- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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In Tuesday's mailbag, we discuss Texas' starting quarterback, the Big 12's receivers and Oklahoma State's offseason attention. As always thanks for your questions. To submit questions for next week's mailbag, click here.
Derek Duke writes: Who do you see winning the starting quarterback job in Austin? And do you see them starting the entire 2015 season for Texas?
Brandon Chatmon: I’m still on the Jerrod Heard train, although I can see other people are starting to climb aboard as well. That said, I don’t expect him to start the season opener at Notre Dame, which answers your first question. I think Tyrone Swoopes starts the season under center; Heard ends it as the guy in charge.
Chatmon: You’d be hard pressed to find too many receiving duos that are better. That duo combined for 122 receptions, 2,149 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2014 and should be even better. I’d take them over any receiver duo in America. It will be interesting to see how Zamora and Hall impact 2015, but it’s not like BU needs them to make an immediate impact. But I can’t wait to see Zamora in action, as he sounds like he could become something special in the future.
Gerald Hayden writes: I can't help to think that people are overlooking West Virginia and the defense that they possess. The running game should be strong and Holgs (WVU coach Dana Holgorsen) can always put together some passing yards. Thoughts?
Chatmon: I’m right there with you Gerald. I really like WVU’s roster from top to bottom. It’s loaded with experience and athletes. The only reason I don’t talk about the Mountaineers as potential Big 12 title winners is their brutal schedule, which includes road trips to Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU and Kansas State. If they become Big 12 champions, they will have earned it. That’s for sure.
Isaiah in Oklahoma writes: Do you think Oklahoma State is going under the radar? Also do you think if Mike Gundy doesn't win the bedlam or a conference championship, he will be fired within three years?
Chatmon: Not really, Isaiah. In fact, I think OSU has got a lot of offseason love for a team that looked hopeless at times in 2014. There’s no doubt in my mind the Cowboys have the potential to win the Big 12 title, and a lot of other people have expressed the same line of thought. You can't expect them to be the preseason favorites ahead of the returning co-champions though. And if not winning Bedlam or a Big 12 title in the next three years would put Gundy’s job in jeopardy, he should leave Stillwater. I would if I was him.
Connor in Austin writes: So we know Texas is moving to a tempo/spread look on offense this season. But they have at least one unproven inefficiency for operating the two offensive phases of the game (running and passing). With passing, you have questionable quarterback and receiver play, but the tempo should help neutralize the potential offensive line issues. In the running game, you have at least one great back, but an unproven O-line that you will have to rely on. Which phase, running or passing, do you see being Texas's most reliable form of attack? (Assuming any hypothetical improvements.)
Chatmon: Texas should build around its running game, and I expect that phase to become the most reliable part of UT’s attack. If they can’t run, the passing game becomes a mute point. UT’s passing game should be much improved, but it won’t become one of the best in the Big 12. If it does, then UT could become the surprise team in the Big 12.
Matt in Katy, Texas writes: I know Texas Tech has a long way to go until we compete for the Big 12 title. But I can't help but feel that the Raiders get the short end of the stick when it comes to recognition of their strengths. Do you think they have a chance at having the top receiving group in the conference this year. Jakeem Grant, Devin Lauderdale, Ian Sadler, Reginald Davis, Dylan Cantrell all have tremendous upside.
Chatmon: They definitely have a chance, as you say Tech has plenty of talent at receiver including Grant, who may be the most overlooked returning receiver (and playmaker) in the entire conference. Grant generally doesn’t get the respect he has earned as the conference’s leading returning receiver. When you add the names you’ve mentioned, along with a star-studded recruiting class at receiver, Tech should be among the best. Yet, I don’t think it will ultimately have the Big 12’s best group. I still give Baylor the preseason nod with Tech, TCU and OSU in that next tier of receiver groups.