Chat with David Ubben
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Do you find it strange Will Muschamp has a larger coaching staff already than Mack Brown does? We have not hard a single word from Mack since Thanksgiving!
David Ubben (4:01 PM)
Hey everybody. Let's get started.
David Ubben (4:04 PM)
Well, that's not entirely true. Mack just officially announced his hire of a receivers coach, which I blogged about today. And just because he hasn't done anything official doesn't mean plenty hasn't been done. He's talking to plenty of coaches already, and the best coaches tend to still be waiting for their seasons to end by now. Texas should have both coordinator positions filled within the next week or two. I wouldn't worry much about Muschamp filling out his staff.
Andrew (Ashburn, VA)
How good of a quarterback can Blaine Gabbert be in the NFL? My Redskins need a quarterback and I certainly do not want Jake Locker!
David Ubben (4:05 PM)
I think he'll be solid. He's a smart guy that makes good decisions--the finish against Iowa aside--and when you combine that with his size and arm strength, you get a prototype NFL quarterback. It's just up to him to make it happen. Certainly he'd be helped by finding a good situation also.
David: Lots of questions about Mike Leach. Reports had him nearly a lock at Maryland. What happened? Is Edsall a better choice? Also, is he a candidate and good fit at Pittsburgh? Thanks.
David Ubben (4:07 PM)
Who knows about "better?" What I do know is Edsall is a safer choice. Pending lawsuits, regardless of their merit, don't help in a job search. I suppose Pittsburgh will at least look at Leach, but there are a lot of candidates who make more sense for that job before Leach.
Ronny (Jax, FL)
David, Is the B12 done for the foreseeable future or will they go back to 12. If so any chance they dip into the Florida market and take UCF before the BE does?
David Ubben (4:08 PM)
For the foreseeable future, yes, the Big 12 will stick with 10 teams. I've said it for a little while now, but if the Big 12 wants to expand, the first place it needs to look is in Arizona. Go get ASU and Arizona.
drew (las vegas)
does texas get their obligatory pre season top 25 next year or do they actually start out of the polls
David Ubben (4:09 PM)
Interesting question. I think a lot of it will depend on a) who they hire for both coordinator jobs and position coaches and b) what we hear out of Austin in the spring. They certainly won't be on any top 25 ballot I fill out in the preseason, but it wouldn't shock me if the Longhorns slipped in a preseason poll at 20-25. They'll definitely get a few votes from at least a few pollsters.
After watching OSU handle Arizona in the bowl, do you see the same result in the opener next season?
David Ubben (4:10 PM)
Whoever the Cowboys get to replace Dana Holgorsen will have an impact on that, but yes, I think Oklahoma State wins that game. The draft decisions of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon influence it too. My guess: Weeden stays, Blackmon goes.
Zach (Broken Arrow, OK)
David, why do you think Landry Jones wasn't mentioned with some of the better(not best) QBs in the country like Mallet, Pryor, or even Weeden?? Does he have a shot at All American next season? He finished this season really strong
David Ubben (4:12 PM)
A lot of it is perception and the struggles he had in big games last year and early this year. He played fantastic down the stretch against OSU, Nebraska and Connecticut, and that'll establish some momentum heading into next year. What he did to Nebraska's secondary was shocking, and the most impressive thing I've ever seen from him.
Chase (San Francisco)
What does Baylor need to do in the next 3-5 years to pull off a TCU or Stanford type season and go to a BCS bowl?
David Ubben (4:15 PM)
Well, Baylor is in a tough spot, previously in the Big 12 South and now just in the Big 12. Stanford only played one team in the top 25 this year, and they lost. I don't say that to discount them; they're a great team. But they didn't exactly have to run a gauntlet to get in the Orange Bowl. Meanwhile, you look at a team like Texas A&M who goes 9-3 with games against top 20 teams like OU, OSU, Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri. If Baylor didn't have to play those same teams, or if they were in the Big East, then maybe you could see them win 9-10 games. But they're not, and because of that, it's going to be tough for them to ever reach the BCS or seriously contend for a Big 12 title.
Michael (Long Beach, CA)
David, if Travis Lewis and Ryan Broyles come back would you consider OU a top 5 preseason? And if they don't?
David Ubben (4:17 PM)
Yeah, if both of those guys come back, Oklahoma will have a shot to be preseason No. 1. If not, they'll still be top 10. Lewis has said all year that Corey Nelson, a highly recruiting linebacker in the 2010 class, will be better than he is and Kenny Stills broke Broyles' freshman receiving record this year. They'll need to find some more complimentary receivers, but a guy like tight end James Hanna really came on strong late. Regardless, Oklahoma looks ready to make some very serious noise in 2011.
David- Can you explain the difference between the celebration on K-State and the no call running horizontal with the goal line by Blackmon?
David Ubben (4:18 PM)
No. And neither can anyone else. That's why it makes no sense.
David Ubben (4:19 PM)
While I don't really care about either, or have a problem with either, Blackmon's gesture was infinitely worse than Hilburn's. Under the new rules next year, Blackmon's TD might have come off the board.
Though some on the board seem to think that Husker fans' frustration with the offense and in particular Shawn Watson is some sort of lame excuse, it seems undeniable that that side of the ball is holding the Huskers back. Some of it is execution, but some of it is definitely play calling. What do you think? More whining by Husker fans, or a legitimate critique? Is losing Watson a key for moving forward?Love the blog, keep up the good work, and enjoy the Cotton Bowl this weekend.
David Ubben (4:20 PM)
Well, more than anything it's about development. Obviously, you have the injury to Taylor Martinez that was a big deal, but Zac Lee and Cody Green, when they played, didn't look very much better this year than last year. That's a problem.
Does the move of the Big East conference into Big-12 (State of Texas) effect the Big-12 conference in terms of recuiting? I am thinking Baylor and Tech?
David Ubben (4:21 PM)
No, sometimes that's a little overrated. Baylor or Tech aren't going to lose a recruit to the Big East because that team is going to play a game in Fort Worth once every other year.
David Ubben (4:21 PM)
Players are going to go where they want to go. That's not going to heavily influence a recruit's decision.
Big East's Automatic Bid (East Coast)
Please put me out of my misery.
David Ubben (4:22 PM)
I have no problem with that. Or at least placing some sort of guideline, like a team must be in the top 20 to play in a BCS game. Connecticut and OU was a complete mismatch.
So now that you only have to cover 10 teams does each team get extra coverage like the revenue sharing?
David Ubben (4:23 PM)
Haha, yeah that'll kick in a little later. I suppose that's accurate if you want to look at it that way.
Michael (Long Beach, CA)
Do you think Stoops will give Drew Allen a shot at the job next year or has Jones locked it up?
David Ubben (4:24 PM)
Comments like these just make no sense. Did you watch the last three games of Oklahoma's season? My guess is no. This sentiment is more prevalent than anyone outside the Oklahoma program realizes, I think.
Jacob (US Navy)
You should interview more RBs...you don't look so short next to Cyrus
David Ubben (4:25 PM)
Haha, noted. I shot one with Lucas Patterson today. I eagerly await the comments about my apparent status as a midget. Apparently if you're not 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, you're unfit to live.
Seth (Oklahoma City)
Hey David, will you be attending any spring games this offseason, and if so which ones?
David Ubben (4:26 PM)
We'll see. It'll depend on a few factors. I'll definitely make my way around this spring, but maybe not for a ton of spring games.
What's your take on Stevan Ridley situation? It seems the NCAA never really keeps up with its own rules.
David Ubben (4:27 PM)
I talked to Texas A&M DC Tim DeRuyter a little bit about that today. The wide perception was that it was a minor problem and not one that would be a serious problem. The Aggies thought all along he'd be reinstated.
Kyle (Edmond OK)
David - a little disappointed in the Big 12 team's performances in bowls. What would an A&M win on Friday do for the Big 12 as far as perception?
David Ubben (4:28 PM)
Agreed. A&M winning would help--especially playing in prime time against the SEC, but 4-4 is a disappointment with the matchups the Big 12 drew. But the Big 12 can thank their lucky stars for Black Saturday in the Big Ten. Nobody's talking about the Big 12's weak showing because the Big Ten was so catastrophically bad.
I still have a real hard time figuring out why that salute during K-State's bowl game was charged a penalty. Every other bowl game I have watched has had celebration penalties worse than that and for a little salute to the crowd to be penalized was insane. That official ought to be fined $25,000.
David Ubben (4:29 PM)
Ha, I don't know about fining the official. By rule he made the right call. But like I've written about at length, considering the situation it was a bad one. Just not bad enough to warrant any serious retribution or an apology. Not even close.
what's nebraska's win-loss record next year? over/under 9
David Ubben (4:30 PM)
Give me the push with a lean toward the under. That Big Ten schedule they drew is brutal.
Concerning the potential NFL lockout, will the world ending in 2012 effect the negotiations?
David Ubben (4:31 PM)
I would think that has to have some effect, but by all accounts, both sides are being stubborn. So even if the negotiation table falls into a lake of lava, don't expect either side to get up and leave it.
What is A&M's rank to start next season if they win the bowl game?
David Ubben (4:32 PM)
Probably around 15-20, maybe higher if Jeff Fuller comes back.
Larry (Las Vegas)
David -TAMU vs LSU a defensive struggle as expected or a shoot out since what is expected has happened rarely this season.Also - favorite western The Outlaw Josey Wells or Unforgiven?
David Ubben (4:34 PM)
I'm expecting a physical, low-scoring game. Not to the level of A&M-Nebraska, but maybe like a 20-17 game. And I actually hate Westerns. I can put up with ones like 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James, but the genre doesn't do much for me across the board.
Connor (New Jersey)
How good is Texas going to be next year?
David Ubben (4:35 PM)
No way of knowing until these hires are in the book and we get a look at them in the spring and early next season. They're going to be a huge wild card next season.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
David, It looks like Mack Brown is going young and energetic with his coaching hires. What do you think?
David Ubben (4:36 PM)
It's a good contrast with his persona, and generally, when you fire someone, you want the opposite of them with a new hire. I don't think anyone would describe Greg Davis and young and energetic, but they had a lot of success with that formula when they hired Will Muschamp. Obviously, there's a lot more that has to go into it, but the day-to-day in practice will be a lot different with a younger guy.
Brian (College Station)
Prediction: A&M remembers how much fun it was when they played LSU all the time and joins the SEC
David Ubben (4:37 PM)
Ha, came pretty close over the summer. Terrible, terrible mistake if they ever actually do it.
Connor (New Jersey)
Is Mack Brown unfireable? How bad will it need to be?
David Ubben (4:37 PM)
Yes. It would take an epic scandal or a complete, complete meltdown.
David Ubben (4:38 PM)
I mean, come on, folks. Short, short memories. Call Brown an underachiever all you want, but nine consecutive years of at least 10 wins is just unbelievably hard. I don't care how easy it is to recruit or how much talent you have. That just doesn't happen in many places.
Big 3 for OU again next year? Jones, Finch, and Stills? (Big 4 if Broyles comes back)
David Ubben (4:39 PM)
Looking that way. Oklahoma just has a ton of really, really exciting freshmen. Stills, Finch, Tony Jefferson, CB Aaron Colvin, and keep an eye on incoming freshman Trey Metoyer next year, too.
David Ubben (4:40 PM)
The opportunity will be there for young receivers to make an impact.
Jacob (US Navy)
Who will be the Aggie's #1 back next year?
David Ubben (4:41 PM)
I don't think it matters all that much. Christine Michael probably has more raw talent, but you've seen what Cyrus Gray can do this year. The Aggies have two quality backs who will get a pretty even share of touches. Plenty of programs would kill to have that.
Jacob (US Navy)
Who would hurt their team the most by leaving: Broyles, Blackmon, or Fuller?
David Ubben (4:42 PM)
Definitely Blackmon. Oklahoma played without Broyles last year and still managed to make some good things happen. Oklahoma State's offense just couldn't get it done against a terrible, terrible K-State defense this year without Blackmon. As for Fuller, the Aggies have so many good receivers, they'll still be OK without him.
I really think the Big 12 is making a mistake by not having the Big 12 Championship. I'm an OU fan and would rather havea shot to go to Dallas at the end of the year than go to an extra north site each year. This is going to hurt the big 12 in the long run and I hate it. They should petition for a 10 team championship game. Thoughts?
David Ubben (4:43 PM)
Generally, I just like the event. I agree, the championship game will be missed even if games get moved to Championship Weekend. I'd love to see it reinstated.
Bill (Denver, CO)
Have you had the opportunity to talk to coach Embree at all? If so, what did he say was the focus of the recruiting for the Buffs this year? It looks like they need to start getting O-Linemen and DB's.. right?
David Ubben (4:44 PM)
I have. There's a Q&A with him up on the blog. I don't think a link will be hyperlinked in the chat, but if you Google it, I'm sure it'll show up. Covered a wide range of things.
seth (new braunfels)
lets pretend that K-States Defense gets better in 2011 and go from TERRIBLE to average...lets also say that the brown brother play as advertised and the QB Klein or Tuggle play decent...any chance at the Alamo bowl or better? or is the schedule too tough
David Ubben (4:45 PM)
It's possible, but Klein has to be fantastic for them next year. They're going to miss Daniel Thomas big time next year. Bryce Brown has to be what everyone thought he'd be.
David Ubben (4:46 PM)
A couple more questions. We'll make it some good ones.
What team will be the most improved from this season to next?
David Ubben (4:47 PM)
Interesting question. Texas Tech and Iowa State make some sense, but it's going to be hard for them to replace a senior quarterback. How about Texas? Hard to see them being much worse.
Landry Jones (Oklahoma)
I am the best QB in the Big 12. Do you agree?
David Ubben (4:47 PM)
Not this year. Maybe next year. Brandon Weeden was better this year.
ashley (Jeff City, MO)
Had Gabbert stayed, wouldn't Mizzou had a shot at winning the conference next year?
David Ubben (4:49 PM)
Yeah, probably an outside chance, but a reasonable one. It'll be tough for them now, but you can't completely write them off. Quarterback is a question, but the defense should be really good again. And they'll only lose one offensive lineman. Granted, it's an All-Big 12 center who keeps the whole engine running, but he had some good talent around him.
What do you think NFL teams think of Brandon Weeden? too old to invest in as a franchise qb?
David Ubben (4:50 PM)
To spend first-round money on? Probably. But he'll get a shot. With his arm strength, smarts and size, he'll end up somewhere.
David Ubben (4:50 PM)
Thanks for all the questions, everybody. See you next week.