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Tuesday's Big 12 letters

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

With the beginning of football season, we figured a good way to better serve our readers would be a second installment of our ever-popular letters column each week.

So going along with the idea of double plays, the Doublemint Twins, double cheeseburgers and double-coupon days at my favorite grocery, how about twice as many letters answered each week?

Here’s some of my recent correspondence:

Matt Fowler of Brownwood, Texas, writes: Hey Tim, did you know that Sept. 19 is International "Talk Like A Pirate Day?" Arrghh, be this an omen for me Red Raiders? Will Captain Mike Leach pillage Austin? Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Go Tech!

Tim Griffin: Or they could be forced to walk the plank. It seems they will be trying to storm a hostile rival still angry about their last attack and all the dubloons they lost when they couldn't attend the biggest party after that.

I’ll bet that's a little closer to he result we see Saturday night in Austin than your prediction.

But you are right about Saturday being International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Here's their website with all of the information about plans for pirate parties. I bet we see a few in Austin, too.


Steven Levy of Kansas City, Mo. writes: Tim, in your esteemed opinion, what is the likelihood of Kansas being 6-0 heading into the home game against Oklahoma. I think that they have a pretty darn good shot at that being a reality. Then, I guess the next question to come from that would be, what are Kansas' chances of beating Oklahoma on Oct. 24?

Tim Griffin: With Colorado’s recent struggles, I do like Kansas’ chances to be 6-0 headed into the Oklahoma game.

Obviously, Oklahoma will have played Texas the week before. I can’t gauge what the Sooners’ mindset will be, but I’m guessing that Sam Bradford will have returned to the lineup by then and brought a renewed sense of intensity back to his team.

The Sooners still will have the conference’s best defense when they return and should give the Jayhawks their biggest challenge to that point. Bob Stoops has never lost to Kansas and I still would make his team a slight favor to win the game on Oct. 24 in Lawrence.


John Muehe from Urbandale, Iowa, writes: Tim, I really enjoy reading your blog and getting news from the entire conference! Sean Keeler, from the Des Moines Register, blogged about the possibility of the Big 12 getting another bowl in 2010. The destination: the New Yankee Stadium. What do you know about this? I know it isn't a warm climate, but it has to be better than Shreveport, right?

Tim Griffin: I’ve also heard and seen the reports about the New York bowl game that would be played in the new Yankee Stadium between teams from the Big 12 and Big East conferences. The first thing that would need to happen would be for them to receive certification from the NCAA. Obviously a game with the backing of the Yankees would have a lot of pull behind it.

As you mentioned the weather would be a question. I’m wondering how many New York-area fans would get that excited about a Kansas-West Virginia or Baylor-South Florida game. I also know that New York City is traditionally more of a professional sports market than a college sports town and that could make starting a bowl difficult there.

Maybe a bowl game would change those things around. I still think it would be a hard sell, but might end up working.

It would have tremendous spectator appeal for out-of-town visitors. And it likely would be good for New York during the traditionally lax tourism period between Christmas and New Year’s Day.


Justin Goff from Dallas writes: If Texas Tech can pull off the upset in Austin what are the odds of the Red Raiders going into the Oklahoma State game undefeated?

Tim Griffin: Justin, that’s a mighty big if, isn’t it?

If Tech can win the Texas game, they face a huge challenge next week at Houston. Don’t kid yourself. I watched Houston play last week and was really impressed by what they were able to accomplish against Oklahoma State.

And then after that, there’s that pesky trip to Nebraska on Oct. 17 that will end up being a pretty tough road game against a team that’s ranked in the top 20. So I’m guessing that between one of those two games, Texas Tech would lose at least one road game before the Nov. 14 game at Oklahoma State - even if the Red Raiders can surprise the Longhorns in Austin.


Benson Dooley of Columbia, Mo., writes: Hey Tim, your blog is always excellent and I can't help but check it out two or three times a day. I took notice of an interesting statistic today while at the Missouri-Bowling Green game on Saturday. Missouri threw for 172 yards passing and rushed for a blistering 181 yards. When was the last time Missouri had more rushing yards than they passed? I would be curious to know whether they won that game and if not, when was the last time they ran more than passed and won?

Tim Griffin: Benson, thanks for the props. The last time that Missouri rushed for more yards than it passed for came in the 2008 Cotton Bowl when it rushed for 323 yards and passed for 136 yards. The Tigers won that game, 38-7.

Although more rushing yards than passing yards has been rare for Missouri in recent seasons, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more games like the Tigers’ victory over Bowling Green. There team is constructed to pile up a lot of rushing yards with Derrick Washington, De’Vion Moore and Kendial Lawrence. Don’t be shocked to see it happen again this season.


Bill from San Antonio writes: I was looking for your new scoring system that you came up with last week. Are you going to post it again this week. I thought it was a really good idea. Hope to see it again.

Tim Griffin: Take a look for it with my Wednesday posts. I’m thinking that would be a good place to put weekly and seasonal stats on my scoring/possession ratio for each conference team. I was planning on figuring them out tonight.

Thanks again for all of the strong letters again early this week. I read all of them.

Please check back again Friday for another batch.