In this week's Take Two, we debate who had the biggest gripe with being omitted from our midseason All-Big 12 team, which was released Monday.
Take 1: Brandon Chatmon — Oklahoma State DE Jimmy Bean
There were several deserving guys who got left off the list, but Jimmy Bean’s omission is second to none.
The Oklahoma State defensive end could be the talk of the conference if it wasn’t for his teammate, Emmanuel Ogbah. Bean has made people wonder which Cowboys defensive end is better at times with 5.5 sacks (third in the Big 12) and 10.5 tackles for loss (second in the Big 12). His length, strength and athleticism (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) make him a difficult player to block in one-on-one situations. The senior has joined with Ogbah to give the Cowboys the Big 12’s most feared pass rush, which ranks second among FBS teams in sacks (25) and sack percentage (14.2).
One thing that has separated Bean from the pack has been his production on third-down plays. His three sacks on third-down plays is tied with Kansas’ Ben Goodman and Iowa State’s Dale Pierson for the Big 12 lead. If teams focus on Ogbah, Bean can make them pay. If they focus on him, Ogbah is likely to cause havoc. The pair work well together and both of them are deserving of All-Big 12 honors if they carry their first-half production into the Cowboys' final six games.
I'm cheating and picking two guys, because I think both deserved to be mentioned here.
Running back was one of the more difficult positions to settle on, because so many players were deserving. Ultimately we went with Baylor Big 12 leading rusher Shock Linwood and Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington, who has been spectacular on the nation's third-highest scoring offense.
But that doesn't take away from the seasons that Smallwood, Green and even Iowa State's Mike Warren have been having. Warren wasn't seriously considered because he wasn't a factor in the Cyclones' first two games. Still, he's been outstanding in Big 12 play, and is now third in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game.
Smallwood, meanwhile, is second only to Linwood in Big 12 rushing with an average of 113 yards per game. He's been the safety blanket for a West Virginia offense that's been inconsistent, otherwise. Smallwood, in fact, has put up at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year.
Green has been equally as valuable for TCU. Not only has he been a dynamic threat out of the backfield with 632 rushing yards, he came through with the play of the year in the Big 12 by miraculously snagging a tipped pass in the end zone that defeated Texas Tech in the final seconds. Quarterback Trevone Boykin and wideout Josh Doctson rightfully have gotten all the headlines in Fort Worth. But TCU wouldn't still be contending for a playoff spot without Green.
Ultimately, Linwood and Washington were slightly more deserving of the midseason All-Big 12 running back spots. But Green and Smallwood have been All-Big 12 caliber as well.