Big 12 mailbag: Baylor scheduling, new replay rule and QB battles

In today's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss Baylor's about-face scheduling philosophy, the conference's new replay rule, Baker Mayfield's dancing the QB battles around the league as we head into the summer.

On to the 'bag:

My first thought was, it's about time. I never understood their strategy for scheduling cupcakes in their nonconference schedule. It had begun to define Baylor, and that was really hurting them in the playoff selection deliberations. Baylor has become a premier program that can go toe-to-toe with pretty much anyone in the country. They shouldn't be afraid of scheduling anyone. Staging high-profile nonconference games will not only enhance Baylor's playoff standing, it will serve to elevate the Baylor brand even more.

Home-and-homes take a little more time and creativity to put together, considering how far down the line many programs are with their future schedules. But there should be immediate opportunities to play neutral-site games, similar to Oklahoma State-Florida State last year or TCU-LSU the previous year. I'm guessing that's what McCaw has in mind.

It's difficult to evaluate without seeing them in person or on TV (Here's a link.) They're OK. Not one of my favorite Baylor combos, though.

I wasn't in the meeting, so I don't know what the conversation was that led to this new rule (where, in case you missed it, schools can now be reprimanded for replaying a controversial call too many times). But it seems like an ill-conceived, hyperbolic overreaction to the court-rushing incident in Manhattan. This rule doesn't serve the fan who buys the ticket and wants to see the replay of controversial calls. Maybe in concert, the Big 12 should collectively drop ticket prices, since they will be diminishing the in-game experience for the fans.

The Sooners had the second-highest APR in the league behind Kansas State. They're not losing players any more than anyone else is. That's just part of modern college football, especially at quarterback, where only one player can start. I don't blame Justice Hansen for leaving. The coach (Josh Heupel) that recruited him was fired in the offseason, and the system he signed to play in was shelved in favor of the Air Raid. I have no idea where Hansen will go, but he's a former ESPN 300 signee with plenty of ability. I think he'll end up at another Power 5 conference program.

Ego. Nobody wants to be the first to blink.

My predictions for the Big 12 starting quarterbacks in Week 1: Trevone Boykin, Seth Russell, Mason Rudolph, Tyrone Swoopes, Baker Mayfield, Pat Mahomes, Sam B. Richardson, Montell Cozart, Skyler Howard and... Alex Delton. Delton is my wild card. He might not start the opener for Kansas State. But I think he could be its starting QB by October.

At the moment, it looks like Mayfield is going to win the competition, which would leave Trevor Knight in a backup role starting out. Mayfield, however, is far from an established starter. If Mayfield struggled, especially with turnovers, Knight could get another shot down the line to show that the 2014 Sugar Bowl wasn't a mere aberration.

Mayfield has dethroned Mike Gundy and Kliff Kingsbury. He has the championship belt right now.

In Oklahoma and Texas, never, apparently. It's raining right now as I type.

Franklin's in Austin is tops overall, though it's not easy to get in there. Vitek's in Waco is a staple. Ray's is my go-to BBQ joint in Norman. Open to other suggestions you guys might have. I need to pad my Big 12 restaurant list.

This is big year for Tech and for Kingsbury. They don't have to win the Big 12. But they need to show progress, particularly on defense and with all the turnovers and penalties. They also need to get back to a bowl. Kingsbury and his staff have recruited well. And the out-of-the-gate success in 2013 covered up how much rebuilding Kingsbury really had before him. Still, last year was a step back. Tech is pretty much tied to Kingsbury because of the contract. But the angst level in Lubbock would rise significantly with another 4-8 season.