Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tracking the Big 12 awards races: Week 14
By David Ubben
We've got one week left of games, and one chance left to jostle for position before voting on these awards. Here's how I slot it heading into Week 14:
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Klein was off this weekend, but he can wrap this award up with a solid performance and a win against Texas. A rough game, though? That's three to end the season. If it happens and Kansas State loses, Klein opens this up to legitimately four or five players, in my opinion. Voting would be fascinating. I'd probably still pick him to win, but I bet it would be close.
2. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams is in a tight race with Marqise Lee for the Biletnikoff Award, but he's definitely in the mix for this, too. He gets the last word vs. Lee, and will take on talented Oklahoma State cornerbacks. He caught seven balls for 175 yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech, his first 100-yard game in three outings.
3. Tavon Austin, WR/RB/KR, West Virginia. Sticking with Tavon in this spot, but the competition is really getting tight. You could make a case for Stedman Bailey, Geno Smith or Landry Jones all in the top three. Austin turned the Iowa State game in WVU's favor with a 75-yard catch and run, and caught six passes for 99 yards, adding 74 yards on 14 carries on the ground. He also scored a two-point conversion.
Honorable mention: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma; Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia; Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia; Nick Florence, QB, Baylor; Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech; Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State; James Sims, RB, Kansas
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Devonte Fields, DE, TCU: Fields turned in a big game in a win against Texas, notching two tackles for loss, a sack and four tackles. He now has 17.5 tackles for loss this season, 2.5 more than anybody in the Big 12. He also leads the league with nine sacks. Let me reiterate: This is a true freshman we're talking about. Good grief.
2. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas: Okafor is banged up and missed time against TCU, but he's third in the league with eight sacks, even though he didn't register a sack against the Frogs.
3. Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State: Williams was off last week, but he stays on the list and sits second in the league with 8.5 sacks, and is fourth in the league in 11.5 tackles for loss.
Honorable mention: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State; Jason Verrett, CB, TCU; A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State; Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma; Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Coach of the Year
1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State: The SnyderCats were off last week, but Snyder can wrap this award up if he wins a Big 12 title by beating Texas on Saturday night in Manhattan.
2. Gary Patterson, TCU: The Frogs have dealt with more injuries than anyone, and at key positions on offense. The defense has developed into the Big 12's best, despite all the youth, and the offense has kept rolling without Casey Pachall and Waymon James. TCU's not going to win the league, but finishing above .500 in its first year in the Big 12, with those circumstances? Nothing short of amazing.
3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: The Cowboys nearly came away with a huge upset at Oklahoma last week, and Gundy has dealt with major injuries and still kept his team rolling. They lost a ton of talent from last year's team (and this year's) and could still win eight or nine games.