I'm on the road today, so our weekly chat isn't going down. I'm not leaving you hanging, though. Here's a mini-mailbag full of your thoughts from the last day or so.
Gregg Myer in Elgin, Texas, asked: David, why would you say Texas A&M is "demanding" a 20 million dollar share of big 12 tv revenue. Were you not paying attention when this deal was offered to Texas A&M?
David Ubben: Look, let's not get hung up on semantics here. I got a handful of e-mails about that word, but let me be clear about this: I have zero problem with Texas A&M holding the Big 12 to its word, regardless of what Texas and Oklahoma chose to do. Get hung up on the word "demand" all you want, but it's correct, regardless of how you choose to interpret it or whatever connotations you want to take from it.
Some may use another loaded word, "greedy" to describe it, but it's a school looking out for itself. The Big 12 offered. It would help A&M. A&M took it. No problems there. Every school was looking out for itself this summer. Maybe that's greedy, but A&M wasn't the only school accepting any advantage it could get this summer. There's nothing wrong with that.
Kevin K in Lawton, Okla., asked: Isn't Nebraska a little overrepresented (5 out of 25) for a team that didn't play anybody and did poorly against the South?
DU: You mean the same team that sent nine players to the NFL combine and lost three games to Big 12 teams by a three, three and seven points and won the Big 12 North? If you haven't figured it out yet, no, I don't think they're overrepresented at all. Of course, I'm the one who composed the list, too.
Tyler in New York asks: David, I'm surprised that Husker emails still don't outnumber the other schools regardless of the new conference alignment. After all, with all due respect to spouses, kids, parents, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, the dog, the cat, in-laws, jobs, churches, school, homework, the leaky faucet, and the 1' high front lawn, Nebraska football seems to trump everything in this state. That being said, I have heard a lot about the old Big 12 north schools now having a much harder schedule since they now have to play the big dogs from the south every year. It seems to me that if in one year a team would have played Nebraska and Oklahoma and now has to play Oklahoma and Texas instead, that the difficulty hasn't increased all that much because that's pretty tough either way. But, eeking out a win against one of the old south powers still would seem to carry more national respect than beating Nebraska. Seems to me its a much better opportunity for them. Because even though I realize Nebraska is the best team of all time, it seems that there are others that disagree. ;) Thoughts?
DU: Ha, I still get a lot of e-mails from/about Nebraska, as you can see. I don't post them unless they deal with Big 12 issues, but you pose an interesting question.
Before I get to that, I'm sure everyone on this blog would agree that Nebraska is the best team of all-time. If not all time, certainly of the past decade, right?
Historically, I'd agree with you, but for the better part of the Big 12's 15-year existence, Nebraska was a shell of its former self, nowhere near the perennial national title contender it was under Tom Osborne. It got a little closer to that the past couple seasons, but in the last decade, Texas and Oklahoma have been simply dominant. Nebraska, not so much.
So, as long as Texas rebounds from their troubles last year, I do see it being a lot more difficult for North teams, who haven't had to deal with the full brunt of the Nebraska that beat up on them in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Brett in Kansas City asked: Hey David, with the NFL locking out its current players right now and its future players come April is there any chance the NCAA might grant one time waivers for underclassmen who decided to enter the draft to come back to school?
DU: I've gotten this question a few times, but no, with most of them having already signed with agents, you'd run in to all kinds of problems, and most of the players who left early in the Big 12 (we're only talking three) are likely first rounders or early second rounders. Elsewhere, I haven't heard anything to suggest this is even a possibility.
Gene Dorris in Shanghai, China, writes: Dave, It is sometimes hard to get all the news here in China about what is going on back in Oklahoma, so I follow what you write pretty closely. One of the things to me that is not clear has been the press response to Broyles (Sooner) and Blackmon (Cowboys) deciding to stay another year. The immediate press story with the Broyles announcement of another year, was to glorify the Sooners as the next national champions. Brandon and Justin's announcement a few days later was met with barely a whimper. My guess is that these teams are going to be pretty near even in 2011. So why the lack of press play. I was told once by a former OU player from the 50's that one of the reasons for OU's success (publicity wise) was the fact that the Sooners had a better sport's publicist. Every year Bud had somebody tooting his horn really loud on how great he was and he always had a candidate for the Heisman to hype. And yes, Dave, I am a Cowboy fan and a former Pistol Pete from the 60's.
DU: I really don't think it has anything to do with publicists. It has more to do with winning games. Oklahoma historically has shown it can get to the national title game, even with heaps of pressure upon the program. Oklahoma State? They're going to have to prove it. The bottom line is, teams who win games get more benefit of the doubt. Oklahoma's played for the national championship four times in the past decade, losing three. The Cowboys had a great year in 2010, but their 11-win season was the first such year with double-digit wins since 1988. They've got a lot to prove.
Oklahoma is a more complete team than Oklahoma State, who is somewhat of a dark horse to make a run at the title, primarily on defense. And I don't agree that Blackmon and Weeden coming back was met with a whimper. That was a big deal, and provides Oklahoma State with the opportunity for an encore to a historic season in 2010.
Ryan Holliday in College Station asked: David, Von Miller was announced as one of the plaintiffs in the NFL antitrust lawsuit to represent rookies. Other names on this list include Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. What are your thoughts on this? To me, this is pretty big. To hear the NFLPA talking about a young Aggie like that have been has to be good...right
DU: I was wondering that myself. I asked around about it over the weekend, and my understanding was the league wanted to make sure an incoming rookie was named in the suit so that any decision by the courts affected the rookie class, as well as current members of the league, and any decision made by the courts would not exclude incoming players like Miller. And the league wanted marketable faces on the lawsuit like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and out of the next draft, Miller seemed like a good fit. It matters who the plaintiffs are in a lawsuit like this. Miller hasn't been in trouble for anything on or off the field, with laws or the NCAA, he speaks well for himself, and is a sure-fire early first-round pick. It makes sense.