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February 8, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Ubben

David Ubben
  (3:00 PM)

Hey, everybody. We're back again. Playlist is ready. Fingers loose. What's on your mind today?

Jimmy K (Toronto)

David, I'm probably like the rest of the Longhorn faithful because I have not been this excited for Spring Football since Mack took over in '98. So, question is, how fluid do the you think the switch to Harsin/Applewhite is gong to be for the offense?

David Ubben
  (3:01 PM)

It should be exciting. I don't think you're alone in that, Jimmy. As for the switch, there's no way of knowing right now. I think we'll get a sense once players start talking during spring practice. About the second week, I think the answer to that question starts to become apparent.

Ben (Manhattan, KS (Little Apple))

Tate Forcier to K State? Would he have to sit out a year? That would be a great fit, don't you think?

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

Yeah, he would. As for the fit, I'm not sure it's a great one. Forcier might be more talented than the guys K-State has on campus now, but his presence might be a bit of a distraction during the season and he definitely comes from Michigan with a bit of baggage. I'm sure K-State would be thrilled to get him, but they won't feel too terrible if they don't.

Nick Thompson (Columbia, MO)

How will Missouri transition from James Franklin to Blaine Gabbert? What impact will losing Gabbert have on the Missouri offense and what will Franklin have to do to step in effectively?

David Ubben
  (3:05 PM)

Well, that's assuming Franklin wins the job, which is absolutely not a given right now. I've said it a few times, but it's going to come down to accuracy and decision-making more than anything. I'm not sure Franklin's running ability will do much for him. In 2010, it allowed him to offer a change of pace to Missouri's offense and get some playing time, but the full-time starter has to be the guy who can deliver the ball to playmakers most often.

Bruce (Columbus, Georgia)

Coaching changes might help Nebraska but I wonder if the or at least one of the problems isn't more basic. Penalties, fumbles, and dropped passes hurt the Huskers as much as anything else. Don't they need their coaches to address these problems more than just replacing folks?

David Ubben
  (3:06 PM)

I'd say doing the second certainly helps the first. Nebraska just hasn't had the production or development out of receivers you would expect, with the talent they've had on campus.

Derek (Nebraska)

do you think nebraska will have a good chance to win the big 12 next year?

David Ubben
  (3:07 PM)

Sure, why not, right?

Nick T (Omaha/NE)

Why are there so many people hating on you for still covering NU football? Its your job, and you do have a secret love for us lol. Besides, you know you will miss the fans, games, programs and us! lol

David Ubben
  (3:08 PM)

Ha, good question. Of course, I hear pretty often how much I love Nebraska and equally as often how much I hate them. So I guess that's a good thing? Who knows? Fans can be fickle sometimes about these things.

Jerome (Toronto, Canada)

What do you believe is most likely to happen in the next five years? Texas goes Independent, but Big 12 conf. remains intact Texas goes Independent, and Big 12 dissolvesBig 12 dissolvesBig 12 expands back to 12 teamsBig 12 remains the same with it's current 10 teams

David Ubben
  (3:08 PM)

The Big 12 remains the same with its current 10 teams.

Josh (Kansas City)

Do you think Texas will give a strong look at Case Mccoy to start a QB for next year? Is the Competition for QB really a open competition?

David Ubben
  (3:10 PM)

I'm sure McCoy and Wood will get some looks, but I'd be surprised if Gilbert isn't the guy moving forward. I think he'll come back and have a great year this year. If he doesn't, expect Wood or McCoy to get a call early in conference play.

The House that Mack Built (Austin)

OU will lose to FSU and the cards will tumble after that. The Big12, 10, 12...whatever it is, will be ready for the Longhorn taking again. How can anyone discount the UT program at this point?

David Ubben
  (3:11 PM)

Ha, this has to be a fan of another school posing as a caricature of a Texas fan, right? Right?

Zach (Florida)

A&M Showed what they can do with a good DC. When will Sherman get the hint he needs an OC? Not just for playcalling, but thats one more body for recruiting and running practices, right?

David Ubben
  (3:12 PM)

I don't know, it might make things easier for Sherman, but I'm a firm believer in the if it ain't broke, don't fix it approach. Offense hasn't been a problem for the Aggies under Sherman.

Tarren H (Lubbock, Tx)

I know it's extremely early, but who do you have winning the Big 12(-2) next year?

David Ubben
  (3:13 PM)

Oklahoma. Seems like their hearts are the fullest and their eyes are the clearest. Can they lose? I say no, they can't.

Mark (Maine)

Can Texas have a bounceback season despite losing Will Muschamp and a lot of their coaching staff?

David Ubben
  (3:14 PM)

Yeah, I think they will. I don't see them bouncing back to the tune of a Big 12 title, but it's hard to imagine them not going bowling for a second consecutive season.

Ben (Las Vegas)

You've mentioned that ideal targets for Big 12 expansion back to 12 teams are the Arizona teams. Is that even remotely possible or just the ideal? Any movement in that direction at all?

David Ubben
  (3:16 PM)

I haven't heard many real conversations about it happening, and I don't think it will, but it's the only expansion move the Big 12 can make, should it choose to in the future, that would be a solid step forward, rather than just spinning its wheels. I should be clear, the Big 12 isn't looking to expand, but if you can convince the Arizona schools that they can make more money in the Big 12, which is possible, I could see them being talked into joining the league.

David Ubben
  (3:17 PM)

Inviting teams like BYU or Louisville or Memphis seems like it's just the league expanding to expand, which it doesn't sound very excited or willing to do. We'll see what happens in 2014 when the next round of TV negotiations kick off.

dan (philly)

which freshman on either side of the ball will have the most immediate impact in the fall?

David Ubben
  (3:17 PM)

Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas.

Zach (Florida)

How long unitl Tom Osborne finally gets fed up with Pellini's antics and inability to win, (we know Bo, the Refs are out to get you)? Over under 2 years?

David Ubben
  (3:18 PM)

Inability to win? What's 29 wins in three years? That fixes a lot. The "antics" were a bit of a distraction this year, but as long as you keep winning, you're going to keep the fans on your side, which is very powerful. Right now, Pelini solidly has that.

dan (philly)

Can the wrecking crew again make improvement this year?

David Ubben
  (3:19 PM)

I don't know that they'll be quite as good without Hodges and Miller. You lose a top 10 pick in one linebacker and your leading tackler in the other, and that's hard to replace. The defense was built around those guys.

Shane (Big12...Erm Big10 fan) (O-town, Nebraska)

Hey Dave, Just wanted to say man thanks for the chats and lunch links. But now that Nebraska is going to the big 10 don't think ill see you as often Just wanted to say see ya and thanks for the good times man.

David Ubben
  (3:20 PM)

Much appreciated. We'll be saying goodbye to Nebraska very soon. It's been good having you folks.

Jerome (Toronto)

Do you think the Big 12 should rename the conference? If so, what would you name it?

David Ubben
  (3:21 PM)

I don't think so. Last I heard, the league had a marketing firm looking at the brand, but I think the name itself is too strong. That said, it would be well-served for a logo change.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you think talented bigger Brandon Williams will challenge Roy Finch for the starting spot? Especailly if Finch gets injured again early in the season and durability remains an issue.

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

It sounds like Williams is getting a lot of hype to play early. It's hard to tell what to expect out of a guy like Jermie Calhoun coming back from an injury, so it wouldn't surprise me if WIlliams is a major contributor next year and a nice complement to Finch.

Kris (Des Moines)

FNL.....Awesome show....sorry to see it leave.. Can you make ESPN pick it up?

David Ubben
  (3:23 PM)

Ha, I'll do what I can. Don't count on it.

Martin (Dallas)

Can you give your reasoning on why you think the Big 12 remains the same in 5 years, or just a wild guess?

David Ubben
  (3:24 PM)

In short, Texas is getting exactly what it wants in the Big 12, money upon money and good scheduling/competition. Texas A&M and Oklahoma don't exactly have "open" invitations to the Big 12. I don't see anyone actually leaving. What are the other schools without networks going to do? Leave? That's insane. Complain about Texas all you want, but schools like Iowa State and Kansas State can't do anything about it. Texas A

David Ubben
  (3:24 PM)

Open invitations to the SEC, rather.

Mark (Maine)

What team will, or has the chance, to surprise the Big 12 in 2011?

David Ubben
  (3:25 PM)

The potential is there for Missouri to maybe be a sleeper. Does Texas count after last year?

paul rhoads (ames, ia)

starting next year with the round robin schedule us northern schools are gonna get some of the former south division schools to play up at our places late in the season on a regular basis. How big of an impact do you see there being when they have to come up and play in the cold?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

Not a big one. They'll be uncomfortable, but football is football. Cold weather won't magically mean Iowa State can start handling UT and OU routinely.

Gary (Syracuse)

Care to offer a brief evaluation of Dan Beebe's job performance over the past twelve months?

David Ubben
  (3:27 PM)

Not as bad as everyone thinks it was. He gets a bad rap. What, exactly, what he supposed to do to keep Nebraska or Missouri from leaving? He inherited a lot of problems, and it was a minor miracle that he convinced Texas and the rest of the Pac-16 crew to stay anyway. Worked hard to do it and succeeded.

Zach (Florida)

I completely agree with your note about Hodges (he deserves a lot more credit than he gets) and Miller. WC takes a small step back this year. Keeps DeRuyter at A&M one more year. 2012 Defense though...look out.

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

We're on the same page about that one, Zach.

Paul (Nebraska)

After watching that kick in the Superbowl, how fast would you draft Alex Henery?

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

I would probably wait until April.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

I saw your comments on the OU-FSU game possibly being a 1-2 matchup. Do you think Landry Jones has matured enough to lead the OU to a victory in a very hostile Doak Campbell Staidum in what amounts to a revenge game for them and the biggest game for FSU in several years. He's had a tendency to throw horrible picks in big games away from Norman.

David Ubben
  (3:29 PM)

Yeah, but late last year, he started adding big touchdown passes to help the Sooners win. It won't be easy, but Oklahoma will be pretty confident going down there based on what they did to the Noles last year and the way they played on the road to close the 2010 season.

Zach (Houston, TX)

Is Baylor on the rise or have they plateaued at 7-6?

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

Definitely on the rise. They're deeper and more talented than they've ever been in the Big 12, and the reason is Art Briles' recruiting and coaching, as well as a game-changer at quarterback. I don't think they'll win the Big 12 very soon, but 8-9-10 wins is not impossible at all this year.

Linda (Des Moines)

Iowa State fans have big dreams of bowling in the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium. Do you think that would have a positive enough impact on recruiting to justify the cost?

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

No. And I'm of the mind that any stadium expansion, unless you're selling out conference games consistently, is a bad idea.

Kerry (Norman)

Dave, have you caught "Jimmer Fever"?

David Ubben
  (3:31 PM)

I have. And the only prescription is more 3-balls.

Dave (NJ)

There's a rumor that after TCU goes to Big East, Maine is going to Big 12.

David Ubben
  (3:32 PM)

I can confirm that, but they may be a package deal with the Delaware Blue Hens.

JP (Texas)

Looks like Phil Bennett has already made some changes...Prince Kent to LB (from Safety) as well as Brody Trahan to outside LB (from QB)...Hes emphasizing speed, is it fast enough to knock off TCU, Texas and OK State at home this year?

David Ubben
  (3:33 PM)

They'll have a good shot at all three. I'd probably pick them to go 1-2 in that stretch, but Bennett loves speed, there's no doubt about that. Speed is way, way more important than size in the Big 12.

Robert (Salt Lake City)

With the increase in league games next year, who suffers? You're saying Baylor's on the rise, A&M, Okie St and OU are the favorites... someone's got to lose more.

David Ubben
  (3:34 PM)

Definitely the North teams who have to adjust to playing UT and OU every year and aren't always going to go bowling. That means K-State and Iowa State. Winning the league will get tougher for Missouri to do. They've come close in recent years, but been denied by the Sooners.

Ben (Las Vegas)

I can tell you exactly what Beebe was supposed to do to keep Nebraska/Missouri in the Big 12. He was supposed to go with a league TV network as opposed to a money-grabbing Texas Network. He was supposed to get Texas/Oklahoma/A&M, etc., to commit to the Big 12 as Nebraska asked. He did neither of these.

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

Nebraska didn't want to risk getting hurt in the future if the Big 12 broke up and the Pac-16 formed and the Big Ten didn't expand. They were leaving regardless. As for the UT Network, criticize Beebe all you want, but Texas getting a network is a much smaller detriment to the Big 12 than it ceasing to exist. Much better to cave and allow the Longhorns to keep their TV rights than to deny them and have them looking elsewhere for conference membership.

Brent (Harlingen, TX)

I'm thinking of going into this blogging business myself, though it would put you out of business immediately if I did. I hear the babes really dig bloggers. Can you confirm or deny?

David Ubben
  (3:37 PM)

Oh, big time confirm. I can't even go out in public anymore. You'd think Justin Bieber was on the loose.

Rob (St. Louis, MO)

Who is going to be Mizzou's starting QB this fall? James Franklin or Tyler Gabbert?

David Ubben
  (3:38 PM)

That's the big question. Franklin is probably the safe bet, but we won't know much until spring starts. Wouldn't surprise me if Gabbert won the job, and if no one separates themselves, don't rule out freshman Corbin Berkstresser in the fall, either.

Shane K. (Lincoln/Rushville NE)

DU you still have not answered my question. I love your blog you are definitely going to missed next season when the SKERS head to the BIG 10. What are the chances of you coming with us?

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

Ha, not good. Adam and I had a death match over the summer and he won. So, from the grave, I hand you over to my compadre up in Chicago.

Jerome (Toronto)

Do you really believe that Missouri is happy in the new Big 12, or will they continually be hoping that the Big Ten expands again so they get another shot (perhaps not as outspoken when the next time comes around)?

David Ubben
  (3:40 PM)

Missouri's happy for now, but you better believe if in a theoretical world, the Big Ten extended an invite, they'd snap it up in a second. I don't think that will happen, and I don't think Missouri will be batting its eyes like it did over the summer, but there's definitely some disappointment from the Tigers about not getting the invite.

Reece (Texas)

With the new schedules in the Big 12 how hard will it be for the middle tier schools to win the Big 12?

David Ubben
  (3:41 PM)

It was always hard for teams in the South, but a North team, in a clunker year, could slip into the Big 12 title game and get a shot at a South team. Now, you've got to outplay everybody, and nobody with fewer than 10 wins or so is winning this league. So, it's going to get a lot tougher.

Adam (Raleigh, NC)

What would OU's season have looked like if Cam Newton had gone to OU?

David Ubben
  (3:42 PM)

A question I've always wondered. More than anything, it would have been messy. I think Newton would have been on the bench or used seldomly as a role player, which is, in my opinion, the biggest reason why he didn't come to Oklahoma. He doesn't fit the mold of what Oklahoma likes to do with its quarterbacks.

Mark (Maine)

Does a Big 12 team go to the BCS National Championship game next year?

David Ubben
  (3:44 PM)

Oklahoma will have a good shot. A&M and OSU will have good teams, but I don't see either of them running the table.

Brad (Denver)

Since this may be your last chat before Colorado (and Nebraska) officially go to the other blogs (CU's logo already in Ted Miller's blog)... Do you have anything nice to say about the Buffs, past or present? Not as hard as some may think... Thanks.

David Ubben
  (3:45 PM)

Really enjoyed getting to know some of their players and coaches this year. Scotty McKnight and Nate Solder are both class acts. And Boulder was the Big 12's most gorgeous campus by far.

Jerome (Toronto)

Your statement about Mizzou snapping up a Big Ten invite is exactly why I believe big-name schools would be skeptical about joining the Big 12. The conference is very shaky right now. Why would AZ and ASU join the Big 12 for more money if it could all fall apart the following year. The Arizona schools have it much better in the PAC 12, and I seriously doubt that money could tell them to give up that stability.

David Ubben
  (3:46 PM)

Valid point, Jerry. Can I call you Jerry? Stability is the Big 12's biggest strike. But adding two teams like Arizona and Arizona State would go a long way in adding to that stability, considering the amount of money they would bring in.

Shane K. (Lincoln/Rushville NE)

Last question 2 I will ever ask you. Is Adam as good as you be honest? Who wins the Big 10 next year? Your the best and I will stop in from time to time to read your blog being I am going to miss the little 12. Good Luck your the man.

David Ubben
  (3:47 PM)

Adam is 100X more talented than me, and much better looking. You'll enjoy his musings.

Allan (Stillwater)

If Hubert Anyiam comes back healthy and plays to his potential, does OSU have the best receiving core in the nation? Blackmon, Cooper, Anyiam, Tracy Moore, and Harrison... surely there isn't a better group out there.

David Ubben
  (3:48 PM)

Oh yeah, it's up there. Anyiam gets overlooked, and he could be a quiet sleeper for an all-conference type season in 2011. If guys like Moore and Harrison keep developing, these guys could be incredible.

Dom (David Ubben's Dome)

Why isn't there a link to all of the questions you do not answer? How do we know you're not just cherry-picking the easy Q's?

David Ubben
  (3:48 PM)

Honor system. :-) Apologies for the emoticon.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Dave, IMO the OU defense has not been the same intimidating defense in your defense we saw earlier in the decade since Mike Stoops left. In particular the secondary/pass defense has not been sound and efficient. Is this just me? Please let me know if I've being the psychotic, never satisified, glass half empty fan. I can take it.

David Ubben
  (3:49 PM)

I don't know, they were pretty salty down the stretch last year. They played fantastic against Oklahoma State. You see that 41 points and kind of balk at it, but two of those scores were non-offensive touchdowns, and nobody else kept the Cowboys under 33 points last year.

Ben (Las Vegas)

Your reply makes sense only if you ignore the chronology of events, even as reported by ESPN. Nebraska decided on the Big 10 only after Texas would not commit and after Beebe avoided blocking the Longhorn only network. To say that Nebraska would have gone had Texas committed is total nonsense.

David Ubben
  (3:51 PM)

You're right. As time goes by, these things get a little lost. Texas isn't blameless in any of this, and neither is Missouri or Nebraska. Everyone was looking out for themselves, which is what they should be doing, but if you want to talk about being noble within any program, it's a short conversation.

Lucious (Fantasia)

Who wins in an MMA matchup of Big 12 head coaches? KO, submission, or decision?

David Ubben
  (3:52 PM)

Bill Snyder. KO.

Daniel (AZ)

You are assuming that ASU and Arizona would make more money if they jumped to the Big 12. With a new TV contract and Pac-12 network on the horizon, that may not be the case.

David Ubben
  (3:52 PM)

Maybe not. But it might be. Depends on what you can sell to the TV networks. That point is certainly debatable, and it would be close.

Mark (Maine)

What player will be the breakout star of the Big 12 next season?

David Ubben
  (3:53 PM)

Roy Finch, if he can stay healthy.

Iowa State (Ames, IA)

Boulder is the most beautiful campus? Are you crazy? Have you been to Ames in the fall and seen central campus?

David Ubben
  (3:53 PM)

Really? Are we having this conversation?

Mark (Maine)

Should the Big 12 reach out to Arkansas to join the Big 12?

David Ubben
  (3:54 PM)

Yes, shortly after I reach out to Meagan Good to join the Ubben household.

Gavin (Mercer Island, Wa)

Hey David. So if there's an NFL lockout, is there any chance college games could get moved to Sunday?

David Ubben
  (3:55 PM)

Interesting question. I haven't really asked around about that, but you'd have to think the opportunity is there. That's something to find out in the near future. Granted, I'm of the belief that they'll get a deal done before it comes to that.

David Ubben
  (3:55 PM)

A couple more questions before we end this party until next week.

Ben (Las Vegas)

Yes, I certainly wasn't claiming nobility on the parts of Nebraska and Osborne. I just believe that Beebe made it impossible for Nebraska not to leave and he can claim no praise for saving the Big 12.

David Ubben
  (3:56 PM)

There's some truth to that. Lots of blame for Nebraska leaving and credit for the rest of the league holding together to go around.

SoonerSonics (Seattle)

What makes you think Garrett Gilbert will succeed next year?

David Ubben
  (3:57 PM)

I see the pieces around him performing a lot better, which will make him look a lot better. Better runnning back, offensive line should improve, receivers will be more experienced. He got no help from anywhere last year.

David Ubben
  (3:58 PM)

And after a year like that, there's a lot of motivation within the program to put in the extra hours. The Longhorns have a lot to prove.

David Ubben
  (3:58 PM)

Thanks for all the questions, everybody. See you next week.