We've begun ranking the position groups of the Big 12 going into spring ball. With that in mind, we debate in this week's Take Two which Big 12 position group was best in 2015.
Take 1: Brandon Chatmon -- Oklahoma running backs
A nationwide search would be hard pressed to find a position group filled with all the elements of Oklahoma’s running back corps. The group has star power, depth, big play ability and consistency with Samaje Perine as the headliner.
Oklahoma’s running backs were exceptional in 2015, rushing for 2,429 yards and 24 touchdowns while averaging 6.07 yards per carry. Perine was the most productive of the bunch with 1,349 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns while Joe Mixon was one of the nation’s top No. 2 backs with 753 rushing yards and seven scores. Behind its dynamic duo, Alex Ross and Daniel Brooks were solid backup options who were productive in limited opportunities.
The Sooners' 2.69 rushing yards after contact per carry led the Big 12, according to ESPN Stats and Information, with Perine averaging 2.9 rushing yards after contact and Mixon adding 2.78 rushing yards after contact, each finishing in the top five among Big 12 running backs.
Only Baylor’s running backs can match the overall depth and production of Oklahoma but the Sooners’ use of both running backs on the field at the same time was a determining factor. It made the offense more explosive while limiting the overall physical pounding on Perine or Mixon. The depth and productivity of the unit is tough to match and sparked Oklahoma’s late season run to a College Football Playoff berth, making Oklahoma’s running back group the best position group in the Big 12 in 2015.
Take 2: Jake Trotter -- Baylor offensive line
Oklahoma's running back duo was fabulous this season and a big reason why the Sooners won the Big 12 and advanced to the CFP.
But in my opinion, the best position unit in the Big 12 this season was the Baylor offensive line. In fact, I think Baylor's was one of the best offensive lines in Big 12 history.
Left tackle Spencer Drango, a two-time unanimous All-American, was one of the most accomplished players ever to pass through Waco. Guards Blake Muir and Jarrell Broxton and center Kyle Fuller were All-Big 12, as well.
When the Bears were whole offensively, they were unstoppable. But even after injures to Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham and Chris Johnson and Corey Coleman and Shock Linwood, it was the offensive line that somehow kept the Baylor offense together.
Without a healthy quarterback left on the roster, Baylor nearly rallied to a stunning comeback win in the regular-season finale over Texas, as the Bears piled up 395 rushing yards even as the Longhorns knew Baylor couldn't pass. Then in the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Baylor offensive line pulverized No. 10 North Carolina with an all-time bowl record 645 rushing yards, again without much threat of the pass.
The Bears finished with 10 wins, but it would've been interesting to see just how far this Baylor could've gone had its skill contingent remained healthy.
Because up front, the Bears were at a championship level all year long.