Mailbag: Rising powers, underrated players

Another short Friday. Thanks for all the e-mails this week, folks. Have a great weekend.

Christian Gulker in Manhattan, Kansas asked: Who do you think is a team that could be a legit contender for a big 12 title in 2 years other than the teams that are already powerhouses (OU, OSU, TAMU,UT)?

David Ubben: I don't think Texas Tech is getting enough attention for what it's building under Tommy Tuberville. This year's team won't scare anyone, but the defensive line is on the rise in a big way, the secondary will mature, and he's recruiting some big-time receivers in the 2012 class to go with some good talent already on campus.

Additionally, and most importantly, they're going to be set at quarterback. This should be Seth Doege's team for the next two years, but when he's gone, you're going to see a big-time quarterback race between Jacob Karam, Scotty Young and Michael Brewer. They'll have great depth, similar to what they had last year.

The future is definitely bright for the Red Raiders, who could flirt with a Big 12 title as soon as next season.

Philip in Columbia, Mo. asked: David, how can you hate Mizzou so much? Saying they have no chance to make the B12 Championship Game...All kidding aside, when do you think everyone will realize there is no championship game? When they fly to Dallas and are heartbroken to find out that they are an idiot?

Ryan in St. Louis, Mo. asked: Sorry about all the Missouri fans who seem to not realize that we don't have a Big Xii Championship game anymore. Ill try to round them up and show them a film about why there isnt one and what happens now that we dont have one. Now to my question. I have noticed that your preseason top 25 list hasnt had one former north team player other than Missouri. Is that going to continue and does that show just how bad the former north teams, other than Missouri of course, are?

DU: Ha, I enjoyed having a little fun with a few misguided Mizzou fans this week, but I'm sure they're in the minority. I hope no one has tickets to Dallas booked for the first weekend in December this year.

I'd offer to show you around town as a consolation prize, but I'm sure I'll be on my way to Stillwater for an epic Bedlam matchup that weekend.

(Feel free to bookmark this post for an obvious jinx midseason.)

Alex in CR asked: Is A.J Klein overlooked and under-appreciated? Knott may have great numbers but he isn't the only play maker on defense.

DU: I definitely think he is. As little respect as Jake Knott gets nationally and even in his own conference, Klein gets even less, and we're talking about the Big 12's third-leading returning tackler, behind Knott and Texas A&M's Garrick Williams.

Klein had 111 stops of his own, and though I think Knott's physical skills are superior, those two guys turned potential into big-time reality in just one season as starters. They're going to get even better. Iowa State has other problems, but linebacker is going to be a strength for at least a couple more seasons.