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Pre Big 12 Media Days mailbag

You asked questions. I have answers.

Big 12-Media-Days-Mailbag-2018-TCU Football
The Big 12 will come together in Frisco, Texas next week for Football Media Days.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost time for coaches and players from across the Big 12 to descend upon North Texas for the annual spectacle that is Big 12 Football Media Days. The two-day event at the Star in Frisco is always unpredictable, and that’s part of what makes it so great.

In the meantime, we asked for your questions ahead of the event. Football related or not, here are my answers to some of the stuff that was hurled my way over the past few days:

Which receiver not named Jalen Reagor or KaVontae Turpin do you think will have a standout season?

There are a few names that come to mind, but let’s go with Jaelan Austin. He had some impressive moments as a freshman in 2015 and built off that with 332 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2016, but as a junior last fall, he only caught for 242 yards on the year and never found the end zone.

Now that he’s a senior, he’s among those responsible for showing the younger guys how things are done at TCU. We all know he has the potential to do big things on the football field, and that’s probably part of why he received the call for Big 12 Media Days. Watch for him to make the most of his final year as a Horned Frog.

Do you think TCU wears the frog skin purple for Ohio State or does it look like Gary is sticking with the black top this year?

If Patterson does bring out the frog skin purple jerseys for the match-up with Ohio State in Week 3, expect the contest to be an interesting one. The Horned Frogs, of course, wore those jerseys during the 31-point comeback over Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl in January 2016. But more recently, they wore them in their 2016 season opener vs. South Dakota State — a game which was closer than it should have been — before sporting the look in a triple-overtime loss to Texas Tech later that year. They haven’t been seen since.

My gut says that Patterson will stick with the black top this year. But if there is ever an occasion to bring back the purple frog skin, this is probably the game for it. And if the Frogs spice things up and then beat the Buckeyes, you could probably expect to see a lot more of those uniforms down the road.

What returning TCU player, across all sports are you most to see return to their field of play?

Great question. I’m certainly excited to see what Shawn Robinson can do at quarterback this season, but his playing time was so sparse last season that it’s hard to truly consider him a “returner” if you will.

That said, I’ll go with Darius Anderson. He was incredibly fun to watch as a sophomore last season, and it was a shame to see his year cut by the right foot injury he suffered at Oklahoma. Who knows what could have happened during the rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game if he had been healthy.

And of course, he’s not the only Big 12 running back with his last name, as Rodney Anderson is set to build upon a breakout season at Oklahoma in 2017. I’m not sure about you, but I’m more than ready for the battle of the Andersons. Let’s hope they’re both healthy when the Sooners visit Fort Worth in October.

What TCU coach will retire after their time at TCU (current or future)?

“After” as in TCU is their final chapter? Gary Patterson’s contract currently has him in Fort Worth until May 2024. If he finishes it out, he’ll be 64 years old and will have spent 24 years as head coach at TCU. But to the point, I can’t see him coaching at any other school, and I certainly don’t think he would depart if he had spent nearly a quarter century with the same team. Give me GP.

Who stays longer at Kansas, AD Jeff Long or OC Doug Meacham?

I’ll start by saying that both are great hires. I know folks in Fort Worth probably have some feelings about Long, given he was the College Football Playoff committee chair in 2014. But hey, there’s a thing called recusals. As for Meacham, Kansas football didn’t exactly improve last season, but can you really blame him considering what he had to work with? Let me remind you that the Jayhawks had such little depth this spring that they were forced to replace their spring game with an open practice.

But to answer the question, I’ll take Long. He knows how to fundraise, and that’s just what Kansas needs right now as the athletic department pursues a multi-million dollar renovation of Memorial Stadium. Unless something just goes horribly wrong with either that project or the staple that is Kansas men’s basketball, he probably won’t be heading out of Lawrence anytime soon. I want to see Meacham succeed, but the coaching business can be brutal, and though it’s hard to regress from a 1-win season, Kansas somehow appears to be on that trajectory. If David Beaty and the Jayhawks eventually part ways, there’s no telling who else may go with him.

Is QB Kyler Murray really going to be that good at Oklahoma? He was underwhelming at A&M....or are the voters just assuming he’ll be better in Lincoln Riley’s system?

Well, for starters, he’s not Baker Mayfield, and that’s great news for the Horned Frogs considering TCU never beat the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner in 5 tries. I know Murray completed 85.7 percent of his passes, but considering he only had 21 attempts, we need a bigger sample size before we can jump to any conclusions there.

Anyways, the Murray situation at Oklahoma is an interesting once, especially now that he has gone down as the No. 9 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. And no, that’s not a typo. It’s safe to say that the Sooners’ offense won’t have the firepower through the air which fans in Norman were accustomed to during the Mayfield years, but Murray can run, and that’s what makes him so dangerous. Look no further than the first snap he took vs. West Virginia last November — a 77 yard gain.

So yes, Murray will be probably be causing a lot of problems for opponents, and being a part of Lincoln Riley’s system certainly isn’t a bad thing. I’m not sure he’ll be a clear-cut Heisman candidate like Mayfield was, but he certainly has the talent to lead Oklahoma to 10 wins. We’ll know for sure in a little less than two months.

Why is Kansas State coach Bill Snyder bringing two quarterbacks to Big 12 Media Days?

No doubt about it – that’s something that you certainly don’t see too often from any team. Then again, Bill Snyder will be in his 27th season of coaching at Kansas State this year, so none of us are worthy to question him. Right?

Of course, the Wildcats may just have the most intriguing quarterback battle in the entire Big 12 as Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson jockey position for the starting job. Both flashed their potential against formidable opponents in 2017. Delton, in just his second start, racked up 142 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on top of 144 passing yards last October during the Wildcats’ 42-35 loss to Oklahoma. And then there was Thompson’s performance in Kansas State’s 45-40 upset of Oklahoma State one month later, as he passed 204 yards and 3 touchdowns while rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Both have the talent to get the job done on the big stage, and we probably won’t know who the starter is until next month. And why not keep opponents wondering as preparations continue for the 2018 campaign? Kansas State always tends to be a pesky opponent, and as it stands, that could very well be the case again this fall. We’ll see what Snyder and the two have to say next week.

Now let’s transition into some non-football questions I received…..

Who would do better, Melissa as a preacher or Jamie as a coach?

Oh boy. Well, considering that I’ve never heard Jamie preach a sermon or Melissa coach as is, am I really qualified to give my opinion on if they swapped vocations? I may have to come back to you on that one, but I think they’d both do fine at each.

Chili with beans or without?

The chili recipe that was present in my household growing up always had beans, so I’ll go with the former. On that note, I really need to dig out that recipe again once fall arrives. Thanks for the reminder.

Star Trek or Star Wars? Marvel or DC? Middle Earth or Hogwarts?

Disclaimer: These are questions that Mason Chreene would appreciate a whole lot more than myself.

Star Wars is the easy answer there. I don’t have too many opinions when it comes to comics, but I loved Spider-Man back in the day so we’ll say Marvel. I did’t get around to seeing the entire LOTR trilogy until way later on in life than I probably should have, but hey, better late than never, right? Middle Earth wins.