Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Big 12 gets plenty of Herbie attention
By David Ubben
Colleague Kirk Herbstreit released his annual preseason awards, The Herbies, this week.
Who made it from the Big 12? Let's take a look.
First things first: Herbie took the favorites, Oklahoma, to win the Big 12. He picked West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin to win the league's Player of the Year award.
His national title pick? Florida State over USC. We'll see about that.
About the individual awards?
Austin checked in at No. 2 on his list of the nation's best receivers. No argument here. Austin was also No. 1 on Herbstreit's list of the nation's most exciting players. I haven't seen Austin week-to-week because he's been in the Big East, but seeing him thrill a new league should be fun.
West Virginia's Geno Smith checked in at No. 4 on the list of best pocket passers, but Oklahoma's Landry Jones was nowhere to be found on the list. USC's Matt Barkley, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, Georgia's Aaron Murray and even Washington's Keith Price were all on the list ahead of Jones.
WVU's Smith was also No. 2 on Herbie's list of players who don't get enough respect.
One big surprise? Herbie voted K-State's Collin Klein at No. 2 on his list of the nation's best players, also known as "The Ultimate Herbie." Barkley is the only other player ahead of Klein.
Klein was the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback, behind only Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas.
Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat was No. 8 and Alex Okafor was No. 10 on Herbie's list of the top 10 defensive ends across the country. Seems a little low for both.
The Big 12 didn't have any linebackers or cornerbacks make Herbie's top five, but landed two safeties on the list. Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson was at No. 2, followed by Texas' Kenny Vaccaro at No. 5. LSU's Eric Reid led the group.
Jefferson was also No. 4 on Herbie's list of guys who play "backyard football." "Don't turn your back," he writes.
The only other Big 12 player to crack No. 1 on a list? K-State's Klein. Herbie crowned him as the nation's No. 1 "old-school" player. Klein's indeed a throwback, but still freakishly productive. A mini-Tim Tebow, indeed.
Oklahoma receiver Trey Metoyer was No. 4 on Herbie's list of guys "ahead of the curve." In short, the nation's best freshmen.
Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown was No. 2 on Herbie's list of the nation's most instinctive players.
Oklahoma's new defensive coordinator topped Herbie's list of the best offseason coordinator hires. Mike Stoops is back to shore up the Sooner secondary, and Herbie's on the list of supporters for that move.