Our countdown of the Big 12's top 25 players continues. The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing a new member every day.
We're officially in the top 10 now. That means it could be a little heated from here on. Got beef? Send it to my mailbag, and we'll have a later post logging and answering your complaints.
No. 6: Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
2011 numbers: Made 54 tackles (35 solo), 19 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Broke up eight passes and had an interception. Also forced three fumbles.
Making the case for Alexander: There's no need for much explanation here. Alexander earned a well-deserved Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honor after leading the Big 12 in tackles for loss. That was no accident, and he could have had plenty more. He was the most disruptive single player for passing games across the Big 12, and in the run game, too.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end had always been one of the most physically gifted players in the Big 12, but he turned it into big-time production this season. Alexander suffered a painful shoulder injury against Iowa State that limited him the rest of the season and turned him into a nonfactor against Oklahoma State. His void was enormous. Oklahoma got no pressure on Brandon Weeden and the defense was shredded. When he was active and healthy, though? Big 12 quarterbacks needed to keep their heads on a swivel. His 8.5 sacks were tied for second in the Big 12.
The Sooners will need to replace him next year, which won't be easy, but he turned in a memorable season in a year Oklahoma would like to forget.
The rest of the list:
No. 9: A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
No. 10: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M
No. 11: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
No. 12: Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
No. 13: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
No. 14: Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
No. 15: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
No. 16: Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas
No. 17: Kelechi Osemele, LT, Iowa State
No. 19: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
No. 20: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
No. 21: Grant Garner, C, Oklahoma State
No. 22: Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
No. 23: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
No. 24: Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State
No. 25: Damontre Moore, LB, Texas A&M