Monday, February 14, 2011
Ranking the Big 12's best players: No. 25
By David Ubben
We're back again this postseason ranking the Big 12's best players, starting from No. 25 and working our way, day-by-day, to No. 1.
A quick rundown of my criteria for this list:
Texas Tech's Lyle Leong had 19 touchdown receptions during the 2010 season.
Only performances during the 2010 season were factored in. Our preseason list considered the overall careers of each player. This one won't.
Yes, Nebraska and Colorado players may be included. Get over it. They played in the Big 12 in 2010.
Sometimes, stats tell enough, if not the entire story (Hi, Justin Blackmon!). Other times, they don't (That means you, Blaine Gabbert and Prince Amukamara!). It won't come as a surprise to anyone to see all three of those players somewhere on the list, but players weren't ranked according to total yardage or tackles.
Think of it this way, but only slightly factoring in the importance of each position: If I'm drafting players from the Big 12 to replay the 2010 season and I'm guaranteed that each player duplicates his 2010 performance, this is the order I would take them. And no, future pro potential is not factored into the rankings.
Making the case for Leong: He was the Big 12's best version of Cris Carter in 2010: All he did was catch touchdowns. His 19 receiving touchdowns ranked second nationally, and no other receiver below him had more than 15 all year. Other receivers in the Big 12 put up better overall numbers, but he was incredibly reliable in the red zone for the Red Raiders. Considering the trouble spread offenses often have scoring close to the goal line, that's even more valuable. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder made a living on jump balls alone, and his solid play everywhere else earns him a spot on this list.