A few predictions for Big 12

August, 18, 2009
8/18/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

In connection with my conference previews today, here are a few predictions I've got for the upcoming season.

1. Offensive player of the year: Colt McCoy, Texas -- He likely won't pile up the massive numbers of last season, particularly rushing. But it won't matter as he'll direct his team to the championship game this time around and continue his phenomenal accuracy.

2. Defensive player of the year: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska -- Look for him to lead the Cornhuskers in tackles again this season -- an amazing statistical feat for a defensive tackle. And he'll even dabble around the goal line as the conference's biggest blocking back.

3. Newcomer of the year: Phil Taylor, Baylor -- If he's as good as advertised, he could transform the Bears' weak interior defense into a strength that could catapult them into a bowl game.

4. Comeback player of the year: Ryan Reynolds, Oklahoma -- He's back healthy and ready to lead the Oklahoma defense after missing the second half of last season with a knee injury.

5. Freshman of the year: Christine Michael, Texas A&M -- The Aggies' weak running game should get an immediate infusion from this talented and imposing breakaway threat.

6. Most exciting player: Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State -- Whether contributing as a receiver or a punt returner, he'll be a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

7. Coach of the year: Art Briles, Baylor -- If he can end the conference's longest bowl drought, who better to earn this honor?

8. Game of the year: Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas, Oct. 17 -- Is there really any other? The South Division's balance of powers should be set in this game again as the division's winner likely will come from this game for the 11th straight season.

9. Surprise team of the year: Kansas State -- Don't be surprised if Bill Snyder snatches a couple of upsets and boosts his team into bowl contention in late November.

10. Team that will disappoint: Oklahoma State -- The Cowboys will be a solid bowl team but won't live up to the preseason hype that has thrown them into the preseason top 10 as a potential BCS surprise team.

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