Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 2, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Ubben

David Ubben
  (3:01 PM)

Time to get this party started. Suit up, everybody.

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

First, a few quick words. I've gotten a pile of e-mails over the last 16 hours about the sentence regarding Bo Pelini that read: "What he can control is how his players are coached to play."

David Ubben
  (3:04 PM)

In no way was I implicating that Pelini is teaching his team dirty tactics. I can see how it read that way, but it wasn't my intention. My point was that the team has had two hits come into question in two weeks, and he won't be changing how players are coached. The Eric Martin hit was illegal, but to call it dirty is going too far. The Courtney Osborne hit was clean.

David Ubben
  (3:04 PM)

Anyway, let's get to the questions.

Fred Akers (Austin)

Ten months ago the Horns played for the National Championship, yet now they struggle to become Bowl Eligible. Has any other school that played for the title ever fallen as fast as Texas? Thanks.

David Ubben
  (3:06 PM)

Well, what you have is a round of talent on offense that hasn't developed, but that's bound to happen at some point. The defense obviously has a ton of talent who has developed, but it isn't producing. They're prone to stretches of really poor play, and that's cost them at least three games this year. All that said, Texas is an average team at best this year.

James (Stillwater)

Do you see Robert Griffin III having a big day passing like Taylor Martinez did against the OSU secondary?

David Ubben
  (3:08 PM)

I do, but Oklahoma State's going to put big points up, too. I didn't really get why everyone thought K-State and Oklahoma State were going to play a high-scoring game. I think I picked it like 34-17 OSU. This week could get out of hand, though. Make sure that scoreboard has room for triple digits.

chris (stillwater ok)

what do u think ok state has to do to win the big 12 south

David Ubben
  (3:09 PM)

How's "win" sound?

Trevor (Nebraska)

Hey Ubbs, any idea why Jerrod Johnson has tanked so badly this season? Was there any indication this would happen last year?

David Ubben
  (3:11 PM)

None at all, but my theory is he feels fine, even though his arm strength isn't what it once was. Watching this year vs. last year, that's pretty obvious. The only variable from this year to last year is really the offseason shoulder surgery. Only one of the four interceptions against Oklahoma State was a bad decision.

Josh (NC)

With NU 7th and OU 8th, any chance at all either will be in the National Championship picture at the end of the season? A few more upsets and it could happen...right?

David Ubben
  (3:12 PM)

In theory, they are, but they're going to need a LOT of help. Right now, I think it ends up being Oregon and Boise State, even though TCU is more deserving this year. But obviously, we should take the last five years and a bowl game played last January into account, right?

Terry (Norman)

Is roy finch a better back then demarco murray?

David Ubben
  (3:13 PM)

Different back. I'll have more on that later this week.

Bo (Omaha, NE)

Dave, was that your final visit to Lincoln? How much will you miss it?

David Ubben
  (3:14 PM)

It was, most likely. Enjoyed it. I've said all along Memorial Stadium is the best place in the Big 12 to watch a game, and Lincoln's a great city. Got a taste of Omaha on Friday, too.

Scoreboard Operator (Stillwater, OK)

(sigh), it's gonna be a long day Saturday...will we see over 100 points in this game?

David Ubben
  (3:15 PM)

Don't rule it out.

Allan (Stillwater)

Who is poised to have a bigger passing game this weekend, Weeden or Griffin?

David Ubben
  (3:16 PM)

Once they both hit 400 yards, the rest is just gravy. I think Bud Wilkinson famously said that once. Maybe it was Tom Osborne.

Andrew (San Diego)

Hey Dave, saw your piece on the Baylor wide receivers. What amazes me is that they are all sophmores or younger with the exception on Kendall Wright. They will all be back next year, RGIII will be too and the defense will be better. Its gonna be one crazy offense. How legit do you think the Bears will be next year???

David Ubben
  (3:17 PM)

No kidding. I hadn't fully comprehended all of that until I started looking at all of those guys. For whatever Baylor achieves this year, they should only duplicate or exceed it next year. The defense can only get better...I think. They got off to a nice start, but they've played pretty poorly for big stretches this year.

Randon (Stillwater)

Can Blackmon still get an invite to the Heisman presentation after missing last week?

David Ubben
  (3:18 PM)

Yeah, how you finish is the most important thing, and Blackmon is getting ready to play one of three important games that will decide where Oklahoma State finishes in the South.

David Ubben (SportsNation (one week ago today))

Hey future me: I'm thinking of picking Missouri 31 Nebraska 27, but I'm just not feeling good about it and I'm thinking I may end up looking dumb. What should I do?

David Ubben
  (3:19 PM)

Switch that Baylor-Texas pick, too.

Bobby (Waco, Texas)

Hey D_Magic, what happened to Mizzou's O line that was supposed to be so good?

David Ubben
  (3:21 PM)

The O-line didn't play well, but they weren't awful. Gabbert had a lot of time to throw on a lot of occasions, even though the Tigers could never establish (or rather, didn't try to establish, for whatever reason) the running game. But all the time in the world doesn't matter when the receivers can't get open. Nebraska's secondary played fantastic.

Tyler (Omaha, NE)

Hey David, is there any feeling in your gut that tells you that Nebraska will get upset by their next four opponents? I fear that Nebraska will somehow in someway that Nebraska will have a bad mentality at home and lose to Kansas to Turner Gill.

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

Uh, no. The most likely upset is at Texas A&M, who might have found a new mojo with Ryan Tannehill. It's not impossible this weekend, considering last year's game, but I wouldn't bet on either actually happening. A

Josh (Odessa tx)

Have you ever seen a dual threat QB like Ryan Tannehill, by dual I mean can throw for 400yds, but if necessary can go out and catch for 200yds?

David Ubben
  (3:24 PM)

I talked to him this morning, actually. The Aggies are working on a flea flicker for later this season that will feature Tannehill handing off to himself, pitching it back to himself, and then hitting himself on a deep post over the middle, a la Dallas Clark Madden commercial awhile back.

Josh (Kansas)

Does the Big 12 have the worst referees in the country?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

Yes. So does the SEC, ACC, Big East, Pac-10 and the Big Ten. Ask around. Everybody thinks that. No complaint gets older faster. Give it a rest. Officials miss calls.

Cooper (Columbia)

Do you think Mizzou spent too much time worrying about Martinez last week in practice and just completely neglected the fact that Helu Jr. could run all over them given the chance? All I saw was the outside linebackers filling the same gaps as the D-ends/our secondary getting absolutely burnt once Helu got to the 2nd level... is he that good or did Nebraska just expose a serious flaw in Mizzou's D?

David Ubben
  (3:29 PM)

That was an interesting part of that game, actually. Missouri did a fantastic job of shutting down Martinez, and not letting him get into the open field. There were a couple times when he'd reverse field on a scramble, but Missouri defenders were there to cover it. I'm sure Missouri wasn't surprised that Nebraska has quality backs; that's no secret in this league. Helu definitely showcased some speed. The loss of Dominique Hamilton definitely didn't help Missouri's defense.

Jeff (Virginia)

Fun fact. Only the Big 12 and the Big East can mathmatically have ally their teams finish 6-6 or better. Very unlikely but mathmatically possible.

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

Interesting. I'm more concerned with the bowl eligibility. There's a good shot 10 Big 12 teams qualify, and there's only eight tie-ins. If the Big 12 only gets one BCS team, there's a good chance a bowl-eligible team gets left at home.

jay (vermont)

David,Can u tell me who your flavor of the week is? A couple weeks ago it was Oklahoma. Last week is was Missouri. (Coincidentally, that's the last two places you had a job). Second question: How can you possibly not have Nebraska #1 in the power rankings? Nebraska beat Missouri who beat Oklahoma. Maybe it's because you're extremely biased toward Nebraska. If you look back at the last two games Nebraska played there have been an equal amount of questionable hits on T. Martinez that you (or the national media) have failed to discuss.

David Ubben
  (3:34 PM)

I'm sorry for being impressed by a team that was No. 1 in the country, and then being impressed by the team that beat the No. 1 team in the country. Oklahoma is a more complete team than Nebraska, and played a more difficult nonconference schedule. Additionally, they've demolished two teams and beat Texas. They lost on the road by nine to a really good team in Missouri. Meanwhile, Nebraska didn't play a very difficult nonconference schedule (see: Washington last week) and has played well in conference, but that loss to Texas was really, really bad, and only looking worse by the week.

Max (Cairo)

I feel a little bit like you keep making excuses for why mizzou lost saturday? Was nebraska not the better team on the field?

David Ubben
  (3:35 PM)

You guys are feisty today. There's no question Missouri played its worst game of the year defensively, but Nebraska had a lot to do with that. The offensive line played great, the backs played well, and the defense completely locked down Missouri's offense.

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

So, in short, yes. Nebraska was 100 percent the better team on the field.

T Gill (Lawrence)

Is it basketball season yet?

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

Tonight in most places. Exhibition season will surely be welcomed in Lawrence. And probably outdraw the football games.

Huskerfan (Douglasville GA)

Who are currently your Big 12 Offensive and Defensive players of the year?

David Ubben
  (3:38 PM)

Gotta come back tomorrow for that one, Huskerfan.

Sean (Columbia)

If Nebraska beats Okalahoma in the Big 12 Championship does Mizzou get the nod for a BCS Bowl

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

Missouri would have to win out, but if a two-loss Oklahoma that didn't have a head-to-head win over Missouri went to a BCS bowl over the Tigers, they'd have a major, legitimate gripe.

Tom (South Bend)

What QB do you want on your team right now? Martinez, Jones, Griffin, or Gabbert?

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

Hard to beat the run-pass combo of Griffin.

Mike (Lincoln)

David, Love your work. What do you think happens if Nebraska and Missouri both win out but the Huskers lose in the Big 12 title game? Are we going to have a Missouri/Kansas problem from a few years ago?

David Ubben
  (3:40 PM)

I think Nebraska goes in that case, but there's still a lot of variables involved. There's still a decent shot the Big 12 only gets one BCS bid.

Jay's Dad (Vermont)

Im sorry my son is not very smart! He doesn't realize that oklahoma beat texas who beat Nebraska AT HOME! My apologies ill send him to bed with no dinner!

David Ubben
  (3:41 PM)

Ha. The rule is constant here, both in chats and mailbags. Make me laugh, you get posted.

Kevin (KCMO)

Have you ever met a Husker that didn't turn everything you say into a rip on their program? That's been a theme on this chat all season whether they're up or down.

David Ubben
  (3:42 PM)

Seems to be a theme of late.

robo (lincoln)

Do you agree with Tom Shatels assessment "The Big 12 opened Pandora's Box with the suspension of Eric Martin last week" ?

David Ubben
  (3:44 PM)

I do. I don't want the league to be looking over a handful of hits every week. Personally, I think suspensions should be reserved solely for dangerous, malicious and illegal hits. There's no doubt in my mind the NFL has heavily influenced this, but nobody in the Big 12 is making the kind of hits James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather made. None even in the same league, really.

Andrew (San Diego)

With all the excitement and all the good teams and all the electrifying players in the Big 12 this year, thank god the Big 12 remained intact. Just think, an up and coming Baylor would have been left hanging, a mediocre Texas team would be eaten up by West Coast teams, and who knows what else.

David Ubben
  (3:45 PM)

There's a certain amount of irony in that, I will say. One of the teams (Baylor) preparing to brace for a rough few years in a new conference taking down this summer's belle of the ball.

Sean (Columbia)

Knock out a terrible Mizzou start and Mizzou out played nebraska the last 3 quarters, I know its no excuse but Mizzou did not get dominated that whole game.

David Ubben
  (3:47 PM)

A lot of problems with that theory. One, Nebraska played without Taylor Martinez for the second half. Two, with a 24-0 lead, that changes a lot about playcalling and aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. And three...24-0! That's one of the worst quarters by any team this year. Utah outscored Iowa State 31-0 in the second quarter of a game this year, and the gap between Missouri and Nebraska looked pretty enormous in that first quarter.

Dan (St. Peter, MN)

You keep saying OU is a "more complete team" then Nebraska. How so? PLease don't talk about the "three headed monster" that is OU, Nebraska's "three headed monster" is a lot scarier, and faster. Sorry for being feisty :)

David Ubben
  (3:49 PM)

Oklahoma can run it. They can throw it--and have proved it--more adeptly than Nebraska. Nebraska's defense is slightly better across the board--especially in the secondary--but Oklahoma's defense is capable of playing just as well when it plays well. When Nebraska's running game got shut down against Texas, the team basically imploded and needed a miracle punt return for a touchdown just to get in the end zone once. Oklahoma was up 14-0 on Texas on a neutral site midway through the first quarter.

Andrew (San Diego)

Robert Griffin is #6 according to Yahoo Sports, #5 according to ESPN experts and you did a fine article of his heisman hopes. I think RGIII may be the top heisman candidate in terms of maturity, humility, and work ethic. The guy is unbelievable.

David Ubben
  (3:51 PM)

Really true. A great representative of the sometimes cliche concept of the "student-athlete." The former doesn't have a big effect on the Heisman race, but he's done plenty in the latter to receive consideration.

Jay's Grandpa (Vermont)

I'm sorry MY son isn't very smart. He doesn't realize that nebraska beat missouri who beat oklahoma. And he doesn't realize that these comparisons mean nothing and we wont know whos better until the two teams play.

David Ubben
  (3:52 PM)

Ha. Getting generational up in here. But thanks for bringing some sense to all this. It's not like the gap between Nebraska and Oklahoma is that wide anyway. We're talking about 1-2 spots in the BCS standings.

jay (vermont)

Thanks Grandpa!!!

Dan Miller (Omaha)

How does Bo Pelini come across to outsiders regarding his passion?

David Ubben
  (3:54 PM)

I love the fist pumps, for starters. Guy could care less about the media. He just wants to win football games. Fine by me.

Melissa (Nebraska)

Speaking of Pandora's Box, does Nebraska lose another player to suspension this week? It would be a real shame if they did.

David Ubben
  (3:56 PM)

Well, last week kind of came out of nowhere. Nobody was really talking about the play being reviewed. This week, it's the opposite. I'd be surprised if Osborne gets suspended. If he does, I'll be chiming in for sure. Absolutely should not be suspended for that hit.

Britt Fisher (Austin Texas )

Everyone is on the Baylor bandwagon, they still have the hardest part of the schedule to play to finish out the season. They could still loose 3 or even 4 games.

David Ubben
  (3:57 PM)

They definitely could...but go back and read what you just wrote. Still remarkable.

Dave (Aurora, NE)

Uh...Oklahoma can throw it? Technically yes... But do I need to look up who has a better passer rating and less touchdowns for you? Landry has layed allot of eggs this year.

David Ubben
  (3:59 PM)

Say what? Please do. Only one QB (Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden) has thrown more TDs than Jones this year, and they're tied in passing yards.

jaschrem (Missouri)

Has the big 12 completed the requested review of the Courtney Osborne hit and non fumble (forward progress had been stopped)?

David Ubben
  (4:00 PM)

I believe the Martin suspension was announced on Wednesday of last week, so I'd expect similar timing this week.

Raymond (Pascagoula, MS)

Just wanted to inform you that MSU DE Nick Bell just passed away after losing his battle with cancer. If you and everyone could keep his family and the MSU family in your thoughts, it would be much appreciated.

David Ubben
  (4:01 PM)

Will do. I hope you'll all do the same.

Landry Jones (Norman)

Why do I have so many haters? I just threw for 450 yards and people here still think I'm terrible. Can they just not get over Sam Bradford?

David Ubben
  (4:02 PM)

Well, crunch time is when quarterbacks earn their reputation. For all the big numbers, Oklahoma didn't get it done in close games last year, and the fourth quarter against Missouri didn't help that. No doubt you're a good one, but the criticisms mostly stem from there.

David Ubben
  (4:02 PM)

Thanks for the questions everybody. See you again next week. Enjoy the games this weekend.