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!
Buzzmaster (12:42 PM)
Dave will be here at 1 p.m. ET to chat some college football.
David Ubben (1:01 PM)
Hey everybody, hope you're having a glorious Thursday morning. I know I am. Let's kick this off.
Let's assume CU finishes at .500 and just misses a bowl game. Is Hawkins gone ?
David Ubben (1:03 PM)
I don't think so. Colorado couldn't afford Hawkins' buyout last season, and I don't see much reason to believe that will change in 2011. His contract runs out in 2012, and I'd expect him to be at Colorado until at least then.
Curious as to when the Big XII North blogger starts his job? As of right now (12:30 ET) on the ESPN Big 12 Blog page there are 17 South stories/links and only 5 North stories/links...
David Ubben (1:04 PM)
I'm visiting all 12 schools this spring, but it's a lot of South schools to start, and a lot of North schools to finish.
Which freshman will make the most impact in the Big XII?
David Ubben (1:05 PM)
I think Texas receiver Darius White is coming into a favorable position. Good combination of talent and opportunity in Austin. There's not going to be much stopping him from having an immediate impact. He could have more raw talent than any other receiver on Texas' roster. He just has to figure out how to play the college game and make up for that lack of experience in order to contribute.
If the Nebraska D stays strong, and the offense improves from last season, do the Huskers have any chance of taking the Big 12?
David Ubben (1:07 PM)
Definitely. Have to beat Missouri and take care of business to get into the title game, but if they get there, it's only one game. They came close last season, obviously, and they'll certainly have a great shot to do it again in 2010.
Robert (New Orleans)
Do you think that the Mike Leach case is hurting or helping Texas Tech's reputation as a school?
David Ubben (1:11 PM)
I don't think it's really affecting the school's perception as much as it is Leach's. The e-mails between decision-makers regarding Leach that the Dallas Morning News got a hold of didn't make Tech look very good, and the relationship between Leach and his bosses was clearly not a healthy one. But suing a former employer rarely makes a person look good. When this is all over, I imagine the perception of Tech won't be much different, but Leach's reputation could be damaged, especially if he loses.
For many people, it's pretty much assumed that Colorado is going to go to the Pac-10. Do you think that's going to happen?
David Ubben (1:13 PM)
I don't know who's assuming that, but it's not me. I don't recall who originally reported it, but Colorado stands to lose $9 million with a move to the Pac-10. As much as Colorado fans might like the idea of road trips to LA for road games instead of Lawrence, I think Colorado stays put.
So lets say the season rolls around, Texas starts off ok, but then hits conference play and everyone realizes that Gilbert isn't quite ready. Assuming OU's Jones still hasnt quite arrived, who takes the south?
David Ubben (1:15 PM)
I'm assuming by "hasn't quite arrived," you mean Landry Jones has some struggles. That scenario is what needs to happen for Texas A&M to sneak up and win the South. I don't see the Aggies being a top 10-15 team this year. Oklahoma and Texas hang out in that territory about every year. If they both struggle and slide, the door is open for someone else in the South to end their reign. The leading candidate to do that is Texas A
Do you think Colt McCoy still has nightmares about Suh tossing him around?
David Ubben (1:18 PM)
Maybe, but he seemed pretty happy at the end of the night, no?
What does the future at QB look like for A&M after Jerrod graduates this year?
David Ubben (1:20 PM)
With Ryan Tannehill at receiver, it seems like the wise choice would be developing Tommy Dorman. But I'd sit back and enjoy watching Jerrod for another season before I worry about next year. He could put up some big numbers again this year.
Marvin (Dallas, TX)
Where would you rank the Big 12 among the "power conferences?"
David Ubben (1:22 PM)
It's a really, really close race between the SEC and the Big 12. Clearly, the SEC has shown its best is better than the Big 12's best. The middle of the league is pretty much a toss-up. A few years ago, I would have said the bottom of the SEC was better than the bottom of the Big 12, but that might be changing now.
Micah Smith (Tallahassee, FL)
How do you see Texas doing this year? I really don't see a game that will be close except maybe OK. I know everyone thinks the Huskers will be great but they don't have an offence.
David Ubben (1:27 PM)
Oklahoma fans thought the same thing last year, just replace "Huskers" with "Texas." The bottom line is, it's really, really early. You never really know how things will shake out even a couple weeks into conference play. And as for the Huskers, they didn't have an offense last season and managed.
Jason F (Norman)
I realize at this point Landy Jones has probably done enough for Stoops to let him keep his job, but a lot of people believe that Drew Allen is the second coming of Sam Bradford. I saw him warming up out of the corner of my eye before the OSU game and wondered why Sam was out there warming up...Do you know how Allen has looked so far during the Spring?
David Ubben (1:29 PM)
Haven't seen him this spring, but I don't think anyone realized how much impact an otherwise-secondary backup QB race in the fall would have. Allen definitely has the physical tools, but no matter how good he looks in the spring or fall, he can't duplicate the experience Landry Jones got, and now he'll have to fend off freshman Blake Bell for the backup job in the fall.
Jim (Grand Junction, CO)
David: In regard to Colorado keeping Hawkins on for another year because of the expensive buyout, isn't that just a self-defeating trap? His recruiting obviously suffered this year because he has only 2 years left. To solve that problem, CU would have to extend his contract making the buyout much worse. If he has a bad or medium year, it seems to me that CU cannot afford to keep him.
David Ubben (1:30 PM)
There really are no winners in the Colorado situation. All they can really do is try to keep improving and shoot for a bowl game next season. Both valid points, though, Jim. No matter what Colorado does, there's plenty of negatives that come with it.
What is your opinion on Stephen Sheffield leading the Big 12's list of QB's next season?
David Ubben (1:35 PM)
I don't see it. Gabbert, Griffin III and Johnson are all more impressive, and Landry Jones and Garrett Gilbert could join that list with big nonconference games. Sheffield could maybe make that list, but the success of the QBs before him actually hurts his reputation on a national level. If he's not putting up Graham Harrell numbers (without Crabtree, I might add), he's going to have a tough time getting people to jump onto his bandwagon
If Mike Leach were the head coach of Texas Tech in 2010. Where would you have ranked Texas Tech in your pre-spring rankings?
David Ubben (1:37 PM)
I'm not sure. Probably higher than 6th in the South, but I still think the bottom three teams in the South (Oklahoma State, Baylor and Tech) are really interchangeable. No order of those three teams would surprise me.
I love your humor about offending people. It really makes me laugh. Do you think Kansas is picking up the running backs for speed at other positions, or is Gill really looking to make Kansas a power running school like the old Nebraska?
David Ubben (1:40 PM)
Buffalo was pretty balanced under Gill, so don't expect the triple option to become the base offense at Kansas. As for recruiting tailbacks, you can never have enough good running backs--at any level. It's one of the most injury-prone positions on the field, and getting fresh legs out there as often as possible can only help your offense.
When will we see a Baylor vs. Iowa State Big12 Championship Game?
David Ubben (1:41 PM)
Next season. I don't see any way it's anyone else.
Hey everybody, hope you're having a great day. I have been keeping an eye on the big 12 blogs and have seen some kind of news on every team except A&M, what's up? How are they looking?
David Ubben (1:43 PM)
They're looking pretty bored right now. A&M doesn't start spring practice until next week, March 23.
Fair statement. Will the winner of Baylor vs. Iowa State be playing Indiana for the national championship?
David Ubben (1:44 PM)
Vandy. Third consecutive Big 12 vs. SEC title game.
david. yes, nebraskas offense last season didn't do to great, and everybody pointed the blame at zac lee. why doesn't anybody talk about his elbow injury 3 games into the season as a possible cause for blame? and when he finally had a little healing time (in between the big 12 title game, and arizona) he looked great after. why can't people cut him a little slack?
David Ubben (1:46 PM)
I think the frustration mostly stems from how close the Huskers came and how bad their offense was, injury or not. If Nebraska's offense is just mediocre, there's a great chance they make a BCS bowl. When an offense looks bad, quarterbacks are going to get more blame than any one else on the offense, unless there are a bunch of fumbles or dropped passes. That's just the nature of the game.
David Ubben (1:50 PM)
I'm told Texas A&M's Johnny Dorman has moved to tight end? My apologies for losing track of the race for third-string quarterback for the Big 12 South's fifth-place team in 2009.
Michael (Long Beach, CA)
Would you say that OU might be playing the toughest schedule in the Big 12 this year? I am referring to nonconference schedule.
David Ubben (1:53 PM)
I think so, and I don't think it's even close. Florida State, Air Force and Cincinnati in Cleveland? That's brutal. But that's how Joe Castiglione runs the program. Fans don't want to see Louisiana-Monroe every year. He wants to put out a solid product at Owen Field as many Saturdays as possible, and that's what he's done.
Do you think that Texas could successfully set up its won TV Network, something like the "Longhorn TV Network"?
David Ubben (1:54 PM)
Easy, Chris. The Longhorns are a big deal, but they're hardly the Yankees. Might want to wait until the Big 12 Network exists before trying to make a Longhorn TV Network.
Tony (Lincoln, NE)
The Big 12 will definitely get a lot of love in the NFL Draft next month, especially the first few picks. Where and in what order do you think Bradford, Gerald McCoy, and Suh will end up?
David Ubben (1:55 PM)
Here's what I think will happen: 1) Bradford 2)McCoy 3) Suh. Not necessarily the first three picks of the draft, but maybe. As for what SHOULD happen: 1)Suh 2) McCoy 3) Bradford
What do you think about a college football game, on a Sunday?
David Ubben (1:57 PM)
It's been done plenty of times before, and Tech won't be the last team to do it. Have to occupy yourself somehow before the NFL starts. Teams who play Thursday night games deal with short weeks all the time, and this only shortens the next week by a day. I'm sure Tech will be fine, and even if they play poorly the next week, they won't be using that as an excuse.
David Ubben (1:58 PM)
One more question.
David Ubben (2:02 PM)
Yikes. Slow day on the chat. Need a good last question. Any takers?
What is Coach Snyder's toughest task this season?
David Ubben (2:03 PM)
Sounds like it'll be finding a quarterback, and then once he does, deciding where to take the offense. I'm sure he knows the offense can't, or at least shouldn't, look the same with Carson Coffman at quarterback vs. Chris Harper at quarterback. Finding that identity as soon as possible should help Kansas State make a run at the North.
David Ubben (2:04 PM)
Thanks for the questions, folks. I'll let you get back to Simmons' running diary of NCAA Tournament Day 1. Sorry for keeping you so long.