Texas Longhorns: Darrin Moore

We wrapped up our list of the Big 12's top 25 players in 2012 last week, but it's time to look ahead.

Who was way off this year's list that could crack it in 2013? Here's a few names.

Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas: Diggs' fellow corner, Carrington Byndom, nearly made this year's list, and perhaps should have. Next year, though, Diggs could make both of UT's cornerbacks among the league's best. As a true freshman, Diggs led the team in interceptions, with four.

Josh Boyce, WR, TCU: Boyce (and his quarterback, Casey Pachall) would have been easy selections this year, but they weren't in the Big 12. They will be in 2012. Boyce caught 61 balls for 998 yards and nine scores, and figures to be as productive next year.

Quarty McBackerson, QB, Oklahoma State: Call this a placeholder. Brandon Weeden is gone, but Oklahoma State has a great offensive line and lots of weapons around whoever wins the Cowboys' spring quarterback derby. Look for Clint Chelf, Wes Lunt or J.W. Walsh to make this list next year.

Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas: Brown led the Longhorns in rushing as a true freshman, but was hampered by injury and the team limited his touches early in the season. There won't be any restrictions this year, and if he stays healthy, he could be a 1,000-yard back, even with Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray sharing carries.

Darrin Moore, WR, Texas Tech: If you read this blog, you know how big of a Moore proponent I am. I see Biletnikoff Award potential in him. Tech needs a new top receiver, and if Moore stays healthy, don't rule out a 1,500-yard season for the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder.

Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams wasn't too far off this year, but he didn't make our honorable mention. He had a quiet 900-yard season this year, but without Kendall Wright, Williams is the top target for new quarterback Nick Florence.

Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma: Nelson had a somewhat underwhelming year, but without Travis Lewis' leadership, Nelson could emerge as a breakout defensive player this fall.

Big 12 position rankings: Receivers/TEs

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
10:30
AM ET
We're continuing our look at the postseason rankings for each position in the Big 12. Here's a look back at where the receivers ranked in the preseason.

In this position, unlike quarterback, depth is a major, major factor in these rankings.

More postseason position rankings:
[+] EnlargeJustin Blackmon
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesJustin Blackmon highlighted Oklahoma State's deep group of receivers this season.
1. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys boasted two-time Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon, but he wasn't the only weapon. The Cowboys had nine (!) receivers with at least 19 catches and 200 yards receiving this season. Insane. Life is good with Brandon Weeden at quarterback.

2. Baylor: Kendall Wright actually outperformed Blackmon and Ryan Broyles on the stat sheet, catching 108 balls for 1,663 yards. The Bears didn't have the insane depth of OSU, but the trio of Wright, Terrance Williams (59 rec, 957 yards, 11 TDs) and Tevin Reese (51 rec, 877 yards, 7 TDs) were all in the Big 12's top seven receivers.

3. Texas A&M: Ryan Swope emerged to become one of just four Big 12 receivers to notch 1,000-yard seasons. Jeff Fuller's season was disappointing, but he still finished eighth in the league in receiving, and Uzoma Nwachukwu was in the league's top 15 in receiving.

4. Oklahoma: The Sooners weren't quite as solid as they thought to begin the season. Broyles was as advertised, though his Biletnikoff-contending season was cut short by a torn ACL. The unit was productive, but came down with the drops late in the season. Broyles and Kenny Stills were both in the league's top seven in receiving, and Jaz Reynolds caught 41 passes for 715 yards to crack the top 10.

5. Texas Tech: Tech's top target, Darrin Moore, battled injuries all year, but Eric Ward emerged as the team's most consistent target, catching 84 passes for 800 yards and 11 scores. Alex Torres missed two games, but added 616 more yards.

6. Missouri: The Tigers' receivers had their production dip with a dual-threat passer in James Franklin who ran the ball more than his predecessor, but they were still pretty good, despite lacking a true big-time threat. T.J. Moe caught 54 passes for 649 yards and four scores. Tight end Michael Egnew added 50 grabs for 523 yards and three scores. L'Damian Washington, Marcus Lucas and Wes Kemp had unremarkable individual seasons, but their production added up to a good year for Mizzou's receivers.

7. Kansas State: Kansas State was better than most thought to begin the season, but the ground-based offense limited their receivers' ability to finish with big production. Chris Harper (40 rec, 547 yards, 5 TDs) led the group. Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett showed some good promise, too.

8. Texas: The Longhorns could get really good, really fast at this spot. The uncertainty/struggles at quarterback limited this group, but Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis could both mature into absolute stars. For now, though, they didn't quite crack the top 15 in the Big 12 in receiving. Both topped 40 catches and 600 receiving yards.

9. Iowa State: Darius Reynolds' size downfield will be missed, but Aaron Horne and Josh Lenz are tough covers working the middle of the field. Reynolds caught seven touchdowns, and Horne and Lenz both topped 38 catches.

10. Kansas: Yikes. The Jayhawks didn't have a receiver in the league's top 20, but D.J. Beshears led the team with 40 grabs for 437 yards and three touchdowns. He was the only Jayhawk in the Big 12's top 32 in receiving.

Early 2012 Big 12 power rankings

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
3:23
PM ET
With the season over, it's time to take a look at the Big 12 in 2012. For now, that means assuming a few things. And we all know what assuming does.

It makes us all look like geniuses.

So, for the purpose of this, I'll assume a few predictions. First, I'll assume Robert Griffin III is heading for the NFL. I'll also assume Mike Stoops lands back at Oklahoma.

That said, it's time to project what this league looks like in 2012.

And, before we start, let me make this clear: The Big 12 from 1-6 is absolutely wide open. Last year, the league only had three legitimate title contenders: Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. This year, every one of the top six teams (and maybe seven, if RG3 returns) can win the Big 12 in a realistic scenario. The difference between Nos. 2 and 6 is minuscule and could change a ton by the end of spring practice.

And for the curious: I would have Missouri behind Kansas State on this list, and I'd have Texas A&M right behind Texas.

1. Oklahoma: The Sooners moved into the familiar role of favorite after Landry Jones announced he'd return in 2012, but not nearly as heavy a favorite as they were in 2011. Injuries hurt Oklahoma late this season, and replacing Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Frank Alexander, along with linebacker Travis Lewis and corner Jamell Fleming won't be easy. Receivers Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds have to play big for the Sooners to get the win.

(Read full post)

Updated 2012 Big 12 recruiting scorecard

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
2:00
PM ET
So, the season gets, you know, kind of crazy. It's unrelenting, and recruiting plummets in priority. Thus, we haven't had a recruiting update since before the season.

Time to update.

Signing Day is less than two months away, and here's where each Big 12 team sits as we hit the recruiting home stretch before the big day in February.

All commit totals, rankings and stars via ESPN Recruiting, which updated its national recruiting rankings this week.

1. Texas Longhorns

National ranking: No. 1
Total commits: 25
ESPNU 150 commits: 10
Key commits: RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Class notes: Four of Texas' top five commits are skill position players, a huge need for the Longhorns. They're one of a handful of schools still chasing one of the nation's top recruits, too, receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Gray will come to Texas as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Texas also has two juco transfers coming next year, OT Donald Hawkins and DT Brandon Moore, a rarity for the Longhorns.

(Read full post)

Big 12 weekend rewind

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
3:14
PM ET
Here's our look back at the weekend that was in the Big 12, which set up a de facto Big 12 Championship game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Best offensive player: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor. Ganaway quite literally "put da team on his back, doe." The 250-pounder rumbled for 247 yards and two touchdowns on a school-record 42 carries. Robert Griffin III was out with a concussion and Baylor needed somebody to step up. Ganaway did it in spectacular fashion, helping the Bears hold off Texas

[+] EnlargeEmmanuel Acho
Brett Davis/US PresswireQB Case McCoy, 6, celebrates with Emmanuel Acho after Texas defeated Texas A&M last week.
Best defensive player: Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas. Acho was everywhere for the Longhorns in their 27-25 win against Texas A&M. He made 14 tackles (10 solo) and had a tackle for loss in the win.

Best play: Texas kicker Justin Tucker's 40-yard game-winner to beat Texas A&M. No pressure, man. Just the bragging rights of one of America's quintessential football states for a long, long time. Tucker's kick was perfect. A no-doubter as soon as he kicked it. No matter what happens in the future, Tucker will always hold a special place in burnt orange lore. An ugly game with a gorgeous finish for the Longhorns.

Best game: Baylor 66, Texas Tech 42. So, Texas and Texas A&M had all the drama, but it was a pretty unattractive game. The Bears and Red Raiders in Cowboys Stadium was a ton of fun and had a different kind of drama. We had a crazy trick play, a team trying to rally without perhaps the nation's best player, big plays by his replacement, tons of turnovers and lots of offensive talent that put a ton of points on the board. This one was just fun to watch. A lot more fun than the Lone Star Finale.

Coolest play: Texas Tech's mistaken identity TD. Texas Tech backup quarterback Jacob Karam's No. 3 jersey was torn in pregame, and the Red Raiders gave him a nameless No. 85 jersey instead. Quarterback Seth Doege faked a handoff to the running back and tossed it to Karam on the end around, and we can only assume Baylor had no idea who No. 85 was. Karam slung it downfield to Darrin Moore, who caught it over a defender, stayed on his feet and trotted in the last few yards for a 43-yard score that cut Baylor's lead to 24-21 midway through the second quarter.

Best fashion sense: Texas A&M. The Aggies broke out maroon jerseys, maroon pants and maroon helmets for the first time since 2006 in their rivalry finale against Texas. A solid look.

Craziest statistic: Texas A&M. I heard it on Thursday and double-checked it. In the Aggies' six losses this season, they've been outscored 83-0 in the third quarter.

Best team performance: Texas. The Longhorns didn't do it pretty, but the defense kept them in it with a defensive touchdown, and Quandre Diggs added a huge 81-yard punt return to help Texas outscore the Aggies 17-0 in the third quarter. Texas played in one of the most frenzied atmospheres in the league this year, and strung together a huge late drive after the Aggies snatched the lead with 1:48 to play. Texas showed a lot of guts in this one.

Best appearance in relief: Nick Florence, QB, Baylor. RG3 came back in after taking a hit to the head and having it slammed against the turf. He looked dazed, but returned to the game and ran for a touchdown. When the Bears returned from halftime, though, the Bears announced that Griffin was done. Enter Florence. He made plays and threw two 40-plus yard touchdown passes, completing 9-of-12 passes for 151 yards and two scores.

Worst moment: The clock running out in Texas' and Missouri's victories. To me, it's nothing but sad. I watched games like Ohio State and Michigan on Saturday. It's rivalry weekend. The idea of never playing that game again is insanity. In the Big 12, though, it's accepted. The Border Showdown and Lone Star Showdown are done for awhile, and to me, it's the worst aspect of the recent realignment moves.

Best tweets: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M. Gray was hurt and stuck on the sidelines in a letter jacket after suffering a stress fracture in his shoulder against Kansas. Gray, though, was tweeting and taking photos from the sideline and giving some love to his replacement, Ben Malena, who played outstanding against the Aggies.

What to watch in the Big 12: Week 9

October, 27, 2011
10/27/11
3:28
PM ET
Here's what I'm watching for in the Big 12 this weekend.

1. Kansas State Snydering so hard on Oklahoma. No risky plays for big losses. No head-scratching turnovers (seven in 2011, the fewest in the Big 12). No penalties (only OU has fewer than K-State's 41) and opportunistic special teams and defense. Oklahoma's more talented, but K-State has put itself in position to win games this year ... and then won them. I'd be surprised if K-State wasn't in position to win another game via Snyderball.

[+] EnlargeBill Snyder
Michael C. Johnson/US PresswireWill Kansas State coach Bill Snyder have his team in position to win another game and remain unbeaten?
2. Bounce back for the Sooners' stars. Landry Jones' accuracy was off last week against Texas Tech. Ryan Broyles had a dropped pass and an inexplicable fumble that we haven't seen from him often, if ever. Kansas State's defense will be better than Tech, but will the Sooners' offense rebound? Those two will need to make it happen.

3. RG3 on the loose. Oklahoma State fans love noting that the most-often statuesque Brandon Weeden (19 yards) outrushed the track star Robert Griffin III (15) in last year's win over Baylor. Will that be the case again? Or will RG3 go back to having success as a true dual threat?

4. Brandon Weeden's complementary threats. The Cowboys think Justin Blackmon is going to play after getting "dinged" in the head last week and undergoing concussion tests this week. If he does, he won't have Hubert Anyiam with him. Isaiah Anderson slides into his role, but does Weeden look Josh Cooper's way more without his fellow No. 2 target?

5. Which Kansas shows up? Texas is a winnable game for KU, but the Jayhawks went from showing some fight for a game and a half against OU and Kansas State to getting trounced in the second half. A win on Saturday would be the biggest for Turner Gill at Kansas, and would go a long way toward inspiring some confidence in the future. The Jayhawks are just 1-18 in their past 19 Big 12 games, dating back to the final seven games of 2009, before Gill arrived.

6. The Texas quarterback shuffle. Case McCoy and David Ash have split reps in practice this week, despite Ash playing the entirety of a loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago. Does anyone make a case for himself as the full-time starter this week against Kansas? Or does this dance continue? My bet is the latter.

7. Texas Tech's receivers. Darrin Moore was on the field, but clearly not healthy against Oklahoma last week. Alex Torres and Eric Ward picked up the slack very nicely. Does the offense get another boost as Moore returns to being the big-play weapon he was in the first couple of games this season?

8. Jared Barnett. Iowa State's freshman quarterback is making his first start, after filling in with lots of good moments and a few bad ones against Texas A&M last week. Can Darius Reynolds help out after struggling last week, and can Josh Lenz keep making plays to help the Cyclones pull the upset?

9. Big plays, but for whom? Texas A&M might have the most fascinating defense in the country this year -- leading the nation in sacks, but giving up more passing yards than anyone. Which does Missouri quarterback James Franklin see more of on Saturday? It'll be a tough atmosphere, but these are two of the best rushing teams in the league.

10. S-E ... see? I mean, this just has to be awkward. Do Texas A&M fans and Missouri fans engage in a flirtatious S-E-C chant? Does either team begin a misguided taunt before realizing the other is coming with them? Hopefully there's some pregame conversations to discuss chanting logistics.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Must-Get Big 12 Recruit
Recruiting reporter Damon Sayles breaks down who he considers the must-get 2015 college football recruit in the Big 12.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video