Welcome to The Mailbag where -- and I’m not exaggerating -- 75 percent of the questions came from Nebraska fans.
Lincoln really is immune to hoops fever, isn’t it?
I’ll resist the urge to make this a highlight reel of complaints (of varying levels of intensity/unintentional humor) about the lack of North coverage and get started.
Trevor from Nebraska asks: DO you think we could See a wildcat Formation with Burkhead As QB and Helu as RB with some options??
David Ubben: Maybe, but how about this: Why not commit to putting Cody Green at quarterback and implement the Florida triple option with Helu Jr. as the underneath inside option and Burkhead outside? That would be pretty tough to defend.
Justin Carter in Columbia, MO wins for best hardwood crossover lineup from yesterday’s post:
PG - DJ Monroe, WR Texas
SG - Robert Griffin, QB Baylor
SF - Aldon Smith, DE Missouri
PF - Baker Steinkuhler, OL Nebraska
C - Jarvis Jones, OL Oklahoma
How about this for a lineup. Thunder and Lightning.
David Ubben: Not bad, but your shooting guard has a slightly gimpy knee and your center is coming back from a fractured heel. Have to measure their minutes, and I hope you’ve got a solid bench. Otherwise, it’s one-and-done for you.
Jordan in Norman asks: Is it just me or is Stoops getting beat on recruiting by Mack Brown? He has pulled in a lot of 4 and 5 stars, while Stoops is having a little trouble getting some guys. OU's recruiting in Texas is not like it used to be. It seems like Mack is picking who he want then OU, OSU and A&M get the rest.
David Ubben: The short answer is yes, Bob Stoops is getting “out-recruited.” Recruiting experts have ranked Texas’ class above Oklahoma’s in four of the past five seasons.
Over that same span, both teams have been in the top 15 each year, and, more often than not, the top 10. Recruiting is almost a complete crapshoot, only slightly less so than the NFL Draft. When you’re consistently landing classes that high, there’s not a ton of difference. Some guys will turn out. Some won’t. All programs can do is develop them the best they can. Oklahoma’s best players the past two seasons -- Ryan Broyles in 2009 and Sam Bradford in 2008 -- were three-star recruits. Gerald McCoy was a five-star recruit. Sergio Kindle was a five-star recruit. Colt McCoy: three-star.
Some players are going to be better than coaches and recruiting experts thought. Some won’t be as good. But Oklahoma and Texas are evidence that, if you keep landing top 15 classes every year, you’re going to do pretty well.
Benson D. in Columbia, MO asks: Does MU still have the best Offense in the North this upcoming season in your estimation? And if so, could a more experienced defense give them their first shot at a Big12 title with the exodus of UT stars and OU stars if MU can get past Nebraska for the North?
David Ubben: They should. They bring back nine starters on offense, but lose their best weapon in Danario Alexander. Kansas actually led the North in scoring offense last year, but its defense and record in conference games was so bad, few noticed.
Blaine Gabbert’s maturation process looks on schedule, and he could have a big year if he stays healthy and young receivers like Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp can show some consistency. As for winning the Big 12, Nebraska has the inside track at the North since they host the Tigers, but it’s still pretty early to be definitively forecasting much. Gary Pinkel’s argument for a long time is you haven’t arrived until you’ve beaten Texas or Oklahoma. Pinkel is 0-11 against those two teams, and that will probably have to change in 2010 if Missouri wants a Big 12 title.
Alex in Des Moines asks: If iowa state is better team this year isnt it possible for them to take the north title. They did beat Nebraska and had a half time lead against missouri and beat colorado last season.
David Ubben: I don’t see it. Paul Rhoads admitted to me earlier this week that his team could be improved in 2010 and have a worse record. Iowa State’s schedule is extremely tough. They play Nebraska and Missouri at home, but have to go to Oklahoma and Texas in back-to-back weeks in October.