Thanks for all the emails this week, readers. Send more here if you've got more to say.
Tyler Krueger in Midland, Texas, writes: Dave, I have see a few articles from you analyzing future power trends and recent power trends over a three year period. We always hear about home field advantage in the Big 12 and tough road games. Statistically where have been the 3 or 4 toughest places to play in the last 3yrs?
David Ubben: I went ahead and ran the numbers for you. Really interesting question. Oklahoma's home "struggles" (relative to Bob Stoops dominance prior to 2011, of course) cost them the top spot, but I ran the numbers and here's how it looks:
Kansas State: 17-3
Oklahoma State: 17-3
Texas Tech: 10-8
Iowa State: 11-9
And the newcomers in their first year in the Big 12:
West Virginia: 5-3
It's crazy how big a gap there is in the Big 12. You're either very, very good, or not good at all. Texas has won 22 games in the past three seasons, but it's crazy to see their nine losses leave them with a better record than only Kansas in Big 12 play.
Todd in Rockville, Md., writes: Hi Ubbs ... is it just me or is OU becoming the new "Quarterback U"? Heupel (Heisman runner-up), White (Heisman winner), Bradford (Heisman winner), Landry Jones (all-time passing and yardage leader in the Big 12)...That is an impressive list! Big shoes, Belldozer...big shoes!
DU: I'd say there's no doubt Oklahoma's cemented that reputation over the last decade. Texas had Colt McCoy and Vince Young, who were two of the greatest players to ever take a college field, but Oklahoma's quantity of great quarterback play is unrivaled. Bob Stoops loves to trumpet this stat whenever anyone questions the Sooners' tradition at the position, but it really is crazy to see the Sooners have won eight Big 12 titles with six different quarterbacks. In contrast, Texas won two Big 12 titles with two quarterbacks.
The WVU Wonka in Charleston, W.Va., writes: Look at the holes OU has to fill.Now look at the holes WVU has to fill.Quite similar, no? Can you explain why WVU will be a "heavy underdog" in that matchup? Don't even go there with the "talent" argument -- they aren't worlds apart like people oft think.From your observations, everyone in the Big 12 is reloading and improving -- except for WVU -- whom you have pegged at 8th.When we beat OU in Norman in Week 2, you can at least say you had fair warning -- WVU always plays the underdog role to the finest levels.
DU: Well first off, please point me to that five-game losing streak Oklahoma enjoyed last season. Bottom line, West Virginia had great play at quarterback and wide receiver, but lacked a lot of talent elsewhere. In retrospect, the disappointing season should have been much easier to see coming. Oklahoma won a Big 12 title with a team that had a lot of talent in a lot of places, even though they didn't have elite guys like Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Oklahoma lost a lot on defense, but Blake Bell has a lot of promise and experience, the latter of which no WVU quarterback has.
Then you talk about having guys on the team who know how to win and win big in the Big 12. The Sooners have a bunch of them, even though the last couple 10-win seasons have fallen short of expectations. They still shared a league title last year and West Virginia has to answer a bunch of questions about their ability to win in this league. To expect them to do that with a team faced with a complete rebuild on their strongest side of the ball? Mighty presumptuous.
Phil M in Bluefield, W.Va., writes: Just emailed your future power rankings to a friend of mine in the Mountaineer Athletic Dept with instructions to post at the stadium and the bball practice facility.Got a reply back from him consider it done. Thanks Homer!!
DU: Not sure how that makes me a homer, but I'm intrigued to know if this is true. Can anyone provide photo evidence? Tweet it my way.
Dark Horse Candidate not in New York writes: When was the last time I won a Heisman Trophy? Is it even worthwhile to mention my name in Heisman conversations? I don't consider last year's winner an incarnation of me. He was an anomaly altogether because was unknown to start the season as a true freshman. From now on, leave me out of this discussion. Thanks.
DU: Good points. I'm sure Robert Griffin III agrees with you. Dark horses never win Heisman Trophies.