Big 12: Mark Simoneau
Dennis McElroy in Lamoni, Iowa, wrote: How quickly you forget Troy Davis. First back to have back to back 2000 yard seasons while playing on horrible Iowa State teams. If he had the benefit of the talent of an Oklahoma, there is no telling what he might have accomplished.
Ray Cobra in Los Angeles wrote: 1997, Michael Bishop led K-State to an 11-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl blow-out win while outplaying a guy named Donovan McNabb before a national audience. Bishop became a star that season and set K-State up as a national title contender for the next. How is that not one of the best Big 12 seasons by a player or at least on the just-missed list? Hard to argue that 11-1 and a Fiesta Bowl win in your first year out of juco as the starting QB for a Bill Snyder offense is better than losing the Big 12 title game and then failing to show-up for the Alamo Bowl as in Bishop's 98, which did make your 'just missed' list (and was indeed a fine season). Despite KSU's one loss to the eventual national champion in Lincoln and despite the fact that he was a basically a rookie, Bishop had a dream season in 97. Don't you agree?
Chris in Lindsberg, Kan., wrote: Big 12 Best Individual Seasons- Terence Newman, CB, Kansas State, 2002. In 2002, Terence Newman was a consensus First Team All-American, won the Jim Thorpe award, and was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski award.It is easy to forget just how dominant Newman was during his senior season. Newman was constantly locked up with top receivers (Keary Colbert, Mike Williams, Shaun McDonald, Roy Williams), but he only surrendered one receiving touchdown all year (Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State). In addition to eviscerating the other team's best receiver every week, Newman also contributed offensively and in the return game. He scored in four different ways (reception, punt return, kickoff return, defensive PAT), gave the Wildcats punt return touchdowns of 71 and 40 yards and a kickoff return touchdown of 95 yards. Newman's most memorable play of the season occurred during a 27-20 home win against #11 USC in September. With less than a minute before halftime and K-State holding a 10-0 lead, the Trojans recovered a fumble for a momentum-shifting touchdown. But the extra point attempt was blocked. Newman picked up the ball and raced 90 yards for a defensive two-point conversion.
Matt in Kansas City wrote: What about K-State Linebackers....Josh Buhl (undersized LB) had 184 tackles in 2003 which #2 all-time in college football....Mark Simoneau - 1999 consensus 1st team All American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year...if you look at best defensive careers he has to be up there....400 career tackles and 251 unassisted stops...also Big 12 1st-team 3 times
Kyle in Houston wrote: Best Individual Season: Dat Nguyen - 1998 -> Unanimous All-American -> Chuck Bednarik Award -> Lombardi Award -> Jack Lambert Award -> Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year -> First-Team All-Big 12
OU woofer in Houston wrote: Quentin Griffin - as a senior totaled 287 carries for 1,884 yards with 15 scores,and also caught 35 passes for 264 yards with 3 Tds, (single game for the season was 248 yrds/32 carries/1 td vs UT). The three-year starter helped OUwin a national championship in 2000 and he finished fourth in school history in career rushing yards (3,756), third in touchdowns (44) and finished second in all-purpose yards (4,973). He is 4 on OU's all time rushing leaders behind, Billy Sims, Joe Washinton, Adrian Peterson and Steve Owens. ...
Kenton in OKC wrote: Justin Blackmon's 2010 campaign deserves to be among the top 5 Big 12 seasons of all-time. He is the ONLY RECEIVER IN FBS HISTORY TO DO WHAT HE DID! 100 yds and a TD in every game played, come on. He torched OU's secondary on a bum ankle. I'm just appalled you left him out of the top 5. ONLY PLAYER IN HISTORY!
John Galt in New York wrote: Got to say Dubs. A little shocked not to see RGIII not make the list. I wouldn't consider him number 1 but I would say its hard to deny him the 3-5 spot. It appears you went pretty team-centric in your choosing. 2 Texas, 2 OK, and a corn husker. All teams with loads of talent and not just at the dynamic positions. Looking at the title "Best Individual Big 12 Seasons Ever", emphasis should be on the individual and to say that RGIII wasn't in the top five is a little disappointing. Not too many people would be surprised to hear Texas, Oklahoma, or Nebraska have a Heisman talent player or that player be on a National Championship team...but Baylor? Not sure any other offensive player on your list could win 10 games with the same Baylor team.
Kevin in Ardmore, Okla., wrote: Went to OSU and was wondering why you skipped over Brandon Weedon this last year. Lets see his stats. 2011 OKST 408 Comp 564 Att 72.3 Ptc 4727 Yds 8.4 Avg 37 TD 67 Lng 13 Int 159.8 Rat. Who he beat, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, David Ash, Collin Klein, RGIII, Landry Jones and Andrew Luck. How many of those are now or will be NFL QBs. Know tell me how he isn't good enough not only to make the list, but not to make Just missed.
Jeff in Manhattan, Kan., wrote: Jordy Nelson, Kansas State, 2007. While not Justin Blackmon or Michael Crabtree, he still deserves a "near miss" mention as he was a consensus All-American with 122 catches for 1606 yds and 11 TDs, also threw for 2 touchdowns and returned 2 more punts to round out the stat sheet. Also, this. Thanks, Ubbs.
Jay Adams in Ames, Iowa, wrote: How can you leave out Seneca Wallace? Not only did he have the most prolific career for an Iowa State quarterback, but he led Iowa State to an unprecedented, and since unmatched, 11th rank in the nation.
Now, he's headed into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame.
Simoneau was one of 14 players and three coaches who will be inducted into the hall after an announcement on Tuesday.
Simoneau earned consensus first-team All-America status in 1999, and was a four-year starter and three-time captain under Bill Snyder in Manhattan. He won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award as a senior in 2009, too.
Simoneau was part of some of the best seasons in Kansas State history, including a Fiesta Bowl trip in 1997 and a No. 1 ranking in 1998, when the Wildcats played in the Big 12 title game for the first time in school history.
Simoneau ranks third in school history for career tackles, and has school records for single game and career unassisted tackles. He was the Wildcats' leading tackler in 1998 and 199 and led the team in sacks in 1999. He also is tired for third on the school's career fumble recovery list. He made 400 career tackles and had 46 tackles for loss.
He earned All-Big 12 first-team honors three times in four years in Manhattan.
Gary Spani is the only other Kansas State player in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Simeoneau was drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft and played for the Falcons, Eagles, Saints and Chiefs before retiring in 2010.
I've got a game we can play as we get ready for Saturday and I'm curious about readers' thoughts.
Here is a list of the former Big 12 players on Super Bowl rosters. Their playing status is based on the most recent team depth chart released by NFL.com.
SS Melvin Bullitt (Texas A&M), starter.
G Ryan Lilja (Kansas State), starter.
T Charlie Johnson (Oklahoma State), starter.
CB Jacob Lacey (Oklahoma State), backup.
DE Keyunta Dawson (Texas Tech), backup.
LS Justin Snow (Baylor), starter.
LB Cody Glenn (Nebraska), backup.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
G Carl Nicks (Nebraska), starter.
OLB Scott Shanle (Nebraska), starter.
TE David Thomas (Texas), backup.
K Garrett Hartley (Oklahoma), starter.
DT Remi Ayodele (Oklahoma), starter.
C Nick Leckey (Kansas State), backup.
QB Chase Daniel (Missouri), backup.
T Jammal Brown (Oklahoma), injured reserve.
TE Dan Campbell (Texas A&M), injured reserve.
MLB Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), injured reserve.
WR D'Juan Woods (Oklahoma State), injured reserve.
From one through five, I'm curious which Big 12 alumnus will have the biggest impact in the Super Bowl.
Here are my choices:
1. Indianapois SS Melvin Bullitt: He'll have to bring a physical, punishing presence to the Colts' secondary to keep the New Orleans receivers and Reggie Bush from running wild.
2. New Orleans G Carl Nicks: New Orleans needs to run the ball effectively to have a chance in springing the upset. Nicks is the Saints' best run-blocker and will be important in moving the pile for them.
3. Indianapolis CB Jacob Lacey: For some strange reason, I have the feeling that Lacey will be a big part of this game. I think Drew Brees will test him early and often and he'll have a chance to make some plays -- or be burned.
4. New Orleans K Garrett Hartley: He won the NFC Championship Game with a clutch kick in overtime. Who's to say he won't have another chance for another big kick or two in Sunday's game?
5. New Orleans TE David Thomas: Brees' second tight end has been a consistent and clutch third-down receiver all season. If this game is a shootout, he'll likely get a lot of playing time.
Those are my picks. How about yours?
It's no surprise that Peyton Manning checked in at No. 1. But some of the other players might have been surprising.
Most notable was former Missouri and current New Orleans quarterback Chase Daniel, who was one of the most storied players in Big 12 history as he twice led Missouri to the Big 12 championship game.
Even with that pedigree, Daniel's value diminished greatly once he hit the NFL. In fact, at No. 102, he's the Big 12 alumni who has the lowest value among Super Bowl participants, according to the survey.
There's no surprise that Peyton Manning is No. 1 or that Drew Brees is second. Carl Nicks, the starting guard for New Orleans from Nebraska is ranked 13th, the highest-ranked Big 12 product in the game. And Melvin Bullitt, Indianapolis' starting strong safety, is the highest-ranked Big 12 alumni on the Colts at No. 18.
Here's a list of the former Big 12 players who are on the rosters of the Super Bowl teams. Their playing status is based on the most recent team depth chart released by NFL.com.
- SS Melvin Bullitt (Texas A&M), starter, No. 18.
- G Ryan Lilja (Kansas State), starter, No. 28.
- T Charlie Johnson (Oklahoma State), starter, No. 34.
- CB Jacob Lacey (Oklahoma State), backup, No. 51.
- DE Keyunta Dawson (Texas Tech), backup, No. 67.
- LS Justin Snow (Baylor), starter, No. 100.
- LB Cody Glenn (Nebraska), backup, No. 101.
- G Carl Nicks (Nebraska), starter, No. 13.
- OLB Scott Shanle (Nebraska), starter, No. 38.
- TE David Thomas (Texas), backup, No. 52.
- K Garrett Hartley (Oklahoma), starter, No. 58.
- DT Remi Ayodele (Oklahoma), starter, No. 80.
- C Nick Leckley (Kansas State), backup, No. 86.
- QB Chase Daniel (Missouri), backup, No. 102.
- T Jammal Brown (Oklahoma), injured reserve, no ranking.
- TE Dan Campbell (Texas A&M), injured reserve, no ranking.
- MLB Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), injured reserve, no ranking.
- WR D'Juan Woods (Oklahoma State), injured reserve, no ranking.
The listing of players was pretty interesting. I'm guilty of not following the players quite as closely once they got to the NFL.
But I'm still stunned about Daniel's lack of value, even if he is a third-string quarterback for the Saints.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It would be fitting if the Kansas State football version of Mount Rushmore was painted in purple, with Powercat insignias all around. Maybe they could even have Willie the Wildcat and his motorcycle friends taking an afternoon ride past the icons every day.
There are several intriguing candidates I could think of. Here are my choices.
- Bill Snyder -- His turnaround of the Kansas State program remains the most notable in recent college football history. Now, can he do it again the second time around?
- Gary Spani -- The only Kansas State player inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame was a three-time All-Big Eight selection and the school's first consensus All-American in 1977.
- Michael Bishop -- Took the Wildcats to the brink of the BCS championship in 1998, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy balloting that season.
- Terence Newman -- Best defense player in the school's modern history, earning the 2002 Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back along with the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year.
It was hard to leave Darren Sproles, Veryl Switzer, Mark Simoneau and Lynn Dickey from the side of the mountain. But only four can be placed on the Kansas State Rushmore.
And those were my choices.
Anybody I left off?
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It remains one of the most memorable football games in the Big 12's short history.
Back in 1998, the facility in St. Louis still was known as the The Trans World Airlines Dome. And the conference's championship game there was as good as any I have ever seen.
Kansas State was playing for a shot at the national championship game. And that became a tangible goal when Miami upset UCLA midway through the game, opening that opportunity for the Wildcats.
With players like Michael Bishop, Mark Simoneau, Darren Howard, David Allen and Travis Ochs, that KSU team was loaded. But somebody forgot to tell the underdog Texas A&M Aggies and particularly backup quarterback Branndon Stewart.
The Aggies stormed back to claim victory in overtime when Sirr Parker scored on a game-winning 32-yard touchdown pass from Stewart. I still think I can hear A&M play-by-play announcer Dave South's call ringing in my ears from that play.
But what a difference nearly 10 years makes. The matchup Saturday at Kyle Field between the Aggies and Wildcats might be between the two worst teams in the Big 12. Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News does a nice job of tracking down some former A&M players for their recollections of the title game.
There are a couple of reasons why both schools have fallen on hard times. The departure of legendary KSU coach Bill Snyder has been the major explanation of why the Wildcats haven't been able to consistently continue success in recent seasons. KSU won a Big 12 title with Snyder in 2003, but have been to only one bowl game under Ron Prince. And it might be a stretch for them to make another bowl trip this season.
And A&M's slide can be best explained by the emergence of national-caliber programs at both Texas and Oklahoma in the years since then. And in retrospect, the firing of R.C. Slocum might have been a tad hasty. Slocum remains the only A&M coach to lead his team to a Big 12 football championship -- or a title game for that matter.
Here are some other links that should make your lunch tastier.
- Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls explains why Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is known as "Coach Rewind."
- Baylor coach Art Briles would like to see Baylor's offense a little more balanced with less use of quarterback Robert Griffin as a running threat.
- The father of Kansas linebacker Mike Rivera said his son's recent slump was because he was playing hurt with an undisclosed injury. Rivera produced seven tackles to key the Jayhawks' comeback victory over Iowa State last week.
- Despite ranking second nationally in rushing, sixth in total offense and allowing only two sacks this season, Oklahoma State offensive linemen haven't been impressed with their early performance.
- How bad is it for Colorado's patchwork offensive line? Converted redshirt freshman defensive tackle Eugene Goree could get a look at guard Saturday for the Buffaloes against Kansas, despite no previous experience on offense.
- Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel breaks down the sizable mystique of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.