Big 12 mailbag

In today's mailbag, we debate the scenarios that get Baylor to the title game, discuss the QB situations in Norman and Lubbock, and Iowa State's uniform choices are questioned.

To the 'bag:

rtXC1 in Denison, Texas, writes: Look across the Big 12 and there are now six schools that change uniforms to recruit, three traditionalists, and then there is Iowa State, which has a traditional look but lacks much tradition. Why hasn't Iowa State joined in on uniforms as a recruiting tactic? Is it Paul Rhodes' or the AD's preferential choice to build tradition or is it the lack of compelling colors (not much you can do with red and yellow)? I mean, why not add random colors like Tech?

Jake Trotter: Interesting observation. Iowa State has featured an old-school alternate look, but you’re right, they are are not on the cutting edge the way Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas Tech are. If I’m Iowa State, I take a look at shaking things up with the uniforms. You have to do everything you can to get noticed.

Anonymous in Texas writes:I think Josh Heupel is an outstanding QB coach. He proved this during the Paul Thompson, Sam Bradford and a portion of the Landry Jones eras. Then, during Landry Jones' time, he got promoted to offensive coordinator and moved to the press box, and Jones never progressed after that. Now we're seeing a significant decline from OU's QB play this year. Staying away from the Heupel-should-go-or-not debate. I think one of Bob Stoops' biggest miscalculations was to take away that one-on-one Heupel had with his QBs. Agree or disagree?

Jake Trotter: There’s no doubt that when Heupel moved to the press box, it had an effect on Jones, for whatever reason. And you’re right: Heupel was terrific as a QB coach. But I don’t know if Heupel feels comfortable calling plays from the sideline. If that were the case, the only way he would end up on the sidelines again would be with a demotion back to QB coach.

Cain in New Zealand writes:Hey guys. Love the blog! With a somewhat young KSU team improving down the stretch, and having a good chance of winning out, how likely do you think it is they spin a Baylor and contend for the Big 12 next year?

Jake Trotter: Thanks, Cain. Building momentum down the stretch for next season can really help, especially if you have a core group of players returning. The Wildcats lose some key guys, but they do return QBs Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. That momentum doesn’t always carry over. But, as with Baylor, it can be a huge boost.

Steven in Kansas writes:If Bama and FSU collapsed and Baylor is able to play for the national championship, is it possible for K-State to sneak into the Cotton Bowl if Texas stumbles late in the season and Tech continues falling?

Jake Trotter: It’s possible. In your scenario, that would send the Big 12 runner-up (Oklahoma State?) to the Fiesta, leaving the third-place team for the Cotton Bowl. Who knows: A hot K-State team might be more attractive to Cotton Bowl officials than a floundering OU, Texas or Texas Tech.

Name Namerson in Atlantis writes:How bad does Texas Tech get beat by Baylor? Does Art let off the pedal when they go up by the 27-point spread?

Jake Trotter: This time of the year, style points count. I wouldn’t pull up on the pedal.

Tom in Baylor Nation writes:A one-loss Stanford is still above Baylor in the BCS, but I am confident that Baylor will move ahead if we keep winning. However, I could imagine a one-loss Bama team (close loss against Auburn or SEC championship) actually staying ahead of an undefeated Baylor. Do you think that could happen?

Jake Trotter: It could happen. Another thing that could happen is an 11-1 Auburn passing Baylor with an impressive with over the Tide. Not saying either is likely. But it is difficult to project how voters will react to certain game outcomes. All the Bears can do is win these last four games in impressive fashion and show voters they’re deserving of consideration.

J.R. in Houston writes:Jake, Brandon and Max: :Love the blog, thanks for all that ya'll do! If either Bama or FSU loses, who do you think has the best chance of moving up, Baylor or Ohio State?

Jake Trotter: I think Baylor edges out Ohio State eventually. The thing holding Baylor back is its computer profile. But that would get a big boost from wins over Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas. Ohio State doesn’t have a ranked team left on its regular-season schedule, though the Buckeyes theoretically could play a highly ranked Michigan State team in the Big Ten championship game. That would not help Baylor’s cause.

Mike Hess in Dallas writes:Jake, looking past the fact that Baylor is favored by four touchdowns. What can Tech do to make it closer than everyone expects?

Jake Trotter: First, Tech can’t turn the ball over like they have been. Second, they need to be able to keep the Baylor offense on the sidelines with short passes that keep moving the chains. Third, they can’t get completely gashed by Baylor’s running game. If they do those three things, they have a chance to be in the game in the second half.

Kris in Dallas writes: A couple weeks ago, I questioned the abilities of Davis Webb and asked why he was still starting. You have continued to insist that Webb is good enough to be the starter, yet he was finally pulled in the K-State game. However, Baker Mayfield didn't exactly come in and run away with a great game. I'm curious as to why it seems to only be between the two. Any idea why Michael Brewerisn't getting a shot?

Jake Trotter: Kris, there are only so many practice snaps, and those have been split between Webb and Mayfield. They have to give Brewer a shot in practice before they can give a shot in the game. But then taking reps away from Webb or Mayfield would, in turn, stunt their development. It’s a tricky situation for Kliff Kingsbury. I like the potential of Webb and Mayfield, but if they continue to struggle down the stretch, then maybe they give Brewer another look in practice.