Chat with David Ubben
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben will stop by to chat some college football.
Ubben joined ESPN.com in March 2010 after covering Big 12 football for two seasons at the Columbia Missourian and The Oklahoman. Ubben, a native of Springdale, Ark., lives in Dallas.
Send your questions now and join Ubben Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
David Ubben (3:01 PM)
Hey, everybody. I'm enjoying the sun out West for the Fiesta Bowl. What about you? Let's get started.
Lee (Las Vegas)
Overall, how would you rate Jared Crick's performance? He didn't make the All American teams as expected. How far off was he?
David Ubben (3:04 PM)
Well, I think we found out that he did benefit plenty from Ndamukong Suh, but Crick is still one of the best defensive tackles in the conference. He maybe didn't have the year some predicted him to have, but he was still better as an individual than he was in 2009. But when the Suh sets the bar, it's tough to reach that high.
david (copperas cove)
where does james willis the texas tech dc end up at
David Ubben (3:05 PM)
Very interesting question. There's still plenty left to be told about this domestic violence case. There's still no confirmation it was actually him just yet. If he was involved, you'd have to think that affects Florida's desire to bring him in as a defensive coordinator. Even if that happens, I'd be surprised if he wasn't coaching somewhere next year. But Florida might be a little less likely now.
Coach Snyder (Big Apple)
Got a shovel?
David Ubben (3:06 PM)
I'll FedEx one up to NYC. How's that?
Carpus Diddius (HHI, SC)
What are people wearing on their feet down there in Arizona? Is all you see stilettos? Did you even get the memo?
David Ubben (3:06 PM)
This is definitely not a Dallas party.
Jim (Grand Junction, Colorado)
David: Isn't it accurate to say that so far the bowl season has been, with a few exceptions, one of the favorites winning in romps? If you agree with that, do you think the trend will continue? If so, it speaks very well of the Big 12's chances of shining in the bowls. Missouri should easily handle an Iowa team that hasn't lived up to expectations, OK State should run it up against an Arizona team that went on a season-ending losing streak, Nebraska should again handle Washington easily, and Oklahoma seems far better than the Big East's UConn. Please answer this since a similar post and your reply got the Oklahoma fans all lathered up. Thanks.
David Ubben (3:08 PM)
It's possible. I said it when the matchups were announced; the Big 12 has a pretty good shot to go 8-0 in the bowls. Texas A&M is the only team who has to play at their best to win their bowl game, and the Aggies were playing as good as anyone in the entire conference to close the season, so you've got to feel at least pretty good about their chances.
Why would TCU join the Big East, which is mostly northeastern schools, instead of the Big 12, which is predominantly filled with Texas schools?
David Ubben (3:09 PM)
Well, lots of reasons. Chief among them? The Big 12 didn't want TCU. The Big East did. And now, it won't take an 11-1 or 12-0 year for TCU to reach the BCS. All they have to do is win the conference and considering how the Big East looked this year, TCU is a team that could do it often.
Lee (Las Vegas)
With all the talk of Shawn Watson leaving Nebraska and replacing him with Mangino or others, what are the chances that Watson would get another job? He didn't even make the initial cut at Vandy. Is it realistic that he could contend for a job desirable enough to make him leave Nebraska?
David Ubben (3:10 PM)
Some guys want to be head coaches a lot worse than others. Watson seems like a guy who wants to be a head coach. Miami (OH) might be his opportunity, and they proved this year that winning there is possible. If he gets the call, that might be enough for him to make the move. It's pretty doubtful that he'd take a coordinator job elsewhere, though.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
Is Mack Brown just going to assume OC and DC responsibilities himself? Is he ever going to name replacements? This has to be worrying recruits, right?
David Ubben (3:12 PM)
No, I wouldn't worry about it. Texas is a desirable destination in about every possible way. Brown said from the beginning that he wasn't going to be making any announcements until after the bowl season. Hanging on to a couple recruits isn't enough reason to rush the coaching searches that will define the program for the foreseeable future.
Mike (Southern Illinois)
I was wondering when we had all the big coaching openings (Miami, Maryland, etc.), why was Gary Pinkel never mentioned? Is it because of his salary or his commitment to Missouri? I just find it strange especially with Miami open that his name was not even mentioned.
David Ubben (3:14 PM)
Yeah, Pinkel doesn't sound like he's going anywhere. He admitted yesterday at his press conference out here that he's working on an extension and said pretty bluntly, something to the effect of I'm not going anywhere. I'm at Missouri. Outside of Washington, it's hard to see him leaving for anywhere, really. Missouri and Pinkel is a marriage that's worked--better recently--and he's within reach of becoming the school's winningest coach of all-time.
Spencer F (Chicago)
Has there been any more word about A. Smith and Gabbert leaving Mizzou early and going to the draft?
David Ubben (3:15 PM)
Not yet. They weren't talking much about it this week. I'd expect both to be asked about it after the Insight Bowl tonight, but I doubt they give any definitive answers until they get their paperwork back from the NFL Advisory Committee in a week or so.
tanner (iowa )
Hey man, who do you think will win tonights matchup? Iowa or Mizzou? What will be the score? Thanks!
David Ubben (3:16 PM)
I picked Missouri to win, 27-17. The Tigers are the more complete team and Iowa's program seems like it's reeling a bit from all the suspensions. That has to be at least somewhat of a distraction for the guys who made the trip out here.
Your thoughts on Mizzou's Blain Gabbert? Do you see him entering the draft or coming back to school?
David Ubben (3:17 PM)
I expect him to come back. I wrote about it a little bit last week, but I think he feels like he's left a bit on the table, and the Tigers should be strong next year.
Do you think Michael Brewer will flourish at Texas Tech?
David Ubben (3:19 PM)
You never know, really, until guys get on campus. He certainly looks like a guy who'll have a chance, but you can't rush to judgment, especially with QBs, when it comes to young players.
Tanner (Iowa )
well, personally. I think that Iowa is going to smoke the tigers. GO HAWKS!
David Ubben (3:21 PM)
Ha, well, I'm not sure Iowa has enough offense to smoke anyone, so they better look for a shutout. Also, I'll avoid the obvious "smoke" joke after today's latest news.
Who will be named the OSU OC? Is Seth Littrell the favorite?
David Ubben (3:22 PM)
I'm not sure there's a clear favorite just yet, but hiring the receivers coach Doug Meacham seems to make a lot of sense.
It is possible that Nebraska might have stayed if the Big 12 would have kept the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry every season? To me the Big 12 should have done what the SEC does every season and the Big 10 will do next year and have teams from opposite divisions playing each other every season.
David Ubben (3:23 PM)
Yeah there's been some talk about that lately. It's possible. I do like the way the SEC has that set up. Oklahoma was a great rival for the Huskers. As much as Nebraska fans hate Texas, it seems like the relationship with Oklahoma was always more of a respect.
Matt (St. Louis)
Let's say that Gabbert leaves for the NFL. What's your take on Franklin: Star in the waiting or stop gap until the next blue chip.
David Ubben (3:25 PM)
It's kind of like I said earlier about Texas Tech's new QB commit. You never really know about a quarterback until you throw them in there full-time and figure it out. (Garrett Gilbert anyone?) Franklin's got a strong arm, but in Missouri's system, accuracy is a lot more important. He'll definitely be more of a runner for the Tigers, but he'll have a lot to prove as a passer when he takes over.
Wayne (NY, NY)
Which will pose more trouble for KSU: the Orange offense or the weather?
David Ubben (3:26 PM)
Definitely the Orange offense. The weather kind of suits both of them. Kansas State's defense was awful most of the year. When North Texas is running for almost 300 yards against you, you've got problems.
Seth (Oklahoma City)
I'm sick and tired of everyone talking about Missouri.
David Ubben (3:27 PM)
Ha, well they're the only Big 12 team playing tonight.
Johnnie (St. Louis)
Have you heard anything about how Blaine Gabbert's younger brother is doing at Mizzou? He came in pretty lowly rated after his senior year in high school. Is he a serious candidate to replace Blaine?
David Ubben (3:28 PM)
He's a guy that stood out on the scout team during bowl practices, but right now, it seems pretty clear that the job is James Franklin's to lose after Gabbert leaves, whether that's after 2010 or 2011.
Wes (Salt Lake City)
What is your take on the Cotton Bowl. What do the Aggies have to do to pull out another win. If they are able to win it, where do they end and start next year in the rankings?
David Ubben (3:29 PM)
Well, I expect it to be pretty low-scoring. Maybe not 9-6, but both teams might finish with fewer than 20 points. Patrick Peterson can shut down Jeff Fuller. In a game like that, turnovers are a killer anywhere on the field, so obviously that's something to keep in mind. As for next year, the Aggies would probably slide comfortably in the 10-15 range to close the year and open next year in about the same spot.
I know Nebraska is moving to the Big 10, but what is your opinion on all these quarterbacks Nebraska has now? Before Nebraska had practically no quarterbacks and now they have all these quarterbacks now and more coming in. Will there ever be a set dominant quarterback at Nebraska?
David Ubben (3:31 PM)
Well, Taylor Martinez looked like "The Guy" early on this year, obviously, but the way he finished raised all kinds of questions. He's a freshman, yes, and should improve, but he has to develop as a passer in the offseason to really get a stranglehold on his job. Cody Green doesn't sound like he's going anywhere, and Jamal Turner sounds like a guy who loves competition. I'd be surprised if Bubba Starling ever plays a game for Nebraska, but he'll be fun to watch if he does.
Leon (Leadville, CO)
It's been amazing to me that Nebraska leaving the Big 12 has been extremely noisy. Yet the Colorado defection has been almost unnoticed. Is it fair to say that no one cares now or cared then that Colorado is leaving?
David Ubben (3:32 PM)
Well, it's about success. Nebraska has had it the last two seasons. Colorado hasn't. If this were 1990, Colorado leaving would be a much bigger deal. But when a team has struggled for the length that the Buffaloes have and aren't in contention to do a lot in their last year (vs. Nebraska, who was and did) then they'll take a back seat like they did.
Brett (Kansas City)
David, could Tulsa be a candidate to join the Big 12?
David Ubben (3:34 PM)
No. Fanbase is too small. Tulsa market is already small and dominated by OU and OSU. Also, the school has the smallest enrollment of any FBS program. If you ask me, the Big 12 should be bold if it wants to expand and go after Arizona and Arizona State. Fortune, they say, favors it.
Wes (Salt Lake City)
Back to the Aggies. Do you see Jeff Fuller leaving or staying with the potential NFL situation.
David Ubben (3:36 PM)
I think Fuller stays. He can get better. As far as I know, his family situation is solid when it comes to finances. And if Blackmon and Broyles leave, he'd be the frontrunner for the best receiver in the conference.
Tanner (Iowa )
so if iowa still had DJK and Arob, do you think they could win?
David Ubben (3:37 PM)
I think it'd be close. I just don't think Iowa's offense will be able to keep up with Missouri, who will try to neutralize Iowa's advantage up front as much as possible.
I know you are the Big 12 blogger, but what do think about Colorado's chance of success in the Pac-12 next year? With Richardson, Stewart, and Hansen, they have dangerous offense. They lost Smith and Brown in the secondary, but the defense is still pretty good and has some young talent.
David Ubben (3:38 PM)
We saw the Pac-10 look pretty top-heavy this year, so it's possible Colorado could maybe float to the top of that bottom tier, but they're still pretty far from a conference title contender.
Now that Dennard, David and probably Crick are returning next year, will Nebraska's defense be as good this year or potentially better? Ciante Evans looked impressive stepping in for Dennard...
David Ubben (3:39 PM)
Oh yeah, they'll be scary next year.
Early 2011 look ahead: Who will have the biggest impact as a true freshman running back? Herschel Sims, Brandon Williams, Aaron Green or Malcolm Brown?
David Ubben (3:40 PM)
Interesting question. For freshmen, it's about opportunity. Brown will get the most right away, so I'll say him.
Wow! Does the Big 12 really have a chance of getting ASU and Arizona?
David Ubben (3:43 PM)
It's possible. Don't forget, they've only been Pac-10 members since 1978. If you convince them that the money is worth it and better in the Big 12, you'd have to like your chances. That's the only real shot the Big 12 has (outside of the Notre Dame pipe dream) to make a big splash if it ever decided to go back to 12 members.
Yes, I'm sure Arizona or ASU would be very willing to leave the Pac 12 for the sinking ship that is the Big 12 -2.
David Ubben (3:44 PM)
Ah, but you forget that Arizona and ASU would be a pretty effective buoy. And while the Big 12 isn't the most stable of leagues, it's not exactly a sinking ship just yet.
I loves me my Yankees, but was it a mistake to establish the frickin' freezin' Pinstripe Bowl?
David Ubben (3:45 PM)
Ha, I really like the game, but I think fans are only going to want to go once in awhile. The bowl needs to change its conference affiliation often to really catch on, in my opinion. Steer clear of long-term contracts.
David Ubben (3:46 PM)
A couple more questions.
Kacey (Provo, UT)
Any chances you see of Big 12 going back to 12? If so where does BYU fit?
David Ubben (3:47 PM)
It won't right away. There's a lot of excitement for a 10-team league among the schools. We'll see how that works in practice. If not, BYU will get some serious consideration, along with places like Louisville.
Kris (Des Moines)
Sooners mental state for this game? Ready to go or dreaming about next year?
David Ubben (3:48 PM)
Nah, they seem pretty focused. They're pretty tired of all the BCS failure talk, and while beating Connecticut won't completely silence them--especially if it's a close win--it'll go a long way in quieting them.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Is Notre Dame still a pipe dream for any conference or is expansion making them rethink?
David Ubben (3:49 PM)
In a world with 16-team conferences, I think the Irish would have ended up in the Big Ten. Without them, they can thrive as an independent.
David Ubben (3:49 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. See you guys again next week.