Chat: Defenses, developing Ash, Holgorsen

Thanks for all the questions today. Here's the full transcript from our Tuesday chat.

If you want to reach me with more questions or comments, here's where you can do it.

Orange Power (Columbus, OH): Ubben, Looks like Oklahoma State is going to have a pretty good combo at RB next year. Do you think they should warrant as much hype as the Gray-Michael combo last year? And also, how many wacky run game possibilities are available now with Randle, Smith, and Sims (not to mention sweeps to WR's like Stewart or Moore)?

David Ubben: No, not quite. For one, OSU's offense isn't as physical and doesn't blow people off the ball like Texas A&M's did at times. Plus, Gray and Michael were, at least for now, better than Randle was. Randle is a better pass-catcher, but he can't match the physicality of A&M's backs. Smith is good, but not on that level. Either way, the duo is probably the best in the league this year.

Matt (Okc,Ok): OU's new DC said he is going to simplify things on defense. Why do new coaches come in and say we are going to simplify what the defense, so the players can react better and not have to think so much? If complexity of scheme is the cause of the problem, why do coordinators make the same mistakes by making it so complicated? Or is it just coach speak that "simplifying" is the answer to our poor defense?

David Ubben: It depends on the situation. That's not always the case. The more complex the scheme is, the more confusing it is for offenses. The older and more experienced your defense is, the easier it is to make things complex. I think sometimes DCs overestimate what their players are capable of. It's an easy mistake. They see a lot of good things in practice. That's not always the case, but the best defenses are ones that can do complex things like disguise coverages perfectly and make a QB confused about where pressure will be coming from.

Tony (Richmond, CA): Which road game will be tougher, WVU or TCU? Do the recruiting implications in Texas make the Horned Frogs matchup more important regardless of the outome of either game?

David Ubben: Definitely WVU. TCU's going to have a nice stadium, but the WVU folk are known for being loud and providing a crazy atmosphere. Just ask LSU last year.

Jman (Amarillo, TX): At the University of Texas, how well do you think David Ash will compete as an elite QB or do you even see him as an elite.

David Ubben: For one, I still think it's early to make any true distinction. Ash simply didn't get enough reps in the spring or preseason camp to get used to the game. Then, suddenly, he was playing a ton. That's obviously changed this year. I don't think I see him as an elite guy, but we could see some huge improvement this year. Ultimately, he's the guy who decides Texas' fate this year between 7-8 wins and 10-11.

Trey (Texas): What are the odds that OU has a better overall defensive ranking at the end of next season, than Texas?

David Ubben: Not impossible, but it's going to be really, really hard for anybody to top Texas' defense next year. OU's got the best shot, with TCU, K-State and OSU behind them.

wvirishref (West Virginia): What will be the take on Dana coming back as a head coach for the game in Stillwater?

David Ubben: He'll be fine. There are no hard feelings in Stillwater. He revitalized the offense for its best year ever (until this year) and took a really, really good job at a good program. That's how the game is played. He'll be welcomed back.

BigDroot (middle of nowhere oklahoma): Are you buying or selling OU as preseason Big 12 #1?

David Ubben: Buying, but only by a bit. OU is the most experienced and most consistent team in the league next year, but there's a chunk of 4-5 teams right behind them that could definitely win the league. OU was a huge favorite last year and didn't get it done, aided by injuries a bit. OU is the best team coming into this year, but TCU, WVU, K-State, OSU and Texas are right there behind them, capable of winning.