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!
David Ubben (1:01 PM)
Hey everybody, keep the questions coming. Don't worry about that other sport going on in Kansas City. Let's get started.
Gregg (Round Rock, Tx)
David - In your short time in the new role, you've predicted Tech at the bottom of the B12 South and slotted them 9th in your recent Power Rankings. What causes you concern about the 2010 Red Raiders???
David Ubben (1:03 PM)
Mostly that I'm not completely confident that Tuberville is a great fit in Lubbock. I hardly think Tech will be a lightweight this season, but looking at the bottom half of the South, no order of those three teams would surprise me. Neither would A&M slipping down and not delivering on their potential.
Chris (Dallas, Tx)
With all that Okie State has lost what do you think their chances of finishing the season in the top 3 in the confrence is?
David Ubben (1:06 PM)
It's not great, but you never know. Markelle Martin and Ugo Chinasa should key a defense that lost a lot, but I think the Cowboys will go as far as Brandon Weeden and Kendall Hunter will take them. No gamebreakers at receiver, but they do have solid options. Hubert Anyiam grew up a lot last season without Dez to distract defenses.
CHAD OCHOMOFFITT (DENVER)
Do you see the Buffs going to a bowl game this year? Also, do you think it is the coaching that has been the issue or just not enough playmakers? PAC10 here we come!!!
David Ubben (1:08 PM)
I don't see a bowl game in the Buffs future. As for why, it's a little bit of both. Darrell Scott rarely showed the skills that made him in such high demand out of high school, and now he's gone. Hansen came in hot against Kansas and gave Colorado some hope, but the talent level for them is significantly lower than most of the top half of the Big 12.
Sean (Lincoln, NE)
David, There have been many 9-3, or 10-2 predictions for Nebraska next year. Which games do you see as being the toughest for the Huskers, threatening those 2-3 losses?
David Ubben (1:11 PM)
There aren't any USCs on the non-conference schedule this year, but Jake Locker is going to be a handful at Washington in year two of Steve Sarkisian's offense. That certainly could be a loss. Also have to be careful at Baylor and at Missouri, a game that could decide the North again. Texas in Lincoln is a game that should have a lot of intrigue, if only to hear the Pelini brothers' comments leading up to it.
David Ubben (1:12 PM)
At A&M, sorry. Not at Baylor.
David, What exactly is going on with Darrell Scott? I heard UCLA isn't interested and he hadn't been released from his scholarship. Will he be on the team again?
David Ubben (1:13 PM)
He says he's definitely not coming back to Colorado, so don't expect that. As for where he's going, I'm not sure anyone knows the answer to that question.
Texas running game needs to step up- who do you think will start and contribute , and will we see the return of running by committee (yuck!) ?
David Ubben (1:14 PM)
The obvious answer is Tre' Newton, but Vondrell McGee and Fozzy Whittaker will get their touches, too. If Texas can't develop a run game to support its young quarterback, they can probably rule out a return trip to the title game.
Chris (Lincoln, NE)
Do you see the Big XII sticking with a rotation of the location of the Big XII Championship for many years to come or choosing a permanent site?
David Ubben (1:17 PM)
I like the current rotation, but the pull of having a yearly game at JerryWorld could change that. But it seems like locking the game in Dallas would give way to plenty of complaining from players, coaches and fans from the North.
Brian (Minneapolis, MN)
David, Glad to have you on the blog! The soundbytes coming from OK St. make the new offensive transition sound a bit awkward. Gundy sounds like he doesn't know what to do without play calling. Does this spell trouble for the Cowboys offense?
David Ubben (1:21 PM)
Maybe, but Holgorsen has a pretty good track record, so you'd have to have a little faith in him taking things over. The good news is they'll probably improve more than most teams throughout the year. Holgorsen said on Tuesday that the guys who will get the ball are players who can produce after the catch and in the open field. That definitely includes Kendall Hunter, who they want to get the ball a lot this year.
Missouri is a home game in 2010 for Nebraska.
I thought UT's QB did an admirable job in the BCS game, but is too much being expected of him now after just three quarters of play? It seems to take a full season before you start seeing a new QB get comfortable with the speed of the game, running the offense, etc.
David Ubben (1:23 PM)
He definitely didn't dispel any hype by letting the entire country watch him light up Alabama for a few possessions. He'll have his struggles this season, but he could be a great quarterback very, very soon.
The Dude (Kodak Theatre)
Which teams comprise the Big XII when 2012 rolls around?
David Ubben (1:24 PM)
My best guess: The same 12 as right now.
Is Jerrod Johnson the best QB in the B12, and who do you think will hold that distiction by the end of 2010?
David Ubben (1:26 PM)
Johnson probably isn't right now, but he could be by mid-season. I think it's basically a three-horse race between Gabbert, Griffin and Johnson. Landry Jones and Garrett Gilbert could enter into the discussion, but all three were better last season and enter this year more established.
David, I would agree with you on the rotation of the Big XII Championship game if they took it out of KC. With all the dome stadiums available to the league, why have your top game played in an outdoor stadium, at night, in early December where the weather can impact the game? I know, I know...it's football, but c'mon!
David Ubben (1:28 PM)
Maybe, but there aren't a lot of domed stadiums in the North. I don't think they'll want to play the game in St. Louis again, that's too far east.
To Brian's point about the OSU offense transition being awkward, you wrote in your blog that Gundy will have the final say on play calling. How does that work?
David Ubben (1:29 PM)
I think basically it would come into play if Holgorsen wants to run a draw play on 3rd and 8 or run a trick play. If the timing is wrong, Gundy just has veto power. Maybe I'm off-base on this, but I think Gundy is capable of taking a hands-off approach to the offense. At least when it's successful.
Johnny (College Station)
David, what do you think Deruyter can do with the A&M D? Do you see significant improvement or another bad season in Aggieland?
David Ubben (1:32 PM)
The goal is improvement, and with how bad their defense was last season, that shouldn't be hard for the Aggies. They don't have a lot of playmakers outside of Von Miller, but DeRuyter might be able to find some in the spring and keep utilizing Miller at the Joker position, which is a hybrid defensive end/linebacker.
Steve (St. Louis)
Since you've joined as the blogger, your "southern" bias has shown. Is it because you live in Dallas and like the commissioner are skewed in favor of the South?
David Ubben (1:33 PM)
We'll be making our way to the North schools later this spring. Right now, four South schools are practicing and two North schools.
Why did the gophers extend Brewsters contract? He's a horrible coach!
David Ubben (1:34 PM)
Big Ten is that way. Keep heading north.
Big G (Gering, NE)
Bradford scored pretty well on the Wonderlic test. How much stock would you put into these kind of test scores if you were an NFL owner/coach?
David Ubben (1:36 PM)
Not a lot. The Wonderlic is basically a test to see how you handle quick decision-making. I think it's somewhat important for quarterbacks, but it's not a dealbreaker. A guy won't put himself in the first round with a 40+ score, and a guy won't drop out of the first round with a score under 20.
Steve (St. Louis)
I am curious why Missouri thinks it would be a good candidate for expansion into the Big 10. They really are a mid-tier football and basketball school with no real sustained success. I cannot imagine alot of TV sets tuning in for MU-Purdue. Your thoughts?
David Ubben (1:38 PM)
I don't think it'll happen, and I don't pretend to understand the complex political and economic factors that go into a decision like that, but bringing the Kansas City TV market, or at least half of it, is probably attractive for the Big Ten.
as a journalist, who is your favorite B12 coach?
David Ubben (1:39 PM)
It used to be Leach, if for no other reason than he didn't fit the mold. He was so different; it was really a change of pace either in the middle of a teleconference or a conference season. But really, I think most of us just want a coach that's honest and forthright about what's going on with his team. Not that they have to, or that it's wrong to not be, but there aren't a lot of those coaches left in this conference.
Mike (Hastings, NE)
Great job so far David. What's your early thoughts/prediction on that game in Lincoln between the Huskers and Texas?
David Ubben (1:41 PM)
Don't expect too many points, just like last year. That has a chance to be the game of the year in the conference, but until we see what the offenses for both teams look like in the spring and fall, it's probably too early for a prediction. I'd probably lean Texas right now.
People in the Northeast are excited about the Pinstripe Bowl. What is the mood in Big 12 land about it? What team(s) look like Big 12 candidates for the game next year? The Bowl would love to get Rutgers, Cuse or UConn every year.
David Ubben (1:44 PM)
It's the Big 12's No. 6 team, so Kansas State, Texas A&M, Missouri or maybe Baylor could end up there.
Tracy (South Dakota)
Do you think Neal Brown will keep the Tech offense moving?
David Ubben (1:47 PM)
Tech will probably be in the top half of the conference in total offense, but they've got a pair of tough games in the non-conference against TCU and Houston. My question with Brown is, if things go poorly, who is he going to turn to, or what experience will he fall back on?
Erik (Lincoln, NE)
Who do you think should start at RB for the Huskers? Roy Helu or Rex Burkhead?
David Ubben (1:49 PM)
I don't think its an either/or situation. Helu will probably get more touches, but Burkhead will be in the mix, too.
Do you think Drew Allen will get a chance to compete with Landry Jones for the OU quarterback slot, or is the job basically Jones'?
David Ubben (1:50 PM)
It's Jones' job to lose. Stoops likes experience, and it would take an absolute disaster in the spring and fall for him to lose his job. He really established some nice momentum in wins over Oklahoma State and Stanford to close the season. 418 yards in his last start? Those aren't unemployment line-like numbers.
I cant wait to storm the field at Yankee stadium on December 30th. Thoughts?
David Ubben (1:52 PM)
I don't know how much tickets to the game cost, but you might need two, Ralphie.
DAVE (SOUTHERN CAL)
EARLY THOUGHTS ON KSU? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ARTHUR BROWN GOING KSU AND THOUGHTS ON HIS YOUNGER BROTHER POSSIBLY JOINING HIM THERE?
David Ubben (1:55 PM)
I don't see his brother coming, but Arthur Brown is a great pickup, and as a Wichita native, that has to excite fans, too. Kansas State has a shot to win the North, but they'll need to find a quarterback who can compliment Daniel Thomas first. The more room they can create for him to run, the better. And any failures on their part won't be for lack of coaching.
When the season comes around and Tech does what they always do, im ready for your apology about Tech finishing last in the big 12 south.
David Ubben (1:56 PM)
Noted. But we'll be doing some more rankings in the fall, and it could change by then. Like I said earlier, those bottom three teams in the South are really interchangeable.
David Ubben (1:57 PM)
One more question.
Even though it's early, who do you have in the Big 12 Chamionship game?
David Ubben (1:58 PM)
Right now, I see a rematch between Nebraska and Texas. Missouri and Oklahoma won't make it easy on them, though.
David Ubben (1:58 PM)
Thanks for the questions. See you again next week.