Dallas Colleges: Meshak Williams

Big 12 media days live: Day 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
9:40
AM CT
The Big 12 media days continue on Tuesday in Dallas, as Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and new Texas coach Charlie Strong each take the stage. Keep this page open throughout the day's proceedings as we bring you the latest from our reporters, who will cover all 10 teams at the event.

Catching up with the Big 12 free agents

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
11:30
AM CT
More than 250 players were drafted over the weekend, but not everyone who plans on playing in the NFL made it happen.

Minicamps aren't far away, but players can sign with teams as soon as the draft ends. Many did over the weekend. Here's a look at the Big 12's notable signings.
A few thoughts:
  • Collin Klein is the obvious headliner on this list, and I'm torn on him. On the one hand, there's nothing like playing quarterback, and that's the position he wants to play and loves to play. On the other, he hasn't looked like an NFL passer at any point in his career, and he did his future career a disservice by not letting scouts get a look at him at receiver or tight end. He's a big body and an athletic, tough guy. If he wants to play quarterback and only quarterback, then fine. That's up to him. If he really is open to doing something else at the next level, he should have done more work at other positions. I don't see him making an NFL roster as a quarterback.
  • Safeties Tony Jefferson and Cody Davis should definitely make their respective rosters, however, and I'll be intrigued to see what Jefferson looks like and says once he's in camp. He sounded pretty salty on Twitter over the weekend. "I can't even attempt to express how I feel right now. Y'all really don't know how hurt/confused I am!" he tweeted. "Y'all don't even understand the fire inside of me man." Him going undrafted was definitely the most shocking Big 12 development of the draft for me, but he'll have a whole lot of motivation and a lot to prove.
  • I have to think Jake Knott would have gotten drafted if not for his shoulder surgery and being limited in workouts for NFL teams. He makes his name on his smarts, instincts and toughness because he lacks speed and a ton of agility, but being banged up and not testing well certainly didn't bode well for him in the immediate future. Mildly surprised that somebody didn't start drooling over his game tape and take a shot on him in the sixth or seventh round.
  • First guy in this group to get paid big soon? My money is on Quinn Sharp, the do-everything special teamer.
  • Very surprised to see Darrin Moore and Meshak Williams go unsigned so far. Moore is physically gifted, but lacked production and didn't make a team fall in love with him. Williams, though? I get that he's not exactly ideal size, but for his effort and production, how does some team not at least bring him into minicamp? That's just insane.
  • Watching the Big 12 quarterbacks is always interesting. Doege didn't have great arm strength, but had solid accuracy. Crist had the big arm, but his decision-making and accuracy were lacking. We'll see if either of those guys can make a splash with a fresh start in a new spot.
  • One final thought: If I have to hear the phrase "chip on their shoulder" another time in the next week, I'm going to lose it. For the record, if you really did have one, I'm fairly certain that's something that would require surgery.

Postseason position rankings: Defensive line

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
11:30
AM CT
We're back ranking the top 10 players at positions across the Big 12. Today, we'll turn our eyes to the defensive lines across the Big 12. Here's what you've missed so far:

Here's what you've missed so far:
Let's get to it.

1. Devonte Fields, TCU: You could make a case for either of these two guys, and Fields wasn't as productive in conference play, but Fields' raw talent is eye-popping. I give him the No. 1 spot on this list after leading the league with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

2. Meshak Williams, Kansas State: Williams' motor runs higher than anyone else's in this league, and the juco transfer made a ton of the talent he was given to win the Big 12's Defensive Lineman of the Year Award. He was second in the league with 10.5 sacks and added 15.5 tackles for loss.

3. Alex Okafor, Texas: Okafor finished his career in unbelievable fashion, making 4.5 sacks and dominating Texas' Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State. That jolted him into the Big 12 title with 12.5 sacks and he was second in the league with 16.5 sacks. His career has been a bit up and down, but this was a fitting crescendo to a big talent.

4. Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State: Barnett was the league's best interior defensive lineman this year, constantly getting a push and generally being a handful for offensive lines. He fixed his early-season penalty issues and finished with nine tackles for loss.

5. Jake McDonough, Iowa State: McDonough wasn't too far behind. He was a breakout star in the middle for Iowa State this season, pushing his way to two sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. You can't grade interior linemen on numbers, but watch Iowa State's defense sometime. McDonough freed up a lot of space for the rest of the defense, one of the league's most underrated.

6. Adam Davis, Kansas State: Davis doesn't have the name recognition around the league that Williams did, but he was solid on the other side of the line, ranking fourth in the league with six sacks and eighth in the league with 11.5 sacks. K-State's defense was one of the Big 12's best last year. The D-line was a huge reason why.

7. Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech: Hyder was a breakout star this season for the much-improved Tech defense. He was fifth in the league with 14 tackles for loss and seventh with 5.5 sacks. The 6-foot-2, 281-pounder is versatile along the defensive line and could be due for a big 2013.

8. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas: Jeffcoat's junior year came to a sad end when he injured his pectoral and underwent surgery, but even with the abbreviated season, he still had four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in just six games. Ridiculous. He could be a top 10 pick next April after electing to return to Texas for his senior season in 2013.

9. Stansly Maponga, TCU: Maponga was a little underwhelming this year, but still turned in a solid effort when you look from a wide angle and not from the high expectations he brought in as the Frogs' only preseason All-Big 12 selection and an All-Mountain West first-teamer. He battled injuries all year and finished with four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.

10. David King, Oklahoma: Maximus was mighty for the Sooners this season, who needed him to do a lot. Injuries and suspensions forced him to move all over the place on the defensive line. He was inside, outside and every other possible side. He finished with 2.5 sacks this season.

Honorable mention: Dartwan Bush, Texas Tech; Vai Lutui, Kansas State; Chris McAllister, Baylor; Chucky Hunter, TCU

The All-Big 12 Bowl Team

January, 10, 2013
1/10/13
11:00
AM CT
The Big 12 had nine teams in bowl games this season, and here is the best of the best in the Big 12's postseason. Let's get to it.

[+] EnlargeDavid Ash
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsDavid Ash's big plays fueled Texas' comeback against Oregon State.
QB: David Ash, Texas: He edges out Clint Chelf because of his game-changing plays in the Longhorns' win against Oregon State. Ash had the best play of the entire bowl season with a crazy escape and acrobatic touchdown pass to Johnathan Gray, and he hit Marquise Goodwin on a 36-yard bomb to put the Longhorns ahead in the final minutes. He finished 21-of-33 with 241 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 22 yards and a score.

RB: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: Seastrunk helped Baylor rout UCLA with 138 yards and a score on 16 carries in the Bears' Holiday Bowl win.

RB: Glasco Martin IV, Baylor: How many rushers did the Big 12 have this bowl season who had at least 95 yards? Two, and both played for Baylor. Martin scored three touchdowns in the Holiday Bowl and carried the ball 21 times for 98 yards. Heck of a night for the Bears backs.

WR: Darrin Moore, Texas Tech: Moore was the most consistent receiver in the bowl season with 11 catches for 84 yards, keeping the chains moving for the Red Raiders in their Meineke Car Care Bowl win against Minnesota.

WR: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia: Despite playing in a snowstorm, Bailey had the best performance of any Big 12 receiver. He caught eight balls for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It wasn't enough to get the Pinstripe Bowl win, but no other Mountaineer scored a touchdown.

WR: Marquise Goodwin, Texas: The track star's touches were limited, but he had a huge impact. His 36-yard grab with 2:24 to play proved to be the game winner, and he finished with four catches for 68 yards. He also had one carry -- which he turned into a 64-yard touchdown, looking as fast as any player in college football while streaking to the end zone.

TE: Ernst Brun Jr., Iowa State: Brun caught four passes for 102 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, to get the first-quarter party started for the Cyclones, which scored 17 points in the quarter. The rest of the game was forgettable, but Brun had one of the longest plays of Iowa State's season.

OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor: The Bears' left guard was a big reason why Baylor had so much success running the ball. Baylor racked up 306 yards on the ground against UCLA.

OL: Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State: Purdue's Kawann Short is a stud and arguably the team's best player, but Taylor helped Oklahoma State rack up 58 points and helped hold the Boilermakers defensive tackle to just one tackle and one sack. Short had minimal impact throughout the game.

OL: LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders ran the ball well -- on the few occasions they did -- and Seth Doege had plenty of time. Waddle was a big reason why for both.

OL: Lane Johnson, Oklahoma: Texas A&M wrecking ball Damontre Moore declared for the NFL draft before the Cotton Bowl, but credit Johnson at tackle, who helped hold him to five tackles, one tackle for loss and zero sacks, despite Landry Jones throwing 48 passes.

OL: Ivory Wade, Baylor: Those 306 yards rushing for the Bears didn't come easy. Most of them came on the interior, and Wade was a solid presence in the middle of the line.

DEFENSE

DL: Chris McAllister, Baylor: He was one of a handful of guys to hold UCLA's Johnathan Franklin to 34 yards on 14 carries, had five tackles, including two sacks, and batted down a pass to help keep UCLA's passing game grounded.

DL: Alex Okafor, Texas: Okafor is my defensive MVP of the Big 12 bowl season. He gave Oregon State's offensive line nightmares and helped the Longhorns stage a late comeback with 4.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and eight stops. He also forced a fumble.

DL: Meshak Williams, Kansas State: The Wildcats had a rough night against Oregon, but Williams played pretty well with nine tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.

DL: Terrance Lloyd, Baylor: Lloyd was part of the Baylor gang who helped UCLA have its worst running game of the season. He had four tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. No zone read for you.

LB: Terence Garvin, West Virginia: Garvin was everywhere for the West Virginia defense, which largely struggled in a blowout loss to Syracuse. He forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, broke up a pass, had two sacks, made three tackles for loss and had 15 tackles.

LB: Tyler Johnson, Oklahoma State: Johnson blew up what Purdue likes to refer to as its "passing game." He made six tackles, had two sacks and forced two fumbles, including a huge hit on Purdue quarterback Robert Marve.

LB: Eddie Lackey, Baylor: Lackey was another part of Baylor's defense that put together one of its best games of the season. He made 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and five tackles.

DB: Jason Verrett, TCU: Most of Michigan State's night was frustrating in the passing game before some late success, and Verrett was a big reason for those struggles. He broke up two passes, made a tackle for loss and had 12 tackles.

DB: D.J. Johnson, Texas Tech: Johnson made 14 tackles and is on this team for one of the biggest plays of Texas Tech's season. The defense hadn't forced a turnover since Oct. 20, but Johnson picked off a Gophers pass in the final minute with Minnesota driving and the game tied. He returned it 39 yards, helping to set up the winning field goal as time expired.

DB: Jeremy Reeves, Iowa State: Reeves returned a Cody Green interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Liberty Bowl loss. He had six tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

DB: Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State: No second-half comebacks for Purdue. Lowe opened the half with a 37-yard fumble return for a score and made seven tackles with half a tackle for loss.

SPECIALISTS

KR: Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech: This one is pretty simple. Grant returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score, giving Texas Tech a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter of its Meineke Car Care Bowl win.

PR: Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State: Purdue faked a punt to keep its opening drive alive but punted on its next set of downs. The always-shifty Stewart delivered a 64-yard punt return, giving Oklahoma State the ball on the Purdue 19-yard line. The Cowboys scored for a 7-0 lead to kick off the Heart of Dallas Bowl rout.

K: Jaden Oberkrom, TCU: He edges out Texas Tech's Ryan Bustin, who kicked a 28-yard winner, for making all three of his attempts, including a crazy 53-yarder for a 16-14 lead with 2:42 to play. He also made kicks of 47 and 31 yards.

P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State: He narrowly edges out Oklahoma's Tress Way (five punts, three inside 20, long of 58 yards, average 49.4 yards) for this award after pinning Purdue inside its 20-yard line on two of his three punts. He boomed a 65-yarder and averaged nearly 53 yards on his three punts. He was more valuable for Oklahoma State because field position mattered to Purdue. It didn't to Texas A&M.

Early Big 12/SEC power rankings for 2013

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
11:00
AM CT
The season is done, but ask any coach and he'll tell you the 2013 season already has begun. That's true on this blog, too. So, how would I slot the Big 12 heading into the fall? With a month before national signing day and a couple of months before spring football kicks into high gear, here's my first crack at slotting the conference.

To me, it looks as if we have four legitimate contenders for the conference title and three possible dark horses. We'll see how the latter three develop, but I'm sold on the top four as teams that could realistically win the league next season.

1. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys will be loaded, and that's especially true if running back Joseph Randle comes back. Cornerback Justin Gilbert is returning, but we saw this season that they can win with any one of their three quarterbacks. That's a recipe for success in this league. The defense was a bit streaky; this season was the first under defensive coordinator Bill Young that the Cowboys didn't finish in the top 15 in turnovers forced. If they can get back to forcing turnovers in bunches next season, another Big 12 title could be headed to Stillwater.

2. TCU: The Frogs are growing up fast, but their spot here is assuming that quarterback Casey Pachall will be back on the field this spring to reclaim his job. The defense looks likely to be the best in the Big 12, and as much offense as this league has, you can't win it without a solid defense. TCU's offense will win it some games; its defense might win it a Big 12 title. Look out for Devonte Fields' encore.

3. Oklahoma: The Sooners look like they may lack a true star on next season's team, but they are still solid across the two-deep and will be good enough to be in the mix for a title even without quarterback Landry Jones. A wealth of losses on the defensive end is a bigger concern, but receivers Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard also will have to navigate a transition to a new QB after three-plus years with Jones. The Sooners ought to feature fullback Trey Millard a bit more in the offense next year.

4. Texas: Believe it or not, but David Ash is the Big 12's most experienced passer. Can he look the part on the field? We'll see, but the biggest problem for Texas is continuing its defensive improvements. Jackson Jeffcoat could be back, and Jordan Hicks will be one of the league's biggest talents if he is able to recover from a hip injury. The time is now if the Longhorns' trio of backs are going to mature into true impact players.

5. Baylor: I'm a believer in the late-season run for these guys translating to 2013. The defense made big strides, and we'll see if those continue, but the offense will be fine. I buy Bryce Petty as a big talent and the next in the long line of Art Briles' quarterback disciples. Lache Seastrunk will help him out early, too. Don't be surprised if he surpasses Randle next year as the Big 12's best back.

6. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are a huge wild card and might have the biggest upside of any team in the bottom half of these rankings. Michael Brewer is a promising QB, and he now has Kliff Kingsbury -- the former Texas A&M offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach who helped the Aggies far surpass expectations -- as his new head coach. Could Tech do the same? The Red Raiders have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, thanks to a couple of great recruiting classes from Tommy Tuberville (who left to become the coach at Cincinnati).

7. Kansas State: No Collin Klein and Arthur Brown? You know about that, but there's no Chris Harper, Travis Tannahill, Braden Wilson, and the entire defensive line is gone, including star DE Meshak Williams. Both starting cornerbacks are gone, too. Point is, K-State's probably a bowl team next season, but to come back from that mountain of losses and be in the top half of the Big 12 is going to be a tall, tall task.

8. West Virginia: The Mountaineers' trio of wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin and quarterback Geno Smith was outstanding this year. Not much else in Morgantown was. All three are gone, and that team only went 7-5. Coordinator Keith Patterson has got to fix this defense in the spring and apply some lessons learned in a disappointing Year 1 in the Big 12. The QB derby between Paul Millard and Ford Childress should be interesting.

9. Iowa State: Sam Richardson was severely ill while playing in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but he still didn't inspire a lot of confidence in the future of the QB spot in Ames, despite a strong finish to the season. With linebacking pillars A.J. Klein and Jake Knott both headed to the NFL, the odds once again will be against Iowa State winning six games and getting to a bowl. Without consistency at the quarterback spot, it's going to be tough, especially with the defense likely to take a step back.

10. Kansas: Gotta prove something before the Jayhawks move out of the basement. Charlie Weis is bringing in tons of juco talent, but after the Dayne Crist experiment didn't work, BYU transfer Jake Heaps simply must be better for KU to begin its climb back to the postseason.

SEC

2. Texas A&M:
The Aggies might have been the hottest team in the country at the end of the 2012 season. Maybe defenses will have a little better handle on Johnny Manziel the second time around, but Johnny Football will have a little better handle on defenses, too. If offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews return for their senior seasons, look out. Losing Damontre Moore on defense will hurt, but the Aggies like their young talent.

Preseason All-Big 12 checkup: Defense

December, 28, 2012
12/28/12
12:00
PM CT
It's always fun looking back on what we thought in the preseason, and today, we'll take another look.

Here's who made the postseason team.

How did our All-Big 12 preseason team stack up at season's end? Here's how the preseason All-Big 12 offense ended up. Now, let's look at the defense.

DL: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

Jeffcoat was off to a solid start with 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks with a pair of forced fumbles in his first six games, but a torn pectoral muscle ended his season early and he didn't make the postseason team.

DL: Stansly Maponga, TCU

Maponga was TCU's lone representative on the preseason team, but he didn't quite live up to expectations, and was overshadowed by teammate Devonte Fields. Maponga made just six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, neither of which ranked in the top 10 of the Big 12. He did force two fumbles but didn't make the postseason team.

DL: Alex Okafor, Texas

Okafor was solid this season, and wasn't far off from being the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year. He was third in the league with eight sacks and sixth in the league with 11.5 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and made the postseason team.

DL: Meshak Williams, Kansas State

I took some flack for including Williams on my preseason team, but I'll have the last laugh here. I loved his relentless motor and underrated technique and use of hands in 2011. This year, it paid off with a Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year trophy after leading the league with 9.5 sacks and finishing third with 13.5 tackles for loss. He obviously made the postseason team.

LB: A.J. Klein, Iowa State

Klein returned as the league's Defensive Player of the Year and had a really solid year with 98 tackles and an interception returned 87 yards for a score. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss and made the postseason team.

LB: Arthur Brown, Kansas State

Brown didn't have a huge statistical year but he held together a solid K-State defense and flew around all season, even playing through a painful ankle injury. He won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors for his efforts and made 91 tackles, six tackles for loss and intercepted two passes, returning one for a score. He obviously made the postseason team.

LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State

Knott was having a great year with 79 tackles and two interceptions through eight games, as well as five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery, though, and played one last game, going out on top with a win over Baylor. Despite the injury, I still placed him on the postseason team.

CB: Carrington Byndom, Texas

Byndom was my pick as the league's top corner this year, but he was part of Texas' defensive struggles and got surpassed by some better players. The Longhorns pass D ranked third in the league, but Byndom was 21st in pass breakups, though he did have three interceptions and two blocked kicks.

CB: Brodrick Brown, Oklahoma State

Brown and teammate Justin Gilbert were two of the bigger disappointments across the league this year. The duo combined for 10 picks a year ago. Neither had one this year, and OSU ranked seventh in the league in pass defense. He was surpassed by better performances on this year's team by Aaron Colvin and Jason Verrett.

S: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Vaccaro had a solid year with 93 tackles, two interceptions 3.5 TFLs and two forced fumbles, but I gave the narrow nod to K-State's Ty Zimmerman for the second safety spot on the postseason team.

S: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

Jefferson was one of the league's best defenders this year and finished second in the league with 113 stops. He picked off two passes and broke up three more. He made the postseason team.

All-Big 12 Underrated Team: Defense

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
4:00
PM CT
Every year, we crown an All-Big 12 team here at ESPN.com, but we also like to give some recognization to guys who don't get enough credit for just how good they really are. These are their stories.

DL: Jake McDonough, Iowa State

McDonough quietly put together a season that was definitely an All-Big 12 first-team type of year. His numbers aren't eye-popping (31 tackles, 5.5 TFL, two sacks), but you can't often grade nose guards on their statistics. The 280-pounder was a force in the middle of the line for the Cyclones.

DL: Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech

Hyder was a big piece of Texas Tech's defensive resurgence under Art Kaufman this year. The defensive tackle bulled his way to 13.5 tackles for loss, the same number as Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Meshak Williams. Tech needed help rushing the passer and slowing the run. Hyder did both.

DL: Adam Davis, Kansas State

Meshak Williams and Arthur Brown get all the press on K-State's defense, but Davis was a huge force, too. He had two sacks in the win over Miami, 1.5 sacks in the win over West Virginia and finished sixth in the league with 11.5 tackles for loss. He was fourth in the league with six sacks.

DL: Toben Opurum, Kansas

Opurum's got a well-chronicled road to his current spot on the D-line, leading KU in rushing in 2009 before switching postitions under Turner Gill. KU's defense was better this year, and so was Opurum. It's tough to put up big numbers when KU was getting beaten, but he made six tackles for loss and forced two fumbles.

LB: Bryce Hager, Baylor

Yes, when your offense is on the field, you get more opportunities to make tackles, but ask K-State what it thinks of Hager. He was a cruise missile against the Cats and seemed to be in Collin Klein's face all night. He led the league with 115 tackles and added eight tackles for loss and three sacks. He also forced two fumbles and had six games with double-digit tackles.

LB: Ben Heeney, Kansas

Heeney's another playmaker all over the field for a defense that struggled at times. He's a speedy, versatile playmaker for the Jayhawks, who made 112 tackles and 12 tackles for loss.

LB: Jarell Childs, Kansas State

Childs' biggest play of the season was the scoop and score against Oklahoma, but he was solid for the Wildcats all year, and filled in admirably after Tre Walker's knee injury forced him into more playing time. He recovered two fumbles and finished with 64 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

DB: Karl Joseph, West Virginia

Joseph broke out as a true freshman and was basically the lone bright spot on a deservedly maligned West Virginia defense this season. He forced three fumbles, intercepted two passes, made seven tackles for loss and racked up 95 tackles. There's a big career ahead of him.

DB: Bradley McDougald, Kansas

McDougald was the Jayhawks' best defender this season and one of the big reasons for KU's big improvement on that side of the ball. He picked off three passes, forced two fumbles, had four tackles for loss and made 92 stops at safety.

DB: Durrell Givens, Iowa State

Givens was a turnover machine this season. He forced four fumbles, picked off three passes and made 77 tackles. His money stat, though? He recovered a nation-high six fumbles for the Cyclones. That's just ridiculous and is good enough on its own to land him on this list.

DB: Cody Davis, Texas Tech

The Red Raiders' leader doesn't get the press of the league's elite safeties like Kenny Vaccaro, Tony Jefferson or even Ty Zimmerman, but he's solid, even if he doesn't have the physical skills of Vaccaro or Jefferson. He's still one of the league's brightest players. That shows up in his decision making and on-field discipline that kept Tech from giving up the bushels of big plays it did a year ago.

ESPN.com's 2012 All-Big 12 team

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
11:00
AM CT
Congrats to all these guys for turning in fantastic seasons. Naturally, there will be some snubs and some things that need to be explained. Check the blog later today for more thoughts.

Without further ado, here's the All-Big 12 team from ESPN.com.

OFFENSE

QB: Collin Klein, Kansas State
RB: Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
RB: James Sims, Kansas
FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
WR: Terrance Williams, Baylor
WR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia
TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor
OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
C: Joe Madsen, West Virginia
OL: Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State
OL: LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech

DEFENSE

DL: Devonte Fields, TCU
DL: Meshak Williams, Kansas State
DL: Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
DL: Alex Okafor, Texas
LB: A.J. Klein, Iowa State
LB: Arthur Brown, Kansas State
LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State
CB: Jason Verrett, TCU
CB: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
S: Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
S: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

SPECIALISTS:

PK: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
KR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
PR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Honorable mention: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia; Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma; Anthony Cantele, K, Kansas State; Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas; Justin Brown, PR, Oklahoma; Tanner Hawkinson, OL, Kansas; Jake McDonough, DL, Iowa State; Lane Johnson, OL, Oklahoma; John Hubert, RB, Kansas State; Travis Tannahill, TE, Kansas State; Durrell Givens, S, Iowa State; Cody Davis, S, Texas Tech

Big 12 announces 2012 award winners

December, 5, 2012
12/05/12
10:34
AM CT
The Big 12 will be slowly rolling out its award winners this morning for the 2012 season. It'll also be releasing the All-Big 12 team.

We'll have a separate post for the All-Big 12 team later today, but you can follow along right here to keep track of the Big 12 award winners. I'll update it as necessary, so keep checking back.

Let's get started:

Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Snyder has now won the award in two consecutive seasons. This is his fourth coaching honor from the league.

Offensive Lineman of the Year: Cyril Richardson, Baylor.

Richardson was a rock on the front line of the nation's No. 1 offense.

Defensive Lineman of the Year: Meshak Williams, Kansas State

Williams was third in the league with 13.5 tackles for loss and led the league with 9.5 sacks. He earned 8.5 of his sacks in conference play, compared to just 4.5 for TCU's Devonte Fields.

Offensive Freshman of the Year: J.W. Walsh, QB, Oklahoma State

Walsh started three games for Oklahoma State before suffering a leg injury and missing three games. He returned for the final three games of the season with a short yardage package for the Cowboys. He's the first offensive freshman of the year at Oklahoma State since Tony Lindsay in 1997.

Defensive Freshman of the Year: Devonte Fields, DE, TCU

Fields, a true freshman, finished second in the Big 12 with nine sacks and led the league with 17.5 tackles for loss. He was a unanimous selection for the award.

Special Teams Player(s) of the Year: Quinn Sharp, P/K/KOS, Oklahoma State and Tavon Austin, PR/KR, West Virginia

The pair do everything for their respective teams, and will share the award. Austin was the only player in the league to return both a punt and a touchdown for scores this season, and Sharp's 25 field goals were six more than any kicker in the Big 12. He also led the league in punting average and had 71 touchbacks on kickoffs. No other kicker had more than 33. Sharp has won the award in two consecutive seasons now, and it's the first time the award has ever been shared. An Oklahoma State player has won the award in three of the past five seasons.

Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor.

Seastrunk began the season quietly, but racked up 693 yards and five touchdowns in his final five games.

Tracking the Big 12 awards races: Week 14

November, 29, 2012
11/29/12
4:00
PM CT
We've got one week left of games, and one chance left to jostle for position before voting on these awards. Here's how I slot it heading into Week 14:

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Klein was off this weekend, but he can wrap this award up with a solid performance and a win against Texas. A rough game, though? That's three to end the season. If it happens and Kansas State loses, Klein opens this up to legitimately four or five players, in my opinion. Voting would be fascinating. I'd probably still pick him to win, but I bet it would be close.

2. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams is in a tight race with Marqise Lee for the Biletnikoff Award, but he's definitely in the mix for this, too. He gets the last word vs. Lee, and will take on talented Oklahoma State cornerbacks. He caught seven balls for 175 yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech, his first 100-yard game in three outings.

3. Tavon Austin, WR/RB/KR, West Virginia. Sticking with Tavon in this spot, but the competition is really getting tight. You could make a case for Stedman Bailey, Geno Smith or Landry Jones all in the top three. Austin turned the Iowa State game in WVU's favor with a 75-yard catch and run, and caught six passes for 99 yards, adding 74 yards on 14 carries on the ground. He also scored a two-point conversion.

Honorable mention: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma; Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia; Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia; Nick Florence, QB, Baylor; Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech; Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State; James Sims, RB, Kansas

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Devonte Fields, DE, TCU: Fields turned in a big game in a win against Texas, notching two tackles for loss, a sack and four tackles. He now has 17.5 tackles for loss this season, 2.5 more than anybody in the Big 12. He also leads the league with nine sacks. Let me reiterate: This is a true freshman we're talking about. Good grief.

2. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas: Okafor is banged up and missed time against TCU, but he's third in the league with eight sacks, even though he didn't register a sack against the Frogs.

3. Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State: Williams was off last week, but he stays on the list and sits second in the league with 8.5 sacks, and is fourth in the league in 11.5 tackles for loss.

Honorable mention: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State; Jason Verrett, CB, TCU; A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State; Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma; Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

Coach of the Year

1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State: The SnyderCats were off last week, but Snyder can wrap this award up if he wins a Big 12 title by beating Texas on Saturday night in Manhattan.

2. Gary Patterson, TCU: The Frogs have dealt with more injuries than anyone, and at key positions on offense. The defense has developed into the Big 12's best, despite all the youth, and the offense has kept rolling without Casey Pachall and Waymon James. TCU's not going to win the league, but finishing above .500 in its first year in the Big 12, with those circumstances? Nothing short of amazing.

3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: The Cowboys nearly came away with a huge upset at Oklahoma last week, and Gundy has dealt with major injuries and still kept his team rolling. They lost a ton of talent from last year's team (and this year's) and could still win eight or nine games.

Big 12 game predictions: Week 14

November, 29, 2012
11/29/12
1:30
PM CT


Time for one final week of picks. I'm headed to Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend for Oklahoma versus TCU. The staff at HornsNation will have you covered out in Manhattan, Kan., for Kansas State-Texas. You'll be covered from all angles this weekend, as usual.

Let's get to the picks.

Iowa State and Texas Tech have completed their regular seasons.

Last week: 3-1 (.750)
Overall: 52-19 (.732)

No. 23 Oklahoma State 44, Baylor 34: There's something to Oklahoma State's mastery of Baylor. The Bears are better, but Oklahoma State is playing great football late in the season and has found its stride with Clint Chelf taking care of the ball and producing. The Bears' defense faces a much tougher test in a more balanced Oklahoma State offense, and the Pokes make them pay. Solid day for Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith.

No. 11 Oklahoma 27, TCU 21: There's lots of upset potential here; I just couldn't bring myself to pick it. The Sooners are tired and susceptible to teams strong against the run. This one gets uglied up by the TCU defense, and the Frogs have success with the zone read with Trevone Boykin and Matthew Tucker. Too much aerial attack by Landry Jones and his growing set of receivers. He turns it over one or twice but finds Kenny Stills and Jalen Saunders enough to outweigh the mistakes against ball-hawking TCU secondary that has 20 interceptions, four more than any team in the Big 12 and tied for third-most nationally.

West Virginia 51, Kansas 21: Fast-paced offense. Lots of talented players in one-on-one matchups. That spells all kinds of trouble for Kansas, which has played decent team defense, but the Jayhawks don't have the talent on defense to slow down Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. The KU running game might make a difference and keep West Virginia's offense off the field, but I'm not betting on it. KU's imperfect season is complete.

No. 6 Kansas State 31, No. 18 Texas 20: With Case McCoy against a really disruptive Kansas State defense, I just don't see the Horns pulling off the upset. Meshak Williams is all over McCoy for 60 minutes, and Arthur Brown does a solid job spying and making sure he doesn't get loose scrambling on broken plays. Collin Klein bounced back with a good game, but one that's just average for him this season, accounting for all four touchdowns.

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 11

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
11:35
AM CT
Time to hand out some superlatives from the week that was around the Big 12:

Best offensive performance: David Ash, QB, Texas. Ash took care of business against Iowa State, bouncing back after some struggles earlier in conference play. He completed a 47-yard pass to start the game on a trick play out of the wishbone formation. More on that in a bit. His day only got better. He completed his first 11 passes and finished with 364 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-31 passing.

[+] EnlargeDavid Ash
Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesTexas' David Ash threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win over Iowa State.
Best defensive performance: Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State. Williams was everywhere for Kansas State in the Big 12's most dominant defensive performance of the weekend, a 23-10 win over TCU in Fort Worth. He had a pair of sacks and three tackles for loss among his seven stops. Those three TFLs accounted for a loss of 28 yards, too. Williams also batted down a pass. Honorable mention: Lyndell Johnson, LB, Oklahoma State.

Best game: Texas Tech 41, Kansas 34, 2OT. Another week, another OT thriller. This one, though, lacked the presence of TCU. All three Big 12 overtime games have gone multiple extra periods, but Tech's game-winning score came on a cheeky halfback jump pass from Eric Stephens to Darrin Moore. The Jayhawks erased a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to send the game into overtime, but once again, the Jayhawks came up just short from ending their painful Big 12 losing streak.

Best quote: Gary Patterson, to Bill Snyder after K-State, Patterson's alma mater, knocked off TCU in Fort Worth to go 10-0. "Go win it all," he said.

Best team performance: Texas. It started with a fantastic tribute to Darrell Royal, but the Longhorns' evisceration of Iowa State was as complete a beating as you'll see in a Big 12 game not involving Kansas. Texas' defensive woes looked like a distant memory as the offense outgained the Cyclones by more than 300 yards and won the turnover battle 2-0. The Longhorns had the ball almost twice as long as ISU, ran the ball well and played amazingly efficient offense. Add it up, and you get the worst beating Iowa State's received all year. No small feat. Honorable mention: Kansas State

Worst overall performance: West Virginia's special teams. What a nightmare for this unit. Two different kicks took odd bounces, hit WVU players and were recovered by Oklahoma State to account for both of WVU's turnovers. Another play resulted in a touchback when four different WVU special-teamers got greedy and decided to let a punt bounce one more time. That's a 20-yard mistake, and eight plays later, OSU capitalized with a touchdown to go ahead 48-34. Does that happen if OSU is pinned inside its 5-yard line? It's worth asking.

Worst explanation: Tommy Tuberville. Hey, only Tuberville knows exactly what he was trying to do when he aggressively swiped the headset off a graduate assistant on the sideline in the middle of giving him an earful. His explanation, though, that he was trying to get him off the field and meant to grab his shirt simply doesn't line up with what the video clearly shows. There was no urgency on the part of Tuberville to get the assistant off the field, and he missed his shirt by a long, long way with the swipe. I don't believe Tuberville deserves any truly serious punishment for an incident that looked worse than it actually was, but his explanation was an insult to viewers' vision and intelligence.

Best play: Jaxon Shipley/David Ash/Greg Daniels, Texas. The Longhorns announced to the world what formation they would open up in, and gained 47 yards anyway. Ash pitched it to Shipley out of the wishbone, a three-back formation popularized by legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal, who died last week. The Longhorns made the move as a tribute to Royal. Shipley threw the ball back to Ash in the backfield, who found Daniels for a 47-yard gain. There was irony in doing so in honor of a coach who said that only three things can happen when you pass the ball, and two of 'em are bad, but this one was very, very good for the Horns.

Most deserving of a thank-you card: Texas A&M. Kansas State looked likely to get squeezed out of the title game by Alabama and Oregon if the Tide, Ducks and Cats all went undefeated. Then the Big 12 expats knocked off the No. 1 team in the country on its home field. Snyder owes you one, Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Football.

OSU, K-State share Big 12 weekly honors

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
11:10
AM CT
The Big 12 has named its weekly player honors, as voted on by a panel of media.

OFFENSE

Josh Stewart, WR, Oklahoma State: Stewart broke a 46-yard touchdown run and caught 13 passes for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Saturday's 55-34 win over West Virginia. Both of his scores were from at least 20 yards. His 13 catches were the second-most in school history. This is also four of the past five weeks in which the offensive award has been won at the expense of West Virginia's defense. The one week it didn't? The Mountaineers had a bye.

DEFENSE

Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State: Williams had seven tackles, including three for losses and a pair of sacks. He broke up a pass and helped K-State hold TCU to 10 points in Saturday's 23-10 win over the Horned Frogs. It was the lowest point output at home during Gary Patterson's tenure at TCU.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Justin Gilbert, KR, Oklahoma State: Gilbert returned a kick 96 yards for a touchdown in the win over West Virginia. He tied the Big 12 record held by Brandon Banks of K-State with his fifth return, passing up K-State's Tyler Lockett, a sophomore with four career returns. The five scores are second-most among active NCAA players.

Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 11

November, 11, 2012
11/11/12
2:40
PM CT
Time to hand out a few helmet stickers for a job well done across the Big 12 (and perhaps elsewhere) in Week 11:

David Ash, QB, Texas: Ash is back. His status as a starter was in doubt after a benching at Kansas. On Saturday, he completed his first 11 passes in a 33-7 victory over a good Iowa State team and was 25-of-31 passing for 364 yards and two touchdowns. He also made UT's opening play out of the wishbone work perfectly, hitting Greg Daniels for a 47-yard pass on a trick play.

Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech: Doege rebounded well from consecutive losses to Kansas State and last week's painful loss to Texas. In his final home game as a Red Raider, the West Texas native made it a memorable one, beating Kansas 41-34 in overtime and accounting for 476 yards on 45-of-59 passing with three scores. He also caught a 29-yard pass on a trick play in the second half.

Clint Chelf, QB, Oklahoma State: Now that's how you make your first career start. The Enid, Okla. native completed 22-of-31 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns to get his train out of the station and rolling into bowl eligibility with a 55-34 win over West Virginia. Chelf was dealing and three of his touchdown passes were from 20 yards or longer.

Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma: No huge standouts for the Sooners on offense, but Williams returned from his ankle injury and looked to be at full strength, playing like the work horse Oklahoma needs in Saturday's 42-34 win over Baylor. He carried the ball 23 times for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns and also caught two passes for 23 yards.

Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State: The Wildcats' whirling dervish was incredibly disruptive all night in K-State's 23-10 win over TCU for a defense that wasn't all that far from pitching a shutout. He finished with a team-high seven tackles, two sacks for a loss of 24 yards and three tackles for loss. A big night for a fantastic defense in Manhattan.

And a very special shoutout to:

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Big 12 exes knocked off No. 1 Alabama 29-24 to help make Kansas State's path to the BCS title game a little bit clearer with an upset in Tuscaloosa. Johnny Football led the way with 253 yards passing, 93 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. Kansas State sends the Aggies a thank-you note. Collin Klein might be able to hand it off in person at the Heisman ceremony next month.

Tracking the Big 12 award races: Week 11

November, 8, 2012
11/08/12
4:23
PM CT
Time to start updating the Big 12 Award races as league play hits the home stretch. Here's how I score it so far this season:

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Injury or not, Klein is still way, way, way out in front for this award. He could easily sit the next two weeks and still be in position to win this award. The competition isn't very strong here with Klein, but the race for No. 2 is very, very muddled.

2. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams leads the nation in receiving with 1,340 yards this season, and might win the Biletnikoff Award. He's been held under 130 yards receiving in just one game this season.

3. Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech: Doege passes Geno Smith despite a loss to Texas. He's put up solid numbers through the past two losses, and leads the nation in touchdown passes.

Honorable mention: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia; Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia; Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State; James Sims, RB, Kansas; Nick Florence, QB, Baylor

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Devonte Fields, DE, TCU: No change here. Fields is still the Big 12's leader in tackles for loss and sacks, and has made a huge impact as a true freshman.

2. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State: Brown had a quiet day against Oklahoma State with seven tackles and no other defensive statistics, but he's been the leader of one of the league's best defenses, and has 67 tackles this season.

3. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas: Okafor is needed with Jackson Jeffcoat out for the season, and he's tied for the Big 12 lead in sacks with eight. He also has 43 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss.

Honorable mention: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU; A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State; Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma; Cody Davis, S, Texas Tech; Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma; Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State

Coach of the Year

1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State: Where's the competition? Snyder's undefeated Wildcats are perhaps the nation's biggest surprise, sitting in the thick of the national title race and riding alone in the front seat of the Big 12 title race, despite being picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 and beginning the season outside the top 20 in both polls.

2. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Tuberville has the Red Raiders looking like one of the league's most overachieving teams, despite losses in each of the past two weeks. The race is slimming down to a one-man competition, but Tech was picked to finish eighth in the league and still has six wins.

3. Gary Patterson, TCU: Patterson is back in the third spot here after knocking off West Virginia last week with a pair of gutsy calls to get the banged-up Horned Frogs to bowl eligibility.

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