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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Who's the Big 12's best coach of 2012?

By David Ubben

The Big 12's off to a strong start, but which man on the sidelines gets your vote for the league's best so far?

BILL SNYDER

Before the season, Bill Snyder was asked about his team's modest preseason expectations. The Cats began ranked outside the top 20 despite coming off a 10-win season and returning 17 starters. Snyder? He suggested he'd vote his team 99th to start the season and give his team a little extra motivation. Regardless, K-State became the first ranked team to ever beat Bob Stoops in Norman, and the Wildcats look like a title contender at No. 6 in the polls.

DANA HOLGORSEN

Hopes were high for Holgorsen's Mountaineers, but they've met perhaps even the highest. WVU has ascended to No. 5 in the polls, Geno Smith is running a one-man race for the Heisman Trophy and the Big 12 newbies have the league's best offense. Oh, and about that win in Texas in their first Big 12 road game ...

MACK BROWN

Texas' rebuilding job looks complete, and now it's just about winning games. Though the defense has had issues, quarterback David Ash might be the most improved player in the conference, and Texas' offense has carried the team so far this season. There's no shame in a close loss to a top-5 team, and Texas already went on the road and beat a very good Oklahoma State team.

ART BRILES

Briles' Baylor team is inexplicably not ranked, even though its only loss is on the road by seven points to a top-5 team. The Bears probably have the Big 12's No. 2 offense, and despite losing Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and the Big 12's leading rusher and receiver, BU still ranks No. 2 nationally in total offense.

PAUL RHOADS

Rhoads is up to his old tricks, knocking off teams as an underdog. He's already beaten Iowa and TCU as a road underdog, and with the TCU win, Iowa State joined Ohio State as the only teams in college football with a road win over a ranked team in each of the past three seasons. ISU debuted in the coaches' poll this week and sits at 4-1 through five weeks. Rhoads is the only coach to have to make a quarterback switch this season because of something other than suspension or injury, and it paid off against TCU. Jared Barnett hooked up with Josh Lenz for a pair of long touchdown passes in the first quarter.