Most indispensable player: Baylor
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Most indispensable player: Receiver Terrance Williams
2011 stats: Caught 59 passes for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Why Baylor can't afford to lose him: This was a pretty difficult call, and Williams is mostly indispensable by default. Baylor probably doesn't have a single player whose loss alone would cost the Bears a berth in a bowl. Quarterback Nick Florence is the most likely candidate, but his backup, Bryce Petty is really solid and probably ready to grab the reins of the team right now. The only problem? Florence is a little bit better.
The defense is still kind of a mess and loses its best leader, Elliot Coffey. The running backs are loaded and three deep. Any of Glasco Martin, Jarred Salubi and Lache Seastrunk could probably carry the load.
That leaves Williams. He's the biggest target for Florence, and a step above Lanear Sampson and an imposing player at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. Tevin Reese is solid, but could he carry an offense at just 5-foot-10, 160 pounds? Doubtful. He works better as a complimentary piece to a high-powered offense. Williams is the Big 12's leading returning receiver among players who played in the Big 12 in 2011 and will do so again in 2012. You probably remember him as the guy on the end of what eventually became the defining play of Robert Griffin III's Heisman campaign.
He's irreplaceable in the Baylor football lore, and could become even more so in 2012 as the team's most irreplaceable player.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.