Thanks for all the questions this week. Good to hear from you all. Here's where you can reach me.
Mike in Woodbridge, Va. asks: I don't understand why Mizzou is being labeled the vilan for leaving the Big 12. They are being singled out almost every chance the Big 12 can get both in the media and in the pocket book. Here are some examples: Nebraska ($9.25M) and Colorado's ($6.86M) exit penalty was a fraction of that of Mizzou's ($12.41M). Texas A&M was $12.41M but they are reaping the TV bennifits, Mizzou is not, and that widdles down their penatly to $9.31M. Now the e-mail comes out that the Big 12 tried to sue Mizzou for leaving and one annomous person blasted them comparing West Virgina as a better fit anyway. Mizzou is the last team to leave. Where was all the hate for Nebraska and CO? How about Texas A&M?
David Ubben: To some degree, I would agree that Mizzou has been painted as somewhat of a villain, but not to an outrageous level by anyone with any kind of perspective. For me, I think the biggest reason is Mizzou's move makes by far the least amount of sense. The Tigers simply wanted out of the Big 12, and went to a league that's a terrible fit for them in almost every way.
Nebraska works in the Big Ten from a cultural standpoint, and the Huskers have enough tradition to recruit nationally. Competition won't be a problem for the Huskers and when they left, the Big 12 didn't have its new TV deal yet. The Big Ten made sense on every level. I hated to see them go, but I thought it was a good move. Colorado had long been a bit of a Big 12 outlier, and as you've seen mentioned here several times, there are more CU alums in California than in the entire Big 12 footprint. That's a move toward the school's constituencies.
I think Texas A&M is biting off more than it can chew in the SEC, but a portion of the Aggies have pined for the SEC for decades. I don't think the Aggies will succeed like they believe they will, but I wouldn't be shocked if they did. The strategy -- offer Texas recruits something no other Texas school can -- at least makes some sense, even if I think losing too many games in the loaded, football-crazy SEC West will negate any recruiting advantage A&M will get.
But Mizzou? The school has long wanted the Big Ten, and it became clear that wasn't going to happen. However, the Big 12 had a big TV deal with another on the way and recommitted teams that granted their media rights to the league. Instead, the Tigers were running away from a league that was their home, trading tradition and probable future success for conference stability. For me, the first two far outweigh the second.
Mizzou has a whole lot to offer, and if the Big 12 did end, I don't believe the Tigers would have had much problem finding a new, fitting league.
As for the money difference, I don't know exactly why the price was different between Mizzou and A&M, but my guess is A&M-for-TCU was a simpler tradeout, whereas Mizzou put the Big 12's new TV deal in much more serious jeopardy with the complicated WVU move. The obvious difference between A&M/Mizzou and CU/Nebraska is the latter gave more than 12 months notice, which requires a lesser penalty in the Big 12 bylaws.
As for the price, remember: This was a settlement. Mizzou agreed to it. The Big 12 didn't just name a price. Neither side can complain.
Frederico in Paris, France, asks: DUbbstep,Which Big 12 defense will be best suited to handle Texas' Taupe Attack (Brown + Gray. Or maybe Beige-eron is more apropos)?
DU: First off, the new nickname made my day. Strong stuff there, Frederico. I'm sure I'll be dropping that on the blog in the near future, with your permission of course.
To your question, no question in my mind: It's Oklahoma. Texas will have the best defense in the Big 12 next year, but I think Oklahoma will be No. 2 under Mike Stoops.
Oklahoma State, Kansas State and TCU will be strong challengers for that No. 2 spot, but give me the Sooners as the team that gives the Longhorns' backfield the biggest fits.
They're physical up front and have Jamarkus McFarland, Stacy McGee and Casey Walker back, with a great set of linebackers in Tom Wort, Corey Nelson, Jaydan Bird and Joseph Ibiloye behind them. Sooners should be solid defending the run in 2012.
Dan Cuervo in Overland Park, Kansas asks: I saw some footage from the KU alumni association's pre-game pep rally in Omaha last Friday, wherein KU fans started a mock "S-E-C" chant upon the conclusion of the Mizzou debacle (which was AWESOME). Like you, I would prefer a Big 12 chant, but two syllable chants sound stupid. I propose that we organize a universal "B-I-G 12!" chant to show our conference pride in the future. Four syllables work much better than two.
David Ubben: Not a fan of that at all.
The S-E-C chant has seen its profile rise in these realignment days. They used to be reserved for big nonconference wins by the SEC.
If Big 12 fans are going to chant, the two-syllable "Big 12!" chant is the way to go. Oklahoma State fans birthed it during the win over Texas A&M this year, and kudos to them. It was well done.
The Big 12 chant is far superior to the mock S-E-C chant, but the four-syllable, spell out the Big 12 chant is a little much.
Robert in Cathedral City, Calif. asks: Hey Dave,WVU fan here. Our fan base is sort of unruly and independently outrageous at times. I am wondering how you see us "nestling" into a Big 12 environment. I am sure that we will appal some people, and perhaps make others leary of us. But the thing everyone needs to understand, we are basically good people...just a little more "boistrous" than other schools. For example, if other Big 12 schools come to WVU, most of them will receive a little trash talk, but then be invited to share our food and drink. I wonder how you see our culture fitting in with the current Big 12 mix?
DU: Ha, I have no experience with WVU at all, so I'll refrain from weighing in, but certainly the Mountaineers have a rep for being rowdy.
Probably more so than any other teams in the Big 12, but from a cultural standpoint, I think the Mountaineers fit well. From what I know, the WVU folk already have an argument as the most passionate of Big 12 fans, which will be a great addition.
And like most of the Big 12, football is king, but basketball is far from an afterthought. WVU has good balance.