Breaking down our top 25 players list

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
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The top 25 players list is finished, and it's time to look back and stack up the results. Here's how the list shook out:

[+] EnlargeRobert Griffin III
AP Photo/LM OteroRobert Griffin III led Baylor to a top-three finish in the Big 12, and won the Heisman.
BY TEAM

1. Oklahoma State: 5 players
2. Oklahoma: 4
2. Texas A&M: 4
4. Iowa State: 3
4. Kansas State: 3
4. Baylor: 3
7. Texas: 2
8. Missouri: 1 (Henry Josey)
9. Kansas: 0
9. Texas Tech: 0

  • Both of Texas' players were defenders. Texas has actually never landed an offensive player in any of my top 25s, from the preseason and postseason top 25s in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, respectively.
  • I'll list my honorable mentions later today, but Mizzou had a couple that just missed the cut. Josey probably would have been in the top five if not for his injury.
  • The same is true for Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens, who simply missed too many games to warrant inclusion. He could have been top 10-15 otherwise.
  • Texas A&M proves once again that it's one of the league's most talented teams ... and finished 7-6 after going 9-4 in 2010. Both years, the Aggies had as much talent as any team in the Big 12.
BY POSITION

Linebackers: 6
Quarterbacks: 4
Receivers: 4
Running Backs: 4
Offensive Linemen: 3
Defensive Linemen: 2
Cornerbacks: 1 (Nigel Malone)
Safeties: 1 (Kenny Vaccaro)

  • I don't pay attention to this when I'm making my list, but the six linebackers made my eyes pop. The Big 12 was pretty loaded at that spot this past season.
  • Several cornerbacks and safeties were right outside my top 25.
  • Of those four receivers, three were in the top five. All well-deserved. Ryan Broyles, Justin Blackmon and Kendall Wright are clear game-changers that scare the heck out of defenses.
BY CLASS

Seniors: 10
Juniors: 12
Sophomores: 3 (Josey, Joseph Randle, Damontre Moore)
Freshmen: 0

  • Of those 12 juniors, the top two (Blackmon, Robert Griffin III) elected to enter the NFL draft. As did No. 22, Ronnell Lewis. The other nine are coming back. Should be a fun year in 2012.
  • Very rare for a freshman to crack the list. Nobody really came all that close.
Offense: 15
Defense: 10

Players on the preseason list who missed the postseason list (14): WR Jeff Fuller (No. 7), LB Travis Lewis (No. 8), WR T.J. Moe (No. 11), CB Jamell Fleming (No. 12), CB David Garrett (No. 14), CB Coryell Judie (No. 15), S Markelle Martin (No. 16), LT Elvis Fisher (No. 18), LB Keenan Robinson (No. 19), S Tony Jefferson (No. 20), LB Shaun Lewis (No. 21), WR Kenny Stills (No. 22), DE Brad Madison (No. 23), LB Zaviar Gooden (No. 25)

Players on the postseason list unranked in the preseason (14): DE Frank Alexander (No. 6), QB Collin Klein (No. 7), LB A.J. Klein (No. 9), LB Sean Porter (No. 10), RB Terrance Ganaway (No. 11), RB Henry Josey (No. 14), WR Ryan Swope (No. 15), RB Joseph Randle (No. 18), LB Arthur Brown (No. 19), S Kenny Vaccaro (No. 20), C Grant Garner (No. 21), DE Ronnell Lewis (No. 22), CB Nigel Malone (No. 24), LB Damontre Moore (No. 25)

  • Lots of turnover this year, much more than last year, when just nine players were shifted during the season. The preseason list, as I've stated several times, is not a predictor, but rather a measure of where the league stands in September. Injuries took a couple of these guys off the list, but there were a lot of underachievers and overachievers in the Big 12 this past season.

Once again, here's the list in its entirety. There's still time to send in your gripes, and I'll defend my picks in a mailbag.

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