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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 4

By David Ubben

We’re continuing our countdown of the Big 12's top 25 players from the 2012 season. Here's more on my criteria for the list. You can take a peek at how the preseason list looked here.

We're in the top 10 now, so it's about to get heated, I'm sure. If you've got complaints, I've got a mailbag. Let's hear it.

The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day moving forward.

On with the show ...

No. 4: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia

2012 numbers: Caught 114 passes for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns. Returned 10 kicks for 146 yards.

Most recent ranking: Bailey was ranked No. 12 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Bailey: West Virginia wasn't the most consistent running team between the tackles, but that's why you have physical, quick receivers like Bailey with sticky hands and a nose for the end zone. He broke plenty of long touchdowns over the top, but his play in the red zone helped West Virginia knock off Baylor and Texas early in the season. If WVU settles for field goals on a few of those possessions, it doesn't win those games. Bailey was a touchdown machine, but grabbing seven more scores than any receiver in the country almost overshadows his 1,627 yards, which were third-most nationally. All this, despite playing through a painful ankle injury in the middle of the season. Bailey finished with four 100-yard games, two 200-yard games and a 300-yard game against Baylor, with five touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 188-pound Miramar, Fla., native left early for the NFL, and he'll definitely be fun to watch at the next level.

The rest of the list: