Who is the Big 12's best player?


It appears we've reached the end of our road together.

The season is exactly one week away, and it's time to crown the Big 12's No. 1 player.

Here's more on my criteria.

No. 1: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

2012 numbers: Made 63 tackles. Intercepted six passes and broke up 16 more passes. Made five tackles for loss. Blocked a field goal in an overtime win vs. West Virginia.

Most recent ranking: Verrett was No. 12 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Verrett: Nobody got their hands on more passes than Verrett last season. He did it seven more times, in fact, than any other defender in the Big 12, and tied for the national lead in passes defended, with 22.

In TCU's first season in the Big 12, Verrett emerged as a legitimate lockdown corner in a league stacked with receiving talent. The Frogs led the Big 12 in total defense by more than 40 yards a game, and you can bet Verrett was a huge reason why. He helped TCU slow down guys like Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Terrance Williams. The Frogs beat both West Virginia and TCU a year ago, and like I said, Verrett was a huge piece of those wins. Great cornerbacks are extremely valuable in this league, and look for the Frogs to do everything they can to maximize that value this fall.

Verrett was my preseason pick for Defensive Player of the Year and my pick for the best player in the Big 12 entering the 2013 season.

The rest of the list: