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March 6, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with David Ubben

David Ubben
  (3:00 PM)

Once again, here we are. Let's get this party started. Fire away. I'll get to as many questions as I can today.

Patty (Dallas)

Hi Ubbs! Just wanted to know your thoughts on the progression of the Tech D according to reports coming out of Lubbock this spring. Should we be encouraged? I am cautiously optimistic at this point. Thanks!

David Ubben
  (3:02 PM)

Yeah, I think it's safe to feel pretty good at this point. Seth Doege is a somewhat proven commodity, and to see his stat lines in some of these scrimmages has to be encouraging. Spring practice is somewhat of a zero sum game (those same stat lines could have you doubting Doege), but the defense was wayyyy behind the offense last year. Could be more balance.

Bill Snyder (Manhattan. KS)

Did I make the right move by promoting Tom Hayes to my D. Coordinator spot?

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

It's a little too early to say. You never know. Snyder doesn't allow much--if any--media access to his coordinators, so it's tough to draw much insight from them. That's exactly how Snyder wants it. The proof will be in the next couple falls.

Alex O. (Austin)

Ubbs, I'd better see my name come up on your top 25 list..... only 4 more to go, so you still got time.

David Ubben
  (3:03 PM)

I don't know about that, Mr. Okafor. I wouldn't hold your breath just yet.

Jim (Seattle, WA)

Any word on OU moving a conference game to September, maybe the KU game?

David Ubben
  (3:05 PM)

Yep, Jim. The Big 12 released its schedule last month, and Oklahoma plays Kansas State on Sept. 22.

okkids (Los Angeles)

Does OU reload or rebuild this year?

David Ubben
  (3:06 PM)

Definitely reload. There are still a lot of great pieces there for Oklahoma. The Sooners are a top 10 team and a slight Big 12 favorite in my book for 2012. They'll be hanging around, and have enough talent to win a national title.

Justin (Houston)

Where do you see the Red Raiders in 2 years and how many dc will we blow through in that time?

David Ubben
  (3:08 PM)

Well, big picture, Tech is pretty excited about Michael Brewer, and just signed two great recruiting classes, so you've got to feel good there. Tuberville has a lot of familiarity with Art Kaufman, and I think he knows the revolving door at DC has been a problem. I'd be surprised if Tech wasn't hanging in the Big 12 title hunt and Kaufman wasn't still there.

Brady (Dallas, TX)

Does the re-tooled offense at Baylor come out of the gate with the same vigor this year? Also, do we really have a prayer of making a run for the conference title with so little defense and so many skill positions rotating green players?

David Ubben
  (3:09 PM)

I'm not buying Baylor as a Big 12 title contender, or even a team with a legitimate shot to win it, but I'll probably pick them to return to a bowl game. The offense will be really good. Not top three nationally good, but top 3-4 in the Big 12, probably. The defense can't be worse, right?

Josh (Dallas, TX)

Do you think the newcomers (WVU and TCU) will account for 12 conference wins this season?

David Ubben
  (3:10 PM)

Yes.

Tommy Tubberville (Lubbock, TX)

What are the chances that I pull out 9 wins this year?

David Ubben
  (3:10 PM)

30 percent.

damian (durant oklahoma)

now that we have one of the best running backs in texas are we gonna have an even more high powered offense?

David Ubben
  (3:12 PM)

I'll assume you're talking about Oklahoma's latest 2013 commit. I'd say you're getting ahead of yourself, Damian. Dominique Whaley, a walk-on, beat out guys like Jermie Calhoun, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch to be the starter last year. You never quite know in college football recruiting. I wouldn't get real wrapped up in one player, especially one almost a year away from signing.

ButtCream (Houston TX)

Has Austin given up on Connor Brewer? His camps and UnderA game were not impressive. Just curious if the QB spot is wide open this year.

David Ubben
  (3:15 PM)

Ha. Come on, now. Given up on a player that's gone through what, two weeks of practice now? No way. It's going to be tough for him to win the QB job in 2012 (not impossible), but the guy has been on campus like two months. Good grief, people. It's David Ash's job to lose, but Ash himself was a fourth-string true freshman this time last year. He wasn't exactly a world-beater in 2011. Give it time.

Donnie (Oklahoma)

Are you going to any Spring Games? If so will you be sharing with us?

David Ubben
  (3:16 PM)

Doubtful, but I'll be making a few campus visits in coming months.

Justin (Denver)

Love the blog Ubbs. Do you think Optimus Klein develops enough as a passer this offseason to make people truly respect that part of his game. Or will teams have success just loading up the box and stopping that read-option game that won't catch anyone by surprise next year?

David Ubben
  (3:17 PM)

I think he's already made teams respect it. Maybe not fear it, but he can complete passes and burn teams deep if they don't account for his arm. He could use some more consistency, but he's a lot better than his release looks.

Queen P (Lubbock)

Ubben, you stated that Baylor has the best receivers in the Big 12. What are you basing that off of?

David Ubben
  (3:18 PM)

Watching them. And OSU losing a bunch of guys. That could change by the fall, but I'm buying on Baylor's receiving corps this year. TCU, WVU could grab that title, too. The league is loaded at the position ... again.

Jay (Hepler, Kansas)

Who is likely going to make the bigger stride as a passer this spring, Collin Klein or David Ash?

David Ubben
  (3:19 PM)

Ooohhh, tough question, Jay. I'll go with Ash. He's got a lot further to go, and he'll have the benefit of a lot of offseason reps for the first time.

Rickey (Thomas)

Has Texas impressed you on the recruiting trail this year? It seems to me that Diaz and Harsin are actually recruiting guys who will fit into their schemes the best, rather than by how many stars are next to the kids' names.

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

I'd agree with that, Rickey. I think Texas saw their evaluation in recruiting was lacking a bit, and are working to fix that. If I'm UT, I'm most excited about the offensive linemen and running backs headed to Austin. Important for the direction the program wants to go.

Ben (Chicago)

Which team scores the most points (average) in the Big 12 this year?

David Ubben
  (3:22 PM)

West Virginia or Baylor.

Gil (San Antonio)

Does K-State have shot at the Big12 Title and if so how about playing in the National Championship game????

David Ubben
  (3:23 PM)

A shot at the Big 12 title, yes. National title? I'm not buying that.

Dave (MD)

Do you think going up agains an excellent defense in practice helps or hurts a young quarterback develop? On one hand, if you can compete against the best you can compete against anyone, on the other hand, it might make you tentative and rob you of a chance to build confidence.

David Ubben
  (3:24 PM)

You're making our heads spin, Dave. Certainly some merit to both. To me, it depends on the quarterback. For young guys, I'd lean toward having a poor defense, but at that point, I think you probably limit how good that QB can be.

Shane (Dallas)

If your Neal Brown, who do you go with at RB if Stephens is not 100% come Fall. Kenny Williams seemed to be catching on at the end of the year. Daniels had a great start until suspended, but sounds like he is doing well in Spring practices. Washington is another ? due to injury. Sadale Foster even sounds to be having a good spring. Who do you play and do you Redshirt someone for injury or to save a year?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

It's pretty simple to me. Factor Stephens in. If there are three guys better than him on opening day, redshirt him. You need three to get through the season, maybe more with injuries. We'll see. They're backed up at the position, but take three and redshirt the others.

Jack Meofe (Austin)

How far can UT really go if the quarterback position does'nt improve drastically?

David Ubben
  (3:26 PM)

9-3.

Rob (Boise)

To Rickey (Thomas): Harsin does that a lot. He's not so concerned with the star-power of a player. He pulls in the best players for his coaching style, and brings out the best in them. He did that at Boise State, and we had an outstanding defense.

David Ubben
  (3:27 PM)

Yep. The task of development is a whole lot different at Texas than at Boise, but if you do it at Texas, look out. It's a little early to get a feel for that just yet, but UT has a lot of offensive players loaded with potential and remaining eligibility.

matt (texas)

do you think that Mike coming back to OU will have a similar impact as Wade Phillips going to HOU this year? Best free agent coach pickup?

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

Definitely the best pickup. I expect OU to be much better on defense this year. Better than Texas? No.

Shane (Dallas)

I'll bet ya a package of double stuffed Oreo's Tech's receivers will run circles around Baylor's by the end of the year. And I mean double stuffed, not that cheap single stuff. Amaro should be one of the league's best tight end's, Moore will hopefully be back to what he was early last year. Add to that Marquez, Bell, Williams, Torres, etc. etc... I'm pretty confident on this one.

David Ubben
  (3:28 PM)

Fry those babies up and I'll see you on the other side.

Ben (Chicago)

David, who is the most overrated coach and underrated coach in the Big 12?

David Ubben
  (3:30 PM)

Paul Rhoads takes the underrated coach by the distance between Lubbock to Morgantown.

Will U (Tupelo)

Whats up UBBS!Let's play a hypothetical out really fast. Let's say USC aces the pac-12. And my cats(or stinky OU) ace the big 12. Let's also say that all SEC teams lose a regular season game. Do you see NCG of pac-12 vs big 12?Thanks!

David Ubben
  (3:31 PM)

Yep. But USC would torch K-State, I'm afraid. Hard as it may be to see Lane Kiffin beating Bill Snyder.

Bear Cub (Waco)

David, why do you think Tech fans get so angry when you talk up Baylor?

David Ubben
  (3:31 PM)

I have no idea. Everybody gets angry when I talk up Baylor, but especially Tech.

David Ubben
  (3:32 PM)

Maybe it was because Tech had beaten Baylor like 79 times in a row before last year.

Josh (Dallas, TX)

Ward/Moore, estimated receiving yeards this fall combined if they stay healthy?

David Ubben
  (3:32 PM)

1,957.

Dana (Morgantown, WV)

I say we go 10-2 this year, what do you say?

David Ubben
  (3:32 PM)

I could see that easily. Maybe even better.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do the Big XII newcomers who will make the most impact next season on offense and defense both reside in Austin (RB-Gray, DTs-Moore or Brown)?

David Ubben
  (3:33 PM)

I'm not buying Gray as a huge impact player yet. I could definitely see Brandon Moore or Malcom Brown making some big plays on the defensive line for the Longhorns.

Levi (Ames)

Which Iowa State game are you going I come up to do you can try a Super Dog!

David Ubben
  (3:33 PM)

Not sure yet, but the Superdog sounds amazing.

Andy (Elk Grove, Ca)

Do you think the switch from the 3-3-5 stack to a 3-4 will be smooth this year for WVU? Will it be an effective defense in the B12?

David Ubben
  (3:35 PM)

Yeah, you can do a lot of different things in this league. A&M had a lot of success with the 3-4 in 2010. Granted, WVU doesn't have Von Miller, but if you put enough speed on the field, you can be solid. I haven't gotten a great, up-close look at WVU's defensive personnel, but the 3-4 can definitely be successful in this league if your backers are fast enough and can cover.

Hook 'Em (Austin)

What do you think the RB rotation for Texas will be this year? Maybe run more options with them and Ash?

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

I think you've got to do some fun stuff this year and find ways to get Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray all on the field at the same time. I'll be disappointed if they don't. Give me the wishbone or give me death.

Art Briles (Waco, TX)

What will ESPN's excuse be this year when Baylor beats Texas for the 3rd time in a row? Will it be another year of "Texas is SO young?"

David Ubben
  (3:36 PM)

I believe my excuse last year was "RG3 and Kendall Wright are way better than anyone Texas is putting on the field."

Latty (Texas)

How shocked will you be when Baylor is at or below .500 next year?

David Ubben
  (3:37 PM)

Not that surprised. I'm picking Baylor to win 6-8 games. Could definitely underachieve.

Poke (columbia)

OSU's receiving corps seems underrated, no?

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

Maybe a little bit, but losing Michael Harrison hurts a lot. He was a future star in the making. Real disappointing to see him check out of the program.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Does Kenny Stills rebound this season and replace Justin Blackmon as the best receiver in the conference?

David Ubben
  (3:39 PM)

No.

gary (wheeling,WV)

do you see tavon austin still being the leading all purpose man next year

David Ubben
  (3:40 PM)

Hate to break it to you, 'Eers, but it takes a lot to do that in this league. He may very well take that title, but it won't be easy.

Longhorn2014 (Austin)

Do you think Texas has a shot at winning the conference this year? From what I've heard Ash is gaining more and more confidence now, Malcolm Brown is healthy now, and the defense looks scary if it lives up to the potential. What do you project UT's highpoint to be this season?

David Ubben
  (3:40 PM)

It's possible, but I have a hard time seeing Texas actually going out and winning the whole thing. I'd give them about a 20 percent chance to win the league.

Michael (Austin)

If Ash is improved (I saw him on Saturday and he was clearly the front-runner) do you think 10-2? If so then we beat everyone but...

David Ubben
  (3:41 PM)

Yeah, somewhere around there. In the hunt for the Big 12 title, but probably not good enough to win it. 3rd or 4th, factoring in tiebreakers.

dc85 (Dallas)

Ubbs, would it be possible for a 8-4 or 7-5 A&M to make the Cotton Bowl with a 9-3 or 10-2 Texas next year, considering the draw the game would get?

David Ubben
  (3:41 PM)

PLEASE. The Cotton Bowl would kill to make this game happen, especially just a year after the split.

David Ubben
  (3:42 PM)

A few more questions before we wrap a pretty quiet week in the chat.

W (Anaheim)

David - Will K-State repeat as Texas State Champion again?

David Ubben
  (3:42 PM)

Pretty tough to do. Gotta face a new team this year, and a new band of purple bandits out in Fort Worth. TCU is probably the best team in Texas this year.

James (Morgantown)

are you a magic 8 ball?

David Ubben
  (3:43 PM)

Ask me again later.

Poke (columbia)

OSU or UT for the Big12? Who has the best chance?

David Ubben
  (3:45 PM)

Meh, I don't know. It's close between the two of them. I'd probably say Texas by a hair. They'll both be about the 4th or 5th best teams in the league in December, methinks.

Rickey (Denison, TX)

Your fellow blogger AA was trying to put the Big 12 on blast yesterday for only playing 6 AQ opponents (excluding ND) vs 14 from the Big East and SEC, 19 from the ACC, 11 from the Big Ten, and 9 from the PAC-12. When you adjust for the extra conference games in the Big 12 and PAC 12 (and less games from the BE), those 2 conferences actually have the strongest schedules. What do you make of this?

David Ubben
  (3:46 PM)

You pretty much hit on all the points, Rickey. SEC and Big Ten only play eight games. Big 12 could be well-served to schedule some better teams, but there aren't a ton of egregious games in the league.

David Ubben
  (3:46 PM)

That's it for this week, folks. Thanks for coming by.