Chat with Dave 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 (1:00 PM)
Welcome to the chat, fans. First things first, I need College Station dinner recommendations. Do it to it, Aggies fans.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear DaveCould you see Bill Callahan returning to the NCAA?
David Ubben (1:01 PM)
I don't, but I'm loving him on Hard Knocks.
Hey,Dave. What do you think about the injury with MLB Austin Box from Oklahoma? Does that change your perspective on them? To me for being a Sooners fan myself wasent too worried. Just for the Simply fact that Tom Wort has looked so impressive during fall camp/practices. And for everything I know Wort is 100% back from his injury....And as of depth wise now Wort will probably play majority of the time. But I have enough fath in Jayden to come in and play a few plays to give Wort a breather.
David Ubben (1:02 PM)
You can't say it doesn't hurt at all, because it does. But moreso with Oklahoma's depth early in the season, which is somewhat of a big deal, especially when they play a team like Air Force, where the linebackers are going to get a lot of work. I've got a lot of confidence in Wort, but the unit is definitely thinner after the first three linebackers.
Andrew DeWitt (St. Joseph, Mo. )
Your thoughts on the final Big 12 Missouri vs. Nebraska showdown this year and how far are the Tigers actually behind the Huskers in talent or is just more media hype coming off Nebraska's near upset of Texas?
David Ubben (1:05 PM)
It's probably a little unfair to call Nebraska all hype, but the biggest gap in talent is on the offensive and defensive lines. Missouri's not WAY behind, but Nebraska is markedly more talented. And to those calling Nebraska overrated, I point to their losses last year. Three losses by a total of four points. Two to top 10 teams (Virginia Tech and Texas) and another in which they turned the ball over 8 times. Texas Tech was the only time they were solidly beaten.
Dustin (Dallas, TX)
Are you embarrassed by saying that Baylor played Tech in Lubbock this year?
David Ubben (1:07 PM)
Ha, embarrassed is probably not the right word. I still can't believe the number of e-mails I got about it. It was a mental lapse. I've written or referenced about the game at the Cotton Bowl at least 3-4 times on the blog. Obviously, I don't foresee making that mistake again.
Dave, which team will have the better 2010 defense after switching to the 3-4....Tech or A&M?
David Ubben (1:08 PM)
Ted (St. Louis)
A lot is being made of the inexperience at WR at Missouri this season. It seems like people are overlooking the wealth of experience at OL and in the offensive backfield. As long as Gabbert stays healthy and can hit his (underrated) receivers, there's no reason the Tigers can't have one of the top offenses in the nation. Why does there seem to only be a 8/9-win ceiling for these guys among media opinions?
David Ubben (1:10 PM)
The defense. It sounds like Washington is ready to go, but the defense has always been the problem for Missouri. I don't know that 8-9 wins is necessarily Missouri's ceiling, but I'd say 9 wins is my expectation for Missouri. They're going to be underdogs in at least three games this year, maybe 4: at Nebraska, Oklahoma, at Texas A&M or at Texas Tech.
Fact or Fiction: Iowa State will be a better team than they were last year but with a worse record.
David Ubben (1:12 PM)
I'll follow Paul Rhoads lead and say fact. Fiveish wins for Iowa State, because of the nonconference. Give them Kansas State's schedule and they win sevenish.
Hey David, are you going to wear a Nebraska shirt to the UT/NU game?
David Ubben (1:13 PM)
Going with the Gator hat, actually.
j.a. (altus, ok)
player with most sacks (in big 12) at the end of the season - GO!
David Ubben (1:13 PM)
Erik (Lincoln, NE)
Do you think the media deserves to be criticized by football head coaches?
David Ubben (1:14 PM)
If they overstep clearly defined boundaries, then yes. If they're doing their jobs within those boundaries and the coach gets offended, then no.
Mike (St Louis )
How do you think Turner Gill will do with a KU team that lost so many starters on the offensive side of the ball
David Ubben (1:16 PM)
It's going to be tough in Year 1, but we'll see how the team develops as the year moves on. He's got a nice start with his 2011 recruiting class, and he has to keep the Jayhawks in the top half of the conference in recruiting for the next few years to see some results on the field. They need more talent on both sides of the ball. The team this year is going to be outmanned.
Josh (Salina, KS)
I know you have picked the KSU higher than the average media types out there. Are you surprised that other analysts/bloggers have picked KSU to be 5th or 6th in the north? They finished 3rd last year and I think they have a much better team this year.
David Ubben (1:19 PM)
I'm not surprised, but I disagree. I can see why people aren't very fired up about Kansas State. They didn't have an impressive win last year, other than maybe Texas A&M, but the margin of victory is what made that impressive. For me, it's about faith in Bill Snyder. With the amount of talent they're bringing back, I refuse to believe they won't be better with him running things. They've got some playmakers on defense in Emmanuel Lamur and Tysyn Hartman and obviously will lean heavily on Daniel Thomas offensively.
Ryan (Mustang Ok)
I see your point about the tough losses Nebraska had last year but we (Mizzou) blew it in the fourth quarter, they got beat in Lincoln by Iowa State and could've easily been beaten by OU if they played like they're capable. I guess I'm not convinced Nebraska can score enough to win the big 12. Am I wrong?
David Ubben (1:21 PM)
Last year, obviously you weren't. Simply put, Nebraska couldn't score enough to win the Big 12. That might be different this year. The offensive line is going to be better, the running backs more experienced, and Nebraska fans seem to think Zac Lee has some senior-year Joe Ganz in him. Maybe they're right, but we'll see. And as for Missouri-Nebraska last year, that was more than blowing it. That was complete implosion. 27-0 in the fourth quarter of a game that could eventually decide the division. Can't do that.
Do you think BYU is going independant in an effort to get an invite from the Big XII(10)?
David Ubben (1:22 PM)
No, they're doing it so they can make more money with their own TV network powered by the worldwide Mormon audience and have an easier time reaching the BCS. We'll see if they succeed. You can make a strong case either way.
Bob (Killeen Texas)
Though I know its fashionable to favor the Longhorns in all their games - do you think their Offense is in fact a liability espcially away from Austin?
David Ubben (1:24 PM)
It will be at first with so many unproven guys lining up, but they should have a good offensive line and all those skill position players are loaded with potential. Especially Garrett Gilbert. They'll obviously have to play well in Dallas against OU and in Lincoln if they're going to leave with wins, but they don't have to put up 40 points. I'd be surprised if Oklahoma or Nebraska score more than 24 points.
Mike (St Louis)
So from your response to Josh, if KSU doesn't finish higher than 3rd in the North, it's because of a failure in SNyder's coaching?
David Ubben (1:25 PM)
No, it could be from any number of things. But we'll find out. Still have to play the games.
How safe do you think the Big XII is from being destroyed from this expansion crisis?
David Ubben (1:26 PM)
The Big 12 shouldn't be very affected. The WAC on the other hand...I believe their commissioner is speaking to the media on a teleconference right now. He was moving his daughter into her dorm at college when he found out all those teams were leaving yesterday.
Kelly Withrow (Dallas)
Who will have the best offense in the Conference this year?
David Ubben (1:28 PM)
Tech or A&M, most likely. A
John Hazelwood (Washington D.C.)
Looking on the positive side of things, with the returning talent and all, do you think it's POSSIBLE for first year coach T-Tubbs to take Texas Tech on a run at the Big XII title? If so, how likely could it be and what would have to happen?
David Ubben (1:30 PM)
It's possible, but I put it at about five percent a few weeks back. Unseating Texas and Oklahoma isn't going to be easy. There's a reason nobody in the South has done it since 1998. To say Tuberville will in his first year in the conference is a pretty big leap of faith. Those are two deep, experienced, top-10 teams.
David, for the AQ expansion, at least the commishes of the conferences were straight with each other and gave each other the head's up. The non-AQ expansion seems less cival. Even though the Big IIX lost 2 members, at least it wasn't robbed in the night like the WAC. That has to reduce the sting a little, right?
David Ubben (1:31 PM)
Yeah, I really couldn't believe how fast it all happened. Basically the anti-realignment from this summer.
Bryan (College Station)
Cant post double & or it will cut off the rest of your post ;)
David Ubben (1:32 PM)
Ha, I hate that. Here's the rest of that answer about the offenses.... A&M has better skill position guys and better running backs, but they've got questions on the offensive line. If Brown's version of the Air Raid works like he thinks it will, it should be business as usual for the Red Raiders.
What coordinator is under the most pressure this year? DeRuyter? Watson? Holgorsen?
David Ubben (1:33 PM)
Watson, because this is "The Year" for Nebraska. Top 10, high expectations are back. Last year in the Big 12. The offense can't struggle like it did last year, or he's going to continue to hear it from fans.
Iowa State fiveish? They were the surprise last year, and they'll be the surprise again. Last year I guessed 7-5 they got 7-6. I'm going with the same thing...here's their wins: NIU, KSU, UNI, KU, CU, Mizzou, and the 7th will come from the 4 game stretch of TTU, Utah, OU, UT...just for kicks I say they beat UNL in Ames this year....
David Ubben (1:35 PM)
I'm pretty sure that would give them a good shot at winning the North, depending on who else beat Missouri and Nebraska. That's quite a prediction.
How far do you feel the media can go to cover injuries? Do you think it's ok to contact parents, hs coaches, etc.?
David Ubben (1:38 PM)
It depends. To confirm a rumor, I probably would have done the same. But it's my understanding that Bo Pelini directly asked them to not do that. I don't know that for 100 percent, but if that's the case, then Pelini has a strong case to be in the right here. High school coaches are definitely fair game. Immediate family and parents you obviously need to be more sensitive, but if all you're doing is trying to confirm an injury and not asking for a 5-10 minute briefing, I don't see the big harm. The guy broke his leg. He's not dying. It's not life-threatening. Injured football players are not crime victims or car crash survivors.
Clay (Oakland, CA)
Which QB/WR combo will produce the most completions: Gabbert to Moe, Jones to Broyles, or none of the above?
David Ubben (1:39 PM)
Based on reports out of Missouri's camp, it might be close. I'd expect Oklahoma to run the ball a lot more this year, though. They've got a bunch of great backs behind DeMarco Murray and a confidence in the offensive line that wasn't there in 2009.
Kelly Withrow (Dallas)
Who will be the Coach of the Big 12 this year? MVP's on offense and defense predictions
David Ubben (1:40 PM)
Mike Sherman. Jerrod Johnson. Travis Lewis.
Ross (Seattle, WA)
If the Aggies run through non-Conference unblemished (as they should) do you see them getting ranked or do they have to go into Big 12 play unranked regardless?
David Ubben (1:42 PM)
I'm assuming you're not talking about the Arkansas game in October, but Texas A&M won't impress anybody in its first three games, no matter how badly they beat up on them. Arkansas is a nice test, a game that Texas A
Are you riding solo?
David Ubben (1:43 PM)
You could say that. Thanks for stopping by, Akon. I would say I'm a fan of your work, but that would make me a liar.
Do you think KU can beat Mizzou this year?
David Ubben (1:44 PM)
It's a rivalry game on a neutral field, so you can't say its impossible. Plus, it'll be late in the season and Kansas should be a much-improved team. But so should Missouri. Right now, Kansas winning that game would be a huge upset.
Two &'s again David.
David Ubben (1:45 PM)
Obnoxious. Here's the rest of that answer: Arkansas is a nice test, a game that Texas A&M will probably be picked to lose, but can win. Ultimately, no one will know for sure how good the Aggies are until November.
Chris (Fort Worth, TX)
Will Baylor make it to a bowl game this year.
David Ubben (1:47 PM)
They've definitely got a shot, but they have to go 3-1 in nonconference and beat the beatable teams like Kansas and Colorado. The Bears better hope their sixth win comes against or before Kansas State, otherwise the bowl drought is going to stretch another year, barring an upset win in Stillwater.
How many Big 12 college football stadiums have you been to and who has the best game day atmosphere?
David Ubben (1:48 PM)
Been to them all. Nebraska by a mile.
As we all know, OU and UT have great defenses. How surprising would it be if the Red River Rivalry became a shootout this year? Jones to Broyles all day and Gilbert playing inspired...
David Ubben (1:50 PM)
I'd be very, very surprised. Expect another game like last year. Jones won't be able to throw to anybody "all day" with that Texas secondary. They need to establish the run game with DeMarco and get Broyles the ball in the open field on bubbles or slants as much as possible and try to turn those into big plays. They're not going to get anywhere sending Broyles deep.
After Nebraska's performance in their bowl game I am convinced that the offense will be there for Nebraska this year. Many fans and media accross the nation aren't as convinced. Is this just Nebraska hating or is there truth in the comments about Nebraska having a weak offense?
David Ubben (1:51 PM)
It's more about one game vs. the other 13. They showed a lot of good things against Arizona, a good defense. But they have to do that consistently before the questions about the offense stop coming.
do you feel with all the injuries to Nebraska that Texas now has more of a chance to win the game?
David Ubben (1:52 PM)
Not really. None of those injuries for Nebraska were game-changers. A backup offensive lineman who played three positions, a backup defensive back tore his ACL and a linebacker competing for a starting spot won't tilt that game. Nebraska has nice depth at all those positions.
Who will win the QB battle at Nebraska? Will there be a quick trigger to pull the guy?
David Ubben (1:54 PM)
My money is on Zac Lee, but I don't think it'll be a "quick trigger" so much as a switch for versatility. I'd be surprised if Cody Green and Taylor Martinez don't get some spot duty like Green got last year with some option schemes or draws. The quarterbacks have to be very different for the two-QB system to work, and that's what Nebraska has.
David Ubben (1:54 PM)
A couple more questions before we shut this thing down.
Im getting a little tired of everyone talking about Nebraska. Why isn't Mizzou getting more attention from the media and polls?
David Ubben (1:55 PM)
Because they showed up to the Big 12 Championship two years in a row with ranked teams and got embarrassed. Nebraska almost knocked off Texas and was a few plays from going 12-1.
Dave is there a chance that you would wear an OU hat to a Texas press conference?
David Ubben (1:57 PM)
First off, I don't really wear hats that often. But any sports writer who isn't mindful of what they are wearing where is asking for trouble.
Will there be an undefeated Big 12 team at the end of this year? (Come on Ubben, stick your neck out, the season is right around the corner, I want some bold predictions from you before the season kicks off. You media guys are always so afraid to get out of the mainstream.)
David Ubben (1:58 PM)
No. Nobody's set up with the team or schedule to run the table. But you might have Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska with one loss at the end of the year. OU beats Texas, Nebraska beats Texas and Texas A&M beats Nebraska. A
Thanks for the chat David. Enjoy A&M land.
David Ubben (1:59 PM)
Will do. Thanks for the questions, everybody. See you next week. Two weeks from tonight, the season kicks off. I'm excited.
Wait! TWo &'s again!!!
David Ubben (2:00 PM)
No. Nobody's set up with the team or schedule to run the table. But you might have Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska with one loss at the end of the year. OU beats Texas, Nebraska beats Texas and Texas AM beats Nebraska. AM loses to Texas and OU to finish with two losses. Seems like a very possible finish.
David Ubben (2:00 PM)
I hate that.
David Ubben (2:00 PM)
OK, bye for real this time.