Mailbag: Buffs, UT rank, coach tree backlash

Thanks for all the e-mails this week. Here's where you can reach me if you've got more to say.

Connor in Austin wrote: Dubbs, it's been a while since I last read the blog and I'm truly sorry for that. Sometimes I just want to get away from football (especially when the longhorns have lost to Baylor in consecutive years). I was wondering if you could give me an estimate of the Longhorns' offense/defense ranking in the NCAA. I'd say defense should be top 5 but number 1 in at least one category. However, I think the offense could end up around top 20 or better (pending the performances of David Ash). So really I have two questions. 1). Do you concur with my prediction? 2.) How likely is it that Ash fulfills his potential to be, for lack of a better description, a Colt McCoy-esque quarterback?

David Ubben: I don't quite see it. If you want to factor in everything, I do believe Texas will have an argument at season's end as the nation's best defense, but the stats may not show it. It'll be tough for the Longhorns to finish in the top 10 just because of the way the Big 12 plays football.

For one, there are too many ridiculous offenses in this league and big-time talents on that side of the ball. Last year, Texas Tech finished sixth in the Big 12 in total offense. That was good for 13th nationally. That's a ton of good offenses to go up against every week. TCU and WVU will be solid replacements offensively for A&M and Mizzou.

Some see the Big 12's fast-paced offenses and think the Longhorns face more plays. It's not true. LSU finished second nationally in total defense and faced 897 plays. Texas faced only 865. Granted, Alabama faced 720, but in the nation's top 10 defenses, Alabama is a huge outlier. The next-lowest number in the top 10 was 835 plays.

Texas is going to be great, but they can't really worry about the numbers. The Longhorns finished 11th last year, and they should try to improve that, but it won't be easy in this league.

Offensively, I don't see any way Texas jumps all the way up to 20th in total offense. The offense just isn't explosive enough. They may be more productive this year, but the Horns still don't have a gamebreaker, and you've got to have big plays if you want a top 20 offense.

I think Ash will be significantly better this year, but nowhere in the Colt McCoy, 'Hey, let's complete 70 percent of our passes' realm. He's just got to make the throws he needs to make and not turn the ball over.

Bob Culwell in Denver, Colo. writes: As a Kansas alum living in Colorado, the final football game between the schools in which the 'Hawks rallied from 28 down in the 4th quarter to beat the Buffs holds a special place in my heart. It is an oasis in the recent desert that has been Jayhawk football. I hope Jordan Webb is wildly succesful in Boulder. It was sad to see the bit you posted that the University of Colorado had written in Webb's new bio that Kansas won thanks to bad officiating.Colorado fired Dan Hawkins within days of that loss. So, let me get this straight, it is the policy of the University of Colorado to fire coaches for bad officiating? Why in the world would anybody want to coach at Colorado? The officiating in that game was fine. You know where it wasn't fine? The fifth-down game. Not only did CU get five downs--they didn't even get in the end zone on the fifth down. Colorado parlayed that win into a "national championship". I wonder if the Buffs make note of the terrible officiating that delivered a gift "national championship" to a group of Buffs that shouldn't have received it.

DU: Ha. Wow. Brutal, but good points there, Bob. This wins for the e-mail of the week.

It does seem pretty contradictory to complain about the officiating and then fire a coach for losing the game. It's worth noting that no, Jordan Webb didn't play in that game, which makes it even more ridiculous that the game is (or was, I should say) even mentioned in his bio.

Brad in Duncan, Okla. writes: Hey Ubbs, I just wanted to comment on your All-Names team. You left one of the most awesome names off the list. Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma. From the first time I found out Oklahoma was recruiting him, and Gunner Kiel at QB, All I could think of was "Man, these guys definitely have names that fit their positions." Oklahoma didn't get Kiel of course, but I thought it was interesting.

DU: Good points, Brad. Thanks for the note. I love a name that fits the position. Striker qualifies, and he probably deserved a spot on the team ahead of Shaq Petteway. I'll give him honorable mention.

No question about Gunner Kiel, though. If he was in the Big 12, he'd have a four-year run as the QB on that team.

Brett in Kansas City wrote: David, can you explain how Bill Snyder isn't on top of the best coaching tree list? Off the top of my head I can think of 6 former assistants who went on to be head coaches and countless others who went on to be coordinators, and I'm sure there's more, and as you said without Snyder Bob Stoops and Bret Beilema's trees wouldn't even exist.

DU: Got a ton of e-mail about this from K-State fans. I get it. Defining a coaching tree isn't very easy. Ultimately, I think you have to judge it by guys who leave one coach's staff to become head coaches elsewhere. That doesn't mean Snyder didn't have a huge influence on all of those coaches, whether it be Stoops, Mangino or whoever you want to cite on his old K-State staffs. Yes, Stoops took a lot of those guys to OU when he left. Yes, those guys were heavily influenced by Snyder.

They're a part of his tree, but guys always coach under different head coaches over the course of their careers. You have to draw the line somewhere. We chose to designate it by coaches' last stops before becoming head coaches. Even Stoops left K-State for Florida before taking the Oklahoma job.

Reed Robertson in Granbury, Texas: Your not very intelligent.

DU: Well said, Reed. I'll get to work on that.

Josh in Midland, Texas writes: Hey Ubbs, do you ever get confused between Texas' RB Malcolm Brown and Texas' DT Malcom Brown? Do you think that announcers and sports broadcasters will get them mixed up? And what will Mack BROWN do about their names on the back of their jerseys? Usually when there are 2 players with the same last name, you can put the first couple letters of their first name also on the jersey (ex. Mi [Michael] Griffin and Ma [Marcus] Griffin), but you can't really do that with Malcolm and Malcom...What would YOU do if you had to make the choice?

DU: This is easily the best name confusion since QB Robert Griffin III and OG Robert T. Griffin at Baylor last year. I asked around at Texas to get some clarification. I'd love to see the full name on a jersey, but I don't know if that's all that practical.

Anyway, I asked around at Texas, and for now, the tentative plan is for both jerseys to simply say "M. Brown" because they play on opposite sides of the ball. Malcom and Malcolm won't be on the field much at the same time, and they'll obviously have very different numbers, so I don't think it'll be a problem. It's a lot like guys wearing the same number. If they're not on the field at the same time, it's not an issue.

geotechpro in Lubbock writes: After reading your chat today, I got to say, Ubben, you is a moron. You watch College Football Live and take a couple notes about the topics and then read a couple newspaper articles. That is your research and where you get your so called insight. You have not visited a Big 12 school, meaning actually going to the campus to do an interview or see what is going on in 3 years. You is a total moron and you is not a college football fan and you have said so before!! You just got lucky with this job which you trash every change you gets. Just a sad individual.

DU: Good points. Thanks for the input. Maybe one day I'll make it to a Big 12 campus.