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Mailbag: Indie Austin, Huskers and Heisman

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    [​IMG]Have a good weekend, everybody.

    Kevin Bright in Oklahoma City, Okla., writes: David, the University has not made too much out of it, (I think for respect of Utah State) but you realize that OU is about to win it's 800th football game. Could/should be the home opener. How many other schools have reached that number? I do not believe there are that many. Thank you David

    David Ubben: There have been a few rumblings, but yeah, publicly planning a big 800th win celebration around a game that hasn't happened yet is in pretty poor taste, which explains the lack of publicity for the mark. The only schools in the 800-win club are Michigan (877), Texas (845) Notre Dame (837), Nebraska (827), Ohio State (819) and Penn State (811).

    Oklahoma is sitting on 799.

    Knowing what I know about college football history (which admittedly isn't much), I'm sure every school has plenty of wins early in their history that are disputed.

    Nick Childers in Greenfield, Iowa, writes: I said Booyah Webster, my question is why is there so much faith by Husker fans that Taylor Martinez will start at QB for the Huskers? I am just not sold, it seems like most of the people who are calling for him were the same people who were calling for Cody Green to start last year, and once he did he flopped. Is this the classic case of "the grass is always greener on the otherside" until you get there and find out that its not Green or in this case Martinez?

    DU: I was never really a fan of Webster, but yes, it's cliche and also true that the most popular player on any team with a struggling offense is the backup quarterback. You'll see that at Texas Tech quickly if Taylor Potts ever struggles, even slightly. Lee is the safe bet to win the job. When it comes to handling what he'll see from defenses, there's no comparison between a senior and a redshirt freshman. Martinez will get some spots, and with his game-breaking ability, he should. But that can only take you so far.

    Senior Chris Leak started over Tim Tebow, who played in spots as a freshman. That worked out pretty well for the Gators.

    Sometimes you've got to give potential time to develop. You can also ruin that potential by throwing Martinez into situations he isn't ready to handle and destroying his confidence.

    fakeharryhusker on Tom Osborne Field writes: As part of the exit negotiation with Nebraska, any talk of the Big 12 trading for Lil' Red instead of the cash buyout? No need to take him to the Big 10 - Herbie only.

    DU: In talking to my sources close to negotiations, that was definitely something that was considered, but Lil' Red has a no-trade clause in his contract. It sounds like talks have stalled, and the Huskers, barring any late developments, will be stuck with Lil' Red moving forward.

    Rand in Singapore writes: Hey David, love the blog. With Texas stepping up and scheduling some tough non-conference games, do you see any other Big 12 teams doing the same anytime soon?

    DU: It depends. Let's not operate under the assumption that tough nonconference games are uniformly good for every program. They aren't. You could make the case that they're good for teams like Texas and Oklahoma, who will probably be national title contenders almost annually, but for as much as people like to kid Bill Snyder, he's right. Kansas State isn't a team that's going to win 11 or 12 games every year. It does it no good to try and get USC on the schedule. Sure, the street cred is nice, but winning 8-9 games instead of 5-6 is infinitely more valuable. Teams that are hunting for bowls should schedule accordingly.

    I like the strategy that some in that level employ, with an "A" game a "B" game and a "C" game, now that we're apparently headed for nine-game conference schedules. Schedule a game against a mid-level, major conference opponent. Then schedule a decent team from a non-AQ conference, like Buffalo. Then buy a win against an FCS team. Under the current system, that's a nice way to operate if you're not a national championship contender.

    Michael in Brooklyn, New York, writes: I've heard reporters say on several occasions that Bo Pelini's treatment of the media ultimately hurts the fans. Do you think this is true? I just can't imagine anyone losing sleep because they don't know which QB will start against Western Kentucky (*cough*zaclee*cough*). Pelini is often secretive for the sake of being secretive, and I see how that can rub reporters the wrong way -- he's making it harder for them to do their jobs -- but ultimately, all that really matters is how the team performs.

    DU: Yeah, I think all of that was a little overblown. Nebraska is no doubt a special place and a special program, but Pelini doesn't have any obligations to anyone in the media. Keep winning like he's been winning and nobody in the fan base will care what he does with the media, barring an embarrassing YouTube moment, which he hasn't had. If he feels doing what he's doing is the best way for his team to maintain its focus and better accomplish what they want to accomplish in camp, then so be it. Wins will prove he's right. If they don't win, then the troubles with the media might become more problematic for fans, who have a connection to the program unlike anywhere else in the Big 12 and maybe in the country.

    Austen Stevens in Fort Worth writes: David, Jerrod Johnson gets lots of love from college football pundits until the converstation turns to the Heisman. The highest I've seen him on anyone's list is 10th. What does he have to do this year to make it to NYC?

    DU: He knows it, and so does everybody else: win games. You won't find any Heisman winners on six-win teams, especially in the modern era of media saturation and college football blogs run by ESPN hacks like David Ubben. He'll probably need at least 10 wins to get any major consideration, and exceed the numbers he put up last season. That probably means winning two out of three games against Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

    Ed in Chicago writes: First, Texas signs a four-year deal with independent Notre Dame and intends to make it an annual game. Then, a three-year deal with BYU, who has aspirations of being an independent. Then, a two-year deal with USC. The spin out of the UT athletic dept. is that we need to beef up the schedule due to not having a championship game. But could you make a case that this also looks like preparation for Texas going independent themselves? It sure looks like it to me.

    DU: It looks that way, yeah. Call it spin or whatever you want, but there's definitely no smoking gun suggesting they want to become independent. Could they? Probably. But they definitely don't think -- at least at this juncture -- that football independence is what's best for the program. If they did, they would have left the Big 12 and not joined the Pac-10 (12?) (16?) this summer.

    Horn Fan in Austin, Texas writes: David - can you help me understand why the Sooners are picked to get to the Big 12 championship game and win the conference this year? They went 8-5 last year and I believe 2-5 on the road. There appears to be a huge anti-Texas bias in the media which always short-changes the Horns on the all conference selections and preseason picks. Help me with the numbers here, but OU had about six all-conference selections last year and the Horns had about two? Landry Jones according to reports has not been that impressive. One poll even had them ranked No. 1 pre-season! Please walk me through this one ...

    DU: Here's the thing: Oklahoma is going to be good this year, just like they've been for the past several. Considering all the injuries, last season was basically a rebuilding year when you look at who ended up on the field. They'll be back in 2010.

    But I'll further address the middle part of your question, which I'm 100 percent sure the fans of the other 11 teams in the Big 12 will disagree with. Every team in the Big 12 -- my e-mail can attest to this -- has plenty of fans who think ESPN and "the media" hates them. The main source of this, in my opinion, is fans forgetting about or not reading the 50 positive things someone said or stories they wrote, and spreading the one negative story or comment like wildfire on message boards, where everybody piles on and declares the writer "completely biased and a disgrace to his profession." Finally!" they say, the writer's true, deep-seeded malicious feelings have emerged.

    Another sample from Mark in St. Louis: "I'm an avid Mizzou fan and I've watched all the college football shows and anything to do with the Missouri Tigers. Its become apparent to me that no one has any respect for Mizzou. I watched and there is big rave about Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, etc. but serious [lack of respect] for Mizzou -- why is that? Is there reason why ESPN or any or television network won't show The Missouri Tigers any respect."

    DU: I could produce a handful of these for literally every team in the Big 12.

    People rave about Texas and Oklahoma because they've been absolutely dominant in the Big 12 over the past decade. People don't think Colorado is going to finish with a winning record because they haven't done it since 2005. College football isn't like the NFL. There isn't as much parity.

    Saying your team isn't going to win X number of games isn't about bias. Fans like to think we in the media have all kinds of hidden agendas and try to hype some teams (i.e., our alma maters) while keeping others down. We don't, and we're not, or at least I don't and I'm not. There are plenty of people who spout opinions that are more informed than others, but mostly, we're just trying to do our jobs the best we can.


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