In today's mailbag, we discuss West Virginia's contender status, assess where things stand at Oklahoma State and Texas, rank the best defenses in the Big 12 and determine which Big 12 coach could run for president. To submit questions for next week's mailbag, tweet me @max_olson.
@max_olson could the WV Mountaineers (3-0) be a real threat to WIN the Big 12?
— matt lamb (@Matt_Lamb31) September 27, 2016
Max Olson: Yes. I was surprised to see West Virginia didn't make its Top 25 debut this week. It's not like they haven't played anybody; Missouri and BYU were solid tests. I've written this before, but the fact Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor all have to travel to Morgantown this year is a serious advantage for Dana Holgorsen's squad. The Mountaineers have a really tough October schedule that will prove whether they're a contender or pretender, but I would start taking them seriously.
@max_olson OSU lost because we fumbled and our CBs bit on three very important double moves. Am I crazy to feel encouraged after that loss?
— christian (@cbake44) September 27, 2016
MO: I don't know if I would be deeply upset this week if I were an Oklahoma State fan, because you're right, that game did come down to a few mistakes that Baylor capitalized on. And that's how a lot of these big-time Big 12 games are going to play out this season. I don't expect that many blowouts over the course of this title race. We're going to see a lot more like the one in Waco -- painfully close four-quarter ballgames that come down to little mistakes, turnovers, red zone defense and kicks. Buckle up.
@max_olson Top 3 defenses in the Big 12 through the first month?
— SpiritusNoxSA (@SpiritusNoxSA) September 27, 2016
MO: I think the answer after four weeks is probably Kansas State, Baylor and then either TCU or West Virginia. I liked what I saw from the Wildcats against Stanford and they've been much stingier since then. You knew Baylor would get off to a good start defensively with that schedule but the way they played under pressure against Oklahoma State, especially late in the game, was impressive.
@max_olson if UT loses 3 straight, do they fire Strong to enter the Herman sweepstakes early like LSU?
— Kyle Marcus (@KyleLMarcus) September 27, 2016
MO: A 2-3 start would put a lot of pressure on Charlie Strong and restart the hot-seat talk. But I didn't think bailing on Les Miles after four games made a ton of sense, and I don't think Texas would benefit much from a midseason coaching change. Wouldn't that move just make Tom Herman's job and life harder for the rest of the season? Let's figure out whether Houston is joining the Big 12, too, before we start making definitive statements about where Herman is coaching in 2017.
@max_olson do you think Baylor and LSU may end up trading Ex-coaches?
— Josué (@joshgoolsby6) September 27, 2016
MO: I get why this is a popular take, but I can't see it happening. First off, do Baylor fans really want Les Miles? Maintaining the Bears' dominant offensive identity should be one of the priorities of their coaching search, so I don't see Miles as a great fit. As for the LSU search, Jimbo Fisher just makes too much sense to me. He's the guy the Tigers need to go all-in on.
@max_olson Which Big XII coach would be the best presidential candidate?
— Brett Burns (@BurnsyMcCreery) September 27, 2016
MO: I've given this a lot of thought and I think the most electable candidate is Bill Snyder. Who wouldn't vote for Bill Snyder? If your only concern is Snyder's age, he's only a year older than Bernie Sanders and the man is going to live until he's at least 120. I know Mike Gundy or Kliff Kingsbury might be flashier candidates, but Snyder would stand out on his policy (16 goals for improving America), his track record of successful rebuilding and his calm demeanor.