Big 12 Tuesday mailbag: QB battles at Texas, Kansas State


In Tuesday's mailbag we discuss Baylor's once-in-a-lifetime big target, the Backyard Brawl and quarterback situations at Kansas and Texas. To submit questions for next week's mailbag, click here.

Zach Naegele in Yosemite writes: Inspired by the debate of best Big12 rivalry (Red River Rivalry vs. Revivalry), I feel now's a good time to ask what your thoughts are on West Virginia trying to bring back the Backyard Brawl with Pitt. Since Pitt is getting a new athletic director the option seems to be open again, although it's at least five years away. But it seems to me that both fan bases enjoy the game and it certainly brings in revenue for each school. Also, if they do bring it back, what's a good name for the first game after the hiatus? The It's Finally Back-yard Brawl?

Brandon Chatmon: I'm all for it coming back. It's one of those games that I feel needs to be played for the good of everyone involved. I'm hoping it returns as soon as possible. And I like your suggestion of the Finally Back-yard Brawl, for the first year. Then back to the Backyard Brawl after year one.

W Bever in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, writes: West Virginia always seems in pursuit of a lean, quick guy to play defensive right end in hopes of pressuring the quarterback. My memories of the 2014 season are of Johnathan Gray, Samaje Perine and Alabama's Derrick Henry gashing that side with bruising run after bruising run. Doesn't the "lean, mean" strategy start looking like fool's gold after a while?

Chatmon: Run defense doesn't all come down to one guy. Although I would agree situational subs and packages would be the best bet, particularly if a lean passing-rushing defensive end isn't holding up. There's no need for a philosophy change however, a quality run defense is a team achievement. And lean guys, with the right mindset, can hold up anyway.

Randy Snyder in Newalla, Oklahoma, writes: How effective do you believe Baylor's massive new tight end might be?

Chatmon: I expect LaQuan McGowan to be one of the stars of the fall. I can't wait to see the images of him catching passes and leaving defenders in his wake. I mean, I wouldn't want to have to cover or tackle him. Would you?

Sam in Manhattan, Kansas, writes: With Kansas State having two unproven quarterbacks fighting for the starting job (Joe Hubener and Jesse Ertz) along with a true freshman (Alex Delton), is it possible Bill Snyder looks for a transfer to come in after spring ball to compete? Although it isn't his style.

Chatmon: Anything is possible. But it sure sounds like the Wildcats like Hubener, and Delton also seems to be already making waves. I'm not so sure they need to pursue a transfer quarterback. If anyone has proven he knows how to get the best out of what he has it's Bill Snyder.

John in Los Angeles, writes: Charlie Strong recently said that Tyrone Swoopes has "improved a lot" since last season. As a Texas fan who watched last season, a shudder ran down my spine when I read that. Brandon, please talk me off the ledge and tell me that was just Strong pleasing the media, throwing out a bone for Tyrone's hard work, or trying to push Jerrod Heard. Could Swoopes possibly start next year and if so, are the Horns doomed?

Chatmon: As a guy who has been on the Jerrod Heard train for a while, I've gotta ask: Why don't you think Tyrone could improve enough to get the job done this fall? Swoopes flashed his ability at times (think Oklahoma State) in 2014, he just wasn't close to a consistent performer. Anyway, I'd suggest stepping away from the ledge, John. There's so much time left before the season and the last thing UT needs is to anoint either quarterback as “the guy.” The longer that competition lasts, the better for Swoopes and Heard. And if Swoopes ends up atop the depth chart, I won't think the Longhorns season is over before it begins. There will simply be too much talent on that roster to write UT off indefinitely.

Doug Strout in Montgomery, Alabama, writes: How do you see the TCU defensive backs shaping up this season? Does R'Anthony Texada have what it takes to be a No. 1 corner in the footsteps of Jason Verrett and Kevin White? How does converted receiver Cameron Echols-Luper fit in that mix?

Chatmon: I really like Texada, I think he can be the next elite cornerback for TCU. Torrance Mosley emerged from spring ball as the starter opposite Texada and the depth at the position is strong enough the Horned Frogs moved Echols-Luper back to receiver. I fully expect TCU, yet again, to field one of the conference's top secondaries in 2015.

Thomas is Bossier City, Louisiana, writes: At this point in spring practices, where do you see Oklahoma's quarterback and secondary play as compared to where it was at during the Clemson game? Has improved, worsened, or stayed the same?

Chatmon: I'd say the quarterback play is about the same. Nothing is going to change until the quarterbacks start taking care of the ball, it's that simple. I think the secondary play is improved because Steven Parker and Jordan Thomas will be improved. Parker is a future star in my opinion and Thomas is coming on in his own right.