In today's Twitter mailbag, we discuss Texas Tech and Texas recruiting, TCU's most intriguing game after Baylor and who owns the best home-field advantages in the league.
To the 'bag:
@Jake_Trotter best defensive line in the Big 12?— Jared McLemore (@jmac_21) June 19, 2015
Trotter: Baylor's. Shawn Oakman and Andrew Billings are All-Big 12, and probable future first-round picks. Beau Blackshear is a three-year starter. At end opposite Oakman, Boise State transfer Sam Ukwuachu is expected to be eligible, and Jamal Palmer is healthy again. This is a unit loaded with size, speed and experience. No other Big 12 defensive line really comes close.
@Jake_Trotter I think all other things are equal,the difference between OU and Baylor right now is QB Play, who has the advantage at QB?— David O'Brien (@D_OB84) June 19, 2015
Trotter: You must have been on vacation during Baylor's 48-14 undressing of OU in Norman last year. Baylor owned -- and still owns -- a clear edge on both sides of the trenches and at wide receiver. It's not like the Sooners were incredible in the secondary last year, either. With Samaje Perine and a new offense, OU has a chance to be a factor this year. But on paper, all other things are not equal. As to your actual question, I ranked Baylor fourth and OU fifth in my post-spring QB rankings. I give Seth Russell the slight edge over Baker Mayfield, though both are relatively unproven given their limited experience.
@Jake_Trotter How has Texas Tech been able to jump out to such a quick start this recruiting cycle?— Forrest Grimes (@FGrimesN7) June 19, 2015
Trotter: Tech has definitely gone all-in on quantity early. Will it ultimately come at the expense of quality? It's too soon to say. They do have some premier players already committed in the likes of WR T.J. Vasher and TE Donte Coleman. But they haven't exactly beaten out other Big 12 programs for several of their other commits, either. There could be some diamonds in the rough there. Others could see their stock rise in the fall. But with 19 commitments on board, Tech can really focus in on some blue-chip possibilities leading up to signing day. Such a fast start could also create the perception of momentum with prospective blue-chippers, which is an underrated attribute to have in recruiting. One thing is for sure, Tech won't have to worry about scrambling to fill out its class at the end, which is something that plagues various school in the days leading up to signing day. It will be very interesting to see how our ESPN scouts view this class come February.
@Jake_Trotter is OU at UTK going to be a potential College Gameday? Think it got passed up for NDSU last year.— Drew Shingleton (@TBDShingleton) June 19, 2015
Trotter: LSU at Mississippi State and Oregon at Michigan State are on the same weekend. I would assume GameDay would choose one of those locales before OU-Tennessee.
@Jake_Trotter can rennie Childs handle the load for Ok State by himself? Like joe Randell/hunter? Or does he split carries with Carson?— Dorian (@bigbacy) June 19, 2015
Trotter: I don't view Rennie Childs as a feature back right now. He had a nice spring, and I think he can be an effective change-of-pace option with his one-cut, downhill style. But from everything I've seen, I don't put him in the same class as a Kendall Hunter or Joe Randle. That's why landing Chris Carson was so pivotal for Oklahoma State's 2015 outlook. Carson has the look of an every-down, 25-carry back. I don't know if he'll pan out. Jucos are always a coin flip. But my educated guess is that Carson will wind up getting the majority of the carries for the Cowboys this season.
@Jake_Trotter In your lifetime, have you ever seen Texas struggle to recruit elite in-state talent like it is right now?— Tuxedo Yoda (@TuxedoYoda) June 19, 2015
Trotter: Charlie Strong signed a top-10 class last year. It's way too early to say Texas is struggling. Remember, Strong flipped eight recruits from other schools last year. I'd imagine he'll steal a few before this signing day, too.
@Jake_Trotter top 3 toughest places to play on the road in Big 12?— Benjamin Graves (@BenjaminGraves4) June 19, 2015
Trotter: Separating out quality of the home team, Lubbock, Stillwater and Manhattan seem to consistently boast the best home-field advantages. Baylor could soon be making a case to be on that list with McLane Stadium.
@Jake_Trotter which Big 12 freshman are going to have the biggest impact this season and which ones should we be keeping an eye on?— Derek Duke (@DerekDuke25) June 19, 2015
Trotter: Texas LB Malik Jefferson, Kansas State QB Alex Delton, Oklahoma State DT Darrion Daniels, TCU LB Mike Freeze, Texas Tech DT Breiden Fehoko and West Virginia WR Jovon Durante are among the freshmen that could have big impacts this season.
@Jake_Trotter Which game on TCU's schedule (aside from Baylor) do you think will be the most intriguing this upcoming football season?— Stephen Patino (@YaBoyStevieP) June 19, 2015
Trotter: The trips to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for sure. TCU hasn't won in Stillwater since 1991. And the Frogs haven't won in Norman since 2005. TCU has never really been in this position before, going into a season as the hunted. Sure, the Horned Frogs were a powerhouse mid-major, but even then, they were viewed as the little guy by the major conferences. This will be a completely different experience. It's going to be interesting to see how they perform on the road in tough environments against quality opponents.
@Jake_Trotter opinions Baylor's supposed 2016 season opener in Australia if it happens?— Alex Galan (@alexgalan_18) June 19, 2015
Trotter: I'd be for Baylor playing on the moon as long as the opponent didn't include the words "Incarnate" or "Word" in its name.