- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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In today’s mailbag, Baylor fans downplay the theory K-State came up with the blueprint to beat the Bears and Texas fans wonder why the Longhorns aren’t ranked while the Sooners are in the top 10.
To the ‘bag:
Jake Trotter: They have a chance to be. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were pretty outstanding last year. There have been other dynamic duos like Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby. But if Baylor runs the table, and Reese and Goodley finish one-two in the Big 12 in receiving -- which is where they are ranked now -- they will have a very compelling case to be the best.
Dalton Goldman in Waco, Texas, writes: Better for Baylor if Miami faces another loss to FSU or for FSU to get upset? Seemingly it would be the loss for FSU, but how would the computers favor Miami if they pulled that off?
Jake Trotter: A win over Florida State would certainly boost Miami’s computer profile. But even if the Hurricanes somehow pulled off the upset, they still don’t have the look of a team capable of running the table. Miami would still have to beat Clemson or Florida State again in the ACC championship. The team to root against for Baylor fans is Florida State. If the Seminoles won this game, they would be a much stronger bet to finish undefeated.
Pat in McLean, Va., writes: Jake, great blog; good questions; balanced answers, even when I disagree. In response to all the rest of the K-State fans and college football media who say K-State showed how to beat Baylor, I hope the remaining five teams who play Baylor have the same "model" as KSU. Score fewer points, but declare that a victory. No team has really shown how to beat Baylor.
Bill Snyder in Manhattan, Kan., writes: Everyone keeps saying that we gave them the model on how to beat Baylor. How is this true when we lost by 10 at home?
Jake Trotter: K-State might have lost by 10, but the Wildcats had the ball with a chance to tie or win late in the fourth quarter. K-State didn’t have starting receivers Tyler Lockett or Tramaine Thompson in the game, either (They showed how valuable they are last weekend against West Virginia). It was impressive that Baylor still won despite not playing its best game. But this next month, opposing coaches preparing for Baylor are going to be reviewing the K-State film to see what the Wildcats did.
Daniel in Saginaw, Mich., writes: Love the blog! Outside of the face-plant vs. Texas I've been pleasantly surprised by this OU squad. Is this the most talented OU squad since 2008 or 2009?
Jake Trotter: The 2010 team had DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles on offense and Big 12 players of the year Jeremy Beal and Frank Alexander on defense. So I don’t know that this team is more talented, especially after all the injuries. But this is the best the offensive line has run-blocked since 2008, and probably the biggest reason why the Sooners are 7-1.
Anthony in Austin writes: How likely is it that Tyrone Swoopes becomes the starter over Ash next year?
Also, is Swoopes really THAT good, or is he just portrayed that way because of his similarities to a guy named Vince Young?
Andy in Austin writes: Holy burned shirt of red, Trottman! Let the rampant speculation begin! With Swoopes on the field for some five minutes of game action, what’s your take on McCoy's new backup? Not really sure it was a wise move to burn the redshirt, even if David Ash is out for the season.
Jake Trotter: With the uncertainty surrounding Ash’s status, the Longhorns needed a backup quarterback ready to play in case something happened to Case McCoy. This is a team playing for the Big 12 title.
So I understand why the Longhorns pulled Swoopes’ redshirt.
Jon in Tulsa writes: How can Jake claim in the chat that Texas and OU would be co-champs if they both won out? Texas would be undefeated and OU would still have one loss.
Jake Trotter: I’ve gotten a few emails on this, so I went back and read the original chat question from Kyle in Connecticut, which was, “What are OU's chances of winning the title if they win out. Will Texas Tech just have to beat Texas or will Texas need another loss?”
My answer was that if both won out, they’d be co-champs with Texas snagging the BCS bowl berth because of the head-to-head advantage. For some reason, I was answering under Kyle’s scenario of a Tech win over Texas. I can see why that was confusing. Sorry about that. Given how many different scenarios remain in the conference race, it’s not hard to confuse or be confused.
Ken in Wheeling, W. Va., writes: Is Dana Holgorsen in trouble? Should he be?
Jake Trotter: If athletics director Oliver Luck went to Texas, that would not help Holgorsen’s cause, since Luck hired him. We’ll see what West Virginia does down the stretch. A 6-6 finish would look a lot better for Holgorsen’s future than 4-8.
Brandon in Smyrna, Del., writes: Holgorsen has talked about the reason for WVU's offensive struggles have been that none of the players are used to the "system" yet. But, it seems that everywhere Holgorsen has coached in the past (including WVU last 2 years), his first season in a new program has been successful with this system. So, would you say WVU's lack of offensive success could be most directed at the coaching, the system or player talent?
Jake Trotter: It’s a fair point, Brandon. West Virginia just doesn’t have the same talent Holgorsen has enjoyed in the past. Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden or Geno Smith isn’t quarterbacking this offense. That makes a huge difference.
Mike Leach in Wazzou writes: So uhhh.... just wondering why Baylor is not considered a "system" that "runs up the score” against nobodies?
Sounds like media bias to me.
Jake Trotter: Are we going to have to go through this every single week?
Jarrod in Houston writes: Why is OU ranked in the top 10 when they’ve played only one good game (Tech)? I just don't understand why OU still gets so much love from the national voters. Can you explain this to me?
Jake Trotter: I feel top 10 is too high, as well. In my Top 25 for ESPN, I actually ranked OU 16th, one spot behind Texas.
Josh in Midland, Texas, writes: Why is Texas not getting any credit from the voters for how they have been playing? Texas got no credit from the voters for beating OU, and OU is apparently a top 10 team! I understand the two early losses, but those were to good teams that are having good seasons, and they were before Greg Robinson had taken full control of the defense. So why no credit nationally?
Jarrod Sawyer in Amarillo, Texas, writes: After these last two games, what is the reasoning behind Texas not having a Top 25 ranking? They did beat the No. 10 team in the land. I really thought they would crack the Top 25 this week.
Jake Trotter: Sometimes when a team burns you after you rank them high, it takes time to get that taste out of your mouth. I assume this is what is going on with the voters. But no doubt, Texas is playing like a Top 25 team right now.
Jason in Sacramento, Calif., writes: Yes, we have a QB problem nobody foresaw. But this is the best defense I can ever remember at OSU. We’re 6-1 and finding ways to win games, and we may have found our breakout RB. Why can't anyone find anything positive to write about this team? The feeling is that there's no hope if we can't find a consistent passing game. I myself prefer the high-octane attack we've had the last few years, but not too long ago teams won championships with their run game. Is it not possible we could do that this year?
Love the blog guys. You keep me going through the week
Jake Trotter: Thanks, Jason. You’re right, the OSU defense has played well. But who have they stopped? TCU? Kansas State? Mississippi State?
Let’s see what the Cowboys do in Lubbock against one of the league’s better offenses.
Mulley in Cleveland, Ohio, writes: I don't want to sound like sour grapes or anything, but did Kansas State pull a bush-league move on West Virginia by scoring with 21 seconds remaining in the game? I thought Mr. Snyder was a class act?
Jake Trotter: Yeah, because Holgorsen has never run the score up on anyone before.
Refuse to give up in Olathe, Kan., writes: Do you know where the Jayhawks can find some offensive players? I hear you have to have them to win. We need receivers with speed, and a line that can hold off more than a grandma shopping on Black Friday. Any help is appreciated.
I am just tired of the harassment I get from being a Jayhawks fan during football.
Jake Trotter: No I don’t. But don’t fret, basketball season is just around the corner.
Zach F. in Austin, Texas, writes: How can you have Texas ranked second in the power rankings, but then have them going to the fifth-place Holiday Bowl? Do y'all really expect them to drop that many games between now and the end of the season?
Jake Trotter: I do the power rankings. Brandon does the bowl projections. We don’t always share the same opinion.
Jay in Midland, Texas, writes: Jake, Wow! You dropped Tech two spots in the Big 12 power rankings, even after a solid outing in Norman? One spot I can understand, but two?
Jake Trotter: Had less to do with Tech, and more to do with the other teams. OU and Texas have wins over a top-half team in the league. Tech does not. The Red Raiders will have their chances to climb back up.
Lucien in Omaha, Neb., writes: The officiating bias against Iowa State is starting to get a little old. First you have the fumble against Texas. Now you have the no call for the hit to Sam Richardson while he was sliding. It was blatant. I know the Cyclones aren't the Big 12 favorite, but they sure don't need the officials against them too.
Jake Trotter: I thought the pass interference calls against Iowa State were worse than the no-call on the Richardson hit. Those kept a couple of drives going in the first quarter for the Cowboys, who as a result, were able to jump to a fast start.
CFB Fan in Dallas writes: Still think OSU is better off with Clint Chelf? He is 20 of 51 with one TD and two INTs in his last two games. What are your thoughts on the QB situation, considering J.W. Walsh has two more years after this one?
Jake Trotter: I do. At least Chelf is a threat to throw the ball downfield. That changes the way defenses defend the Cowboys, and opens up the running game. You don’t have to respect the downfield passing game as much with Walsh. But I think the Cowboys should still use the Walsh package, especially in short yardage and around the goal line. It was very effective last year.
15hBrandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter