Big 12: Correll Buckhalter
All of the Cornhuskers’ coaches experienced success in their own way over the decade. With Bill Callahan and Bo Pelini, Nebraska was the only Big 12 school to make championship game appearances in the 2000’s with different coaches. And Frank Solich, the Cornhuskers’ first coach of the decade, took them to a national championship game in 2001.
In 2001 Eric Crouch claimed the first of the Big 12’s three Heisman trophies in the decade. And Ndamukong Suh had a great case for one in 2009.
Pelini has the Cornhuskers pointed in the right direction after only two seasons. But here are my choices for the Cornhuskers' best players and brightest moments.
QB: Eric Crouch
RB: Correll Buckhalter
RB: Cory Ross
WR: Nate Swift
WR: Maurice Purify
TE: Tracey Wistrom
OL: Russ Hochstein
OL: Toniu Fonoti
OL: Richie Incognito
OL: Matt Slauson
C: Dominic Raiola
DL: Adam Carriker
DL: Ndamukong Suh
DL: Jared Crick
DL: Kyle Vanden Bosch
LB: Carlos Polk
LB: Demorrio Williams
LB: Barrett Ruud
DB: Keyuo Craver
DB: Josh Bullocks
DB: Prince Amukamara
DB: Daniel Bullocks
P: Kyle Larson
K: Alex Henery
Ret: DeJuan Groce
Offensive player of the decade: QB Eric Crouch. Received playing time early in his career as a receiver, but eventually became the most athletic quarterback to win the Heisman this decade. He finished as Nebraska’s career leader in total offense and total offense touchdowns.
Defensive player of the decade: DT Ndamukong Suh. His unique blend of athleticism gave him a skill set unlike those for many defensive tackles. Before his career was finished, Suh left with a legitimate claim as the greatest Blackshirt in history.
Coach of the decade: Bo Pelini. All three Nebraska coaches experienced success in different ways. Pelini gets the nod for his 20-8 record as a head coach and three bowl victories, including one as interim coach in 2003.
Moment of the decade: Eric Crouch’s throwback pass reception in 2001. Not only did Mike Stuntz’ 63-yard touchdown pass to Crouch wrap up a huge 20-10 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma, but it also provided a highlight that helped catapult Crouch to the Heisman Trophy.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I'll admit that I don't watch nearly as much NFL as I do college football. Sundays typically are my busiest day during the season and I'm usually fortunate if I can watch a quarter of any regular season NFL game.
But after the bowls are over, I can watch the playoffs with a critical eye. The NFL playoffs are a great spectacle and Sunday's two championship games are one of the four or five best days of sports of the year. Not quite as good as national championship day or New Year's Day to be sure, but still six hours of entertaining football to be savored.
I particularly like to catch up with some of the former players I used to cover during their Big 12 careers. And with free agency drastically altering rosters, it's tough to follow all of the player movement.
I took a quick look at the rosters of the four remaining teams, looking for former Big 12 players and how they are involved on their teams.
Here's a look at each remaining NFL team with Big 12 players and their uniform numbers noted.
- LB Stewart Bradley, Nebraska (55) -- Starting middle linebacker
- RB Correll Buckhalter, Nebraska (28) -- Second-string
- CB Joselio Hanson, Texas Tech (21) -- Second-string at left cornerback
- DE Darren Howard, Kansas State (90) -- Second-string at right defensive end
- DE Juqua Parker, Oklahoma State (75) -- Starter at left defensive end
- T Chris Parker, Nebraska (64) -- Second-string at left tackle
- LB Monty Beisel, Kansas State (52) -- Second-string at middle linebacker
- CB Ralph Brown, Nebraska (20) -- Second-string at left cornerback
- C Lyle Sendlein, Texas (63) -- Starter
- DE Antonio Smith, Oklahoma State (94) -- Starter at left defensive end
- DE Justin Bannan, Colorado (94) -- Starter
- C Chris Chester, Oklahoma (65) -- Second-string
- WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma (89) -- Starter
- WR Yamon Figurs, Kansas State (16) -- Backup
- DT Kelly Gregg, Oklahoma (97) -- Reserve
- CB Corey Ivy, Oklahoma (35) -- Second-string at right cornerback
- P Sam Koch, Nebraska (4) -- Starting punter/holder
- TE Quinn Sypniewski, Colorado (88) -- Reserve roster
- CB Fabian Washington, Nebraska (31) -- Starter at left cornerback