1. Tech's expected to wrap up its first Big 12 regular season championship since 1997 next weekend. Your thoughts? Notice I said expected so no jinx is in play.
Alyssa: This is the most exciting team I have covered. They have just become more and more impressive through out the season.
Jarret: Tadlock is a bad dude.
Joe: Tadlock and the boys have done a really tremendous job. They took control of the Big 12 race early on and then held on. They've been tough as nails. The Tech baseball program is where the football and basketball programs need to be. They're the model.
Zach: You gotta love it for the seniors. What a ride it's been for them.
2. Who will replace Dakota Allen at ILB and how big (or not) of a loss is he to the defense.
Alyssa: It's a big loss. I don't think one guy will really replace him and think it will be a group effort with some freshman in the mix.
Jarret: I think Hinton will get a shot, but he'll have to show he can stay healthy. Jenkins is another option and has worked at Mike LB some recently.
Joe: The loss of Allen will hurt badly. As Jarret has noted, Allen would have been a strong candidate for Tech Defensive MVP honors, and the fact that he played middle linebacker, the heart of the defense, just makes it worse. David Gibbs still has plenty of bodies to plug in but the overall quality suffers with the absence of Allen. My guess is Luke Stice gets first shot at replacing Allen, and if he doesn't work out, Malik Jenkins will move inside.
Zach: Malik Jenkins, less of a loss than people will think with the additions that unit made in the class of 2016.
3. Any concern about the 2017 football recruiting class or are you confident Tech will be able to reel in quality talent?
Alyssa: I think they will be able to reel in quality talent, but it seems so much slower this time around compared to 2016.
Jarret: I'd like to see some defensive recruits commit relatively soon to get the ball rolling, but it still isn't time to panic. Yet. Maybe one of the DBs visiting this weekend will get it going.
Joe: I imagine the 2017 class will be similar to the 2016 class in terms of quality, if not quantity. The only thing that will change that is if the team has a horrendous season or a marvelous season on the actual field of play
Zach: Nah, there's no concern. Staff is doing a great job identifying and offering talent. The commitments will roll in like they always do starting in June.
4. Other than DL, which position does Tech need to address the most this class?
Alyssa: Defensive backs
Jarret: DBs. I'm starting to get concerned why none of the defensive backs are developing as hoped. Many of the guys are either bigger and can't cover or smaller and can some. Tech could use a healthy influx of talent and should be able to do that with Gibbs' and Spavital's track record of success with them.
Zach: Defensive back, hands down. It's Tech's number one need position this class (aside from maybe OL)
5. What should the Big 12 do as far as expansion? Should they:
- Stay pat with 10 teams and not add a conference title game
- Stick with 10 teams, but add a title game
- Add two teams
- Add more than two teams and go mega conference
- Blow it all up
Alyssa: Stick with 10 teams, but add a title game I'm really not a fan of the mega conference idea.
Jarret: I'm definitely in the add two teams and a title game camp. The national perception is the Big 12 is inferior because it doesn't have a conference championship. It doesn't matter if that's true or not. That is the perception and that's not a good thing.
Joe: I'm fine with adding two teams and a title game, but the teams have to bring value. And by value, I mean they must bring many TV sets and must be very respectable in terms of playing competitive football. I'm not sure such teams are available.
Zach: Blow it up and head west.