Thanks for all your questions today. A fun chat, as usual. Here's the full transcript.
I'll have my Mailbag up later this week, so shoot me an e-mail if you've got more to say and you might find it here later this week.
On to the highlights!
Jon (UG): What on earth happened to the Mountaineers? 5-0, the a 4 game skid?
David Ubben: Well, it's entirely possible that WVU just wasn't that good to begin with. It didn't play a solid team in nonconference, narrowly beat Baylor and then barely beat Texas, a good team who hasn't started playing its best football until just recently. Dana Holgorsen warned of it before the season, but the offensive talent sometimes masks the team's other clear deficiencies.
Justin (Stillwater): Go ahead and rank the Big 12 coaches and their performances through the season thus far. Who has impressed you the most? Do you see any of the 10 leaving the conference for higher profile gigs?
David Ubben: Bill Snyder's not losing the Big 12 Coach of the Year. He's closely followed by Tommy Tuberville, Paul Rhoads and Mike Gundy. As for guys leaving, Rhoads and Tuberville are probably the biggest flight risk. I expect both to stay, and Tuberville's stock took a hit with the incident this weekend. I just can't see Gary Patterson or Gundy ever really taking the Arkansas job. Tuberville, though? It's possible.
Amber (Ok) [via mobile]: You've now seen all three OSU QBs. In your opinion whose the best and why.
David Ubben: They really are all so different. Chelf is the most consistent right now, but as expected, I don't see a ton of upside with him. Injuries and turnovers are a huge concern at this point with Lunt. J.W. Walsh is solid, but that's taking the offense in a direction I'm not sure OSU wants to go. And with your QB running that much, I don't think OSU really wants to change up its offense any time he gets banged up. I like Lunt still as the long-term option, but OSU needs to stick with Chelf this weekend against Tech.
Kyle (Dallas): What does OSU have to have happened to get into the Cotton Bowl? Fiesta?
David Ubben: Gosh, they would really need Texas to tank over the next couple weeks. The same with OU. The Fiesta is theoretically possible if OU loses this weekend and the Pokes win out, but I don't think their BCS ranking will be high enough to warrant an at-large bid. The Cotton is definitely in play, but with three losses, the Fiesta's just not happening.
Matt (NYC) [via mobile]: Yo Ubben! How long before Holgs has WV competitive in the Big 12?
David Ubben: Well, it's probably going to be a little while. I said all offseason that TCU's upside was higher, and I think we'll see that. WVU should be down next year after losing Geno and likely his two best offensive options. I think I said we'd go 5-10 years before WVU won a Big 12 title. I haven't really seen much to convince me otherwise. WVU needs more defensive talent. You can't win a title in this league without a good defense.
Shawn [via mobile]: What did you think of the new Amon G Carter stadium? What was your favorite part? Is there a facility that rivals it in terms of total package?
David Ubben: Loved it. Everything is just so new. Really a state-of-the-art facility. Spacious press box. Convenient field access. Really loved everything about it. Fantastic atmosphere for that game, too. There will be bigger stadiums, but right now, it's definitely the nicest in the Big 12.
Shaun (NJ): With WVU averaging giving up 52 pts a game in conference play, do you ever see anyone from the defensive staff being fired?
David Ubben: I think Dana Holgorsen might make some position group moves, but to fire Patterson or DeForest after one season reeks of a panic move. It's one season. There's plenty of reason of concern, but I think you try to go to work and figure out how to fix it in the offseason, whether that means mining the jucos or tweaking some schemes or personnel. I don't think going scorched earth and firing the staff does what you want it to. You're just starting over with a third scheme in three years next season if you do that.
Jeremiah (Huntsville, AL): Presuming that K-State wins out , who do you think they have a better chance winning against in the National Championship game; Oregon, Notre Dame or Alabama?
David Ubben: 1) Notre Dame 2) Oregon 3) Alabama
Justin (Denver): It sounds like Ty Zimmerman and Tyler Locket both have ankle injuries and are questionable for this week. Both would be big losses to not have on the field for the Cats. Which one would cause a bigger impact in your opinion?
David Ubben: Tough call. They both offer a lot that nobody else on the roster can. Zimmerman's experience and ballhawking skills are tough to duplicate. I probably lean Lockett, though. Tramaine Thompson is fast, but Lockett has another gear and can change a game in the open field on offense or on special teams. Zimmerman can't quite do that, though he's a great player.