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College Sports: Is Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray the Big 12’s best Heisman Trophy candidate?

Chuck Carlton, Big 12 beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered questions about the league during a live chat recently. Here are some of the highlights:

Question: Is Kyler Murray officially the Big 12’s best shot at producing a Heisman Trophy winner this season?

Carlton: He’s awfully, awfully good. Again, the Heisman right now is Tua Tagovailoa’s to lose. But Murray is the Big 12’s best hope, unless Will Grier goes on a tear after the loss at Iowa State. The West Virginia QB will have a chance to put himself back in the hunt, with games against Texas and Oklahoma, plus possibly the Big 12 title game. We’ll see.

Question: How big of a confidence booster was last Saturday for the Oklahoma defense? Players certainly seem to have respect for Ruffin McNeill, no?

Carlton: The players do seem to have bought in to Ruffin McNeill, who has always been a players’ coach throughout his college career. The key will be how Oklahoma does against an elite offense. But McNeill is working with talent, although the defense as a whole has been underachieving. Based on the TCU game, he’s simplified things. He even had players suggest calls to be deleted from the game plan ahead of TCU. Plus, sometimes a new voice and a few tweaks can work wonders even if the message isn’t that different.

Question: Are you surprised in the slightest that the Big 12 Championship game is once again slated for an 11 a.m. kick?

Carlton: Not necessarily. Other championship games, like the SEC and the Big Ten, are locked into specific time slots. The 11 a.m. start is a decent beginning for championship Saturday, kind of setting the tone. And if it’s Texas-Oklahoma matchup, both those teams are plenty familiar with 11 a.m. kickoffs from a certain game in Dallas.

Click here to view the full chat.

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