OK, let's get started. What's on your minds?
Will the Agges have a better recuriting class than Texas this year?
When it's all said and done, I don't think so. I'd expect Texas to be right back in the top 5 or so based on how it's gone so far, and Texas A&M to be up near the top 10-15.
You've been to both OU and OSU in recent days. Based on observation, which team stood out to you more? And how do they compare to what you saw at UT and MU?
Well, OU was on lockdown and OSU was only in shorts and helmets when I was there, so it's tough to say. Even still, other than getting a sense of how individual players will fit into each team, you can't tell much from one practice. Nothing I saw changed my mind much. Texas maybe a little worse than I thought. They're way behind at quarterback, which is a big deal. Missouri and OSU about what I expect. Oklahoma we'll find out this weekend, perhaps.
Dave, Do you think the fact that Iowa State already has 3 pretty good commits is a sign of Paul Rhoads improving the team and culture. That number might be low for some schools but ISU rarely get many early commits. Or do you think it means little based on the big 12 recruiting standards.
He's got his team believing, but I'm not sure you can draw an overarching truth or theme from three guys. They're still going to have a hard time getting out of the bottom third of the Big 12 in recruiting, because of their location and program history. Player development is much more important for them.
How many Big XII players do you think will be drafted in the first round this year?
Four. Blaine Gabbert, Aldon Smith, Danny Watkins and Phil Taylor.
Follow up on the recruiting: How high do the Aggies NEED to be year-in year out to compete with OU and Texas? The difference between a top 5 class and a top 10 isn't huge. Top 5 and 25 is pretty big.
Top 15 or so works. People get to wrapped up in recruiting rankings, though. It's not so much about finding a stars as it is about finding a large percentage of guys who will contribute to your team. Coaches have to make those scholarships count.
Ha, ok, yes. Five. Von Miller, too. Whoops.
What are the chances coach Stoops plays the backup qb a little this season? I trust Stoops in almost every decision(like that matters), but it seems like he never plays the 2nd string qb.
Coaches stick to what they do. Don't expect to see Drew Allen come off the bench this year unless he has to. He doesn't offer much different than Landry Jones does, unlike at Missouri last year, where James Franklin came in for Blaine Gabbert to run it periodically.
I am guessing every Big 12 fan complains about their team's lack of coverage and I am no different. The lack of Sooner coverage has been blantantly obvious especially with their spring game coming up this Saturday. Can the reining Big 12/Fiesta Bowl champs and preseason #1 Oklahoma Sooners get some love?
We'll have plenty in the near future.
What happened to Amukamara? When did he fall out of the First Round discussion?
When we said goodbye to the Huskers on the Big 12 blog. We're head-to-toe legit here. No Huskers unless we're talking about last year.
What team do you think has the best chance to surprise people either positively by doing better or negatively like texas did last year?
Impostor! Biggest chance to surprise? I'd say K-State could move from the dregs to an eight-win team if they get good play out of the quarterback spot. I could see Oklahoma State's offense struggling at times under Todd Monken's playcalling and them slipping to 8-9 wins, too.
who's better? mack or bob
Gotta go Bob Stoops. Similar talent level to Texas. Has a lot more to show for it.
Will Oklahoma and Oklahoma St playing a week later than the Aggies last game hurt them if there is some sort of three way tie like last year between the Aggies and one or both of those schools? It seems like the extra week in the spotlight will provide a boost to the winner
Maybe a little bit, but I thought A&M was going to just win all their games? Who cares about a tiebreaker? I kid, but when there's something like that, and a three-team tie decides the league, I think a lot of voters step back and assess the whole season instead of what just happened. At least I do.
I know you mentioned ben melena looked good as the 3rd stringer out of the backfield for the ags, who do you see as the 2nd option this year and #1 for the future at QB based on your spring observations?
Well, they're set at RB with Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray. As for the backup, I'll take Jameill Showers.
To Andrew's comment. Look at Ohio State in 2007. That rested their way into the national championship game.
Valid points. The Big Ten has gotten a big boost from teams losing late in the season and sneaking into the title game. That's a good example. Missouri and West Virginia both were ahead of the Buckeyes in '07. Missouri lost to an OU team that was better than it was, but West Virginia suffered a shocking loss to Pitt. The result: Ohio State got lined up for another BCS beating from the SEC in the title game.
Got a preseason prediction for the FSU - OU game?
Right now, I'll go with the Sooners by a nose. The early part of that game will be a big deal. FSU has to truly believe it can win. Considering what happened last year, that might be harder than it sounds.
Who's the starting QB at Texas this year, and do the receivers start to catch passes?
I'm sticking with Gilbert. Wouldn't at all be surprised if I'm wrong. I think it's pretty even right now. Mike Davis should be solid. The potential is there for Darius White. But yeah, Texas needs to help those QBs out. That starts with the receivers.
In a blog post earlier you said k-state could be a big sleeper team (with Tuggle and the Brown Bros) what do you think the chances of this happening really are?
Ha, it's tough to tell. I'd like to see something from K-State, but they're locked down pretty good. We'll see what Bill Snyder has to say. The chances of them winning 8 games or so? How about 35-40 percent? Challenging for a Big 12 title? I'd say 5-10. Not impossible, but I could see it happening.
New conference name options: Texas and Co., UT+9, or simply, The Big UT
Did Jackie Gleason write your material? (That's me ragging on you for old jokes. Google Jackie Gleason, I guess.)
With the all the Okie St coverage, explain their O-line success to me. Is it just really good coaching, or underrated recruits (or both I guess)? Year on year they seem to have a very reliable line, regardless of who's in it.
It's a combination of things. First, I do think Joe Wickline is one of the best O-line coaches in the game. They seem to always be an underrated group, and it's amazing what they've done lately, especially replacing Russell Okung. Recruits are part of it. Levy Adcock, their best player, was a JUCO guy, and you never know what to expect with them. They can come in and be an immediate impact player.
If c mike and cyrus were combined into one person this coming year, would that beautiful beast give A&M a good chance at it's 2nd Heisman winner?
What are the chanced of the Sooners making a legitimate Title run?
Good, because they can lose a game and still do it. That's the luxury with starting so high in the polls. They can't lose Bedlam, but a close loss in that Florida State game probably doesn't hurt them much. Unless, of course, their main competition to get into the game is the Seminoles or the Seminoles tank.
Is the big 12 in trouble if Texas does return soon to a national championship contender? It would seem that the big 12 can't afford to have one of it's two flagship programs have a prolonged down turn before people question the quality of the conference and start to effect money via tv contracts.
Maybe a little bit, but the league is helped by programs like Oklahoma State and Missouri stepping up and joining Oklahoma and Texas A&M as solid programs. Baylor is better than ever in the Big 12, too.
You're going to regret forgetting me
Oh, snap! I'll be back in a bit guys.
How do you think Roy Finch will perform filling in for DeMarco Murray?
He won't be doing it alone. Brennan Clay, Brandon Williams, Jonathan Miller, maybe Jermie Calhoun should all be in the mix. There's not much reason to believe he can handle the volume of touches that Murray had last year.
Where do you think DeMarco Murray goes in the NFL draft?
Sounds like the third round or so. Running backs aren't quite as valuable these days with so many teams splitting carries. There was a story on ESPN about that recently, actually. Mark Ingram was the focus.
Has the #1 ranked team in preseason ever held that spot through an entire season?
I know I've had a few teams in NCAA on the XBox that have done it. Does that count?
Obviously you should never overlook a team, and anyone can win on a given day, but I'm worried about Texas A&M playing Kstate in Manhattan. Should I be? Seems to have the potential to be a season derailer.
It could happen, but we saw what happened to Nebraska there last year when a lot of folks, myself included, thought it could happen. K-State's got to get faster on defense.
Totally counts. Also, I've had San Jose State win the championship, so look for that to happen soon too.
Good to know.
After watching the spring game, am I wrong to say that hopes of more than a winning season for Texas are too high?
No, I think they'll have a winning season, but I'd be really surprised, barring a huge summer development at quarterback, if they win 10 games. Nine would be a moderate surprise.
What do you think are the chances that the Big 12 actually changes its name? It seems like a sticky situation. You don't want to acknowledge losing two teams, but you don't want to be the "other" numerically-inaccurate conference, either.
I don't think the numerically accurate thing matters near as much as brand recognition. The Big 12 can get away with one. It would get hurt without the other.
A few more questions before we wrap this up...
Which team will have the best receiving corps in the Big 12 this year?
It's really close between OU, OSU and A&M. I'd probably go with the Aggies, just barely. They've got a few more established guys. Baylor is in the mix, too.
David, why do some teams seem to not make a big deal of their spring game but teams like Nebraska and Alabama can bring in 80,000+ for theirs.
It's all about fan hunger. This may come as a shock, but folks in Alabama and Nebraska don't really get all riled up about the first round of the NBA playoffs or the races that precede them.
True or False. Mack Brown won't be the coach at Texas next year with a second losing season in a row.
False. He'll be back if they go 5-7 again.
TTU Marcus Kennard is going to be one of the best receviers in the Big 12 this year, just wait
I could see that happening. Heard good things this spring.
Is Tubby going to be changing things up at Tech after bringing in a pretty impressive RB class??
Not drastically. They want to run it a little more though. Look for more tight end play. Paging Jace Amaro.
In your opinion what new recruit joining their team early this spring is capable of making the most impact this year?
I might have said Brock Berglund, but he's not practicing. Now I'd lean Brandon Williams at OU.
david, I'm known as someone who is good in space. What player is most like me? I.e what player that is returning would you say is the most elusive/bestin spaceAlso, MVP!
Alright, thanks for all the questions this week. See you again next week.