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January 17, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Ubben

David Ubben
  (3:01 PM)

What's up, everybody? Let's kick this thing off. What's on your minds today?

Ryan (MO)

What do you think would help our defense become great again? Is Mike S. coming back going to make it better?

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

Yeah, that could help. Clearly, Mike Stoops is a coach who has learned a lot as a head coach. How long he'll be back at Oklahoma is anyone's guess, but defensive improvement seems likely. I don't know how "great" an Oklahoma defense is going to be in the offense-heavy Big 12, but it can be better. It doesn't need to be much better for OU to win big. The key in this league, more than anything, is limiting big plays. OU had big issues in that area.

CR (Manhattan, KS)

Thoughts on KU's recruiting so far?

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

You can't really evaluate much from coach's first class, but Weis has brought in some big talents from unexpected places. I'd say you may hear "Crist to McCay" quite a few times next year.

Jeremy (Lubbock, TX)

A couple years ago, 2012 looked like it would be one of the best years for the Red Raiders to make a run at a Big XII championship. Everything was supposed to come together this year: Favorable Schedule(OU and UT at home) and experience at key positions. Now with Tuberville firmly entrenched in Lubbock and our 3rd Defensive coordinator (at least we're back to the 4-3) it looks like we're going nowhere fast. Is the coaching just so bad now that there is absolutely no player development or am I missing something?

David Ubben
  (3:05 PM)

Yeah, early this year, I agreed with you Jeremy. Nobody was scared of Tech (though, perhaps, OU should have been) in 2011, but they way, way underachieved. Injuries were part of it, but they're no excuse for going 5-7 with the kind of talent Tech has. They don't really look like a legitimate contender in my eyes next year. The coaching turnover doesn't help. This team's got a lot of upside, but to win a title seems pretty lofty.

alan (stillwatet)

hey ubbs, i was driving around campus and saw that they are building the practice facility for OSU. My question is do the practice facilities really make a difference or is it more of a recruiting thing?

David Ubben
  (3:07 PM)

Well, in OSU's case, it'll be a big help. Tech, too, if they can get an indoor facility of their own. It helps in recruiting, but mostly, it's a lack of headache. When the weather's bad, OSU has to alter their practice schedule. Not many others in the Big 12 has to deal with that. Tech can use the indoor facility at Frenship High, but not all the time. It's a headache and a runaround to get players in the loop. Now, for OSU, that headache is about to go away.

Ryan (MO)

I think the Big12 will be better and stronger next year than it was this year, what are your thoughts?

David Ubben
  (3:09 PM)

I don't know about that. Oklahoma's really the only team I think has a good shot to become an "elite" team. WVU and TCU and K-State are probably right behind, but I don't know if I buy those teams as legitimate top five teams like OSU was this year and a healthy OU team was this year. The league will have 6 good teams and probably 2-3 OK teams. Kansas is a bit of a wild card. It'll be deep, but probably thin at the top. I wrote about that on the blog last week, actually. If the SEC's reign ends next year, the Big 12 doesn't look very well-suited to be the league that knocks them off the throne.

David Ubben
  (3:09 PM)

Nope.

David Ubben
  (3:09 PM)

Look for an announcement on Signing Day, Feb. 1.

Chip (Windville, West Texas)

Along with all of your Big 12 input wizardry, would it be too much to ask if you could go ahead and add Washington State to your blog for all of us in sad, sad, sad Raiderland? I, among many, will not know who to cheer for louder this coming year.

David Ubben
  (3:10 PM)

I don't know if I can swing that, but I'll be watching for sure. Which is a lot more than I can say for Washington State for most of the last decade or so.

David Ubben
  (3:10 PM)

I'm guessing that flag at College Gameday will be flying a lot higher and a lot prouder in the near future.

Connor R (Beamont, TX)

I just want to know what it is that you do not see in David Ash? That being said, was the decision for Texas not to pursue the JuCo quarterback a good one or a bad one? My money is on the negative but let's hope I'm wrong.

David Ubben
  (3:12 PM)

He didn't show a lot this year to make people believe he can be a special QB like you need in the Big 12. That said, I do buy into the theory that his growth was stunted by a lack of reps in spring and fall camp, as well as limited work in summer 7-on-7. That'll change this offseason. We'll know just how good David Ash can be about halfway through his sophomore year. He doesn't need to be great, but he needs to show a lot more than he did this year.

Mark L (Saint Louis, MO)

Hey Ubbs love your commentary, i have one question to ask. I know people are down on THE MISSOURI TIGERS. Do you think with the team they have are they going to finish near the top, middle or the bottom and why.

David Ubben
  (3:14 PM)

Meh, I don't think too many people are down on them. I think Mizzou's got a great chance to be a big contender in the SEC East next year. They'll probably be the third-best team in the division right away, but UGA and USC aren't teams that will completely outclass Mizzou or require Mizzou to go 11-1 to win the division. 9-3 might win it. The Tigers will be right there immediately. In the long run, however, I think Mizzou might be in for some lean years as its recruiting philosophy shifts.

David Ubben
  (3:14 PM)

Not yet, but I'm guessing the newest likely opening at K-State hasn't exactly hastened that decision.

Dave (Santa Cruz, CA)

Has the SEC transition been that big of a distraction across A&M athletics or is something else going on?

David Ubben
  (3:16 PM)

I don't know. i doubt that has any legitimacy. Mizzou seems to be doing fine in both sports this year while A&M's been the biggest disappointment in the two major sports.

Candice (Tulsa)

Why do you think OSU's recruiting isn't sky rocketing after their successful year? What do you think they can do to change it?

David Ubben
  (3:19 PM)

Usually a season like this takes a year to sort of grab hold on the recruiting trail and show some dividends. We'll see what the 2013 class looks like. OSU was pretty good last year, though. Cowboys fans have to be a little disappointed with an underwhelming class that was good early, but they lost a few commits like Kendall Sanders and Bralon Addison that would have probably put this class near the top 25.

Chip (LA, CA)

What's the over/under on how many questions you'll field about Mario Edwards and Dorial Green-Beckham signing with UT? 15?

David Ubben
  (3:20 PM)

It's up there today. If only I could read the minds of 17-18-year old kids.

Robert (Salt Lake City)

Recruiting seems a zero sum game to me. If TCU, Baylor, etc are going to ride recent success or new conference membership to better recruits, who suffers? Nibble at OU and Texas? Keep more kids in state? Someone has to lose out for them to gain.

David Ubben
  (3:21 PM)

Those schools are going to cut into guys that Texas Tech or Mizzou had previously gotten. With Mizzou's move to the SEC, I think its new recruiting nemesis is going to be TCU and Baylor.

Wade (San Diego)

If the Big 12 decided to go to 14 teams, which 4 teams would you add?

David Ubben
  (3:21 PM)

Nebraska, Missouri, Texas A&M, Colorado.

BP (South Padre)

If you had to guess which way DGB was leaning, what would you say?

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

Whichever side the pass was thrown on. He'll probably catch it, too.

Will (College Station)

Not that it's really relevant anymore, but who do you see emerging as A&M's starting QB for this upcoming season? With Showers, Manziel, Davis,

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

Give me Jameill Showers by a country mile.

Paul (OKC)

Where do you see brandon weeden going in the draft?

David Ubben
  (3:23 PM)

Second round. Unfair or not, his age is a factor now. He'll be a good QB for someone, but he may take awhile to catch on, and it's hard to justify cutting a first-round check to someone who may only start for 6-8 years, if that.

Gary Patterson (Fort Worth)

David, we are winning the national championship next year. My offense is good and deep. I will turn around my defense. But my secret weapon is special teams. Mark my words

David Ubben
  (3:25 PM)

Cool.

Dubbster (Dublin)

So who does better next year, TCU in the Big 12 or Mizz in the SEC east?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

Tough question. Both are built to win immediately with a ton of talent coming back on both sides of the ball. I'll go with TCU by a hair.

Justin Gilbert (Orange Country)

Oh Soothsaying Ubben - It's prediction time. Do I return more KO TD's or snag more INT's next year? And what's your over/under?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

Interceptions. Over/under on kick returns is 2.5. I'll go with 4.5 on interceptions.

Mitch (Rapid City, SD)

T/F, Iowa State has the best linebackers in the conference.

David Ubben
  (3:27 PM)

True.

george (Baton Rouge)

Dear Big 12, please take Les Miles back

David Ubben
  (3:27 PM)

LOLSU.

RGIII (Waco, TX)

Do you think I will settle my NFL contract with my new team in time for training camp?

David Ubben
  (3:27 PM)

Good grief, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Let the combine happen at least. My goodness.

Steve (Austin, TX)

What do you think the chances are that Texas is able to steal DGB away from Arkansas?

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

I will say this and only this, re: DGB: I will be shocked if he goes to Texas.

Jimmy K (Toronto)

David, how weird is it for A&M if Sherm gets hired by the Dolphins as head coach? Can't win in College Station, but good enough for the NFL. Defies logic.

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

Yes, yes it does.

Chris (DC)

What are your thoughts on a potential plus-one? Do you think this would help or hurt the Big XII? Would you want a seeded plus-one (basically, a 4-team playoff) or just an extra game after the current BCS bowls (play the BCS bowls minus the NCG, rerank the teams, then have 1 vs 2)?

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

I love the idea. I had sort of given up on a playoff and stopped being emotionally invested, but now that there's some momentum in making it a reality, I want it badly. I don't think it has a huge effect on the Big 12 either way. It'll come down to beating the SEC. I like the idea of playing the first round of semifinals the week after championship weekend, and sending the losers to the bowls with a four-team playoff at the end of the bowls.

Casey (CoMo)

Dave, as a Tiger fan, I've followed your work since you joined ESPN and I wanted to thank you for the solid coverage. Even with your Alma Mater leaving the conference, you'll always be a Tiger. Keep telling it like it is.

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

I appreciate that, Casey.

Robert (Salt Lake City)

How well do various schools consistently have to recruit to be successful in the Big12? I mean, can Texas win it all if they are in the low teens? Can OSU get it done in the same position? Who can make due with less?

David Ubben
  (3:31 PM)

I'd say Texas Tech and Kansas State have offered some pretty convincing evidence that you can't exactly predict success perfectly with recruiting rankings. Oklahoma and Texas have ruled the league with top 10 classes, but you can win with talent from a lot of places. Ask Missouri.

Mitch (Rapid City, SD)

Who is better, Art Briles at offense, or Paul Rhoads at defense?

David Ubben
  (3:32 PM)

Art Briles at scouting QBs. Kevin Kolb, Case Keenum, Robert Griffin III? Nooooooooooot bad.

Jeremy (Tazewell County)

Who fairs better next year in the Big 12? WVU or TCU and why

David Ubben
  (3:33 PM)

Another tough call. It'll be close. I'll guess TCU. WVU has more talent and is more familiar with better talent, but TCU has a better feel for some of these Texas teams.

Optimus Klein (Manhappenin)

Yo David. I had a pretty good season, however, 2012 I'm gonna take it to the next level. I've got Harper, Lockett, Thomson and Hubert all coming back and, I'm pretty decent myself. So on that note, I'm just going to let you know that no one can stop me.

David Ubben
  (3:35 PM)

Good to know. I really am excited to see what Klein's got in store for 2012. He grew so much as a passer over the course of 2011. You have to assume that'll continue in 2012.

Chris (DC)

So...you think that a fan base would want to travel to a semifinal game, watch their team lose, then travel to the galleryfurniture.com bowl a few weeks later?

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

Because attendance at bowls has been so off the charts these past couple years. What, exactly, is at risk?

Paul (Ames)

Did a win over #2 OSU do it for you? Are you finally going to come see my Cyclones in Ames for a Big 12 Primer? Or will your love for southern schools keep you from venturing above the Mason-Dixon Line?

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

Ha, we'll see. I'll try to get up to Ames before too long.

Josh (Austin)

Will Texas be able to replace Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho at linebacker in 2012 and with much of the rest of the defense in place where will they rank in the Big 12 as far as defense in 2012.

David Ubben
  (3:37 PM)

I'd look for Jordan Hicks to be the man at linebacker for Texas last year. I really liked what I saw out of him this year. Could be a star.

James (College Station)

Why haven't you been posting about A&M recruiting? We have stolen two great Texas recruits from the Big 12 already. Pretty big news

David Ubben
  (3:37 PM)

I literally posted about that less than three hours ago.

Zach (Broken Arrow, OK)

After signing day, what do you look forward to the most? Spring football or the start of college baseball??

David Ubben
  (3:38 PM)

I hope this is a joke.

Matt (Dallas)

Does Art Briles have another QB phenom recruit in the wings that he's managed to keep a secret so far?

David Ubben
  (3:38 PM)

Well, if he told us he'd have to kill us, right?

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

Seems like he'll throw him out there and everybody will rip on Texas for not having him like always. Won't be next year, though. Seems like Baylor's about to be Nick Florence's team. Showed some nice things in the win over Tech this year. Much improved from a guy that struggled in 2009.

David Ubben
  (3:40 PM)

A couple more questions before we wrap up.

Greg (Austin, TX)

Rank by confidence:-Texas wins 10 games-A&M wins 7 games-OU wins BIG 12-TCU finishes top in Big 12-WVU finishes top 10 in country

David Ubben
  (3:42 PM)

Yikes. I'll go with OU at No. 1. Texas at No. 2. A&M at No. 3. WVU at No. 4. TCU at No. 5.

David Ubben
  (3:43 PM)

OK, that's it for this week. Thanks for all the questions. I'll see you folks again soon.