Big 12: Tyler Lockett

The American Football Coaches Association released its All-America team Wednesday, and two Big 12 players were recognized:

First team

Unlike the AP, which names first, second and third teams, the coaches only name one team.

Big 12 morning links

December, 1, 2014
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It's probably not a good sign Nebraska fans are more upset with @FauxPelini being gone than @RealPelini.
  • Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman said he wasn't "trying to hurt nobody" when he kneed Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the face while getting up after sacking him. "You don’t go out there trying to hunt for nobody," Oakman said. "You play your game." Oakman also knocked Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight out indefinitely with a hit that could have been termed as "unnecessary." Oakman wasn't flagged for the knee to Mahomes, though the Big 12 could still take action on Oakman. Based on the league's past responses to such like offenses, it's likely Oakman wouldn't face anything more than a public reprimand.
  • This should put a smile on the faces of TCU and Baylor fans alike. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Travis L. Brown conducted a survey with 41 North Texas high school football recruits, and 71 percent said TCU and Baylor have become the class of the state of Texas. Check out the rest of the survey to see some of the other interesting questions Brown asked.
  • Strained relationships seem to be the norm for Oklahoma State Mike Gundy these days, in the opinion of The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel. At the top of that list is mega-donor Boone Pickens, who hasn't made his disdain for Gundy much of a secret lately. All of this has led to speculation Gundy will leave Oklahoma State when another viable job becomes available. All in all, this feud comes off to me as a bit childish. The Cowboys could not have reached the level of success they've enjoyed over the past 10 years without Pickens, who has bankrolled the athletic department. But they could not have reached it without Gundy, either. Assuming Gundy doesn't bolt, somebody at Oklahoma State (AD Mike Holder? President Burns Hargis?) needs to get Gundy and Pickens in the same room this offseason so the two can talk their differences out. There's no reason this situation can't be still be salvaged.
  • Texas Tech QB Davis Webb will have surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder this week, though is expected to be ready to take part in spring ball. Next year's QB competition in Lubbock will be fascinating. True freshman Patrick Mahomes, who threw for almost 600 yards and six touchdowns Saturday in Tech's narrow 48-46 loss to Baylor, has been terrific since replacing Webb. Blue-chip recruit Jarrett Stidham is also expected to enroll early and join the competition in the spring. "It's going to be a really good one," coach Kliff Kingsbury said Saturday of the battle. "Get Jarrett in there and have three really good players going at it." The Red Raiders have some major holes to fill before next season. But they could be in really good shape again at the most critical position.
  • Tyler Lockett bumped his father, Kevin, into second place on K-State's all-time receptions list. After a brief ceremonial stoppage in play, Lockett went back to work on Kansas, and hauled in his second touchdown of the day a few plays later. This weekend at Baylor, Lockett has the chance to tie a bow on one of the most impressive careers in Big 12 history.

Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 14

November, 30, 2014
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Tyler Lockett added more accolades to his record-breaking résumé, TCU's defense dominated and Skyler Howard led West Virginia to victory in his first start.

Here's a look at the Big 12's top performers in Week 14:

Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett: It should be no surprise that the Wildcats' career leader in receptions and receiving yards had a big final game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on senior day. Lockett had nine receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns while finishing with 198 all-purpose yards in a 51-13 win over Kansas. He has 222 career receptions and 3,388 receiving yards, both No. 1 all time at KSU, and is tied with his father, Kevin, with 26 career touchdown receptions.

TCU LB Paul Dawson: Every defender deserves consideration to get a helmet sticker anytime a defense forces six turnovers and scores twice on defense. But Dawson gets the nod. He made another strong case to be considered the Big 12 defensive player of the year in TCU's 48-10 win over Texas on Thanksgiving night. He had a team-high 10 tackles (nine solo), including two tackles for loss and one interception. The senior made plays all over the field for Gary Patterson's defense.

TCU WR Josh Doctson: The Horned Frogs playmaker was open even when he wasn't open. Quarterback Trevone Boykin simply threw the ball high, allowing a well-covered Doctson to soar over UT defenders to make the catch on multiple occasions. Doctson finished with seven receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown in the win.

West Virginia QB Skyler Howard: Making his first Big 12 start, Howard subbed in admirably for starter Clint Trickett, who missed WVU's 37-24 win over Iowa State with concussion symptoms. Howard was 21-of-40 for 285 yards and three touchdowns while adding seven carries for 69 yards. Most importantly, Howard didn’t throw an interception, although he did have one lost fumble, as he protected the ball better than Trickett had during the past few weeks.

Baylor RB Shock Linwood: Whenever the Bears call upon the sophomore, he responds. Linwood had 24 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns (6.6 yards per carry) in Baylor's 48-46 win over Texas Tech . Linwood passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with 1,133 rushing yards in 11 games this season.

Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes: The true freshman makes a stronger case to be the Red Raiders' future behind center with each passing week. Mahomes was superb in Tech's 48-46 loss to Baylor. He finished 30-of-56 for 598 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. He also added nine carries for 27 yards while quarterbacking his team to a late, but ultimately unsuccessful, rally against the nation's No. 7 team.

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 13

November, 24, 2014
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Taking stock of Week 13 in the Big 12:

Team of the week: K-State kept its Big 12 title hopes alive by winning at West Virginia on Thursday, 26-20. The Wildcats hardly played a perfect game. They frustrated Bill Snyder by committing a season-high 102 penalty yards. They also rushed for just a single yard on 29 carries offensively. But the defense harassed the Mountaineers into four turnovers, while K-State quarterback Jake Waters was on point with a career-high 400 yards passing. As a result, the Wildcats left Morgantown two wins away from earning at least a share of the Big 12 title and playing itself into a New Year's Six bowl.

Disappointment of the week: Not since Gene Chizik's final season in Ames in 2008 has Iowa State gone winless in Big 12 play. But after falling 34-31 at home to Texas Tech, Iowa State is on the cusp of finishing without a victory in the conference for the first time in the Paul Rhoads era. The Cyclones had the lead in the fourth quarter, and a chance to at least send the game to overtime late. But when the game was on the line, Iowa State couldn't come up with the critical play. The Cyclones will have two more chances to avoid the ignominy of going winless. But after losing to Kansas and Texas Tech the last two weeks, it's difficult to envision that happening.

Big (offensive) man on campus: Samaje Perine made this the easiest decision of the year. The Oklahoma true freshman running back ran for an FBS record 427 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Sooners' 44-7 win over Kansas. Just a week ago, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon broke the FBS single-game mark held previously since 1999 by TCU's LaDainian Tomlinson. But Gordon's record lasted a mere seven days. Perine took his first carry 49 yards for a touchdown, and finished with 222 yards in the first half to draw within striking distance of the record. Then, Perine's opening touch of the third quarter went 66 yards for another score. He went on to break the record early in the fourth quarter. “He was sensational," Bob Stoops said. Sensational, indeed.

Big (defensive) man on campus: Linebacker Pete Robertson led the Texas Tech defensive effort at Ames with nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Robertson delivered a couple of key tackles in the fourth quarter, which forced the Cyclones into a 42-yard field goal attempt they would miss. That allowed Tech to retake the lead on the ensuing drive with a game-winning touchdown.With 10 sacks on the season, Robertson has been one of the bright spots for the Tech defense.

Special-teams player of the week: Tyler Lockett, who else? Sure, his 43-yard punt return touchdown came via a West Virginia coverage bust that left a hole the size of the Monongahela River. But Lockett, who leads the country in punt returns, added 10 receptions and 196 yards receiving. K-State's all-time leading receiver is also having an All-American-caliber season as a specialist.

Play of the week: Perine made history early in the fourth quarter, when he barreled through a trio of Kansas defenders, then raced 42 yards to give him an FBS record 427 rushing yards in the game. After the play, Perine was subbed out to the rain-soaked Owen Field crowd chanting his name.

Stat of the week: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Perine had eight rushes of 20 yards or more against the Jayhawks, the most in a game by any player the last 10 seasons, and more than 19 FBS teams had entering the weekend.

Quote of the week: "It hurts, man. But records are meant to be broken. Congratulations to that guy." – Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, on Perine breaking his single-game FBS rushing record after just seven days. LaDainian Tomlinson's rushing record, meanwhile, lasted for 5,466 days, before Gordon broke it last week.

Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 13

November, 23, 2014
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It was a good weekend to be a running back, and a trio of signal-callers staked their claim for the future. Here are the Big 12's top performers for Week 13:

Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine: The numbers say plenty: 34 carries, 427 yards, five touchdowns, 12.6 yards per carry. But it was a record-setting day for the true freshman, who broke Melvin Gordon’s week-long record for single-game rushing yardage in the FBS in OU's 44-7 win over Kansas. Perine also became the first player in FBS history to rush for at least 200 yards in both halves of a single game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Vision, physicality, durability, speed ... Perine has it all.

Oklahoma blockers: Sure, the Sooners' offensive line deserves the bulk of the credit as Perine repeatedly cruised untouched into the Jayhawks' secondary. But the Sooners' fullbacks, tight ends and receivers deserve their share of the accolades as well because Perine doesn’t have eight carries of 20 yards or more without downfield blocking by OU’s skill players. OU’s starting line of Daryl Williams, Ty Darlington, Adam Shead, Nila Kasitati, Tyrus Thompson built the foundation and fullbacks Aaron Ripkowski and Dimitri Flowers built upon that foundation.

Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes: The Red Raiders might have something in the true freshman quarterback who spurned professional baseball to play in Lubbock. Making his third collegiate start, Mahomes was 23-of-35 for 325 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in Tech’s 34-31 win over Iowa State. He was clutch in the fourth quarter, leading the Red Raiders on a touchdown drive to take the lead then converting a key third down with a 9-yard run to seal the win on the next drive.

Iowa State RB Aaron Wimberly: The Cyclones running back averaged 5.4 yards per carry in the loss. He had 19 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He also added three receptions for 22 yards. Wimberly was a consistent threat for ISU’s offense, helping the Cyclones finish with 569 total yards.

Texas Tech RB DeAndre Washington: A dynamic running threat for Tech all season long, Washington had 20 carries for 186 yards (9.3 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He added two receptions for 51 yards and another score. He becomes the first Red Raider to rush for 1,000 yards since 1998 (Ricky Williams) and the seventh in school history.

Baylor RBs Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin: The Bears' pair of running backs combined for 219 rushing yards in Baylor's 49-28 win over Oklahoma State. Linwood had 21 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. Chafin had 21 carries for 106 yards and three touchdowns. On a rainy night at McLane Stadium, Art Briles' squad turned to the running game and the Bears' running back duo didn’t disappoint.

Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph: The Cowboys may have found themselves an answer at quarterback for the final game against Oklahoma and beyond. The true freshman finished 13-of-25 for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first collegiate game. OSU’s 28 points was its most since a 37-20 win over Iowa State on Oct. 4.

Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett: The Wildcats' dynamic playmaker had 321 all-purpose yards in K-State's 26-20 win over West Virginia on Thursday night. Lockett had 10 receptions for 196 yards and added a 43-yard punt return for a touchdown. Week in and week out, Lockett makes a strong case to be known as the Big 12's toughest player to stop.

West Virginia QB Skyler Howard: The junior college transfer came off the bench to pass for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 15 of 23 passes to spark a late rally by the Mountaineers and could get the opportunity to see more time behind center in WVU's final regular-season game against Iowa State next Saturday.

Analyzing Kansas State-West Virginia

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Here are seven thoughts from Kansas State's 26-20 win over West Virginia on Thursday night:

1. K-State is really tough: Coming off the deflating loss at TCU, this trip to Morgantown could have been tricky for the Wildcats. Instead, Grind State went to work on the Mountaineers with a methodical performance in all three phases. It was far from a flawless performance, prompting Bill Snyder to say afterward it “was as undisciplined as I can ever remember.” The Wildcats missed two field goals, couldn’t run the ball a lick and committed an atypical plethora of penalties. But as one Big 12 alum texted me during the second half, K-State has a bunch of players “you can tell just want it.” The Wildcats can still win at least a share of the Big 12 title. Doubt them at your own peril.

[+] EnlargeTyler Lockett
AP Photo/Chris JacksonKansas State's Tyler Lockett carried the load with 196 receiving yards and a punt-return touchdown in Thursday's victory over West Virginia.
2. Lockett deserves to be an All-American: He doesn’t get the love nationally he should, but Tyler Lockett should be a consensus All-American as a punt returner. After taking another one to the house in Morgantown, Lockett leads the country in punt returns. He also had another monster night receiving with 10 catches for 196 yards. After a slow start, Lockett has been on a tear since the beginning of October with 53 receptions, 800 yards and five touchdown catches in K-State’s last six games. Lockett has been a joy to watch the last four seasons, and his legacy is secure as one of the finest players to ever come through the Big 12.

3. K-State’s running game has vanished: Snyder offenses in recent years have been forged on efficient ground games. But K-State’s rushing offense has completely disappeared the last two games. After gaining just 34 yards at TCU, the Wildcats rushed for one yard on 29 carries in Morgantown. That’s an average of 0.03 yards per carry. Despite winning the game, Snyder was annoyed afterward, sarcastically noting that he’d “like to run the ball and get a yard or two. That would work for us.” To have any hope of toppling Baylor in two weeks, the Wildcats will have to run the ball much better. Shawn Oakman & Co. are too adept at getting to the passer for K-State to resort into a one-dimensional offense again. No doubt fixing the running game will be the focus in practice for the Wildcats leading up to their trip to Waco.

4. Waters continues to shine: With the running game stagnating again, K-State had to rely on Jake Waters for offense. And again, Waters delivered, completing 22 of 34 passes for a career-high 400 yards and a touchdown. Waters has been the model of consistency this year, throwing for at least 200 yards in every game with only five interceptions. After Snyder, Waters is as big a reason as any for why the Wildcats remain alive in the Big 12 title race. With Trevone Boykin and Bryce Petty also in the league, Waters probably won’t earn All-Big 12 honors. But he’s performed at an All-Big 12 level all year, including Thursday night.

5. West Virginia has run out of steam: If you told most any Mountaineers fan before the season that West Virginia would finish 7-5 this year, he or she would probably take it. Still, with three straight losses, this season has a bittersweet tinge. West Virginia produced a memorable October with wins at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and a 14-point victory over seventh-ranked Baylor. But since falling 31-30 to No. 5 TCU, the Mountaineers have looked out of gas. That said, Dana Holgorsen has saved his job and has plenty to build on for 2015. The Mountaineers can also still rebound to finish strong with a win at Iowa State and then a victory in a bowl game (likely the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against an SEC foe). This West Virginia season hasn’t been everything it could have been. But considering the preseason expectations and the brutal schedule, it’s still been pretty good.

6. Skyler Howard auditions well: With Clint Trickett graduating, the Mountaineers will be left with another QB battle in 2015. Talented true freshman William Crest opened the season as Trickett’s primary backup before suffering a shoulder injury. But while Crest remains the likely heir apparent, Howard could have a say in that. After Trickett left for the locker room with a concussion Thursday, Howard sparked the offense with his arm and his wheels. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a key 16-yard run on a third down that led to a touchdown. The Mountaineers could have a fun QB competition to follow in the spring.

7. West Virginia punt return a disaster, again: Despite cycling through several returners, West Virginia’s ineptitude fielding punts this year has been staggering. The Mountaineers lead the country with five punt return fumbles. It’s been so bad, @fauxholgorsen published a satirical memorandum on “how to be a punt returner” earlier this year. Another punt return blunder cost West Virginia again Thursday at the end of the third quarter as Vernon Davis inexplicably allowed the punt to bounce off his foot when he could have easily moved out of the way. The turnover sapped West Virginia’s budding momentum and allowed K-State to kick a field goal to extend its lead to 23-10. At the top of the real Holgorsen’s offseason to-do list should be unearthing a reliable punt returner.
Big names stepped up in big games, as TCU's Trevone Boykin and Baylor's Bryce Hager sparked their teams in impressive blowout wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma. They were joined by other big playmakers, which included a stellar performance from a true freshman, a veteran playmaker re-emerging in Austin and one Lockett replacing another in K-State's record book.

Here's who starred in the Big 12 in Week 11:

TCU QB Trevone Boykin: The Heisman hopeful accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing) in No. 6 TCU’s 41-20 win over No. 7 Kansas State in a battle of top-10 teams. Boykin rushed for 123 yards and passed for 219 yards, while using his shifty open-field running and deft passing to create havoc for K-State’s defense.

TCU HB Aaron Green: The Nebraska transfer stepped right in for an injured B.J. Catalon, rushing for 171 yards and one touchdown and earned a shutout from Johnny Football after a dynamic 65-yard touchdown run. He averaged 9.5 yards per carry and was a handful in the open field for KSU defenders.

Baylor WR Corey Coleman: Quickly earning a spot among the Big 12’s best receivers, Coleman had 15 receptions for 224 yards and one touchdown in No. 12 BU’s 48-14 win over No. 15 Oklahoma. He added two carries for 7 yards and another score. Coleman has eight touchdowns in BU’s past five games.

Baylor LB Bryce Hager: He was all over the place, finishing with 8.5 tackles (seven solo stops), one tackle-for-loss and a game-changing interception. His 36-yard return of a Trevor Knight pass helped change the momentum and spark BU’s 45 unanswered points.

Kansas RB Corey Avery: The running back helped KU win its first Big 12 game of the year with 17 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown in the Jayhawks’ 34-14 win over Iowa State. It was the first 100-yard rushing game for the true freshman, who should be a key part of the Jayhawks' offense for years to come.

Kansas LB Victor Simmons: The senior was a disruptive force on KU’s defense with five tackles, (four solo), two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

Texas DE Cedric Reed: Apparently Mr. Reed wanted to remind people why he was considered one of the Big 12’s top defensive linemen heading into the season. He had 12 tackles (seven solo) with four tackles-for-loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry in UT’s 33-16 win over West Virginia.

West Virginia WR Kevin White: Even in a losing effort, his production is hard to overlook. The Mountaineers suffered their second straight loss with the setback in Austin, but White finished with 16 receptions for 132 yards for WVU.

Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett: The Wildcats senior was a handful for TCU defenders, finishing with 11 receptions for 196 yards and one touchdown. Lockett became KSU’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,073, rising past his father Kevin’s 3,032 from 1993-96.
Kevin Lockett, Tyler LockettGetty Images, USA Today SportsTyler Lockett (right) is on pace to surpass the career receptions and receiving yards records held by his dad, Kevin (left).
The Wallendas are synonymous with tightroping. The Bushes and Clintons, the U.S. presidency.

And in the Big 12, the Locketts are synonymous with Kansas State football.

Going into the final month of his college career, Tyler Lockett is closing in on breaking the receiving records his dad, Kevin, set at K-State from 1993-96.

“There aren’t many places where the dad was the record holder, and the son broke it,” Tyler said. “The big thing is it’s staying in the family. It’s one of those great accolades our family will always have.”

The two Locketts joined ESPN.com on the phone at the same time to discuss the record, what K-State football has meant to them and what they like to do together besides discuss football:

What does K-State mean to you guys?

Tyler: He can go first (laughing).

Kevin: Well, for me, the university means quite a bit. It’s been such a large part of our family’s lives. It’s had such an impact on our lives. That was a large reason why I was happy when Tyler selected Kansas State, simply because I knew he’d be playing for almost the same staff I played under, as well as my brother (Aaron). But also, the comfort, knowing if Tyler did the right things, he’d be able to graduate and transition into life after football as well. That’s why I’m so involved at the university. I’m sitting on several boards at the university. That’s why we have been donators back to the university from a time and resource perspective. Because that university has had such a tremendous impact on our family’s lives.

Tyler: I agree. For me, ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a history there, with my dad and Uncle Aaron both going to Kansas State, being able to watch them on TV. Even when they graduated, I still went to my grandpa’s house and watched Kansas State, whether it was Josh Freeman or Jordy Nelson, I was a fan. Being able to come to Kansas State, it’s meant a lot to me. I’ve been able to grow up and mature and become a man while I’ve been here. Being able to experience the family type of atmosphere that many people talk about. We don’t just talk about it, though, we show it. I actually feel as if Kansas State is a second family for me.

Has the joint experience brought you two closer?

Tyler: It always gives you something to talk about. We both went to the same middle school, same high school and now same college. We can always talk about football, life, whatever I’m dealing with. When he comes to watch me, he doesn’t just watch the game like a lot of fans, he watches exactly what I do. He can tell me specifically what I need to work on, or emphasize in practice. That helps me work on my weaknesses, and scout myself. Whenever football is over, I’m going to have to do that in the workforce as well. Me learning to do this stuff now in football will help me in the real world.

Kevin: When people make a big deal about the records -- I would love for Tyler to surpass anything I was able to do on the field, and that’s simply because my job is for his life to be more successful. I also want Tyler to be more successful off the field than I was or I have been. If families have that type of mentality, they get better and better. So my hope when Tyler gets married and has kids, he has the same feeling with his kids. Generationally, our goal should be to get better as a family. It has helped that Tyler has gone to the same university, played the same position, played for the same coaching staff -- having those nuances that are so familiar have allowed me to provide Tyler insight.

What do you guys like to do together when you’re not talking football?

Tyler: Well, after I finish football, I’m going to start beating him in bowling. I’ve started to get better in bowling. Then I need to work on my golf game again. I’ve been struggling in that lately. Once I get that going, I’ll be able to give Dad a run for his money. The last time we went golfing he beat me by 35-40 strokes.

You talk trash to him, Kevin?

Kevin: Yeah, we always have fun. I don’t care who you are, when you’re an athlete, there is always a competitive gene you have. Deep down, Tyler knows I want him to surpass anything I’ve ever done. But we always have fun. I always challenge him. We’re always competitive in all things. The last time he was home we played one-on-one basketball out in the driveway.

Tyler, did you ever beat him in anything?

Tyler: I think he pretty much pummeled me in everything. It was, 'I’m not going to take it easy on you.' Usually parents will let their kids win at something to make them feel good (laughing). But that’s what helped bring out the competitor in me. If I win, I want to win fair and square. You don’t want to win just because somebody let you.

What is your favorite memory of each other?

Kevin: Tyler grew up really ingrained in Kansas State and Kansas City Chiefs football. He would go to many of the games with my parents. Although I never witnessed it, my parents would say that Tyler would run up and down the stadium steps slapping high fives with the fans at the Kansas State games. He would get everyone fired up. From the very beginning, Tyler had that purple blood.

Tyler: When he was talking I thought of a couple of things. I remember when I was a little kid, I sat on his lap and drove a car (laughing). I also remember growing up, my uncle and dad played against each other in a preseason game, and we flew to Tampa for it. I was with my cousins and I believe we walked into the Kansas City Chiefs locker room and got to talk to players. He was really good friends with Tony Gonzalez and Tony Richardson. I was able to talk with them. I think even Tony Richardson came to a game this year.

You guys both played for Bill Snyder. What are your favorite Coach Snyder stories?

Tyler: Being able to get to know Coach Snyder outside of football, he’s pretty much an amazing guy. He really loves his players. Really cares about us. Me being a freshman, he gave me the opportunity to do a poem in front of the team, which meant a lot to me.

You do poetry?

Tyler: It’s like a spoken word type of deal. I do spoken word on the side. I do one for the football team each year. I did one before Miami my freshman year. This year it was before the OU game.

You get that from your dad?

Kevin: No (laughing).

Tyler: Probably my uncle. My uncle used to be a rapper.

Kevin: When Tyler first enrolled, we all assumed he would redshirt. I redshirted, my brother redshirted, and Coach Snyder redshirts 98 percent of his freshmen. I got the call from Coach Snyder saying he was thinking about not redshirting Tyler. He could probably tell I didn’t agree with that. I didn’t want Tyler to waste a year. So he invited myself and my father to come watch a scrimmage to see what we thought. Of course, the scrimmage was probably scripted perfectly for this, and Tyler scored like five touchdowns. When Coach Snyder came up to the meeting room, his first comments were, ‘Well, Tyler didn’t really practice that well today.’ Then he had that grin come out. Tyler was ready to play. And it reminded me that sometimes you have to defer to people like Coach Snyder who know their business inside and out.

What does it mean to you guys when people think of Lockett, they automatically think of K-State?

Kevin: One thing a really good friend of mine, Chester McGlockton, who played with me at the Chiefs, said you need to start thinking about the legacy you want to leave. That really stuck with me. And it goes beyond my life, my career. When people hear the name Lockett, they think about Kansas State. But I always want them to think about, great student-athlete, too. That’s something I worked hard at, my brother worked hard at and certainly Tyler, which is why he’s a finalist for the Campbell Trophy [given to the player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance].

Tyler: I agree with everything he said. That’s what we want people to think of when they think of the Locketts. I started to realize being how much of a platform that really is. Being able to have the Lockett last name, it has opened doors for me to be a blessing in other people’s lives.

Kevin: Jake, what you can probably see is Tyler is 10 years ahead of where I was at 22, in all aspects of life. I think Tyler is clearly a better player than I was at 22, I think Tyler clearly found his faith before I did in life. I want everything to be better for Tyler than it was for me. And hopefully that doesn’t stop with Tyler, and the tradition carries with his younger brothers, and transitions to his kids. That’s one of the things that makes our family special.
In this week’s Big 12 roundtable, we discuss players to watch down the stretch, and how many teams will sit atop the Big 12 standings at the end of the regular season:

Who will be the one offensive player to watch in the league down the stretch?

[+] EnlargeBryce Petty
Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY SportsBryce Petty's completion percentage has plunged during Big 12 play.
Max Olson: To me, all eyes are on Bryce Petty. Still seems like we haven't seen him at his 2013 best yet, which makes you wonder what's coming next. He's completing 52.2 percent of his passes in Big 12 play and has to face the league's top two scoring defenses. He doesn't have to be phenomenal to beat Oklahoma and K-State, but Petty does have to be sharper, and you get the sense he recognizes that based on his post-Kansas comments. If he's locked in for this final four-game stretch and keeps the Bears' offense humming, he can decide this Big 12 race.

Brandon Chatmon: Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett could hold the keys to a second Big 12 title in three years in his hands. The senior tends to play big in the biggest games and with TCU and Baylor left on K-State’s schedule, I think the Big 12’s top all-purpose threat will put up some numbers that will make everyone take notice. He has been a joy to watch for four seasons in Wildcat purple and he might have saved his best for last.

Jake Trotter: I agree with Max, I think it’s Petty. He has had such a weird season so far, with the back injury, then the paltry completion percentage in Big 12 play. Petty is a tremendous quarterback talent who really hasn’t found his groove yet. It will be interesting to see if he can catch fire here down the stretch and push the Bears to the top of the Big 12 standings and into the playoff conversation. He definitely has the capability to do it.

Who will be the one defensive player to watch?

Olson: So, who's our Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year at this point? You can make a decent case for Paul Dawson, Eric Striker, Shawn Oakman, Malcom Brown, Ben Heeney, maybe a few others. I'm sorry to give you five players to watch, but really, we've yet to see one of these guys take control of that race. With lots of big games left to be played, somebody is poised to steal the conference's attention. I'm tempted to guess it's Dawson or Oakman who steps up in these huge games, but we shall see.

Chatmon: Nobody has noticed because his team’s offense has been one of the storylines of conference play with its staggering struggles but Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has quietly become a monster on the Cowboys defense. The sophomore has eight sacks including six in conference play after he started the year by putting his name on the map with two sacks against Florida State. OSU’s offense might not be fun to watch, but seeing Ogbah in action is enough to make you tune in to watch the Cowboys final three games.

Trotter: I’m going with K-State defensive end Ryan Mueller, who has had a very quiet season so far. For the Wildcats to run the table, they’ll need Mueller to produce the big plays he did last season when he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors.In TCU, West Virginia and Baylor, K-State is about to face three teams that like to throw the ball. Mueller will have plenty of opportunities to get after the passer.

How many teams will be at the top of the Big 12 standings at the end of the season?

Olson: Three. I don't know if I really believe it, but let's talk about that anyway. I don't think the following chaotic scenario is impossible: Baylor loses at Oklahoma, TCU loses to Kansas State, K-State loses at West Virginia and Baylor. And we'll say OU somehow loses one more game, too. That leaves us with a trio of 7-2 teams atop the Big 12 standings. Baylor would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over both, but would they get into the College Football Playoff in that situation? I'm really not so sure. The Big 12 would love to have "One True Champion" this year, I'm sure, in the interest of a seat in the CFP. But I think things are about to get a little messy.

Chatmon: One. I said before TCU’s trip to West Virginia that I felt like the winner of that game would win the Big 12 title. Nothing has changed after the Horned Frogs’ buzzer-beating 31-30 win. If TCU survives against K-State on Saturday, its final three opponents (Kansas, Texas, Iowa State) have combined to win eight games this season. Trevone Boykin rebounds with a big game on Saturday and the Horned Frogs carry that to a 11-1 record and College Football Playoff berth.

Trotter: I’m sort of rooting for Four True Champions, so the Big 12 will be forced to dump its stupid slogan, “One True Champion.” But when the dust settles, I think the most likely scenario will be TCU alone at the top of the Big 12 standings with the lone conference loss.

What we learned in the Big 12: Week 10

November, 2, 2014
Nov 2
12:30
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Here's what we learned about the Big 12 in Week 10:

1. TCU doesn't fold in fourth: Trailing by nine, road game, rough weather, an inconsistent Trevone Boykin, countless missed opportunities -- it was all lining up for another TCU fourth-quarter flop. But these Horned Frogs, three weeks after their debacle at Baylor, showed resolve and toughness under pressure. In a 31-30 comeback win that will boost their College Football Playoff résumé, the Frogs weren't as explosive as usual (for all those aforementioned factors) but did find a way to play clutch in all three phases late. Good timing, too, because Gary Patterson's gang might need some four-quarter heroics to survive against No. 9 Kansas State next week.

[+] EnlargeB.J. Catalon
Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY SportsTCU escaped with a win in Morgantown but faces a red-hot Kansas State team next week.
2. Sugar Bowl Trevor is back: We've seen a young, developing version of Trevor Knight a few times this season. In a 59-14 win over Iowa State, we once again got to see the one who shredded Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Knight racked up 376 yards of total offense and six touchdowns (three rushing), despite getting just one play out of Sterling Shepard. When Knight is bringing that confidence and dual-threat efficiency, this offense can do it all -- he was one of three 100-yard rushers -- and blow a game wide open. The Oklahoma offense we saw Saturday can definitely hang with and challenge Baylor next week, but Sugar Bowl Trevor has to show up again.

3. Mountaineers play not to lose and lose: West Virginia turned the ball over five times yet still had every opportunity to upset TCU. Its efforts to nurse a lead and run out the clock were totally fruitless in the fourth: Three drives, nine plays, a net gain of minus-7 yards, three punts. When West Virginia got the ball back up 30-28 with 3:46 left, a monumental win was only a couple first downs away. No dice. Why so conservative with the playcalling? Clint Trickett threw just one pass (an incompletion) in the quarter, and Dana Holgorsen admitted afterward that's because Trickett was rattled. Regaining confidence is a must this week after such a disastrous finish.

4. K-State firing on all cylinders: The Wildcats couldn't be any more ready to take on TCU and the rest of the Big 12's best. They reminded us of that again Saturday with their 48-14 destruction of Oklahoma State. KSU scored 45 straight points after falling behind 7-0. Jake Waters and his receiving duo of Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton were masterful, as usual. The defense gave up 48 yards in the second half, even while using backups. This was start-to-finish domination for a second straight week, and three of KSU's five Big 12 wins have come by double-digit margins. You do not want to play these guys right now.

5. Texas' bowl dream isn't dead: The Longhorns overcame an ugly start and rolled in Lubbock 34-13, with 24 unanswered points, to improve to 4-5. All of those points came after Quandre Diggs knocked Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of the game with a vicious hit. Some reasons for encouragement? The Longhorns' run game finally got moving with 240 yards, and the starting D allowed just seven points. They have to go 2-of-3 against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU to hit six wins. The odds of pulling that off aren’t great, but Texas at least took care of business on Saturday.

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State clocked the Cowboys 48-14 on Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium to remain in the thick of the Big 12 title and College Football Playoff chases. Here’s what happened:

How the game was won: Oklahoma State scored a touchdown on its opening drive, but K-State dominated the rest of the way. The Wildcats picked off Cowboys QB Daxx Garman twice, and wideouts Curry Sexton and Tyler Lockett combined to finish with 253 yards receiving to propel the K-State offense.

Game ball goes to: K-State cornerback Morgan Burns. After the Cowboys opened with a score, Burns returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, and the Wildcats never relinquished momentum. Burns also was stout in coverage and had six tackles.

What it means: The Wildcats needed to take care of business to stick in the Big 12 title and playoff hunts, and they did just that. K-State has a brutal November schedule coming up, but the Wildcats also have plenty of momentum. Oklahoma State, which started the season 5-1, has now lost three in a row and is in danger of missing out on a bowl appearance.

Playoff implication: The Wildcats will have a prime opportunity to state their case for inclusion in the final four when they travel to TCU next weekend. The Horned Frogs’ win at West Virginia earlier Saturday set up the clash with K-State as a de facto playoff elimination game.

Best play: Curry has been a human highlight reel all year, and he added to his film collection with this acrobatic 17-yard grab to give K-State a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

video What's next: The Wildcats go to TCU for a showdown that will carry major Big 12 title and playoff implications. Oklahoma State will get a much-needed week off and then will host Texas. With road trips to Baylor and Oklahoma following, the Cowboys will probably have to beat the Longhorns to qualify for a bowl.

Poll: Big 12's best return man?

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
10:00
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It's the moment Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia fans hold their breath for.

When Tyler Lockett, Alex Ross, Tyreek Hill or Mario Alford set up for a kick or punt return, the game might change in a manner of seconds. All four players have returns for touchdowns this season.

But which one is the Big 12's top return man? Well, that's up to you.

SportsNation

Who is the Big 12's top return man?

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    12%
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    10%
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    44%
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    34%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,101)

Oklahoma's Alex Ross leads the conference in kick return average at 38 yards per return with a pair of kick returns for touchdowns. The sophomore running back has returned 41.7 percent of his kickoff returns for 30 yards or more, best in the Big 12 and his average of one kickoff return for a touchdown every six opportunities also sits atop the conference. His terrific speed has made him a deadly threat allowing the Sooners to count on good field position, either from a Ross return or teams trying to kick away from him.

West Virginia's Mario Alford is second in the conference at 31.08 yards per kickoff return. The Mountaineers receiver is silky smooth with an uncanny ability to accelerate and leave defenders in his wake. He has two kickoff returns for touchdowns and has returned 30.8 percent of his kickoff returns for at least 30 yards, third in the Big 12.

Ranking among the league leaders in kickoff and punt returns, Oklahoma State's Tyreek Hill is the best dual return threat in the league. His 26.58 yards per kick return average is third in the conference and his 7.43 yards per punt return ranks fourth. His four punt returns for 20 yards or more is tied for the league lead and he's returned two kickoffs for score to join Ross and Alford atop that list. His blazing speed makes him a nightmare for special teams coordinators.

Tyler Lockett doesn't leave a trail of smoke behind him like the other returners on the list but he does tend to leave a trail of frustrated defenders. The Kansas State receiver first made his name in the Big 12 as a returner during his freshman season and has continued to be a threat on returns even as he's elevated himself to one of the Big 12's top receivers. The senior is averaging an eye-popping 23.6 yards per punt return, easily the best in the Big 12 and he's returned a punt for a score. His impact on kickoff returns (5 returns for 91 yards) has been minimal but ask any Big 12 coach if they think it is a good idea to kick to him.

Texas Tech's Jakeem Grant, TCU's Cameron Echols-Luper and Texas' Jaxon Shipley are other returners who have made opponents think twice before kicking to them this season.

Who do you think is the Big 12's top return man? Vote now and leave your comment below.

Texas at Kansas State primer

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
1:00
PM ET
Both Texas and Kansas State are coming off dramatic wins that came down to the final possession. Will this game go down to the wire, too?

The Wildcats have won five out of the last six in the series. But Texas has begun to surge after a rocky start.

Max Olson and Jake Trotter break down this key Big 12 matchup between the Wildcats, who hope to keep their playoff dreams alive, and the Longhorns, who need a big win to improve their chances of becoming bowl eligible:

How Kansas State can control the game: The Bill Snyder formula to winning is pretty simple. Stop the run. Avoid mistakes. And wait for the opposition to shoot itself in the foot. That formula worked wonders in the win over Oklahoma, and it should work here, too. The Longhorns can play defense, but a shifty Jake Waters ought to be able to exploit them the way dual-threat Iowa State QB Sam B. Richardson did last week. Defensively, K-State should be able to control the Texas running attack, which will put pressure on QB Tyrone Swoopes to make plays. Swoopes was able to do that against the Cyclones. But doing the same in Manhattan against these Wildcats will be a far different task. -- Trotter

How Texas can pull off the upset: After confidence-boosting games against Oklahoma and Iowa State, Swoopes needs to bring his A-game on Saturday. Texas will need consistently good line play and play calling on offense. Based on how Texas showed up against UCLA, Baylor and OU, you'd think Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford will have a comprehensive plan for slowing down Waters, Tyler Lockett and the things they do well. But that won't matter if players don't execute. Like Jake said, KSU isn't going to make many mistakes. Texas had some bad ones against Iowa State -- a Swoopes red zone INT, a fumbled sweep returned for a TD -- and can't afford those flubs this week. -- Olson

Kansas State’s X factor: Defensive end Ryan Mueller has had a very quiet season so far with only 1.5 sacks. This could be the game the 2013 All-Big 12 performer could break out. The Texas offensive line has improved over the last month, but it’s hardly a formidable unit. And K-State’s run defense has been stout all year, meaning Texas will probably have to throw to move the chains. That could give Mueller plenty of opportunities to get to Swoopes while facing off against Texas’ susceptible tackles. -- Trotter

Texas’ X factor: Two guys up front: Steve Edmond and Cedric Reed. Edmond played some of the best football of his life against Baylor and OU, but did not start last week for reasons that are unclear. He did eventually enter the ISU game, and Texas is going to need the senior linebacker this week for his blitzing and play in the box as well as reliable run D. We haven't heard much from Reed so far (four TFLs, 1.5 sacks), but he can capitalize off the double-teams Malcom Brown draws. Now is as good a time as any for Reed's breakout. -- Olson

What a win would mean for Kansas State: The Wildcats are coming off an emotional win in Norman, so it will be interesting to see how they respond. They obviously have to keep winning to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot and to keep pace in the Big 12 title race. But with the toughest remaining schedule of the Big 12 contenders, K-State also needs to keep the momentum rolling. A convincing win over Texas would do just that. -- Trotter

What a win would mean for Texas: That would be the Longhorns' second-ever win in Manhattan. They haven't pulled this off since 2002. After coming so close against UCLA and Oklahoma, beating a top-15 K-State team would provide the first signature win of the Strong era and help propel this team onto the path to six wins and bowl eligibility. -- Olson
Here's what we learned about the Big 12 in a wild Week 8:

1. The league race is wide open: By taking down preseason favorites Oklahoma and Baylor, Kansas State and West Virginia completely transformed the Big 12 title race Saturday. With only one loss, the defending champion Bears could still win the Big 12. But they now have plenty of company. TCU (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) bounced back from its heartbreaking loss to Baylor last week to obliterate Oklahoma State 42-9. The Wildcats (5-1, 3-0) have also hopped firmly into the conference championship conversation after an impressive 31-30 victory in Norman. But West Virginia shouldn't be discounted, either, following its 41-27 win over Baylor. The Mountaineers have Oklahoma and Baylor behind them on the schedule, and they get TCU (Nov. 1) and Kansas State (Nov. 20) in Morgantown. The only certainty at this point is the Big 12 race down the backstretch is going to be a fun one to watch.

[+] EnlargeKevin White
AP Photo/Chris JacksonKevin White, who has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving with five games left, and West Virginia are still very much in the Big 12 title race.
2. Oklahoma is not elite -- again: The most recent time the Sooners seriously contended for a national title past October was 2008, when Oklahoma won a loaded Big 12 and played Florida in the national championship game. After returning the bulk of a team that downed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the Sooners believed they had a squad that could break the dry spell and break into the inaugural College Football Playoff. They played up to that hype through the first month of the season. But yet again, Oklahoma was proven to not be elite. The past three weeks, the Sooners lost at TCU, barely escaped Texas, then fell at home to the Wildcats to get all but eliminated from the playoff picture. Quarterback Trevor Knight has been too up and down, while the defense has failed to dominate. Even the kicking game crumbled Saturday when the Sooners needed it most. Oklahoma still has a good team. But for this program, having a good team isn't good enough, especially when this was supposed to be Oklahoma's year to return to national prominence. Bob Stoops and his coaching staff have soul-searching to do. Once again, the team they fielded won't be a contender past October.

3. Oklahoma State is rebuilding after all: After graduating more starters than any other Power 5 program, the Cowboys faced the prospect of having to rebuild this year. But after they took defending national champ Florida State to the wire in the opener, then won five straight games, expectations were raised. Turns out, they shouldn't have been. Oklahoma State's 3-0 Big 12 start turned out to be fool's gold, as the Cowboys were exposed in a game they were never in against TCU. Quarterback Daxx Garman failed to complete a single pass in the second half, while Oklahoma State's beleaguered offensive line was manhandled in the trenches. Defensively, the inexperienced Cowboys surrendered 676 yards of offense, the most TCU had racked up in a game since 2007. Oklahoma State has some good young players, but facing a back-loaded schedule, the Cowboys figure to endure more growing pains -- and losses -- the second half of the season.

4. The Big 12 has some monster WRs: Good luck finding four receivers in college football better than West Virginia's Kevin White, Oklahoma's Sterling Shepard, Kansas State's Tyler Lockett or Baylor's Antwan Goodley. That Big 12 foursome combined for 547 receiving yards Saturday. They were -- as they have been all year -- basically unstoppable. After breaking the 1,000-receiving-yard barrier with five regular-season games to go, White could begin to warrant Heisman consideration. Shepard, who tied a school record with 15 catches against K-State, should be a Biletnikoff finalist. Goodley and Lockett are All-American-caliber players, too. The Big 12 might be as deep as it's been since 2008, and the depth of its blue-chip wide receivers is a big reason for that.

5. Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes is turning the corner: Swoopes followed his breakout performance against Oklahoma last week by engineering a drive in the final seconds to set up a game-winning field goal and give Texas a dramatic 48-45 win over Iowa State. Swoopes got the ball back with 28 seconds to go on the Texas 28 and the game seemingly headed for overtime. Instead, Swoopes floated a bomb into the arms of Jaxon Shipley for 39 yards down the sideline. On the next play, Swoopes hit John Harris along the same sideline for a 29-yard gain to the Iowa State 4. Nick Rose nailed the field goal on the next play with 3 seconds left. All told, Swoopes threw for 322 yards and ran for another 95, and he gave more reason to believe he could be Texas' long-sought answer at quarterback.

ESPN.com midseason All-Big 12 team

October, 14, 2014
Oct 14
11:00
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We're halfway through the season, which means it's time for our midseason All-Big 12 team. There's plenty of football still to play. And this midseason team might be very different from the end-of-season one. But this list recognizes the players who have distinguished themselves thus far.

After careful consideration and friendly debate, our midseason All-Big 12 team:

Offense

QB: Clint Trickett, West Virginia: Baylor's Bryce Petty had the Big 12's best game last weekend, but Trickett has had the better season so far. He leads the Big 12 in QBR and completion percentage and is third nationally in passing, fueling the Mountaineers' surprising 4-2 start.

RB: Shock Linwood, Baylor: The Big 12's top rusher has 326 rushing yards over Baylor's last two games, including 104 in the fourth quarter of the Bears' monumental comeback win against TCU.

RB: Samaje Perine, Oklahoma: This true freshman is second in the league in rushing, first in rushing touchdowns and delivered an historic performance at West Virginia with 242 yards and four scores.

WR: Kevin White, West Virginia: White has been as dominant as any player in the league. He easily leads the country with an average of 148 yards receiving per game, and has come up with a hundred yards receiving in every game.

WR: Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma: It's hard to imagine where the Oklahoma passing game would be without Shepard. He has accounted for 48 percent of Trevor Knight's passing yards.

WR: K.D. Cannon, Baylor: The true freshman might already be the most dangerous big-play receiver in the league, averaging 62.5 yards per catch on his six touchdowns.

TE: E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State: The senior has been a big part of the Cyclones' offense with 22 receptions for 190 yards and four touchdowns, including a one-handed scoring grab at Oklahoma State.

OL: Spencer Drango, Baylor: The Bears' franchise left tackle is thriving again after a return from a season-ending back injury. He has graded out the highest on the offensive line of the nation's top scoring offense.

OL: Joey Hunt, TCU: Hunt is the best offensive lineman on the Big 12's most improved offense, which is second in the league in scoring with almost 46 points per game.

OL: B.J. Finney, Kansas State: Finney is well on his way to a third consecutive All-Big 12 season as the lynchpin of the K-State offensive line.

OL: Quinton Spain, West Virginia: He and Mark Glowinski form one of the top guard duos in the country for the league's second-best passing offense.

OL: Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema singled out Clark's prowess after facing him. Despite throwing the ball on almost every down, Tech leads the league in fewest sacks allowed with Clark protecting Davis Webb's blindside.

AP: Tyreek Hill, Oklahoma State: The speedy Hill has kick return touchdowns the past two weeks, and has proven to be tough and durable as well as really fast.

Defense

DE: Shawn Oakman, Baylor: The freaky 6-foot-9 end is second in the league with five sacks and fourth with eight tackles for loss.

DT: Chucky Hunter, TCU: Hunter has been the anchor of the TCU defensive line, joining Davion Pierson to give Gary Patterson's squad one disruptive duo up front.

DT: Malcom Brown, Texas: This 320-pound monster has been unblockable, and the most disruptive defensive player in the league.

DE: Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State: Ogbah has broken out with five sacks, including two on defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston in the opener. In addition to being tied for second in the Big 12 in sacks, he's also second with 9.5 tackles for loss.

LB: Eric Striker, Oklahoma: Striker has 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, and his relentless pass-rushing ability makes him the primary focus of opposing offensive coordinators.

LB: Jordan Hicks, Texas: The Longhorns' fifth-year senior is racking up 10 tackles per game, and is bringing leadership to the Texas defense after an injury-plagued career.

LB: Paul Dawson, TCU: The Big 12's leading tackler is on pace for the most single-season tackles in the Gary Patterson era. He also had the game-winning pick-six to upset the Sooners.

CB: Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma: Sanchez has given up some big plays, but he's countered with big plays of his own. He's second nationally with five interceptions, including a pick-six against Texas.

CB: Danzel McDaniel, Kansas State: McDaniel hits more like a linebacker than a cornerback. He's been another impressive junior-college find for Bill Snyder.

S: Sam Carter, TCU: Carter doesn't have eye-popping numbers, but he's once again been the heart of the TCU defense.

S: Karl Joseph, West Virginia: The enforcer of the West Virginia secondary is second among Big 12 defensive backs with 45 tackles.

Special teams

K: Josh Lambert, West Virginia: All he's done is nail two game-winning field goals as time has expired to beat Maryland (47 yards) and Texas Tech (55 yards) on the road.

P: Trevor Pardula, Kansas: He's gotten plenty of chances, but he's made the most of them, averaging 44.8 yards per punt, while putting 37.8 percent of them inside the opponents' 20.

PR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State: Lockett, who is second in the nation in punt returns, once again has been an electric all-around playmaker. He's also sixth in the league in receiving.

KR: Alex Ross, Oklahoma: Ross leads the nation in kickoff returns, taking two of his nine kick returns to the house for touchdowns.

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