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August 12, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Dave Ubben

David Ubben
  (1:00 PM)

Welcome to the chat, everybody. To quote one of our times' great sets of minds, the Black Eyed Peas, "Let's get it started."

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Starting Quarterback for Texas since Colt McCoy is Playing for the Cleveland Browns?

David Ubben
  (1:02 PM)

Some guy named Garrett Gilbert.

Susan (Boise)

Dave, what is the new name of the Big 12 going to be? Have you heard how the conference will identify themselves with only 10 teams in 2011?

David Ubben
  (1:03 PM)

They're going to stick with the Big 12 most likely, but commissioner Dan Beebe says they'll be researching other names. The Big Ten is staying the Big Ten, so you can rule that out, but they might go with a less number-specific regional name if they make a change. Though if I'm betting, I think it stays the Big 12.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Glad to see we have some educated chatters today.

David Ubben
  (1:04 PM)

Garrett Gilbert might be the most little-known, underground player in the Big 12. Nobody outside of Austin's ever heard of him.

David Ubben
  (1:04 PM)

Not unlike 2/3 of the bands in Austin.

Zac (KC)

Daniel Thomas over or under 1,350 yds this season

David Ubben
  (1:06 PM)

That's a tough one. I'll tentatively go with the over. Thomas is a former QB and still has a lot of potential to fulfill and a lot to learn about the position. He'll do some of that this year. But Kansas State has a nice O-line and the quarterback play isn't much to get excited about. Thomas will get his touches, and even after teams started locking down on him last year, he was still productive.

Vik (lubbock)

I kind of sense a bias to kansas state, have any ties?

David Ubben
  (1:06 PM)

Ha, Kansas State fans would disagree with you on that one. And no.

Big Mike (Born and bread in Cyclone Country)

Dave, What is your opinion on my beloved 'clones this year? Do we finish last in the North, or can we shock the world and win a few games?

David Ubben
  (1:07 PM)

I feel pretty bad for the Clones. They're going to be a good team this year, but with the nonconference schedule and games against Texas and OU, it's going to be tough for them to get back to a bowl game, even though they'll be better than a lot of teams who do. I'll say 4-5 wins for Iowa State.

Alex (Denver)

Are you buying the "2 deep at every position" talk by Baylor's Coach Art Briles?

David Ubben
  (1:09 PM)

Not quite, but I do agree that the Bears are deeper than they've been in a long time, and they have some top talent in guys like Robert Griffin and Kendall Wright. They need big years from Ahmad Dixon, Antonio Johnson and Phil Taylor.

Brian (Houston)

Jerrod wins the Heismen- what are the chances?

David Ubben
  (1:09 PM)

Unless Texas A&M beats Texas or OU and wins 10 or 11 games, not very good for him or anyone else in the Big 12.

Kevin Collins (Austin)

I thought of a couple names for the new Big 12...Super Southern Conference, Super Southwestern Conference, Central Athletic Conference...any of those hit the spot?

David Ubben
  (1:10 PM)

You're 0-for-3 there, but I'm open to more suggestions. I'll post the best--and worst, of course.

David Ubben
  (1:10 PM)

Those all sound like made-up NAIA conferences, which I covered briefly in colleges. Some of those have some LONG names.

clint (Oklahoma City)

Who has a better shot at winning at Kyle Field, OU or Nebraska?

David Ubben
  (1:11 PM)

OU, because if their defense slips up, they have the offense to keep up. If Nebraska gives up 28 points, they might be cooked down in College Station.

Orville (Lubbock)

David: To what extent does success at A&M depend on Jerrod Johnson having a great year as opposed to a good or average year? Thanks.

David Ubben
  (1:12 PM)

Not heavily. He just needs to have a good year. Top 3,000 yards, maybe a few hundred yards rushing. They'll win 7-8 games alone if he does that. What's going to take them to the next level is the defense. If it improves, 10-11 wins are a possibility. If not, reaching nine wins is going to be a stretch. It's not going to be easy in the South this year.

Grizam (Moscow)

I know this is a bit late...For the Texas @ Nebraska game:"The Second Cold War"1) It snowed last time Texas was there.2) Texas is forcing its capitalistic views on NU and others in its region.3) NU is looking to spread communism by expanding the big 10.4) Extra points for NU being the "Big Red" army.

David Ubben
  (1:14 PM)

Ha. There's a lot there, and I love the Moscow dateline. A lot of politically charged words there though, Grizam. I'm not touching that.

Scott (Lincoln)

What's your take on Brian Griese's ESPNU prediction that Nebraska will go 11-1?

David Ubben
  (1:15 PM)

Better hope the Huskers find a quarterback. If they do, he might be right. The schedule sets them up nicely to do it. The only games they might not be favored in are @Texas A&M and possibly Texas at home. But they very well could be favored in both of those.

Mike (Denver)

Hi Dave- Over/Under on 6 CU wins this year? I like the early practice reports this year but keep getting burned by Hawkins come regular season.

David Ubben
  (1:16 PM)

I'll take the under. I just don't see enough out of there that makes me think this year will be any different. Leave it up to Scotty McKnight to prove me wrong, though. He'll need another big year to help out his QBs.

sker (Omaha)

What are the odds you give the three contenders for the QB job at Nebraska in starting this season?

David Ubben
  (1:17 PM)

I think all three guys will get some snaps, but as for the guy who starts/plays the most this season, I'll go with this: Zac Lee (70 percent), Taylor Martinez (20 percent), Cody Green (10 percent)

David Ubben
  (1:17 PM)

That's not necessarily a reflection of what they've done. Mostly just my gut.

Brian (Houston)

I got one. The "Staying Together for the Kids" conferance

David Ubben
  (1:18 PM)

Ha. Send Beebe a letter with that one.

Matt (Philadelphia)

What's your take on people who schedule weddings in the fall?

David Ubben
  (1:18 PM)

Better do it on the night of an afternoon road game if you want anyone to come.

Donnie (OK)

How tall is your step stool when you interveiw players? I noticed in the videos of the BIGXII media days some where having a hard time talking into the mic>JHF

David Ubben
  (1:19 PM)

Actually, I did all my interviews without the aid of a stepstool. In fact, for most of them, we had all the players standing on a riser about a foot high so they didn't get intimidated by me. There's not a lot of 6-foot-7 members of the press.

Tony (Austin)

In your opinion, which Big 12 team has the best defense heading into the season?

David Ubben
  (1:21 PM)

I really think it's a complete toss-up between Texas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Oklahoma plays the tougher schedule and gets to see Christian Ponder, but Nebraska has to visit Jake Locker on the road. So from a purely statistical standpoint, I'll say Texas ranks the highest in total defense.

Brian (Houston)

How about the Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Conference

David Ubben
  (1:22 PM)

I hope you have your $25,000 fine check for the Big 12 office ready.

W (Anaheim, CA)

Any update on the QB battle at KSU?

David Ubben
  (1:23 PM)

There's been some whispers of conspiracy, that Bill Snyder held out Collin Klein for pure gamesmanship. I don't buy that, but Klein and Coffman look like they're neck-and-neck in camp. It's still too early.

Big G (Western Nebraska)

Better mustache: Landry Jones or Cameron Meredith?

David Ubben
  (1:25 PM)

I haven't gotten to see Meredith's but really, Jones' mustache all last year is just a misnomer. It's a light full beard, but his chin strap covered his...chin strap and made him look like he was mustachioed. But he says he's bringing it back this year, so he better loss the gruff elsewhere.

W (Anaheim, CA)

My vote for conference name change: Tornado Alley Conference

David Ubben
  (1:25 PM)

Weaaaaak. Although, if I had a better suggestion, I'd give it, so you've got me beat.

Big G (Western Nebraska)

What the buffet like at the media days?

David Ubben
  (1:26 PM)

Ha, no complaints. A solid three-day lineup of Italian, Mexican and BBQ.

Stephen (Tulsa)

Best coach in the Big 12?

David Ubben
  (1:27 PM)

Overall success: A push between Brown and Stoops. Maximizing talent: Snyder in a landslide.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

The Big Misnomer.

David Ubben
  (1:27 PM)

Now THAT'S a name for a conference.

David Ubben
  (1:28 PM)

Although the Big Ten didn't take it, so maybe the Big 12 can find a way to fit the shape of Texas in it's new logo. That or a Longhorn. I kid.

Nathan (Oklahoma City)

Dave, What's your fascination with jabbing at Oklahoma state? Over/under 7 wins for OSU this year...

David Ubben
  (1:29 PM)

Don't think I reserve jabs for Oklahoma State any more than any other school. I'll take the over with apologies to push.

Galen (Omaha)

Your gut call, who wins the Big 12 this year?

David Ubben
  (1:31 PM)

I'll say Texas right now, but if you made me bet a house on it, I'd probably go with Oklahoma. So, so close, and we won't know any better until maybe mid-September. Should know for sure the first weekend in October, though. Can't wait for that game.

Jason (Columbia)

What are the chances of Missouri winning the north against Nebraska?

David Ubben
  (1:32 PM)

Not great, mostly because they have to play in Lincoln and that tiebreaker is going to be tough to beat. If Missouri loses that game, Nebraska has to lose at least twice and Missouri probably has to win out to do it--which includes a game at Kyle Field. Missouri's best chance at winning the North is going 10-2 with a win at Nebraska and losses to Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Mike Gundy becomes a 43-year old man today. I think we all need to pay our respects.

David Ubben
  (1:33 PM)

Happy Birthday, Coach. I double-checked that one.

Brian (Iowa)

I"d say Cameron definitely has the better 'stache. You gotta check it out, Ubbs... Google it. Also, the Texas and Friends conference would definitely reflect where the power lies in that conference. Anyway, for my question, a recent pre season publication I saw said Nebraska had the top O Line in the Big 12... where would you rank the Huskers O Line?

David Ubben
  (1:34 PM)

I did a little research, and you're right. It's Meredith by a mile. Can I make a formal request for a handlebar by November? Make it happen, Husker fans.

Andrew (CoMo)

With WR Jackson out for a few games, what do you think the outlook is for T.J. Moe to step up early and become the prime target for Gabert?

David Ubben
  (1:35 PM)

Seems very good. I haven't gotten to see him much, but I've seen Wes Kemp a lot. He's solid, but I don't see him as a guy who's going to surpass 1,000 yards easily. The injury isn't fortunate for Missouri, but Moe's going to get his looks for sure now. And as of this morning, Jackson says he's planning on missing the Tigers first two games.

Stephen (Tulsa)

Who is your surprise team in the Big 12 conference this year?

David Ubben
  (1:36 PM)

Kansas State. They're not exciting. You can gameplan for them. But they get it done more often than not and they're going to be around. Eight wins?

Robert (Superior, CO)

Why are you so biased against ??? We had the best offseason ever and are having a great camp!

David Ubben
  (1:38 PM)

I get a lot of those. If you believe my mailbag, I hate everyone except Texas A&M and only write negative things about everything.

Robert (Superior, CO)

Dave,Over/Under that Tommy Tubberville once again says something to offend the league office.

David Ubben
  (1:39 PM)

Ha, I'll take the under. Tommy's a smart guy, and he wants to speak his mind, but he knows what's best for him, Texas Tech and the Big 12: Him not saying anything like that again. He won't.

Stephen (Tulsa)

Do you think preseason polls are necessary?

David Ubben
  (1:39 PM)

No. I hate them. Sign me up for polls beginning in October along with the BCS.

Ryan (Arlington)

Dave, you've been high on Tubbs ever since he got Derek David, LB for class of 2012. Why not the praise for Sherman and getting Dennis Smith, RB 2012? He's a bigger, faster, more elusive version of Malcolm Brown.

David Ubben
  (1:41 PM)

Because Texas Tech's 2011 class is way, way better than Texas A&M's as it stands. And Texas A

Brian (Houston)

If you could punch/drop kick one ESPN reporter, who would it be and why?

David Ubben
  (1:42 PM)

David Ubben. Sucks. Is so biased.

Galen (Omaha)

You're very confident on the south winning the conference again this year. Husker questions at quarterback the reasoning, or just overall talent and schedule?

David Ubben
  (1:43 PM)

Overall talent and history. If somebody's done something six times in a row, even with other contenders around, it's reasonable to think they'll do it a seventh time. Nebraska came close even without a QB last year, but I still think Texas and Oklahoma are better teams.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Just so you know, if you use two ampersands in a response, it cuts off at the second ampersand.

David Ubben
  (1:44 PM)

Good to know. Here's the rest of that Aggies response. And Texas A&M has a ton of good running backs, they don't need another. Texas Tech reeling in an elite defensive talent is something they haven't done in a long time, maybe ever. That signals a change, and it's a big deal in recruiting.

Jason (Houston, TX)

Will you be going to any games this fall? And if so which ones are you most excited about?

David Ubben
  (1:45 PM)

Yeah, I'll be somewhere different every weekend. Most excited about Nebraska-Texas, Texas-OU and Texas A&M-Nebraska.

Charlie (Turlock)

Do you see Iowa State beating either Iowa, Utah, Texas or Oklahoma?

David Ubben
  (1:46 PM)

Maybe Utah, but I really don't think they have a shot against the other three. Iowa's great and demolished the Cyclones in Ames last year. And Iowa State doesn't have the athletes on either line to compete with Texas or Oklahoma.

Brian (Ft Worth)

Over/under for points in the Mizzou/Texas A&M game: 90?

David Ubben
  (1:47 PM)

The under. I'll say 71.5 is the over-under.

Brad (Tyler, Tx)

In past blogs you've mentioned a potential openning weekend upset of SMU of Tx Tech and you has also said that Tx Tech could possible upset Texas in week 3, which upset do you think is more likely?

David Ubben
  (1:48 PM)

Probably Tech over Texas. I'll say 35 percent that one happens. Something like 25 percent SMU upsets Tech.

David (Iowa)

your wrong about iowa state anything can happen in a rivalry.

David Ubben
  (1:49 PM)

Maybe. I do subscribe to that theory--that rivalry games are pretty unpredictable--but Iowa sounds hungry and I'm excited to see what Adrian Clayborn can do against them this year. He was pretty frustrated with his performance last year.

Mike (Big D, TX)

Hot topic of the off season, evidently, charcoal or gas?

David Ubben
  (1:50 PM)

I usually stand around elsewhere while whoever's cooking figures that out beforehand.

Andrew (CoMo)

If you accept the assumption that the Big 12 will try to get to 12 teams again, what's more likely to drive the decision, market expantion or competitiveness of team? and who do you think the two front-runners are?

David Ubben
  (1:52 PM)

Well, first off, I don't accept that assumption. I don't see that happening in the near future. But the two candidates that make some sense competitively are TCU and Houston. Fiscally, probably BYU or Air Force or someone with some national appeal. But bringing any teams in like that just complicates things, which is one of many, many reasons it's not going to happen.

Stephen (Tulsa)

In favor of a playoff system?

David Ubben
  (1:53 PM)

My preference: Keep the bowls. Go back to four BCS bowls in their current format. Play three more games for a playoff between the four BCS winners.

Blake (Kansas City)

Is Bryce Brown worth all they hype?

David Ubben
  (1:54 PM)

Right now, based on what he did at UT, it doesn't seem like it. But if he shows up and runs for 1,000 yards at K-State, he'd prove us all wrong.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Are you going to do the October 9th doubleheader of Baylor-Tech at the Cotton Bowl and Arkansas-A&M at JerryWorld?

David Ubben
  (1:55 PM)

Unfortunately, I doubt it. Doing that off TV is easy. But with the amount of stuff we have to write/report, plus Dallas traffic, that's a logistical nightmare.

David Ubben
  (1:55 PM)

A couple more questions. Let's get some good ones in.

Moose (Lincoln, NE)

David, do you see Texas sticking with the plan to run the ball more? Even last year when they were able to run the ball they seemed to abandon it within the next drive. And they've got some good defenses to play early on.

David Ubben
  (1:57 PM)

It's going to depend on Garrett Gilbert. If he's just good, and the offensive line gets things going, then yeah, they'll stick to the run. But if he proves--like Colt did--that he can be incredibly accurate and finds a couple receivers who can play like Colt had, then the spread might come back to life in Austin by mid-October.

troy (ATL, GA)

Cowboy Conference? Open Range Conference? Desert Steppe Conference?

David Ubben
  (1:58 PM)

0-for-3.

Jeff (Vermont)

Does ISU sandbagging count as an NCAA practice? Or can they get some sort of waiver for this required team activity under direction of a coach? I wish I were joking.

David Ubben
  (1:58 PM)

I assume that does not count as a practice, but that's actually a really, really interesting question. They did practice in the afternoon, but I believe they had two practices scheduled for Wednesday anyway.

Arod ((Lubbock, TX))

Do you think Coach Mike Leach will ever coach in the Big 12 (new name - Power 10) and if so, where?

David Ubben
  (2:00 PM)

It's possible, but the coach on the hottest seat is switching conferences at the end of the year, so if he wants to be back in the Big 12, he might have to wait awhile. One suggestion: if Kevin Sumlin takes a major job after 2010, Houston might be a good spot to get back into the game.

David Ubben
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks for all the questions. It was a fun one today. See you all next week.