Grading the Big 12's 1,000-yard rushers


Before the season began, I released my picks for the Big 12's 1,000-yard rushers in 2012. The Big 12 had five 1,000-yard rushers in 2011, but I picked the league to have four in 2012.

There were 61 1,000-yard rushers this season across college football, but only three came from the Big 12. Here's how I picked them from the Big 12 this year.

1. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State: Randle led the Big 12 in rushing by a wide margin this season. That's 404 yards, to be exact. He racked up 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns in 13 games this year. Easy selection, and Randle delivered. He's on his way to the NFL now.

2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Klein averaged nearly a yard more per carry this season, but carried the ball just 207 times this year, compared to 317 last year. He came up just short with 923 yards, but had 23 touchdowns, seven more than any other player in the league. He also missed a little over half of the Oklahoma State win with a head injury.

3. Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas: Brown suffered an ankle injury and missed five games in the middle of the season. He never really regained his status as the featured back. He had two 100-yard games in his first three games, and the one he didn't, he had two carries. Brown averaged 5.3 yards on his 64 carries, but managed just 324 yards this year.

4. Waymon James, RB, TCU: James got off to a good start with a 99-yard game against Kansas in his second game of the year, but suffered a season-ending knee injury and finished with just 168 yards in two games.

Basically, the moral of this story is don't let me pick you to rush for 1,000 yards. You will get hurt.

I missed two players this season who topped 1,000 yards. Here they are:

James Sims, RB, Kansas: I loved Sims' talent, and might have picked him to hit 1,000 yards, but I wasn't sure how his season would look on a team with more promising backs and him having to wait out a three-game suspension under a new coaching staff. (Ask Christine Michael how adjusting to new staffs can go, even if you're talented.) Sims, though, emerged as the team's best back by far and led the Big 12 in yards per game. He averaged more than 112 yards a game and finished with 1,013 yards in just nine games.

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor: Never saw this one coming, either. I thought Seastrunk could have a moderate impact this year on a team with a lot of serviceable backs, but he absolutely blew up after rushing for just 181 yards entering November. He had at least 136 yards in each of his final four games and had 1,012 yards after never receiving more than seven carries in a game before November.