In this week's Big 12 roundtable, we stay on the topic of all-time best players and give our thoughts on the league's best all-time offensive player overall, as well as the most overrated and underrated offensive performers in Big 12 history.
Who is the Big 12's best all-time offensive player?
Brandon Chatmon: It’s gotta be Vince Young. Watching him gallop into the end zone to win the Rose Bowl and cap off a national title season will always be remembered. And Young had plenty of plays like that during his time at Texas. He made countless highlight plays and was one of the most entertaining college football players of the Big 12 era. Young may not have the best numbers, but his combination of highlights, production and wins is too much to overlook.
Max Olson: I certainly get why the easy answer is Young, but am I crazy for thinking it might be Ricky Williams? As we reviewed the accomplishments of all these legendary Big 12 offensive stars over the course of the week, the four-year resume Williams put together really stood out. Maybe that’s because you’ll almost never see a player rush for nearly 1,900 yards and 25 TDs as a junior and then come back for more. But, hey, Williams was a rare talent.
Jake Trotter: Yes, the answer is Vince, and yes, Max, you're crazy for thinking it might be Ricky. Adrian Peterson actually might have been the most talented player to roll through the Big 12, and he would've warranted consideration here had he been able to stay healthy past his freshman season. But Young's magical 2005 campaign makes this an easy answer.
Who is the Big 12's most overrated offensive player?
Chatmon: Overrated is probably the wrong word, but Jason White’s bowl struggles -- five combined interceptions in losses to LSU and USC -- always left me wondering if he had lived up to the hype. Granted, he checked off a lot of boxes -- Heisman winner, Big 12 titles, Player of the Year honors -- but White wasn’t a dominant force in the mold of Young, Sam Bradford or Robert Griffin III. Although, to be fair to White, it would have been interesting to see if he would have been on that level if the injury bug had not hit him early in his Sooners career.
Olson: Every one of these guys who made our top-five lists are all-timers, so I can’t call them overrated. We struggled to reach a consensus on the No. 5-ranked running back between Quentin Griffin and DeMarco Murray. Personally, I would’ve been more than fine with giving that spot to Nebraska’s Ahman Green or Iowa State’s Troy Davis. But we agreed we wouldn’t count their non-Big 12 seasons. In the process of leaving those guys out, perhaps we overrated Griffin a little? Maybe not. He was such a vital piece of the Sooners’ rise under Bob Stoops.
Trotter: Brandon will disagree with this, but I didn't think Murray warranted consideration for the top-five running back ranking. Yes, the TD record was impressive, and yes, he was a key part of several explosive Oklahoma offenses. But keep in mind, Murray's biggest rushing output came in 2010, when he finished with 1,224 yards. That ranked sixth in the Big 12 that season and wasn't even one of the 25 best outputs in Big 12 history. Murray was a really good college player, but he was not one of the five best running backs ever to pass through the league, in my opinion.
Who is the Big 12's most underrated offensive player?
Chatmon: I would have liked to see Murray make our running back list. He was such a versatile threat during his time at Oklahoma. Murray was a feared kick returner, durable running back and mismatch in the passing game during his career in crimson and cream, finishing with 3,685 rushing yards along with 157 catches and 1,571 receiving yards. His combination of versatility, quickness and physicality made it hard for me to agree with leaving him on the outside looking in.
Olson: Choosing only five wide receivers was a pretty frustrating task. The Big 12’s history of receiving talent is far too rich. Coming up with a top-10 list wouldn’t be much easier. So as weird as this sounds, I guess all of these guys are somehow a little underrated: Dez Bryant, Corey Coleman, Mark Clayton, Josh Doctson, Jeremy Maclin, Sterling Shepard, Jordan Shipley, Wes Welker, Roy Williams, Kendall Wright ... I don’t know where to stop. Sorry for the snubs, fellas.
Trotter: The two players I lobbied for that didn't make the final five cut at their respective positions were Iowa State RB Troy Davis and Baylor WR Corey Coleman. I also think Colt McCoy could've ranked higher on the QB list than fourth. Finally, I had to fight to get Quentin Griffin on the top-five RB list. But after Peterson, he was easily the most deserving of the other Oklahoma running backs, in my opinion.