Big 12 Tuesday mailbag: Week 1 impressions

In Tuesday's mailbag we discuss West Virginia's impressive debut, Iowa State's season-opening win and some of the standout performances in Week 1. As always, thanks for your questions.

Brandon Chatmon: Of course, 12-0, College Football Playoff bound. ...But in all seriousness, the Cyclones actually showed me something in the win. I know it's just a home blowout of a FCS playoff team in Northern Iowa but the Cyclones lost, at home, to FCS teams to open the previous two seasons. And they fell behind 7-0 in this game before Iowa State finally took control. Solid season opening win for the Cyclones.

Chatmon: Well we finally got to see some of the guys who have been the buzz of preseason camp, guys such as TCU's KaVontae Turpin and Oklahoma's Joe Mixon, but we probably didn't learn a lot about most Big 12 squads. I expect to learn a lot more in Week 2, now that teams have a better feel for their game-day playmakers. But, realistically, I don't expect to know enough to really tell how good teams are until late September.

Chatmon: Underrated performances: West Virginia's Skyler Howard, Iowa State's Dale Pierson and Baylor's offensive line. I don't know that I consider any performance overrated. It didn't seem to me like any Big 12 team or player got much national praise -- nor necessarily should have -- after Week 1. No Big 12 team or player has been the talk of the nation post-Week 1.

Chatmon: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes pretty much did what I expected at the quarterback position and receiver Jakeem Grant showed why he should have gotten more preseason praise. As far as the defense, well, let's just say Tech fans better hope David Gibbs' defense makes a major jump forward this weekend. The four turnovers were a great sign but they struggled to slow Sam Houston State, which was a really bad sign.

Chatmon: No. We had Texas in the bottom half of the Big 12 in the preseason rankings for a reason. However, I did think Notre Dame was better than I expected.

Chatmon: No, I've always felt like they had a shot. The biggest issue for me, even before the season started, is the Mountaineers' October schedule. Not Skyler Howard, not concerns about the receivers, the defensive line or anything that has to do with the actual talent on WVU's roster. There is no team in the Big 12 that I think the Mountaineers cannot beat, I just think that stretch of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU is too much to overcome. If WVU wins the Big 12, it will have earned it.

Chatmon: There's no doubt in my mind coach Dana Holgorsen has some offensive wrinkles up his sleeve, and I think redshirt freshman quarterback William Crest will play a role with some creative plays and packages. I expect to see more of the Mountaineers' complete offense against Maryland and Oklahoma in late September and early October.

Chatmon: They definitely made me rethink last week's rankings of Big 12 defenses (which was based largely on my concerns about lack of proven playmakers on the defensive line). After what I saw on Saturday, I'm thinking they might make me look like a fool for that one, and I don't consider any Big 12 defense better than West Virginia. The Mountaineers were fast, aggressive, athletic and deep. Their overall athleticism and aggressiveness could erase overcome my worries about the defensive line.

Chatmon: West Virginia and Iowa State. What more can be said about the Mountaineers? They were exceptional. As far as Iowa State, as I said before they could have thought "here we go again" after trailing against Northern Iowa, but they rattled off 31 unanswered points. It was a good step forward for the Cyclones.

Chatmon: Absolutely. If I was coach Bill Snyder I'd make sure to play true freshman quarterback Alex Delton in every game from this point forward. It seems like Delton is the future, so why not kick-start the future right now? But then, I'm not one of the greatest coaches of all time so, do you, Bill, do you.

Chatmon: I don't feel like the Big Ten is considered "dominant," I think Ohio State is considered "dominant." But I will say I don't think people really appreciate how good a win that was for TCU. Minnesota is a solid squad and to win a season opener on the road against a team like that is a strong debut.