Vinay Bhaskara in New Jersey writes: Who do you think Garret Gilbert's biggest asset is in terms of offensive weapons?
David Ubben: That's the million-dollar question in Austin this fall, Vinay. If Gilbert (or his assets, for that matter) can figure that out early, it'll serve them well. It'd be one thing if he was just looking for a No. 2 target to consistently take some pressure off his No. 1, but this is much more important. I'd be surprised if any of the incoming freshmen become his top target, but the most likely candidates are probably the guys he'll be able to find easily, not necessarily his most talented receivers. That means tight end Barrett Matthews or his slot guy, John Chiles. If they can consistently get open and prove they have reliable hands, it's going to be a lot easier for Gilbert to make the big plays he made in the national championship.
Jack in Stillwater writes: I'm not sure if you followed the pregame music across the Big 12, but at OSU, "Cowboys 4Ever" was a huge flop, resulting in it being replaced by a heavy metal song nobody knew the words too. Clearly we need new material for next year. Any suggestions?
DU: I remember the Cowboys 4ever debacle well. Can't help but laugh at something like that (after, of course, you finish "riding Bullet across the plains and avenging your kin's blood and name." What?) I'm totally against ripping other schools off (an edgy stance, I know), so please, teams, stop playing "Jump Around" or "Enter Sandman" and pretending like you're Wisconsin or Virginia Tech. Come up with something else. I scoured my iTunes library, and the best I could come up with was "Another One Bites The Dust," by Queen. Well-known, with a clear and aggressive message, while also danceable and full of feelgoodery. It's also underused in the sporting realm. Not a home run suggestion in my opinion, but let me know if you've got some in the comments. There are two things that always got me pumped up. My next-door neighbors during my freshman year of college used to play "The Autumn Wind" right before the NFL games started on Sunday and that always got us pretty ready for nine hours of football on Sunday, even though none of us were Raiders fans. And that Chicago Bulls theme they played while they introduced the players and the animated bull ran through downtown Chicago is pretty awesome.
W in Anaheim, Calif., asks: David - Who would you pick as the ideal out-of-conference rival for each of the Big XII teams?
DU: Good question. Some of these games are already being played, but here's what I got. If there's no natural geographic rival, I went with teams with a similar or completely different style or teams with something in common, inside or outside of football. They're pretty easy to figure out.
Colorado: Colorado State
Iowa State: Iowa
Kansas: North Carolina
Kansas State: Penn State
Oklahoma State: Tulsa
Texas A&M: Auburn
Texas Tech: Houston
alex in iowa asks: How come Alexander Robinson is so underated?
DU: Comes down to really three factors.
1) He doesn't play for a traditional power that people want to see every week or will stay and watch if they're on TV. And besides, Iowa State's opportunities to be on national television are rare.
2) He doesn't have the "Wow" factor that Seneca Wallace did. Wallace reminded people of a guy like Michael Vick and that one play where he ran something like 120 yards to score on a 12-yard touchdown run. "Heisman moment" is probably too strong, but it was a moment that ensured he wouldn't be forgotten. Robinson hasn't had that. In the one game where people were actually watching Iowa State, the win over Nebraska, he didn't play.
3) Lastly, and I think this is the biggest reason, Iowa State hasn't been winning games. Seven games might have been a big deal after the program's recent struggles, but it didn't register nationally. If Iowa State can win eight games or so this season and Robinson runs for 1,200, he won't be underrated anymore.