Friday, May 2, 2014
Mailbag: Dream nonconference rivalries
By Jake Trotter
In Friday's mailbag, we discuss everything from dream nonconference rivalries to who has the most favorable schedule.
To submit a mailbag entry via Twitter, simply include the hashtag #big12mailbag. To do it the traditional way, go here.
To the 'bag ...
Kyler in Lubbock, Texas, writes: Hey, Jake! So the SEC Blog came out with an article on "dream nonconference rivalries". This is not to be confused with the "sister schools" question, but more along the lines of, who would make for an interesting match up? I was wondering what you think the Big 12 dream non-conference rivalries would be.
Trotter: Great question, Kyler. I also put this out on Twitter, and here were some of your suggestions:
OK, that last one was pretty funny.
Anyway, here are my suggestions:
Baylor-Oregon: We could call it in the Green Pinball Wizard Bowl.
Iowa State-Iowa: The Cyclones already have their ideal nonconference game on the schedule.
Kansas-Missouri: Agreed, we need to bring back the Border War.
Kansas State-Nebraska: How many times did this showdown decide the Big 12 North?
Oklahoma-Alabama: The Big Red Rivalry with Nebraska died on the vine during the Big 12 years; time to start another battle of the reds.
Oklahoma State-LSU: It has been awhile since Les Miles ate Stillwater grass.
TCU-Boise State: After these two were disrespected by the major conferences for so long, it would be fun to see them play.
Texas-Texas A&M: Will these two grow up already?
Texas Tech-Texas A&M: Since I’m not sure the two aforementioned will, this underrated rivalry could take its place.
West Virginia-Pitt: As you can see, I’m for restoring the rivalries that conference realignment destroyed.
Chris is Martinsburg, W. Va., writes: We all know that West Virginia has had trouble since joining the Big 12. My question is, what quarterback do you think has the best shot of leading West Virginia to a Big 12 championship?
Trotter: Does Geno Smith have any eligibility left? Honestly, I’m not sure that West Virginia has a quarterback on its current roster capable of leading the Mountaineers to a title, at least not this season.
Matt Blank in Wamego, Kan., writes: Question for you, Jake. What are your thoughts on Montell Cozart being named the starting QB for KU?
Trotter: I thought it was the right move. Kansas wasn’t going anywhere with Jake Heaps. They might not win many games with Cozart next season, either, but at least now they have a young QB with some upside to build around for the future.
Trotter: I really feel like K-State will have a good shot in this game. By the end of last year, the Wildcats were one of the 20-best teams in college football. If they can figure out the running back quandary and the bulk of the jucos pan out, K-State could be formidable. Auburn is going to be tough, too, but Manhattan on a Thursday night is not going to be an easy place for anyone to come in and win.
Trotter: The schedule really sets up for the Sooners this year. They get Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State in Norman and Texas going through a coaching change with quarterback issues. Tennessee, their big nonconference opponent, wasn’t any good last year, either. Texas Tech on the road is a little bit scary, given Oklahoma’s past struggles there. But really, the schedule could not line up more favorably, which is a big reason the Sooners will be a trendy pick to make the College Football Playoff.
Trotter: I think the offense will be better. There’s more depth and size up front on the offensive line. The addition of Jordan Moore and likely Trevone Boykin will boost the WR corps. And yes, I believe Joeckel will be the starter. Having practiced it the last two years at Texas A&M, Joeckel has the most experience of any TCU QB in the offense the Horned Frogs are installing. You know TCU’s defense is going to be a load. If they could score just a few more points, the Horned Frogs could be the most improved team in the league next year.