Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tracking the Big 12 award races: Week 7
By David Ubben
Now that we've played plenty of games, we'll take a weekly look at how the Big 12 award races are shaping up. Here's how it stands after Week 6 heading into Week 7.
Offensive Player of the Year:
1. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: Martinez, a redshirt freshman, has emerged as the most exciting offensive player in the league, leading the Big 12 in rushing and scoring more rushing touchdowns than any player in college football. He's averaging just under 35 yards on his 12 scoring plays.
2. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Blackmon is racking up catches by the handful, leading the league in yardage (748 yards), catches (47) and leading the nation in touchdown receptions (11).
3. Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State: No player in the Big 12 means more to his team. Thomas' production has slowed in the past two games, but he'll still get plenty of touches. He still looks like the favorite to lead the league in rushing, despite facing more defenders in the box than any back in the league.
Honorable mention: Robert Griffin, Baylor; Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma; Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State; Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma: Beal is tied for the Big 12 lead in sacks, with six, and tackles for loss, with 8.5. His production has come when the Sooners needed it most. His best games have come against Florida State, Texas and Cincinnati.
2. Orie Lemon, LB, Oklahoma State: Lemon had three tackles for loss and 14 total tackles against the best offense the Cowboys have faced this season, Texas A&M.
3. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska: Kansas State couldn't run against the Huskers, and the rapidly improving David was the biggest reason why. He was everywhere, making 16 tackles. He has 35 in his last two games to move to second in the Big 12 in stops.
Honorable mention: Brian Duncan, Texas Tech; Aaron Williams, Texas; Prince Amukamara, Nebraska; Sam Acho, Texas
Coach of the Year
1. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: Gundy has his team at 5-0, breaking all kinds of offensive records and looking like a Big 12 South contender early in the season.
2. Bo Pelini, Nebraska: Nebraska's offense is the single most improved unit in college football, and the defense is still solid. Pelini's Huskers have risen to assume the spot of the Big 12's best team and look like a national title contender.
3. Art Briles, Baylor: Briles had the Bears off to a 4-1 start for the first time since 2005, and needs only two more wins to end Baylor's 15-year bowl drought.