Bad news for the Texas football program, and the other teams in the Big 12, came with the announcement that Chuba Hubbard will forego the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys received big news on Jan. 13 with the announcement that star redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard would return for the 2020 season and forego the 2020 NFL Draft. Hubbard was the top running back in the nation in 2019, and he was electric for head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State all season long. By usual considerations, the Texas football program did a great job holding him in check.
But the Texas Longhorns football program still allowed Hubbard to rack up 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns in their Sep. 21 win over Oklahoma State at home to kick off Big 12 play. The Longhorns saw former defensive coordinator Todd Orlando come up with a brilliant gameplan to slow down Hubbard and that ultra-talented Oklahoma State group of skill position stars.
However, it is not good news for the rest of the Big 12 that Hubbard will be returning next season. He was expected by most to declare early for the 2020 NFL Draft after the redshirt sophomore campaign that saw him lead the nation in rushing yards and finish eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
But this is a deep running back class for the 2020 NFL Draft, and Hubbard might’ve got lost in the mix. Compare that to where he can come back to Stillwater, OK, for one more year and really establish himself as a legit NFL talent at running back that is worthy of a future first round draft pick and this decision does make some sense.
What does the return of Hubbard to Oklahoma State for at least one more season mean for the Longhorns and the rest of the Big 12?
First and foremost, Oklahoma State will be returning one of the best skill position duos in the nation for next season. To-be senior wide receiver Tylan Wallace and Hubbard might actually be the best returning skill position duo in the entire country, if not among all positions on any college football team.
Oklahoma State was fairly young when they faced Texas back in Week 4, to open the Big 12 slate. Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders was getting his first career start in Big 12 play, and Hubbard had yet to reach double-digit starts in his college career at that point.
This now looks like the top three teams in the Big 12 for 2020 could be the Oklahoma schools and the Longhorns. The rival Oklahoma Sooners should still be considered a top 10 team heading into the offseason, despite losing yet another Heisman finalist at quarterback in senior Jalen Hurts.
With how the Iowa State Cyclones and Baylor Bears could be in flux heading into the 2020 season, it appears that there could be a clear top three pecking order in the Big 12. The reigning Big 12 Champions Oklahoma will be losing a lot while Oklahoma State and Texas are returning most of their starters from 2019.
All in all, Hubbard returning for the Pokes is not great for the Longhorns or the rest of the Big 12. He will bring back with him an insane 2,094 rushing yards and 21 scores on the ground. There’s not much better that will be returning for any skill position group on any college football team in 2020 than Hubbard or Wallace.