lost in the Big 12 title game in 2003, and I don't recall any of that talk about Texas in 2006. Texas got squeezed out in 2008 because of a ridiculous tiebreaker. Point is, the odds are good for K-State to win a Big 12 title because the margin of error would be so large.

WVU and Oklahoma are the two teams with the best chance to continue winning, and K-State would hold the tiebreaker on both teams.

A coronation? Sure, maybe that's a little much. But anyone want to bet K-State doesn't win the Big 12 title if it wins on Saturday?


KB in Albuquerque, N.M., writes: Hi David, I enjoy the blog. How about a little love for KSU punter Ryan Doerr? Punts were huge in the win over ISU. In the 3rd quarter Doerr pinned ISU at their 1. ISU went three-and-out, with a shanked punt from their end zone to their 30 that gave KSU a short field for the TD that proved to be the game winner. Then Doerr pinned ISU at their 3 to start what became a futile attempt at a go-ahead last drive. Thanks and keep up the good work! KB

DU: Doerr's definitely a big talent. The Big 12's got a lot this year at punter. It was tight race between Kirby Van Der Kamp, Doerr and Quinn Sharp at OSU. Sharp's got the biggest leg, but I went with Van Der Kamp because of his consistency pinning teams inside the 20.

Brett in Houston writes: David, At this point in the season, is Terrance Williams the front-runner for the Biletnikoff Award?

DU: He's definitely my front-runner. Thing is, the Big 12 might come pretty close to earning a shutout on all three finalists for yet another year. Kendall Wright should have been in there last year, but this year, it might be Williams and the WVU duo of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.

For now, though, no doubt in my mind: Williams is the Biletnikoff leader. Austin and Bailey aren't far behind and could have their finalists party crashed by Marqise Lee at USC, but if the voting happened today, you might see an all Big 12 list of finalists.

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Rough day at Oklahoma for punters

November, 26, 2011
Is it the wind?

When Oklahoma punter Tress Way's had a chance to kick, he's been solid, but it's been a difficult day for special teams in today's matchup between the Sooners and Iowa State.

Kirby Van Der Kamp wasn't satisfied with punts of 21 and 26 yards after a 57-yard kick earlier in the game.

We haven't seen any scoring in the second half, and Iowa State trails 23-6 midway through the third quarter.

Way is averaging 47 yards on his two punts today, but a third never happened. The snap was too high and he couldn't reel it in, covering the ball and setting up Iowa State's only points of the day, a touchdown pass from Jared Barnett to Albert Gary.