In the spirit of transparency, here is the preseason All-Big 12 ballot I sent to the conference Tuesday night:
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
Hurts gets the nod over Sam Ehlinger because Lincoln Riley gets the nod over Tom Herman and Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck. That’s not a shot at Herman/Beck. Riley gets the nod over every college quarterback tutor except Mike Leach.
Keep an eye on Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Baylor’s Charlie Brewer. Also, I’m fascinated to see what Spencer Sanders does in Sean Gleeson’s offense, assuming Sanders starts for Oklahoma State.
Chuba Hubbard, OSU
Kennedy Brooks, OU
Pooka Williams of Kansas is the Big 12’s most dazzling running back, but he was suspended last December after his arrest for suspicion of domestic battery.
I considered Keaontay Ingram of Texas, but I wonder if he’ll share carries with five-star freshman Jordan Whittington.
Kennedy Brooks is going to share carries with Trey Sermon. I have a hunch Brooks stays healthier than Sermon and becomes OU’s workhorse.
Hubbard is poised to explode now that OSU’s running back depth chart has thinned out.
Jeremiah Hall, OU
Because you have to pick someone and I have seen Hall play.
Tylan Wallace, OSU
CeeDee Lamb, OU
Collin Johnson, Texas
The Big 12 asks for three. They probably should ask for six. Seems like this has been the league’s deepest position since the mid-2000s.
This year is no different.
TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Texas Tech’s T.J. Vasher and Baylor’s Denzel Mims are all worthy, but I picked Johnson as my third receiver after the automatic 1-2 of Wallace and Lamb.
Grant Calcaterra, OU
I really like Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar, as well. I wonder if Purdy gives him more throws with Hakeem Butler in the NFL. If he does, Kolar will give Calcaterra a run for postseason all-conference.
Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas
Zach Shackelford, Texas
Jack Anderson, Texas Tech
Teven Jenkins, OSU
OU center Creed Humphrey has to be one of the top five offensive linemen in the conference, but I stuck with two tackles, two guards and a center on the ballot. In that case, Shackelford’s three years experience/value trumps Humphrey’s one.
Cameron Dicker, Texas
Beat the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl, you get some recognition.
Jalen Reagor, TCU
He’s so talented he might win a game by himself this season.
James Lynch, Baylor
Ray Lima, Iowa State
Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State
Reggie Walker, Kansas State
JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State
That’s actually a very good, very productive group. It isn’t the caliber of the SEC, or Clemson. But for a conference where defense is a punch line? Not bad at all.
Marcel Spears, Iowa State
Clay Johnston, Baylor
Mike Rose, Iowa State
Starting to see why the Cyclones are a trendy pick to challenge OU and Texas?
Jeff Gladney, TCU
Caden Sterns, Texas
Greg Eisworth, Iowa State
Brandon Jones, Texas
Adrian Frye, Texas Tech
OU’s Tre Brown and OSU’s A.J. Green have the potential to be here, but it’s hard to include any Bedlam defenders after the way those teams played defense last year.
Tom Hutton, OSU
The Cowboys’ 29-year-old freshman Australian rules footballer might be the Big 12’s best story. That’s good enough to make him the Big 12’s best punter.
Offensive Player of the Year: Hurts (over Ehlinger)
Defensive Player of the Year: Bailey (over Sterns and Walker)
Newcomer of the Year: Hurts
3. Iowa State
5. Oklahoma State
6. Texas Tech
8. West Virginia
9. Kansas State
I’ll update this based on what I hear/see/learn at Big 12 Media Days July 15-16.