Dallas Colleges: Quinton Carter

The NFL draft has come and gone, and I hope you're all prepared for no more NFL anything for awhile. I know I'm not.

Anyway, here's how the Big 12 shook out over the weekend, with a few thoughts to follow.

First round (8)


Second round (2)
Third round (2)
Fourth round (6)
Fifth round (3)
Sixth round (1)
Seventh round (8)

Here's how the Big 12 teams ranked in terms of total draftees:

1. Nebraska - 7
2. Baylor - 4
2. Colorado - 4
2. Oklahoma - 4
2. Texas - 4
6. Missouri - 3
7. Kansas State -1
7. Oklahoma State - 1
7. Texas A&M - 1
7. Texas Tech - 1
11. Iowa State - 0
11. Kansas - 0

And the major conferences (counting where players actually played):

SEC - 38
Pac-12 - 33
Big 12 - 30
Big Ten - 29
ACC - 35
Big East - 22

  • Texas A&M had just one player drafted, but the Aggies will have plenty next year, including a handful of possible first-rounders. Cyrus Gray, Ryan Tannehill and Jeff Fuller could all go very early in 2012, depending on what happens between now and then.
  • [+] EnlargeJeremy Beal
    Matthew Emmons/US PresswireOklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal was drafted in the seventh round by Denver.

  • Interesting that Miller went 245 selections before the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year, according to the media, Jeremy Beal. Also an interesting coincidence? The same team drafted both. I do think Beal will have a productive NFL career, and there's no denying what he did at Oklahoma, but the measurables were never quite there for Beal. What's not measurable? How difficult he is to block. That said, Miller was my vote for the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Good to see some hard-working, perhaps under-respected guys get drafted. This was an important year for that, considering those left over won't be able to get into NFL minicamps until the lockout ends and won't be able to do anything to further their NFL careers besides work out on their own. I'll have a post later today on some of those snubs. There's no guarantee that late-drafted guys like Baron Batch, Scotty McKnight, Jay Finley or Eric Hagg will catch on in the the pros, but I'd be willing to guarantee they'll do everything in their power to maximize what opportunities they get.
  • One of the most interesting selections? Mikail Baker. He wasn't invited to the combine, and played just one full season on defense at Baylor after working as a kick returner and a cornerback in 2009 before a season-ending knee injury. You don't see that kind of impressive athleticism at Baylor traditionally.
  • Let the debate continue: Kendall Hunter vs. DeMarco Murray. Murray getting drafted 40-some spots earlier only intensified that discussion, if you ask me.
  • Also, what's more impressive from Art Briles? That Baylor had four picks, the most in school history since 1996? Or that despite those four picks, Baylor's returning an even better team than last season, when it ended a 16-year bowl drought?
  • Colorado's draft, meanwhile? Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Dan Hawkins' coaching job in Boulder.
  • Alex Henery didn't win the Lou Groza Award, but his fourth-round selection makes him the earliest kicker draft pick since 2006. Will that end the state of Nebraska's blood feud against respectable OSU kicker Dan Bailey, who did win the Lou Groza Award? I doubt it. (Save your emails. For the 100th time, I agree, Nebraska fans. Henery > Bailey.)
  • A few guys who went way lower than I thought they would. In order of my surprise level: Beal, Gabbert, Amukamara, Hagg, Hunter.
  • A few guys who went way higher than I thought, in the same order: Aldon Smith, Batch, Gachkar, Baker.

Recruiting needs: Big 12 South

January, 27, 2011
1/27/11
10:09
AM CT
Signing day is exactly a week from Wednesday, and it's time to take a look at who needs what in its 2011 class.

Some schools have addressed these needs with their current class. Some haven't. Others are still trying.

Here's our look at the South, after running down the Big 12 North earlier this morning.

BAYLOR

Defensive tackle: The Bears are loaded on offense and have a ton coming back, but anyone who watched Baylor in 2010 knows the big problems are on defense, starting with the front four. Phil Taylor is headed to the NFL and Nicolas Jean-Baptiste will be a senior next year. Reserve Chris Buford is gone, too. The Bears need to fill out some depth up front to avoid a repeat of their Texas Bowl debacle defending the run against Illinois.

Punter: Derek Epperson was rock solid as a four-year starter for the Bears, averaging near 44 yards a punt for his past three seasons. He's gone now, and the Bears will need a replacement. The good news is Baylor's offense with Robert Griffin III doesn't make the position nearly as important as it used to be.

OKLAHOMA

Receiver: Ryan Broyles, a senior, and Kenny Stills look ready for big years in 2011, but senior Cameron Kenney is gone. Trey Franks, Dejuan Miller and Joe Powell could contribute in 2011, but beyond that, another big-time threat across from Stills would certainly help. One of the Sooners' top 2011 commits, Trey Metoyer, could become that player.

Safety: Both starters, Quinton Carter and Jonathan Nelson, have graduated, and the Sooners will try to replace them with Sam Proctor, who has started plenty of games, and Javon Harris. The Sooners are pretty well-stocked about everywhere, but more depth in the secondary is always welcome.

OKLAHOMA STATE

Defensive line: Three of the Cowboys' four starters are gone, and it's always necessary to fill in some depth behind them. Shane Jarka, Chris Donaldson and Ugo Chinasa all had good years in 2010.

Offensive line: Oklahoma State brings back all five starters for 2011, but four will be seniors. That means replacing them in 2012, which will be a lot easier if those replacements don't end up being true freshmen. Oklahoma State kept offensive line coach Joe Wickline, a candidate for the same job at Texas, and his development of the line last year with four new starters was a big reason for the Cowboys' success. He'll need to do it again in 2012.

TEXAS

Running back: Fozzy Whittaker and Cody Johnson will both be seniors in 2011, and Tre Newton's career is over because of issues with concussions. Texas would be well-served if its top 2011 commit, Malcolm Brown, can come in and be effective immediately as a true freshman.

Cornerback: Aaron Williams left early. Curtis and Chykie Brown graduated. Texas needs help at corner and will have big problems in the near future if they don't get it.

Linebacker: Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson will be seniors in 2011, and Dustin Earnest and Jared Norton already graduated. New talent behind them will help prevent a drop-off in 2012 after Acho and Robinson split.

TEXAS A&M

Kicker: Randy Bullock will be a senior in 2011, but Texas A&M is already hoping his spot is filled by incoming freshman Taylor Bertolet, the nation's No. 2 kicker who won the Under Armour All-American game with a last-second field goal earlier this month.

Linebacker: Michael Hodges and Von Miller have graduated, and Garrick Williams will follow them in 2011. The Wrecking Crew was pretty stout for most of 2010, but filling those holes in a four-linebacker front will be key in ensuring things stay that way.

TEXAS TECH

Secondary: LaRon Moore and Franklin Mitchem are gone, so Texas Tech will be breaking in some new blood in the secondary for new coordinator Chad Glasgow and cornerbacks coach Otis Mounds. Freshmen cornerbacks Jarvis Phillips and Tre Porter made plays in 2010, but they also allowed offenses to make a few of their own. Stopping that will be a big step in Texas Tech getting things rolling under Tommy Tuberville.

Receiver: Texas Tech already needs to replace Detron Lewis and Lyle Leong, and Tramain Swindall and Jacoby Franks will follow suit after 2011. Alex Torres was hampered by a back injury all year, but the Red Raiders will need some depth around him at receiver to keep the offense humming.

Oklahoma Sooners season recap

December, 7, 2010
12/07/10
2:03
PM CT

Now, that's more like it.

Oklahoma is back in familiar territory: On top of the Big 12.

It's the Sooners seventh Big 12 title this decade, and it's not entirely unexpected. Along with Nebraska and Texas, Oklahoma was one of the favorites to win the league, and they knocked off the Huskers in the title game to do it.

After a 2009 filled with an unprecedented string of injuries that had fans groaning and coaches working overtime, Oklahoma's disappointing 8-5 season last year is officially in the rear-view mirror.

All those injuries helped the Sooners put together a solid 2010, and perhaps no one was helped more than Landry Jones. The sophomore amassed 10 starts last year, and came back this year looking like a brand-new player -- most of the time, anyway.

Oklahoma's defense proved its worth with solid performances against Oklahoma State and Nebraska, and its secondary, with a pair of first-year starters at cornerback, is extremely underrated. Ryan Broyles did what everyone expected him to do: be consistently productive and grab hold of eight of Oklahoma's nine major receiving records.

Add it all up, and the Sooners finish at 10-2 with a pair of road losses to good teams.

Offensive MVP: Landry Jones, QB. Broyles deserves a look here, but the pick is Jones. His 568 pass attempts were more than any quarterback in college football, and he turned them into 4,289 yards and 35 touchdowns, which both rank second nationally. He also cut down his interceptions. He threw 14 in 449 attempts last year. This year, he had just 11.

Defensive MVP: Jeremy Beal, DE. Beal won the media's Defensive Player of the Year award, and it was well-deserved. He finished with 8.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and 65 tackles. No pass rusher in the Big 12 this year was more disruptive more consistently over the course of the season.

Turning point: The first three quarters at Baylor. Oklahoma was a good team, but didn't look like a team that could even win the South with a trip to Oklahoma State looming. That was until it proved it could take its best game on the road, leading Baylor 53-10 after three quarters and producing two more great performances away from home in wins over Oklahoma State and Nebraska to win the Big 12.

What's next: Probably more of the same. Jones will be back. I'd expect Broyles to leave for the NFL and running back DeMarco Murray's eligibility runs out this year after roughly nine seasons in the Big 12. As great programs do, the Sooners have plenty of talent waiting for its chance. Running back Roy Finch looks like a future star, and receiver Kenny Stills broke Broyles freshman record for receiving yardage this year. Defensively, the Sooners will lose Beal and safeties Quinton Carter and Jonathan Nelson. Travis Lewis might leave for the NFL Draft. But get ready for another generation of Oklahoma defensive stars to make names for themselves next year. Tony Jefferson, Ronnell Lewis, Tom Wort, Jamell Fleming and Corey Nelson could all be household names this time next year.

What's wrong with Oklahoma's defense?

September, 28, 2010
9/28/10
2:12
PM CT

NORMAN, Okla. – Coach Bob Stoops built a dynasty at Oklahoma with a dominant defense, so it’s stunning to have to scan so far down the national defensive rankings to find the Sooners.

How low do you have to go? All the way down to 97th overall in total defense.

Oklahoma is 4-0 despite allowing 421.3 yards per game – and more than 400 yards three times already this season. The Sooners rank in the 90s against the run (177.5 yards per game, 93rd) and pass (243.8 yards, 90th).

“We’re not what the numbers say,” defensive tackle Adrian Taylor said. “We’ve just got to get on track in a hurry and play Oklahoma football.”

The scheme, which the Sooners used to rank fifth in the nation in total defense (223.3 yards) and first against the run (40.7), hasn’t suddenly become flawed. The talent hasn’t drastically dropped off, with defensive end Jeremy Beal, linebacker Travis Lewis and safety Quinton Carter all considered candidates for major national awards.

Players and coaches agree that effort isn’t an issue, either. The biggest problem is the Sooners’ tendency to allow big plays, which stems from sloppy technique, poor tackling and too many mental errors. Redshirt freshman linebacker Tom Wort took a lot of the blame for several big plays by Cincinnati, although Stoops defended Wort during his Tuesday press conference.

“I have confidence in this defense,” Lewis said. “Looking at the film over these past four games, we’ve been inconsistent and we’ve been messing up on little things. Those are two things that as time goes on you can fix. I feel like we have a lot of playmakers on this defense. I’m not worried about it.”

Added Stoops: “We want to be more consistent. We’re working on it. I believe we can. I’m confident guys will settle in and start making those plays.”

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