Chat with David Ubben
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben will stop by to chat some college football.
Ubben joined ESPN.com in March 2010 after covering Big 12 football for two seasons at the Columbia Missourian and The Oklahoman. Ubben, a native of Springdale, Ark., lives in Dallas.
Send your questions now and join Ubben Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Kevin (Tucson, AZ)
Have you slept at all the last couple of days? I think you're making a lot of B12 bloggers happy, but can you maintain this frantic pace?
David Ubben (1:01 PM)
I've slept at least an hour a night these past few days. The rest of the time was spent generating material for the blog. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Kidding, but thanks. Don't expect 13 posts every day, but we'll have at least as many as the bloggers from the other conferences post, usually around 5-7 a day.
David - I know it's early and hard to say, but who do you see could be a sleeper in the Big 12 this upcoming season?
David Ubben (1:03 PM)
It's a trendy pick, but I have to say Texas A&M. The defense can't be much worse, and they have a favorable road schedule. Have to go to Austin, but host OU and Nebraska. Oklahoma and Texas will be good, but probably not top 5 good, which could open the door for the Aggies.
If you were CU AD Mike Bohn - and reasonable money were not an issue - who would be the next head coach at CU ?
David Ubben (1:05 PM)
Of course, Colorado still has a head coach. My candidate would probably say no, but throw some money at Boise State's Chris Petersen and convince him that he could win the North in any given year. Worst-case scenario? He says no and you move on.
Josh (Tampa, FL)
David, good to have you here. To start, who are your picks for Division Champs, Big 12 Champ, and why?
David Ubben (1:06 PM)
I like Nebraska in the North, but it's definitely wide open among the top three teams. For my South picks, stay tuned this afternoon.
Erik Triggs (Marion, IA)
Who do you feel will end of being the top running backs of the Big 12 in 2010?
David Ubben (1:09 PM)
In terms of talent, I think DeMarco Murray is in a class of his own. As for production, I don't think he'll blow anyone away this year. Probably flirt with 1,000 yards. Beyond him, I think K-State's Daniel Thomas and Texas A&M's Christine Michael are due for big years. Though in Thomas' case, it'd just be another big year.
Jimmy K (Toronto)
David, nice to have you on the board covering the Big XII. Gotta love Spring Football. What are your thoughts on Texas? I know we have some pieces to replace, but I think like most years they will just reload. Young guys who haven't played significant roles will and you have to love coach BOOM!
David Ubben (1:12 PM)
It might be somewhat of a stretch for Texas to contend for a national title, but you can't count out the Longhorns in the spring. The defense could be among the best in the country again, but the offense could be pretty lackluster. The Longhorns have questions at receiver AND running back, and regardless of the talent Gilbert showed in the 2nd half of the national championship, he'll still have growing pains next year, and look like the Gilbert in the first half at times next season.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
Is Colt Mccoy an NFL star?
David Ubben (1:15 PM)
A star? I don't know about that. But I'd be surprised if he didn't land on a roster for at least a few seasons. Wouldn't rule him out as a starter down the road, either.
Is there any sort of timetable for Big 10(11) and Pac 10 expansion to happen? This spring? Summer?
David Ubben (1:15 PM)
The Big 12 requires schools to notify them two years in advance, so any changes that are announced in the near future won't be happening until then.
So, you'd really throw out one Boise State coach and bring in another? Seems like a quite improbable management decision. Alumi might riot.
David Ubben (1:17 PM)
This is why I'm a blogger, and not an athletic director. But Boise seems to be a breeding ground for future BCS-conference head coaches. Petersen is clogging up the pipeline, though. Get out of there, Chris, unless you want to be the next Mark Few.
If you were forced to move to a Big 12 college town, which would you pick and why?
David Ubben (1:18 PM)
I like warm weather, barbecue and music.
What do you think of the Zac Lee injury situation last year? Do you think Cody Green was utilized enough to make a real push for the starting job this year or does Zac Lee get the reins again? Who do you think gives the team a better chance to win? Also, who starts Rex Burkhead or Roy Helu?.....both amazing backs in my opinion.
David Ubben (1:21 PM)
Cody Green's speed gives Nebraska's offense another dimension. Having Zac Lee just drop back and pass had disastrous results at times last year. Green is not as talented a passer, but I like his ability to make plays when plays broke down last season--which happened often for the Huskers. I don't think you have to worry about who starts at RB. Both are quality backs, and will get plenty of carries. Whoever's the least banged up week to week will probably get more touches when the conference season hits.
Your the Rams GM, who do YOU take?
David Ubben (1:23 PM)
Personally, I think the Rams are crazy if they take Sam Bradford. Face of the franchise or otherwise, if you can't protect an investment, why spend all that money on him? He's going to get his head knocked off every week. They need a quarterback, but a DT is the safer pick. Put Suh and McCoy's names in a hat, and pick whoever you draw.
Does Ubben rhyme with Nubbin or Tubin'?
David Ubben (1:24 PM)
Nubbin. Just for future reference. It's UH-ben. Not EW-ben.
Robert (Columbia, MO)
Why is nobody really giving Missouri a chance to win the north this year? With Blaine Gabbert having another year under his belt along with the talented corps of receivers they have, it should be a sure thing!
David Ubben (1:26 PM)
I don't know about "sure thing," but Missouri will definitely be competitive, and they bring back nine starters on both sides of the ball.But, they'll probably have to win in Lincoln to win the North, and that won't be easy.
gary patterson (fort worth)
if mizz or another big 12 school gets pulled away, you're going to replace them with tcu, right?
David Ubben (1:27 PM)
That's probably where my first call would go. People love to talk about Arkansas joining the Big 12, but that's not happening. The Horned Frogs wouldn't be great as a basketball school, but they would bring a lot on the football field.
kendall hunter (stillwater)
No love for top running back in the big 12? I was an all american before I got hurt last year
David Ubben (1:28 PM)
And you did it with Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant opening things up everywhere else on the field. They're gone. So is your status as one of the best running backs in the conference.
Which new Big XII coach will have the most success in his first season?
David Ubben (1:30 PM)
Have to go with Turner Gill. Tech probably has more talent, but I have a hard time believing Tuberville's more conservative style will mesh in Lubbock. Go back and watch a couple games from Auburn's undefeated season a few years back. They'd bring out a few trick plays from time to time with Jason Campbell, but the rest of their offensive strategy was pretty vanilla.
My wife wants to know -- Any chance Landry Jones is NOT the starter at OU next season? -- What can I say? She hates the 'stache!
David Ubben (1:33 PM)
There's a chance, but Bob Stoops is all about experience at quarterback. Jones has plenty. If he has a horrendous spring, it could open up the door for Drew Allen or incoming freshman Blake Bell in the fall, but I don't see that happening. As for the upper lip appendage, put me firmly in the pro-'stache camp.
So you have no faith in Tubs to let Neal Brown take control of the offense?
David Ubben (1:35 PM)
I think he will, but look at what happened at Auburn with former OC Tony Franklin. Same deal.When you're scoring points, everybody loves you. But if the spread starts not failing, is Tuberville really going to keep doing what he isn't known for? Tuberville ended up firing Franklin mid-season.
If Robert Griffin can stay healthy the whole season does Baylor have any chance of making some noise in the South?
David Ubben (1:36 PM)
I said this about halfway through Robert Griffin's freshman year. I don't think Baylor will threaten to win the South any time soon.But I do think before Griffin leaves, he'll do one of two things: A) Lead the Bears to a bowl game. B) Beat Texas or Oklahoma.
Since you're a newbie, I have to ask what is your favorite mascot in the big 12. remember Herbie Husker did win the mascot hall of fame a few years back.
David Ubben (1:38 PM)
I think I speak for America when I say, "It is NOT OK to put a Wildcat head on a man's body." K-State, come on. And maybe he doesn't count as a "mascot," per se, but I love watching Ralphie run all over the field at Colorado games.
Tyler Hansen (Boulder)
I will be starting quarterback against CSU right?
David Ubben (1:40 PM)
I would be shocked if you weren't. Dan Hawkins said he regretted bringing Cody to Boulder, and if the Buffaloes struggle, I doubt he'll want to struggle with his kid running the show. Also, you just looked better on the field than Hawkins, so family ties aside, deserve to start based on that.
Why do people think that Suh and Mccoy are even. Suh's 2009 stats were just as good as Mccoy's career stats. Suh threw quarterbacks around like ragdolls. He was clearly the best defensive player in the country last year but sometime between the end of the bowl games and the combine everyone seems to change there mind. Can you please explain this.
David Ubben (1:42 PM)
McCoy tried to explain this at the Combine last week. He says in OU's system, he's basically just getting into the backfield as much as he can, flushing guys to other OU defenders. Nebraska runs a two-gap system, though, that allowed Suh to make more plays. Maybe he's full of it, but I think he'd know what he's talking about. Physically, they're both pretty comparable.
JL (Warrenton, VA)
Can Bob Stoops withstand another bad year at Oklahoma? There is some possibility of that. What will happen if there are 3 or 4 losses again?
David Ubben (1:44 PM)
The same thing that happened last year. Uninformed fans will complain, and those who know what they're doing will let Bob do his thing. It's going to take a lot for OU to send him on his way, and another 8-win season isn't going to do it.
I cannot believe you live in Dallas and did not pick me for your favorite mascot. On another subject, how much do you think the horn's offense will change with a less mobile QB?
David Ubben (1:45 PM)
Bevo, put down the tranquilizers. Your coach thinks Gilbert might be almost as mobile, so while the Horns won't be zone-reading their way to the Big 12 Championship, he won't be a statue in the pocket, either.
Who's your horse in the Taylor Potts vs. "Sticks" Sheffield race? Everyone seems sure it'll be Sticks but he beaten out by Potts before.
David Ubben (1:47 PM)
Maybe it's just ignorance, but it always seems like quarterbacks come cheap in Lubbock. They both seem like the same guy to me; just go with whoever has the hot hand. Best case scenario: That's one guy throughout the season.
Hayden (Logan, Utah)
how sad/mad were you when Mccoy went down so early in the champ game?
David Ubben (1:48 PM)
It was disappointing for college football, because we could have seen a great matchup between two great players (Ingram and McCoy) on great teams. I was about ready to give up on it at halftime, like most were, but at least Gilbert and Shipley brought the entertainment in the second half.
I think your right that the systems Suh and McCoy ran were different and benefited in different ways. But watching the two I saw Suh run down backs and qbs to get tackles and McCoy seemed to stop when the play passed him. I don't think McCoy will be as good as Suh, you agree or just speculation?
David Ubben (1:50 PM)
It's going to be tough to gauge. People love to argue about both of them, but I think everyone agrees they're both smart, personable guys who are low-risk picks and will have a ton of success at the next level.
jerrod johnson big 12 player of the year in 2010, what do you think?
David Ubben (1:51 PM)
If Texas A&M threatens to win the South, and he puts up big numbers, there's no reason why he couldn't be. A
Do you see Nebraska's offense really progressing from their strong showing against Arizona? At times last year they were so conservative and mistake prone, and their recruiting class this year seems a bit lacking on offense.
David Ubben (1:55 PM)
It'd be hard for them to be worse. One of the columnists at my old paper, The Oklahoman, Berry Tramel, said during OU's loss to Nebraska that punting was a great possession for the Huskers, and I'd have to agree. Don't turn it over, and you win. The defense might not be as good this year, so maybe that won't be the case again, but Nebraska has to find something that will work on offense if they want to repeat in the North.
Kanye West (via mobile)
David Ubben this chat is great and Ima let you finish, but I gotta say that last week Graham Watson had one of the greatest CFB chats of all-time!
David Ubben (1:56 PM)
Glad you're a fan, Kanye. Graham appreciates the shoutout, I'm sure.
David Ubben (1:56 PM)
And be nice to Taylor.
David Ubben (1:57 PM)
One more question before I go.
Brandon (Fayetteville, AR)
Do u think either missouri or kansas state can give Nebraska a run for their money in north next year or is Nebraska a hands down pick to take the division?
David Ubben (2:00 PM)
The top of the North is wide open, but Nebraska is a slight favorite over Missouri. Kansas State will need to win a game or two they're not supposed to if they want to win the North, but they did that a couple times last year, so don't count anyone out.
David Ubben (2:02 PM)
Thanks for the questions. Come back again next week.