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Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tracking conference award races: Week 9

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

We saw plenty of shifts with big games in Waco, Columbia and Stillwater this week, and there'll be plenty more chances on Saturday to move up or down these rankings.

Baylor takes on Texas on Saturday and Missouri and Nebraska will play the Big 12 North championship game in Lincoln.

Offensive Player of the Year:

1. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Blackmon slowed his pace on catches while matching up against Nebraska's Prince Amukamara and later Alfonzo Dennard, but his 80-yard bomb helped make it a nice day. He finished with 5 catches for 157 yards and two scores.

2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: For the third time this season, Griffin set a career high through the air, throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-38 passing. And his team is leading the division, which is more than any of the other two candidates on top of this list can say.

3. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: Martinez was too much for Oklahoma State to handle in the Huskers 51-41 win. They kept him relatively in check in the ground, keeping him out of the end zone and letting him run for just 112 yards on 19 carries. Those five touchdowns and 323 yards through the air did the trick, and could be a sign of more good things to come for Martinez.

Honorable mention: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma; Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State; Blaine Gabbert, Missouri; Landry Jones, Oklahoma; DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma; Daniel Thomas, Kansas State; Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State;


Defensive Player of the Year

1. Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma: Beal wasn't happy with the way he rushed the passer, and the Sooners were held without a sack in the loss to Missouri. They didn't pressure Blaine Gabbert much on the night, but Beal quietly notched a career-high four tackles for loss and has a wide lead above the next best in the Big 12 in that stat. He also still leads the league with six sacks.

2. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska: Nobody came out looking too pretty on defense after Oklahoma State and Nebraska's 51-41 track meet in Stillwater, but David's eight tackles meant his first single-digit tackle game in four outings.

3. Orie Lemon, LB, Oklahoma State: Lemon added seven tackles and a tackle for loss in the loss to Nebraska.

Honorable mention: Brian Duncan, Texas Tech; Sam Acho, Texas; Aaron Williams, Texas; Prince Amukamara, Nebraska; A.J. Klein, Iowa State

Coach of the Year

1. Art Briles, Baylor: All of a sudden, there's a ton of tight competition for this award, but a 2-2 finish would probably earn it for Briles, which would put his team at 8-4, the most wins for Baylor since 1991.

2. Gary Pinkel, Missouri: Pinkel got his white whale on Saturday night, knocking off both Oklahoma and a No. 1 team on the same night. Now, the Tigers somehow face an even bigger game, traveling to Lincoln for a matchup with No. 14 Nebraska.

3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: Gundy got leapfrogged this week by a pair of coaches who got the biggest wins of their careers, but the Cowboys are still in position to win the South, with Oklahoma traveling to Stillwater and Austin looking like a less intimidating venue these days.

Honorable mention: Paul Rhoads, Iowa State