Texas and Big 12's future, A&M weakness

Thanks for all the questions, everybody. Great chat this week. See you again next week. Here's the transcript if you couldn't make it.

And a few highlights:

Travis C. in Lake Highlands asked: What is the best you can imagine Texas doing next year, and what is the most likely win total for the re-tooled Horns?

David Ubben: Well, I could see them winning the Big 12. I wouldn't bet on it, but they definitely have the upside to do it. My guess for them is 8-9 wins next year, though.

Reason in Ubben's head asked: Texas is Texas. There is no way that they can do bad and not win. They are Texas after all. Nevermind that they have no character, they are soft and are replacing their OC and DC and are losing their only running threat (Newton) and best Defender in Williams. But... they're Texas

DU: You're crazy if you think Newton is their best runner. He wasn't any more consistent than Fozzy Whittaker or Cody Johnson, and like Marcus Lattimore and Michael Dyer showed us this year, freshman running backs can have a huge impact on teams. That's a big reason for the excitement surrounding Malcolm Brown. As for no character and being soft, none of that seemed to hurt them over the past decade. How quickly people forget the Longhorns' sustained success under Mack Brown with one awful season. Replacing a guy like Colt McCoy isn't easy, especially when you build your entire offense around him. They're not replacing anyone as indispensable as him this year. Also, Sam Acho was unquestionably their best defender this year, not Aaron Williams. Both are gone, yes, but Texas has a ton of talent behind them with a lot to prove in 2011.

Drew in Las Vegas asked: Hey to defend you against your own "Reason", you answered my question last week saying Texas would not be in any top 25 poll you filled out next season to start.

DU: Very true. I think Texas will get back to moderate success next year, but they have to prove it. No way will I put them on any top 25 ranking until they get something rolling early in the season or just look immaculate in their first few games.

Kevin in Houston, TX asked: Looking at the Aggies next year, what is the biggest weakness you see for them on both sides of the ball? And how much of that is being addressed in the currently class?

DU: Probably linebacker on defense. Losing Michael Hodges and Von Miller will hurt. On offense, definitely at center. Matt Allen was a senior making the calls, and he'll be tough to replace. Replacing people physically won't be the challenge for the Aggies next year, it's replacing guys mental capacity like Hodges and Allen. You can't replace that in recruiting very easily. That's a development issue.

Napoleon in Preston, ID asked: Why doesn't the Big 12 pick up Boise State and BYU to replace Colorado and Nebraska? They are worthy programs and offer new TV markets.

DU: BYU is a possibility, but it sounds like it's pretty bent on giving this independence thing a try. Boise makes no sense. They bring nothing but football competition. Folks aren't exactly clamoring for the Boise TV market. I'll stick to what I've been saying for a few months now: You want to make a big, realistic splash? Go get Arizona and Arizona State.

Steve in West Virginia asked: So why didn't the Big XII go after Arizona and Arizona State?

DU: For now, the league is excited for and satisfied with a 10-team alignment. The same amount of money guaranteed, and passing it out to two fewer teams is obviously attractive. Come 2014, with a new TV contract about to be negotiated, the conversation might change.

Bob in Texas asked: Top 5 Qb's in the Big 12 err... ten or whatever next season?

DU: Quick survey: 1a) Brandon Weeden 1b) Landry Jones 3) Robert Griffin III 4) Ryan Tannehill. After that, I'm not even ranking guys. It gets ugly. Maybe it's the next guy in line at Missouri or Texas Tech. IT could even be Garrett Gilbert. Seriously. Look around. It could get ugly at QB in the Big 12 next year. Wondering why OU, OSU and A&M look like the three biggest favorites next year? Well, there you go.

Kris in Des Moines asked: You mean Landry Jones.......................................then Weeden..right..

DU: Coin flip. Weeden has a stronger arm, in my opinion. Jones takes care of it a little better. Both very accurate. Could make a case either way, really. Seems to me that Jones' mistakes, when he makes them, are bigger back-breakers. For that reason, I tend to lean Weeden.