In this week's mailbag we discuss the possibility of a different conference title winner, recruiting pipelines and BYU, again.
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To the 'bag:
Rick in DFW writes: Texas, OU, OSU, K-State and Baylor have won the last five Big 12 championships. Will there be a different winner again in 2014?
Trotter: Realistically, that would mean either TCU or Texas Tech winning the crown. Both teams have dangerous calling cards (TCU with its defense, Tech with its passing attack), so it’s possible. After all, nobody saw K-State coming in 2012, and few saw the Bears coming in 2013.
David Elswick in Richmond, Virginia, writes: With a home state population of less than 2 million, WVU has had to recruit extensively elsewhere. Under Rich Rodriguez half the team was from Florida. Does any other Big 12 team have a strong recruiting pipeline to other states?
Trotter: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State recruit Texas heavily. But the Sooners have been getting players from California lately. And Oklahoma State has five players from Georgia, thanks to defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer’s connection to the Peach State. Kansas State and Kansas will get players from Missouri. Iowa State has opened up a steady pipeline in Florida. But really, the majority of players in the Big 12 come from the Lone Star State.
Chris in New York writes: With the transfer of Mike Mitchell to Texas Tech, what's the actual likelihood that he gets the waiver to play next season?
Trotter: With the NCAA, you never know.
H. Dean Robb in Sandy, Utah, writes: As you mentioned BYU would bring new markets to the Big 12 not only on a national basis but on an international level. As a business person who has completed over 100 due diligences and approximately 60 acquisitions all based on: improving market share, product, and technology. I would recommend a "dating" period between the Big 12 and BYU. What does the Big 12 have to lose? Create a scheduling alliance similar to Notre Dame and the ACC. If it doesn't work out, do not extend the maturity. If it works out either extend the agreement or bring BYU in as a football only or full-time member. Your thoughts?
Trotter: The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel first suggested this idea last week, and I think it makes sense. It would allow the Big 12 to get familiar with BYU, as well as all the positives and negatives that would come with bringing the Cougars into the league. And it would help Big 12 programs with their future scheduling and give the conference more good games. I don’t see much of a downside to trying it out.
Andy Nordgaard in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, writes: How about we offer West Virginia to the AAC and take on BYU for 2015-16?
Trotter: This again?
Burkester13 in Boston writes: Hi Jake, thanks for your write up on BYU and the Big 12. Adding them has been on my mind a lot lately. My question is the geographic aspect. I'm confused about why this is a concern when BYU is first in the Salt Lake market, and between second and fourth in other huge markets such as Vegas, San Diego, San Fran and Colorado, which puts the Big 12 in those cities immediately. Isn't their geography a strength because it puts the Big 12 in untapped markets and expands the footprint?
Trotter: BYU has tradition. The Cougars would expand the Big 12 footprint. And they’re the one available program out there at the moment that would actually bring TV eyeballs. But again, the league is not stopping at 11. So who else is out there that also brings any of that as a potential 12th program?
Bobby in Idaho Falls, Idaho, writes: What about adding BYU/San Diego State as football only partners. That would open up the California market for the Big 12, wouldn’t affect the other sports and now gives more markets for recruiting base as well as the 12 teams needed for a championship.
Trotter: I guess we’re going to belabor the point -- any idea that takes more out of the revenue pie than brings in is going to be a non-starter with the Big 12 athletic directors and presidents. This is about money. Even based in California, San Diego State would take more money out than it would bring in. There’s a reason why the Aztecs haven’t been invited to join a major conference yet.
JP in Pittsburgh writes: Jake, I'm not one to email or post comments. However, you might want to immerse yourself in the culture and history of West Virginia a little more. You're way off on many historical things, my friend, including the biggest moments in program history. You picked Virginia Tech 2003 as the biggest win of the BCS era for WVU, and I understand the points you made with argument. However, if you understood West Virginia football, you would understand the impact the Sugar Bowl win against Georgia had. Additionally, WVU's Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma essentially kept the Mountaineers afloat nationally as everything came crashing down following the Pitt loss and Rich Rod's exit to Michigan.
Trotter: You need to start reading the fine print, my friend. If you did, you’d know that was a list of the best regular-season wins of the BCS era for every Big 12 team. Postseason wins were not included, since they’d be too obvious.