Talking expansion, new stars, and future
Nick Thompson in Columbia, Mo., asked: How will Missouri transition from James Franklin to Blaine Gabbert? What impact will losing Gabbert have on the Missouri offense and what will Franklin have to do to step in effectively?
David Ubben: Well, that's assuming Franklin wins the job, which is absolutely not a given right now. I've said it a few times, but it's going to come down to accuracy and decision-making more than anything. I'm not sure Franklin's running ability will do much for him. In 2010, it allowed him to offer a change of pace to Missouri's offense and get some playing time, but the full-time starter has to be the guy who can deliver the ball to playmakers most often.
Ben in Las Vegas asked: You've mentioned that ideal targets for Big 12 expansion back to 12 teams are the Arizona teams. Is that even remotely possible or just the ideal? Any movement in that direction at all?
DU: I haven't heard many real conversations about it happening, and I don't think it will, but it's the only expansion move the Big 12 can make, should it choose to in the future, that would be a solid step forward, rather than just spinning its wheels. I should be clear, the Big 12 isn't looking to expand, but if you can convince the Arizona schools that they can make more money in the Big 12, which is possible, I could see them being talked into joining the league.
Martin in Dallas asked: Can you give your reasoning on why you think the Big 12 remains the same in 5 years, or just a wild guess?
DU: In short, Texas is getting exactly what it wants in the Big 12, money upon money and good scheduling/competition. Texas A&M and Oklahoma don't exactly have "open" invitations to the SEC. I don't see anyone actually leaving. What are the other schools without networks going to do? Leave? That's insane. Complain about Texas all you want, but schools like Iowa State and Kansas State can't do anything about it. Texas A&M would like to, but doesn't have the options it did this summer.
Gary in Syracuse asked: Care to offer a brief evaluation of Dan Beebe's job performance over the past twelve months?
DU: Not as bad as everyone thinks it was. He gets a bad rap. What, exactly, what he supposed to do to keep Nebraska or Missouri from leaving? He inherited a lot of problems, and it was a minor miracle that he convinced Texas and the rest of the Pac-16 crew to stay anyway. Worked hard to do it and succeeded.
Reece in Texas asked: With the new schedules in the Big 12 how hard will it be for the middle tier schools to win the Big 12?
DU: It was always hard for teams in the South, but a North team, in a clunker year, could slip into the Big 12 title game and get a shot at a South team. Now, you've got to outplay everybody, and nobody with fewer than 10 wins or so is winning this league. So, it's going to get a lot tougher.
Allan in Stillwater asked: If Hubert Anyiam comes back healthy and plays to his potential, does OSU have the best receiving core in the nation? Blackmon, Cooper, Anyiam, Tracy Moore, and Harrison... surely there isn't a better group out there.
DU: Oh yeah, it's up there. Anyiam gets overlooked, and he could be a quiet sleeper for an all-conference type season in 2011. If guys like Moore and Harrison keep developing, these guys could be incredible.
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