Mailbag: 2012 sked, Gundy, KU QBs, TCU

Thanks for all the questions again this week. Here's where you can send more.

Terry Nixon in Marietta, Ga., asked: Ubbs, Do you think Gundy has been disloyal? If so please share or at least state why you think that way.

David Ubben: No and yes. It's been said by others this week, but I agree: Gundy's been so loyal, it's now hurting him in contract negotiations, and OSU, fair or not, could get away with not paying Gundy what he's worth. As a result, both sides are having to play a little hardball in this whole contract situation, resulting in some hurt feelings. But the fact is this: This match is too perfect for anything to change it. The only question is how much money Gundy will be paid to do it. He wouldn't be anywhere near as happy at another place. Money won't change that. But OSU ought to do what's right. It's close, but I'd say Gundy's carved himself a spot as one of college football's top 10-15 coaches. OSU ought to show some good faith and pay him in the top 10, get him over that $3 million mark that only the top echelon are being paid.

The only reason you wouldn't is because you know he won't leave. That's not right. Give the man his due.

I could maybe understand if contract length is the issue, but OSU has backed itself into a corner on this one. You can't give Travis Ford a 10-year deal and not give one to Gundy. Claim the "two wrongs don't make a right" defense all you'd like, but giving Ford a 10-year deal was wrong. Giving one to Gundy is right.

All this haggling is an unnecessary distraction and frustration for OSU fans.

Bacon in Ames asked: DU, The first thing I thought when I saw Kansas picked up two QB transfers: Poor Jordan Webb. Granted, Webb didn't put up great numbers, but it's not like he was the worst player on the team. Am I crazy to think Weis and the Jayhawks would have been better served finding a way to repair the nation's worst defense or even finding a playmaker or two at wide receiver instead?

DU: Well, this isn't the NFL. You don't have a set number of dollars to spend at other positions, so your last argument doesn't quite matter. Make the team as good as possible using whatever legal means possible. Making sure you're set at quarterback needs to be at the top of the list, especially in the Big 12.

Fixing the defense needs to be No. 2. Finding playmakers needs to be No. 3. Kansas is way behind on both, but they've got some guys who could develop into decent players, and defensively, you look at the defensive turnaround at A&M from 2009 to 2010 and Kansas State from 2010 to 2011, and improvement's not impossible.

As for Webb, this is a harsh business at times. He was better this year, but clearly, he's not a quarterback that can carry a team to the next level. We'll find out soon if Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps are those guys, but each's potential is sky high, probably more so Heaps than Crist. I didn't see a ton of potential out of Webb this year. A well-meaning guy, but left a lot of room for KU to upgrade.

The Jayhawks did. It's nothing personal, but just look at the physical skills for the two incoming quarterbacks and Webb's numbers the past two seasons. Not exactly a high-risk proposition, but the possible rewards are enormous. Huge pickup for KU and a move it had to make.

Chance in Colorado Springs, Colo., asked: David, It may be too early to ask scheduling for the Big 12, but any chance OSU has to play 3 consecutive years in Austin or Lubbock?

DU: Yeah, the Big 12 schedule is still pretty far off, especially considering WVU isn't for sure coming to the Big 12 in 2012. They still have some legal untangling to do with the Big East before joining next year, versus 2014.

I highly, highly doubt you'd see that kind of a glitch on any schedule. Athletic directors are in on some of this process, and they'd (justifiably) put up a huge stink about that. You'll probably see some schools forced to go to the same road games for a second consecutive year, but no way would the league allow three. That's insanity.

GTCat in Tonganoxie, Kan., asked: TCU's win over La Tech got them to 11-2 this season. Pending a route over the snouts KSU could end up with the same record. Which Purple wearing team do you see as having more of a say in the 2012 conference race?

DU: Definitely Kansas State, if for no other reason than we know their potential and we know they can handle this kind of schedule. TCU's a good team, but the fact is, we have no idea how a Gary Patterson team will handle a much more difficult week-to-week schedule. Same with Boise.

We finally get to find out.

Kansas State will be among the favorites to win the league next season, but TCU could win it, too. The problem is, it'll be a brand-new test for the Frogs. They'll scout unfamiliar teams every week. They'll be forced to face more physical defenses and more talented offenses.

You saw how Nebraska did in its first year in the Big Ten. The same with Colorado in the Pac-12. It was rough goings. Everyone else in the league has to adjust to 1-2 new teams. TCU has to adjust to nine. That's difficult, and a lot more video required from week-to-week to be prepared.

Kansas State doesn't have that problem, and just won 10 games in the Big 12, bringing back just about everybody in 2012. I'll take the Cats' chances.

Kermit Ashby in Plainview, Texas asked: Do you have a guesstimate for Texas Tech's football wins/losses for the 2012 season? Thanks.

DU: I liked them as a sleeper to win the Big 12 in 2012 earlier this year, but the meltdown late this season definitely made me rethink that. Now, you've got what looks like a whole lot of staff turnover and guys coming back from injuries and only a five-win season.

If I was guessing, I'd say 7-8 wins. The Big 12 should have a bunch of solid teams at the top of the league next season, but probably no truly elite teams. It's going to be difficult.

Brett in Kansas City asked: Hey Ubbs, if the national title game ends up being another ugly game (like we all know it will be) and Okie State is able to beat Stanford fairly convicingly (lets say by 3 TDs) could the cowboys get a national champioship from those who don't just give them to the winners of the big game?

DU: As hilarious as that would be, no, I don't see that happening. You might see a few dissenters play contrarian in the voting and give OSU first-place votes, but I wouldn't hold my breath that OSU gets anything close to a split national title. Now, Bama and LSU? That's another story. I could totally see that happening if Bama won.