Chuck Carlton, college beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered questions about Big 12 and Texas A&M football in a live chat Wednesday. Here are some highlights.
Q: It seems like most don’t know what to expect from Texas Tech this season. Do you think they will take a step back or be about the same team they were last season?
Carlton: Yeah, there’s probably less certainty about Texas Tech than most Big 12 schools. Don’t see the Red Raiders taking a step back in Matt Wells’ first year. If sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman stays healthy, the floor for Tech is probably five wins and seven to eight wins is not out of the range of possibility. A lot depends on whether the defense can take a step forward and how many of those grad transfers can contribute immediately.
Q: Alex Delton won the starting QB job. Do you think that was the right decision for TCU?
Carlton: The difference between TCU being a Top 25 team and a Big 12 contender and struggling to six regular-season wins again is the quarterback. For now, it’s Kansas State grad transfer Alex Delton although freshman Max Duggan will play early against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Delton has drawn praise from his old and new teammates even though his fit in TCU’s offense remains a question. If the offense doesn’t click, Duggan could get more than a couple of series early.
Q: Which Big 12 team do you think is the most scary and capable of pulling off upset wins?
Carlton: Just based on last season, no team was harder to predict than Oklahoma State. The Cowboys beat Texas and West Virginia and were a two-point conversion away from upsetting Oklahoma. They also lost by 24 at home to Texas Tech as well as to Kansas State and Baylor, the latter in a game where they led by 10 with six minutes to play. Oklahoma State did its best to try to give away the Liberty Bowl before putting away Missouri.
Q: Do you think Baylor has a legitimate chance to win 10 games this season?
Carlton: Put 10 wins down as a possibility but not likely. Even coach Matt Rhule has acknowledged that its easier to go from one win to seven than from seven wins to 10. Fixing some basic problems is enough to from bad to .500 or better. Ten wins is a different animal. Everybody is pointing to the back-to-back home games with Oklahoma and Texas in November but Sept. 28 against Iowa State, Oct. 19 at Oklahoma State and Nov. 9 at TCU will determine if the Bears can move beyond seven wins.