Here’s the rundown of the individual honors and first team: (You can find the entire list including the second team and honorable mention here.)
Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Trevone Boykin, TCU
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Paul Dawson, TCU
Special Teams Player of the Year: PR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
Offensive Freshman of the Year: RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
Defensive Freshman of the Year: S Kamari Cotton-Moya, Iowa State
Offensive Newcomer of the Year: ATH Tyreek Hill, Oklahoma State
Defensive Newcomer of the Year: DE Shaq Riddick, West Virginia
Co-offensive Lineman of the Year: T Spencer Drango, Baylor and C B.J. Finney, Kansas State
Defensive Lineman of the Year: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
All-Big 12 First team
QB Trevone Boykin, TCU, Jr.
RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma, Fr.
RB Shock Linwood, Baylor, Soph.
FB Glenn Gronkowski, Kansas State, Soph.
WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State, Sr.
WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma, Jr.
WR Kevin White, West Virginia, Sr.
TE E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State, Sr.
OL Spencer Drango, Baylor, Sr.
OL B.J. Finney, Kansas State, Sr.
OL Daryl Williams, Oklahoma, Sr.
OL Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma, Sr.
OL Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech, Jr.
K Jaden Oberkrom, TCU, Jr.
KR/PR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State, Sr.
DL Andrew Billings, Baylor, Soph.
DL Shawn Oakman, Baylor, Jr.
DL Ryan Mueller, Kansas State, Sr.
DL Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State, Soph.
DL Malcom Brown, Texas, Jr.
LB Ben Heeney, Kansas, Sr.
LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma, Jr.
LB Paul Dawson, TCU, Sr.
DB JaCorey Shepherd, Kansas, Sr.
DB Randall Evans, Kansas State, Sr.
DB Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma, Soph.
DB Chris Hackett, TCU, Jr.
DB Karl Joseph, West Virginia, Jr.
P Trevor Pardula, Kansas, Sr.
Thoughts and observations
- Lockett, Drango and Mueller are the only back-to-back first-team selections.
- TCU’s sweep of the Coach of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year was well-deserved. Patterson did an exceptional job, both in the offseason with his hires of Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, as well as during the season with TCU's defense. Boykin is a no-brainer and would have won the most-improved award if there was one. Dawson had plenty of competitors for DPOY including Billings, Ogbah, Striker, Brown and Oakman. But it's hard to go wrong with Dawson, who consistently showed up big in TCU's biggest games.
- The biggest surprise was Ogbah as defensive lineman of the year. I’ve been on the Ogbah bandwagon since before the season began but Texas’ Brown was the guy I expected to walk away with that honor.
- If the OPOY is not Boykin who could it possibly be? Boykin’s honor joins Perine as the Offensive Freshman of the Year as the easiest picks.
- Riddick is a good choice for Defensive Newcomer of the Year, although I felt like K-State's Danzel McDaniel deserved that honor. Both are quality options so no major beef with Riddick getting the nod.
- It’s good to see Cotton-Moya get the recognition he deserved. He’s been good for Paul Rhoads' team all season. The redshirt freshman led the Cyclones with 77 tackles including 55 solo stops.
- It was a bit of a surprise to see Mueller on the first team after his production dropped as a senior. He had 11.5 sacks in 2013 before recording 5.5 sacks this season.
- Lastly, I'm not a fan of more than 11 first-teamers on offense or defense, make a decision and live with that decision. It cheapens the honor when you add spots to fit people into the team.
We'll have to wait until Jan. 12 to find out which team will the inaugural College Football Playoff.
On Saturday night, we'll learn if Oregon's Marcus Mariota will become the latest quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, college football's most revered individual award.
On Thursday night, we'll find out the winners of college football's other top individual honors at the Home Depot College Football Awards (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Here's a look at the hardware that's up for grabs, the finalists for each and who should win:
Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year)
Who should win: Wright
Who will win: Wright
Talk about Scooby snacks. Wright, who has already won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the country's top defensive player, ranks in the top five among FBS players with 153 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. He's trying to become the first FBS player since 1999 to finish in the top five in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks.
Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver)
Here's a look at the Big 12 recruiting superlatives, based on what took place in recruiting this season.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
- Here is a pretty good bowl review from Matt Hinton, our colleague at Grantland including the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl matchup as the Reunion Bowl. I was cheering for the Texas-Texas A&M matchup that many wanted to see, but having the Razorbacks take on former SWC foe UT is a pretty solid matchup. Add the Aggies' battle with West Virginia and it seems like a pretty good second option that will help me overcome no Longhorns-Aggies bowl bonanza.
- Texas coach Charlie Strong hopes Tyrone Swoopes has been watching the TCU tape, writes Mike Finger of the Houston Chronicle. Strong also said the Longhorns will hold an open competition at the quarterback position heading into 2015. I've felt like Swoopes was not the answer for much of the season and his final regular-season performance against the Horned Frogs didn't do much to change my mind. That said, Swoopes did have his moments when he looked like he could be the future, so I'm not as strong in my belief Jerrod Heard must be the guy behind center in Austin in the future.
- Does Oklahoma have the worst receivers in the Big 12? The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey considers the question. Even though the Sooners' receiving corps was the conference's least productive but I wouldn't go as far as to call them the conference's worst. Why? The lackluster play from the quarterback position played a major role in that lack of production and taking the ball out of the hands of Samaje Perine and Alex Ross to put it in the hands of inexperienced receivers doesn't make much sense, either. But a lack of playmakers at receiver was a problem in 2014 and it's a problem that needs to be fixed heading into next year.
- The search committee in charge of finding Kansas' new head coach was so impressed by David Beaty the search essentially came to a halt shortly after his interview, writes Jesse Newell of the Topeka Capital Journal. Beaty's desire to coach at Kansas, one of the reasons I thought Clint Bowen would be a solid choice, has really come through during his first few days in charge. If he can transfer that to those around him in the program, great things could be in the Jayhawks' future.
- The Heisman finalists were announced on Tuesday with Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Alabama's Amari Cooper and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon getting the nod. All three guys deserve a trip to New York but it sure seems like TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin should be making the trip. His exceptional junior year was a driving force behind TCU's 11-1 season. Boykin was outstanding in every single way. I think he should have been a Heisman finalist, no question about it.
TCU added to its 2016 class, a four-star quarterback who’s been in the news since parting ways with an SEC program picked up an Oklahoma offer, and Texas hosted a big recruiting weekend -- without playing a game.
These, and more, in this week’s Big 12 recruiting weekend recap:
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the Bronko Nagurski award, given to the nation's top college defensive player, on Monday night.
Wright was considered a two-star recruit coming out of high school and said the Wildcats were the only Football Bowl Subdivision school to offer him a scholarship.
The 6-foot-1, 246-pound linebacker used that slight as motivation. He took aim at the rest of the Pac-12, turning in a stellar sophomore season with 89 tackles -- 27 for a loss -- and 14 sacks, helping the Wildcats (No. 10 CFP, No. 12 AP) earn a spot in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl against Boise State.
He became the first underclassman to win the Pac-12 defensive player of the year honor.
He started 12 games as freshman for the Wildcats and had 89 tackles.
"Coming out of high school, I didn't really have too many colleges knocking on my door -- actually nobody really wanted me except Arizona," said Wright, who received the Nagurski award at a banquet sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. "So I always have that little chip on my shoulder. You always remember those people who didn't think you were good enough. It still motivates me to this day."
DEC. 29, 9 P.M. ET, NRG STADIUM, HOUSTON (ESPN)
Season highlights: The Razorbacks finally handed Bret Bielema his first SEC win on Nov. 15 when they shut out LSU 17-0, ending the program’s 17-game conference losing streak. As soon as the game ended, Arkansas players rushed across the field en masse to hoist the Golden Boot trophy that goes to the LSU-Arkansas winner. It was a moment of pure bliss for a program that desperately wanted to prove it was moving in the right direction under its second-year coach.
Season lowlights: Arkansas kept suffering near-misses early in the season, falling in overtime against Texas A&M, being beaten 14-13 by Alabama and losing by a touchdown to Mississippi State. The Razorbacks’ one awful performance during the season came against Georgia, when they trailed 38-6 at halftime before eventually falling 45-32.
Player to watch: Jonathan Williams. Teaming with Alex Collins to give Arkansas one of the SEC’s best rushing attacks, Williams led the team with 1,085 rushing yards and ran for 11 touchdowns. Collins isn’t far behind with 1,024 rushing yards and 12 scores. Between that duo and a tough offensive line, the Razorbacks have a ground game that is difficult for any opponent to stop.
Motivation factor: Arkansas was 3-4 after the Georgia loss and had games remaining against UAB, Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri. That didn’t look like a positive sign, as the Razorbacks needed three more wins to play in a bowl game. They finally broke through by shutting out both LSU and Ole Miss, with the second of those wins achieving bowl eligibility and Arkansas’ first postseason appearance since 2011.
-- David Ching
Season highlights: Charlie Strong never promised a playoff contender in Year 1. He did promise Texas would play some defense. He turned the Longhorns' D into a top-15 unit nationally in yards per play, pass defense, sacks and goal-line stops. The Horns developed one of the nation’s top linemen, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, and assembled a defense that was responsible for allowing 23.4 points per game in Big 12 play. During a three-game win streak to clinch bowl eligibility, Texas finally put it all together and emerged as a physical, tough-to-beat squad.
Season lowlights: It’s been a rocky road. Texas lost quarterback David Ash to a career-ending concussion. Center Dominic Espinosa and nose tackle Desmond Jackson were lost for the season in nonconference play. Expected starting offensive tackles Desmond Harrison (suspension) and Kennedy Estelle (dismissal) were gone too. Their absences set Texas up to fail early and lose five of its first eight games. Close calls against UCLA and Oklahoma were encouraging. Blowout losses to BYU, Baylor and Kansas State were embarrassing. So was Texas’ 48-10 implosion against TCU on Thanksgiving.
Player to watch: Is Tyrone Swoopes playing for his job in the bowl? Strong and co-offensive coordinator Shawn Watson won’t say that, but they have repeatedly said they need more competition at the quarterback position. They will find some this offseason, and Swoopes will be challenged to take a big step in the spring. Can he bounce back from his five-turnover performance against TCU and end an up-and-down first season as a starter on a positive note?
Motivation factor: Significant, especially for the future. Giving star seniors like Quandre Diggs, Jordan Hicks, Cedric Reed and John Harris a win on the way out would be great. They have endured plenty at UT through all the coaching changes. But Texas also has another shot to do what it couldn’t against the Horned Frogs. A big win means momentum for offseason workouts, recruiting and further affirmation that Strong has Texas heading in the right direction.
-- Max Olson
Here’s a recap of what happened with conference recruiting:
Recruits enjoy Texas visit
Who needs a football game?
Texas had one of its biggest recruiting weekends of the year. It says a lot about a program when recruits make their official visit the weekend after the regular season ends.
LBs Malik Jefferson and Darrin Kirkland and WR Ryan Newsome, all ESPN 300 athletes, were three of the seven players on official visits over the weekend. Needless to say they had a great time in Austin. So much, that each player was actually trending in Austin on Twitter.
Bedlam didn't go the way Oklahoma wanted, as Oklahoma State scored a 35-28, come-from-behind victory in the state's biggest game of the year.
Louisville DB commit Kareem Orr was one of the athletes in Norman on an official visit. Orr committed to Louisville in June, but the Sooners appear to be making a strong push as we get closer to February.
Sooners OL commit Cody Ford paid full attention to the offensive line -- a group responsible for Samaje Perine's record-breaking, single-game rushing performance a couple of weeks back. The Sooners produced 304 rushing yards against the Cowboys in the loss.
Me & Stoops pic.twitter.com/AtSNJ1fhh3— Dominique Hearne (@Big_Hearne24) December 7, 2014
Baylor and TCU ended Big 12 play with identical 11-1 overall and 8-1 conference records. And then early Sunday, they both had their hearts broken by watching Ohio State take the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff bracket.
If there's a bright spot in this, both teams will head to big bowls, and both teams will use this as motivation for next year. Both teams also will have stud recruits to help them in their quests.
For TCU, WRs Jaelan Austin and Jarrison Stewart both were in Fort Worth taking in TCU's 55-3 rout against Iowa State. Austin and Stewart were there with 2016 QB Greg Eisworth.
2017 LB Anthony Hines, who has 56 offers, also was in Fort Worth. Hines recently decommitted from Mississippi State.
TCU vs Iowa State pic.twitter.com/ggAfgrIBgN— Jarrison Stewart (@jstew2k14) December 6, 2014
High three-star DB Montrel Wilson, a one-time Baylor commit, took his official visit to Waco over the weekend. In addition to a great game and a great overall experience, Wilson received a cookie cake.
Fun visit at TCU today!! pic.twitter.com/iDPFgw2YRn— Anthony Hines III (@2017D1Prospect) December 6, 2014
And who doesn't like cookie cake?
Junior college DB Jay'Onn Miles also received a cookie cake, in addition to a great overall experience from the official visit. Miles came to Waco from Pierce College in California.
Official visit at Baylor ?? pic.twitter.com/t3Nkrdesoy— trel (@montrel_wilson) December 6, 2014
The Cowboys earned bowl eligibility with an improbable 38-35 overtime win over Oklahoma on Saturday to give the Big 12 seven bowl-eligible squads.
There’s not much movement in the rest of our projections, as nobody really knows what the College Football Playoff committee will do when the top four teams are announced Sunday.
What we do know is TCU entered the weekend at No. 3 in the College Football Rankings and finished its season with a 55-3 win over Iowa State to secure a 11-1 regular season. No. 6 Baylor matched TCU’s 11-1 record with a 38-27 win over No. 9 Kansas State and finished the season as Big 12 co-champions tied with the Horned Frogs at 8-1 in Big 12 play. It’s possible the Big 12 is left on the outside looking in, or TCU or Baylor could find themselves with a playoff berth. There’s plenty of Big 12 intrigue (and debate sure to follow) when the committee’s final decision becomes public on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kansas State and Oklahoma maintain their places in the pecking order, despite losses along to Texas and West Virginia, who ended their regular seasons last week. OSU sneaks in at the bottom of the projections after its Bedlam triumph.
College Football Playoff semifinal (Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual): TCU
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Baylor
Valero Alamo Bowl: Kansas State
Russell Athletic Bowl: Oklahoma
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Texas
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: West Virginia
Cactus Bowl: Oklahoma State
Baylor, TCU and Kansas State enter the final week of the regular season each with one loss. Baylor hosts Kansas State, and TCU, No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, hosts Iowa State. Baylor, No. 6 in the rankings, could make a move to the top four with a big win and some help in the other conference championship games.
If that isn’t enough, Bedlam takes place this week, as Oklahoma hosts Oklahoma State.
There are only three games taking place, but all three provide quality matchups. All three also are expected to have big visitors in attendance. Additionally, Texas, which has completed its regular season, will have a long list of official visitors this week.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
Big 12 Weekend Wrap: Dec. 9
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
6:02 2nd Qtr Nevada 0 Louisiana-Lafayette 10 2:20 PM ET Utah State UTEP 3:30 PM ET 22 Utah Colorado State 5:45 PM ET Western Michigan Air Force 9:15 PM ET South Alabama Bowling Green
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State