Big 12: Rashad Armstrong

Griffin tops Baylor's all-decade team

January, 19, 2010
1/19/10
10:00
AM ET
To go along with our look at the past decade in the Big 12, I'll also be releasing my own all-decade team for each Big 12 school.

I'll do four each day, starting with Baylor.

Along with my all-decade team, I'll also pick an offensive and defensive player of the decade, the top coach and the most memorable moment for each Big 12 school.

First will be Baylor.

OFFENSE:

QB: Robert Griffin

RB: Rashad Armstrong

RB: Brandon Whitaker

WR: Dominque Ziegler

WR: Kendall Wright

WR: Reggie Newhouse

OL: Jason Smith

OL: Don Gay

OL: Greg Jerman

OL: Will Blaylock

C: J.D. Walton

DEFENSE:

DL: Khari Long

DL: Jason Lamb

DL: Marcus Foreman

DL: Ethan Kelly

LB: Joe Pawelek

LB: John Garrett

LB: A.C. Collier

DB: Jordan Lake

DB: Willie Andrews

DB: Gary Baxter

DB: C.J. Wilson

P: Daniel Sepulveda

K: Ryan Havens

KR: Robert Quiroga

Offensive player of the decade: Robert Griffin. Spectacular player who won the award with barely a season of production.

Defensive player of the decade: Joe Pawelek. Most consistent Baylor defensive player of his era.

Coach of the decade: Art Briles. Had the Bears pointed to their first bowl game before Griffin's 2009 injury. He'll break that streak before too long.

Moment of the decade: Shawn Bell's overtime touchdown pass and dramatic two-point pass to Dominique Ziegler led the Bears to a wild 35-34 victory over Texas A&M in 2004, snapping an 18-game winless streak to the Aggies.

Whatever happened to the Big 12's workhorse backs?

July, 22, 2009
7/22/09
5:29
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It might be the most endangered species this side of the American bison.

True workhorse running backs are disappearing across the nation, but particularly in the Big 12.

It's a marked contrast from the past where many Big 12 teams would rely on one major back to account for much of its running production.

Even the expansion of spread offenses can't be blamed entirely for this predicament. If anything, the overabundance of passing attacks should make it easier for one back to dominate carries because most teams are utilizing fewer running plays than ever before.

Here's an indication of how skewed the statistics were last season in the Big 12. Only four backs accounted for at least 40 percent of their team's rushing totals.

Texas Tech's Shannon Woods led all Big 12 backs last season with 44.5 percent of his team's carries -- 141 totes among Texas Tech's 317 rushing attempts.That total is the smallest for a leader in the Big 12 in the conference's history.

Consider only four years ago that nine Big 12 backs accounted for 40 percent of their team's carries in 2004 and seven backs that season topped 50 percent of their team's running plays.

But in today's Big 12, coaches are opting to predominantly use a rotation of backs. Teams like Nebraska (Quentin Castille and Roy Helu Jr.), Oklahoma (DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown) and Texas (Vondrell McGee, Cody Johnson, Fozzy Whittaker and freshman Chris Whaley) all are expected to rotate carries in 2009.

Here's a look at how those numbers have changed during the Big 12's history.

(Read full post)

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