Big 12 mailbag: Hot seats, player rankings and rivalry week

In Friday's Twitter mailbag, we discuss which Big 12 coaches are on the hot seat, the chances Iowa State has of going to a bowl game, why everyone is getting so excited about Baylor TE LaQuan McGowan and the best moment of my now defunct video-game playing career.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: All I can say is he was No. 6 in our top 25 Big 12 player ranking, and the top-rated defensive back. We think Karl Joseph is a star.

Trotter: The hype comes from the novelty and innovation. Never before have we seen a tight end weigh 400 pounds and yet still have the athleticism to run routes. Will he be an All-American? Probably not. But that doesn't mean he still won't be one of the most compelling players to watch in all of college football. Thus, the hype.

Trotter: The fourth-quarter fourth-and-1 at TCU definitely comes to mind. Even so, that was a strong group last year. And honestly, I don't see how OU is as dominant again up front. Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams were quality offensive tackles. Those guys won't be easily replaced. Still, that doesn't mean the overall offense can't be better. You don't need an overpowering offensive line in the Air Raid.

Trotter: Thanks, Sean. Any other questions you want to answer, or you mind if I take it from here?

Trotter: In the wake of Kansas losing offensive lineman Joey Bloomfield and Junior Visinia, Thursday I quizzed a Big 12-area reporter who doesn't cover the Jayhawks if he or she could name three healthy players on Kansas' roster. He or she couldn't. Defensive end Ben Goodman is probably Kansas' top player, but it's almost by default. No Big 12 team had fewer returning starters this year than Kansas. And since the spring, five of Kansas' top nine players coming back, according to Max Olson's "Top-10 player spring update," have either since been injured (QB Michael Cummings), been dismissed (WR Rodriguez Coleman, RB Corey Avery, DT Andrew Bolton) or retired (LB Jake Love). Kansas, I think, made an terrific hire in David Beaty, but this is going to be a long fall before basketball season arrives in Lawrence.

Trotter: The only Big 12 coach really on a hot seat at the moment is Paul Rhoads. Barring something crazy happening off the field, I can't see a scenario in which any other Big 12 coach would get fired after this season. And frankly, I think it would take another 2-10-type year for Iowa State to strongly consider making a change, too.

Trotter: If Rhoads wins six games this season, Iowa State should give him an extension. That would make four bowl trips in six years under Rhoads. You know how many bowl games Iowa State went to before that in the history of its program? Nine. Getting to a bowl is no small feat at Iowa State.

Trotter: Getting DE Jhaustin Thomas on top of DT Demond Tucker and DT Bobby Leath will help a defensive line that struggled to hold up last year, sure. But ultimately, Iowa State's bowl hopes are going to rest on Sam B. Richardson. If he stays healthy and is one of the top 3-4 QBs in the league, then Iowa State is going to have a solid chance to go bowling. If he gets banged up again and struggles, then the Cyclones are going to be in trouble.

Trotter: They have a dark little nook by the locker room, with TVs and couches. It's essentially a nap room. I think that was a cool idea, and something the players will enjoy. But there's a lot to like about the Vanier building. K-State did a great job with it.

Trotter: Nothing I've been to tops the Red River game. Tradition and pageantry aren't developed overnight. No matter the records, you can feel you're walking into something special when you enter the Texas State Fair on that October Saturday.

Trotter: What Matt is referring to is, sophomore year of college he and I had a showdown to determine once and for all who the better "NCAA Football" player was. We took different sides and played out nine rivalries in college football (Auburn-Alabama, Ohio State-Michigan, etc...), thus the name "Rivalry Week." With the series tied 4-4, it came down to the final game, pitting Harvard (me) against Yale (him). In the final seconds, I returned a kickoff for a touchdown to win the game, and to win Rivalry Week in dramatic fashion. To this day it remains my greatest video game achievement, and also one of the low points of Matt's existence. As you can see, 13 years later, he still hasn't been able to let it go.