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Big 12 mailbag: Re-examining the conference title race

In this week's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we re-examine the conference race, analyze Patrick Mahomes' Heisman chances and debate why West Virginia isn't getting more respect after a 2-0 start.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: Sure. In fact, I still consider Oklahoma the conference favorite. But the Sooners are no longer the clear-cut favorite they were before the season. Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas are all right there, and I wouldn't be stunned if a sixth team (Kansas State? West Virginia? Texas Tech?) didn't have some say in the conference race. The silver lining of the Big 12 potentially not having any great team is that the conference race figures to be wide open.

Trotter: Strong nonconference scheduling is paramount in the playoff era. The selection committee is not dumb. And who you beat collectively in the nonconference will be a big determinant in whether your conference puts a team in the playoff. Of course, you need to win those games, which the Big 12 mostly hasn't this season. But you can't win them if you don't schedule them.

Trotter: Hasn't he already declared as much? I really don't understand Texas' defensive struggles. There's too much talent back there for this to be an average Big 12 defense. So whether it's Charlie Strong getting more involved or Strong demoting Vance Bedford, I still believe Texas is more than capable of turning the corner defensively this season.

Trotter: I think he'd need to do better, both in wins and numbers, to be considered for the Heisman. Remember, Graham Harrell threw for more than 5,000 yards and 45 touchdowns, won 11 games and still didn't get an invite. Pat Mahomes probably would need to either break the FBS passing record -- or come within striking distance of it -- and win eight or so games to generate enough support to get to New York.

Trotter: Say what you will about Tech's defense, Kliff Kingsbury has been flashing major chops as a quarterbacks coach these last five years. He signed the nation's top two statistical passers and coached another that finished fourth in the Heisman voting last year. That is pretty incredible, when you think about it.

Trotter: I have a limited word count for this mailbag and don't want to use it up answering one question.

Trotter: Personally, I want to see more from the Mountaineers. Maybe it's because they burned me last year, as I had them as a sleeper Big 12 contender. But after failing to win more than seven regular-season games once since joining the Big 12, I imagine West Virginia is not going to get the benefit of the doubt in the polls until it proves itself on the field past beating one mediocre SEC opponent.

Trotter: If Dana Holgorsen wins nine games, not only will his job be safe, he'll probably be the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Trotter: Any of you out there have a connection to the Sun Belt? Asking for a friend.

Trotter: That's what I'm here for -- your mean tweets.