Chat with David Ubben
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
David Ubben (3:01 PM)
Chat playlist is keyed up. Weekend is close. Let's do this thing. Fire away, folks.
I know stats aren't everything, but can you explain why Patrick Peterson is considered a better prospect (although not by much) than Prince Amukamara despite the fact that Amukamara has had better numbers (especially thi past season) when it comes to INT's and Passes Defended? Are teams just throwing Amukamara's way more than Peterson's? Does Amukamara take more risks (going for INT's) and give up more big plays?
David Ubben (3:03 PM)
Well, that's not true. Amukamara is a great corner, but he didn't have a pick this year, mostly because teams didn't throw his way very much. I believe heading into the bowls, he'd been thrown at 43 times and given up 13 receptions. As for Peterson, I think a lot of it is his size and speed, both superior to Amukamara. That said, you're talking about a very negligible difference between the two. Both are likely to be top 10 picks. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
David: I didn't get your remark about "sliding into Bolivian." I guess that was a pun? Please expain. Also, I don't see how 7 tackles, 1 for a loss, was a bad performance. Yes, Lavonte David had many games with better numbers, but 7 & 1 isn't chopped liver and couldn't possibly be the worst bowl performance.
David Ubben (3:04 PM)
It wasn't terrible, but he didn't perform at the level he had the rest of the year, and his team really needed him to. As for the reference, I linked it if you're not up on your Mike Tyson quotage.
Orville (Lubbock TX)
Would Justin Blackmon's run parallel to the end zone result in a disqualifying penalty next year?
David Ubben (3:06 PM)
Actually, based on what Walt Anderson, the Big 12's officiating head, told The Oklahoman earlier this week, it doesn't sound like it. As long as he doesn't gesture to his opponent or do something with the ball, they don't want to "get inside guys heads" and try to figure out why someone does something. That said, his intent wasn't pure. He didn't complain when an Arizona player gave him a cheap shot him later in the game, presumably because he knew why the guy did it.
Bruce (Columbus, GA)
Mallett vs Gabbert in the draft - who would you pick?
David Ubben (3:07 PM)
I'd go Gabbert. Arm strength is negligible. Decision making is mostly good, outside of a few high-profile interceptions. But Gabbert is better between the ears, which is obviously a big deal at the next level.
Who would you start? Sensational Cyrus Gray or crazy Christine Michael?
David Ubben (3:07 PM)
What about magnificent Mister Jones?
Will next year's Big 12 race be the most competitive in the league? A resurgent AtM and building Ok State seem to be the difference.
David Ubben (3:09 PM)
Very well could be. Oklahoma is the clear favorite, but it's got a huge bullseye on its back with a few teams that look capable of hitting it. Clearly, OSU and A&M are at the top of that list, but Texas could get in the game next year, and Missouri could be a factor too, depending on what it gets out of its quarterback.
who do you see as the top 5 big 12 draft picks in april?
David Ubben (3:11 PM)
The league should have a handful of first-rounders in April. My guess at their order: P. Amukamara, B. Gabbert, V. Miller, N. Solder.
Pat Bateman (Manhattan)
Do you like Phil Collins?
David Ubben (3:11 PM)
Ha. No, not particularly.
must have jeff fuller info. please!!
David Ubben (3:12 PM)
All quiet on that front today. Tomorrow is the deadline, so I'd keep an eye out. Still plenty of time today to make an announcement, too.
David, how do you feel about Waffles as they pertain to Aggie Football? Or college football in general?
David Ubben (3:13 PM)
More of a french toast man, myself.
what's the deal with all the underclassmen sticking around? is the lockout looming that large on their decisions?
David Ubben (3:15 PM)
We'll see. It's going to depend. I don't think it's the largest factor, but guys definitely need to do their research. Jeff Fuller told me last week nobody could tell him anything definitive. Some people say it's definitely going to happen. Some say it won't. That doesn't help. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon both said it didn't have any factor on their decisions? Any? I call bluff there. But I don't think it was the biggest reason. I think they were honest about the biggest reason: They've got something special next year at OSU and could make a big run.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
David, I hurd Macki Brown say after the Rice game that he was upset with the lack of intensity that his team and coaches showed. That seemed to plauge Texas all year, even Muschamp had lost his typical side line fire. It looks in the new coaches Brown has brought in that this was a major issue. They are all young and full of energy.
David Ubben (3:17 PM)
That's definitely something it looked like he wanted. Also, defensively with Diaz and Bo Davis, he wanted some SEC sensibility like Muschamp had. Harsin is an interesting hire, and all three look good on paper, but it's hard to give a solid review until we see something, either in spring or next year.
Scott (Portland, TX)
I have heard that DeRuyter is interviewing with Tulsa for the HC position? What have you heard and who else might be courting our highly touted DC?
David Ubben (3:18 PM)
True. Sounds like Billy Blankenship is going to get the gig now, according to reports out of Tulsa. DeRuyter hadn't really been getting a lot of attention from other schools this offseason, but Tulsa came on late. Always a good sign if that happens, though. It means you're doing something right that other people want for their program.
Who you rockin' on your playlist? If you're like me it would be George Strait followed up by Wocka Flocka! I know...I'm weird.
David Ubben (3:18 PM)
Ha. Not so much. Today's kind of a Black Keys/Broken Bells kind of day.
Alan (Boerne, TX (Amman Rd.))
Is 2011 the year Texas finally gets a league-average tightend and rusher for the first time in nearly half a decade?
David Ubben (3:19 PM)
I'll say no. I think it could be tough sledding for UT's offense again next year. 2012, maybe. I think Malcolm Brown will walk in as a freshman and get significant carries, but I don't think he'll have huge success until he can make some adjustments to the speed of the game.
Travis C. (Lake Highlands)
What is the best you can imagine Texas doing next year, and what is the most likely win total for the re-tooled Horns?
David Ubben (3:20 PM)
Well, I could see them winning the Big 12. I wouldn't bet on it, but they definitely have the upside to do it. My guess for them is 8-9 wins next year, though.
Any chance you can see Iowa State surprise next season? It seems like the groundwork is there....
David Ubben (3:22 PM)
Well, it's like I wrote today. You win in the Big 12 with quarterbacks. They're breaking in a new one next year, probably Jerome Tiller but maybe not. Tiller showed a lot as a freshman, but didn't really look fantastic in the time he got this year when Austen Arnaud was hurt. He has to get better for that to happen, but I could see ISU making a bowl again.
justin (oklahoma city)
How big will the loss of Orie Lemon be on the Cowboys next season? Given that their offense will still be a powerhouse, will key losses on defense prevent them from getting stronger on D as a whole?
David Ubben (3:24 PM)
It's their biggest loss, in my opinion. As for the offense, unless they hire Mike Leach, I think you have to keep an eye out for at least a little slippage. I think they'll be one of the league's best offenses still, but asking them to replicate the numbers they put up this year with a new coordinator is asking a lot. Dana Holgorsen is the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. Those guys made a lot of plays, but Holgorsen helped put them in position to make them.
Kris (Des Moines)
Most likely expansion scneario....1) Big 12 pulls a miracle and gets ND then throws in L'ville..2) Big 12 pulls an even bigger miracle and get Arky and LSU..3) Big 12 takes the first two schools they pick out of a hat the first time Texas or OU gets jobbed out a NCG bid because they don't play a title game anymore?
David Ubben (3:26 PM)
Well, none of those three things are going to happen, but probably No. 3, followed from way behind by No. 1. No. 2 simply won't happen ever.
Tyler (Eden Prairie, MN)
Rich Rod to Nebraska as offensive coordinator.. Does it make sense? I mean Nebraska is trying to play a spread offense under Watson. But he doesn't get the results he needs. Rich Rod is a master of the spread and looking for a job.. Bo Pelini defense + Rich Rod offense could be golden.
David Ubben (3:26 PM)
That actually makes a lot of sense at Nebraska. Certainly a lot more so than at OSU, where I've heard people tossing out the idea.
Texas Tech didnt finish last in your big 12 standings....im waiting for my sorry that u promised me before the season when I said we wouldnt
David Ubben (3:28 PM)
Ha. First off, I picked them 9th in the Big 12 and last in the South before moving them up to 4th before the season. They finished fifth, thanks to A&M beating Texas in the season finale. Hardly warrants an apology. My reasoning: The transition to Tuberville wouldn't go well, but wouldn't keep them from finishing .500. I thought all six South teams would make bowl games.
Ross (Richmond, VA)
What did you think of Josh Heupel's play calling in the Fiesta Bowl? Do you expect any significant play calling changes from the Kevin Wilson era?
David Ubben (3:29 PM)
I thought it was really, really good. I wouldn't expect any changes. I talked to Heupel briefly at the coaching convention this week, and he said he felt really comfortable with everything against Connecticut. I wouldn't expect that to change.
newt (ft sill, ok)
Will either Broyles or Blackmon be early favorites for the Hiesman next year?
David Ubben (3:31 PM)
No, definitely not. Borderline impossible to win as a receiver. Both should be Biletnikoff finalists again, most likely, but Landry Jones will get some serious play for the Heisman. Weeden could play himself in it with some wins, too, probably.
Kevin (Houston, TX)
Looking at the Aggies next year, what is the biggest weakness you see for them on both sides of the ball? And how much of that is being addressed in the currently class?
David Ubben (3:33 PM)
Probably linebacker on defense. Losing Hodges and Miller will hurt. On offense, definitely at center. Matt Allen was a senior making the calls, and he'll be tough to replace. Replacing people physically won't be the challenge for the Aggies next year, it's replacing guys mental capacity like Hodges and Allen.
do you think tcu made a good choice to go to the big east
David Ubben (3:34 PM)
Yes. Definitely. I don't believe the Big 12 will invite them anytime soon, but if it did, the Horned Frogs would drop the Big East pretty dang quick.
Whats the best Big 12 non conference matchups this coming year?
David Ubben (3:35 PM)
A lot of the same ones from 2010, actually. A&M-Arkansas in Dallas could be two top 15 teams. Florida State-Oklahoma in Tallahassee could be two top 5 teams. TCU-Baylor could be a good one, even though it wasn't last year.
Reason (Ubben's head)
Texas is Texas. There is no way that they can do bad and not win. They are Texas after all. Nevermind that they have no character, they are soft and are replacing their OC and DC and are losing their only running threat (Newton) and best Defender in Williams. But... they're Texas
David Ubben (3:39 PM)
You're crazy if you think Newton is their best runner. He wasn't any more consistent than Fozzy Whittaker or Cody Johnson, and like Marcus Lattimore and Michael Dyer showed us this year, freshmen running backs can have a HUGE impact on teams. That's a big reason for the excitement surrounding Malcolm Brown. As for no character and being soft, none of that seemed to hurt them over the past decade. How quickly people forget the Longhorns' sustained success under Mack Brown with one awful season. Replacing a guy like Colt McCoy isn't easy, especially when you build your entire offense around him. They're not replacing anyone as indispensable as him this year. Also, Sam Acho was unquestionably their best defender this year, not Aaron Williams. Both are gone, yes, but Texas has a ton of talent behind them with a lot to prove in 2011.
I just looked up Black Keys/Broken Bells and I can say you and I will not be going to a concert together anytime soon, my friend...
David Ubben (3:41 PM)
Ha. George Strait isn't quite up my alley, Jeff. Apologies. Must have left my cowboy hat back in Arkansas.
What do you think of Aldon Smith's decision to enter the draft? Can he impress enough people at the combine to go on the first day, or does he slip to day two?
David Ubben (3:42 PM)
I thought it was a questionable call. He's raw athletically and still has a lot to learn. He'll probably get a boost at the combine when he shows just how crazy athletic he is, but he's coming off a bit of a letdown year and could have been well-served by another year in the college game.
David Ubben (3:42 PM)
And if you're not a guaranteed first-rounder, it's really questionable any time you leave early, especially as a sophomore.
Luke (South Carolina)
Is there any chance that Justin Tuggle takes over the starting QB job at K-State next year and performs near the levels of his fellow Blinn College alums, Cam Newton and Michael Bishop?
David Ubben (3:45 PM)
Interesting link. I haven't seen him play, but it would seem that the K-State quarterback job is Collin Klein's to lose in 2011.
Napoleon (Preston, ID)
Why doesn't the Big 12 pick up Boise State and BYU to replace Colorado and Nebraska? They are worthy programs and offer new TV markets.
David Ubben (3:47 PM)
BYU is a possibility, but it sounds like it's pretty bent on giving this independence thing a try. Boise makes no sense. They bring nothing but football competition. Folks aren't exactly clamoring for the Boise TV market. I'll stick to what I've been saying for a few months now: You want to make a big, realistic splash? Go get Arizona and Arizona State.
Are you going to answer that BSU/BYU/TCU question every single week?
David Ubben (3:48 PM)
Probably. Seems like the hunger is there. I get it at least 10 or so times every week.
David Ubben (3:49 PM)
A couple more questions...let's make 'em count.
Steve (West Virginia)
So why didn't the Big XII go after Arizona and Arizona State?
David Ubben (3:50 PM)
For now, the league is excited for and satisfied with a 10-team alignment. The same amount of money guaranteed, and passing it out to two fewer teams is obviously attractive. Come 2014, with a new TV contract about to be negotiated, the conversation might change.
Drew (Las Vegas)
Hey to defend you against your own "Reason", you answered my question last week saying Texas would not be in any top 25 poll you filled out next season to start
David Ubben (3:51 PM)
Very true. I think Texas will get back to moderate success next year, but they have to prove it. No way will I put them on any top 25 ranking until they get something rolling early in the season or just look immaculate in their first few games.
Top 5 Qb's in the Big 12 err... ten or whatever next season?
David Ubben (3:54 PM)
Quick survey: 1a) Brandon Weeden 1b) Landry Jones 3) Robert Griffin III 4) Ryan Tannehill. After that, I'm not even ranking guys. It gets ugly. Maybe it's the next guy in line at Missouri or Texas Tech. IT could even be Garrett Gilbert. Seriously. Look around. It could get ugly at QB in the Big 12 next year. Wondering why OU, OSU and A&M look like the three biggest favorites next year? Well, there you go.
You think the Diamond formation will become more popular with all the spread teams out there? OU and OSU certainly proved it is a dangerous formation this year.
David Ubben (3:56 PM)
I'd expect teams with some depth at RB to toy with it. It won't become the new Wildcat, because all the Wildcat takes is a really fast guy and a really good runner. But I'd be surprised if OU and OSU are still the only teams running it next year.
Kris (Des Moines)
You mean Landry Jones.......................................then Weeden..right..
David Ubben (3:57 PM)
Coin flip. Weeden has a stronger arm, in my opinion. Jones takes care of it a little better. Both very accurate. Could make a case either way, really. Seems to me that Jones' mistakes, when he makes them, are bigger back-breakers. For that reason, I tend to lean Weeden.
David Ubben (3:57 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. Good chat today, folks. See you again next week.