In Tuesday's mailbag we discuss Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, the confidence of Iowa State's Demond Tucker and way-too-early predictions for Texas' season opener with Notre Dame. As always, thanks for your questions (and thanks for not asking about expansion this time around). To submit questions for next week's mailbag, click here.
Cole in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, writes: The receivers looked great in OU's spring game. I think the trio of receivers from 2014 recruiting class (Jeffery Mead, Dallis Todd, and Mark Andrews) looked great. What do you think the season looks like for them? The QB race looks to be about even with Baker Mayfield and Justice Hansen sticking out to me more than Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas. What do each of these four have to do to secure the starting gig?
Brandon Chatmon: I think the Sooners receiving options look much better in 2015 than in 2014. I really like what Andrews brings to the table and think he will have a strong season, but I still think Michiah Quick will be the best and most productive receiver from the 2014 receiving class this fall. As far as the quarterbacks, simply making good decisions and taking care of the ball should be enough. Doing too much, as we saw Saturday, isn’t the route to take.
Thomas in Bossier City, Louisiana, writes: I've always known Mayfield was a gunslinger, but I'd like to think that he's a very smart in-game player. Coach Lincoln Riley did call him sharp and intelligent and such, so my question is: How bad were those two spring game interceptions? Could it be he was just taking big risks that he normally wouldn't take in order get big payoffs that cemented his front running status? What do you make of them?
BC: Looked like the Baker Mayfield I saw at Texas Tech. He’s confident, he’s going to take chances that sometimes lead to interceptions. That’s just who he is. He made some bad decisions in the spring game but he also made some good ones. The key for him will be his willingness to settle with the easy play more often than not as he grows as a quarterback.
Cole in Des Moines writes: Should Iowa State fans be happy that Desmond Tucker is so confident?
BC: Yes, absolutely. The Cyclones could use a confidence boost. I like Tucker’s confidence, I think it’s great. If Tucker, a ESPN JC50 defensive tackle signee, thinks he can be Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Cyclones fans should consider that positive news.
Joel in Durham, North Carolina, writes: If Baylor suddenly decided to beef up its nonconference schedule, what does that time frame realistically look like? Would they be able to get a team in time for the 2016 season? How hard is it to find teams from Power 5 conferences that are willing to schedule, play, and potentially lose to other Power 5 teams on such short notice?
BC: Schedules are set so long in advance it would likely take money, i.e. buying out games, to make that happen anytime soon. You hit on the other obstacle as well, Joel. It could be tough finding Power 5 teams ready to add Baylor to the schedule on such short notice. So even if BU changes its approach, some major obstacles still remain. The time frame would be looking like several years unless BU is willing to take sacrifice money for an improved schedule.
Wes in Euless, Texas, writes: I have already purchased my tickets to the Texas vs. Notre Dame game. Give me your way-too-early prediction on the following: Who will be the Longhorns' starting QB? How will the Longhorns' defense fair that early in the season with ND's anticipated offensive talent? What is your prediction on the score?
BC: That should be an awesome game to attend, I’m jealous. Way-too-early predictions: Jerrod Heard to start at quarterback, a Longhorns defense that shows its youth but shows its promise and a 34-21 Notre Dame victory.
Zachary Cole in Kyle, Texas, writes: Hindsight is 20-20 but with how well Baker Mayfield is doing at Oklahoma and Texas Tech still not having a clear-cut starter, do you think Kliff Kingsbury would go back and do anything differently in handling the situation? Or is the future of Pat Mahomes so bright it's hard to see anything past him?
BC: No. I think Kingsbury is happy with his decision. And considering Mahomes (16 TDs, 4 INTs, 8.4 yards per attempt) had better freshman numbers than Mayfield (12 TDs, 9 INTs, 6.8 ypa) I can’t blame him.
Michael in Lubbock, Texas, writes: From the Tech spring game, it was obvious that Mike Mitchell was still thinking a bit while playing. But he was always near the ball, and closed on the ball faster than most safeties do. My expectations are that he is a rotational linebacker, a special teams stud, and a guy who would excel in situations where a QB spy is needed and in quarter/dime packages. Are my expectations, too high, too low, or about right?
BC: I think they are too low. I expect Mitchell to get more comfortable as the months pass us by and he will emerge as a starter in David Gibbs' defense this fall. Your expectations are probably what I would consider a baseline for Mitchell in 2015.
Sammy in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: What did you guys think of our performance in the spring game Friday night. Did we make a case for the starting LB jobs? How'd you like the new Uniforms?
BC: I wasn’t in Fort Worth, so it’s hard to say but it definitely seems like TCU is closer to finding answers at linebacker, particularly with the emergence of freshman Mike Freeze. The Horned Frogs have solidified their status as one of the favorites in my eyes and will continue to be as long as they have Trevone Boykin taking snaps. I’m not sure I like the uniforms quite yet, although I do like the fact TCU continues to make its Horned Frog mascot a prominent part of its uniform choices.