Handing out a few Big 12 Valentines

Valentine's Day is here again. It's perhaps our calendar's most polarizing day, but love is in the air regardless. We're back again, passing out a few Valentines to those across the Big 12 who could use a little love this time of year.

Dear ...

West Virginia (like all of it),

It's been a rough first year in the Big 12 for every sport, but especially in football, where the hopes and talent level were so high, but the weaknesses were overlooked to begin the year. You could use a little love after six of the longest weeks in West Virginia football history. There were certainly skeptics to begin the year, but even the hardest of critics would have been surprised by a five-game losing streak. Today's a day to forget that and focus on the spring, where the defense is guaranteed to look better in practice, even if part of the reason is Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey's absence.

TCU's depth chart updater,

Whoever's job this is each week was busy. TCU dealt with more losses than anybody in the Big 12, and here's to a more stable 2013 for both Gary Patterson, who makes the decisions on that depth chart, and to the football staffers who update the chart online and on the weekly notes. The changes were all over the place, and to big names who had spent a whole lot of time in Fort Worth. Rough going. Somebody get these folks some cupcakes today.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps,

It's no fun to sit around and be confident you can help a struggling team but not have the ability to do so. Dayne Crist's chance at KU floundered last year, in part because of a lack of weapons in the passing game, but no one thought he'd be headed to the bench in the middle of the year. Freshman Michael Cummings got his shot and had some success, but Heaps will finally get his shot.

The Big 12's new QBs,

Consider this a love letter for things to come from the fans across the league. This is an inexperienced group, but also one that is so promising and will provide tons of memories in the fall, both this year and next. They'll be varying levels of success, but don't be surprised if the next big name in college football emerges from Texas Tech's Michael Brewer, Oklahoma's Blake Bell, Baylor's Bryce Petty, West Virginia's Ford Childress (or Paul Millard), Kansas State's Daniel Sams (or Jake Waters) or maybe another guy out of nowhere.