Several Big 12 bloggers are voting on pre-season picks. The ballots were due at 5:00 pm central this afternoon. I thought I'd do a couple of posts on why I made the picks I made.
The first of the picks is The Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
The offensive player of the year is generally going to be a quarterback. It could be a running back or wide receiver if someone stands head and shoulders above everyone else but the Big 12 conference has some worthy names at quarterback. Below is a list (in no particular order) with some explanation about how I think they'll do this season:
- Colt McCoy, Texas
Showed poise last year as a true freshman. The biggest evidence of future stardom was the 'Horns come back win over Nebraska. As a sophomore, I can see McCoy trying too hard as the harsh reality of him being a true replacement for Vince Young and the expectations exact too much a mental price.
- Chase Daniel, Missouri
Senior quarterback with plenty of starting experience, good receivers and a good running back. Missouri's offense will not be a problem this coming season.
- Bobby Reid, Oklahoma State
To get noticed he'll need to be the second coming of Vince Young. This isn't impossible by any means, but it's not very probable. Ran for 500 yards last season. If he runs for 1,000, it'll be a great season for the Cowboys.
- Stephen McGee, Texas A&M
Two interceptions in 313 attempts. He ran for 666 yards and threw for 2,295. Has a full season of starting under his belt and the Aggies seem poised for greatness. If they can hang on throughout an entire game in 2007, they could win the South. Much like Missouri, they need to prove it. They will spread the points around enough that McGee won't win many awards.
-Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
Given Mike Leach's offense you know that Harrell is going to put up a ton of yardage so he doesn't get as big a boost from big numbers as most the other quarterbacks in the conference since "the system" is seen as responsible instead of the player. For Harrell to get serious consideration, Tech has to win the South or come close and that won't happen this season.
- Sam Keller, Nebraska
We know that Keller has all the tools. We know that Nebraska's offensive line will be improved. We know the Huskers have a number of good, experienced receivers. But we don't even know that he's the starter yet according to Bill Callahan.
Then we move to running backs and wide receivers:
- Jamaal Charles, Texas
Great back, but the question will be as to whether or not Texas' offensive line can establish a strong ground game. I'm betting it'll be strong, but not strong enough.
- Mike Goodson and Javorskie Lane, Texas A&M
One of those lightning/thunder combinations but will cancel each other out in the awards area.
- Allen Patrick, Oklahoma
Learn this guy's name because a lot of defenses are going to be seeing it from behind as he runs over or around them. Key is that offensive line at Oklahoma, probably the best in the Big 12.
- Tony Temple, Missouri
Rushed for 1,063 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Unfortunately, he's on a team with Daniel, Coffman, and Rucker.
Regardless of what people think, receivers can't carry an offense throughout the season like a great running back can. However, people love to watch them, especially those long, leaping catches that look more like basketball than football.
- Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State
1,181 receiving yards in 2006, 6'4", 220 lbs. Bowman is the best receiver in the Big 12.
- Chase Coffman, Martin Rucker, Missouri
Both incredible, but with regards to rewards, they'll cancel each other out.
- Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma
Second-team All Big 12 last season as a Sophomore. Can someone from OU get him the ball? Not enough to get him this award.
- Maurice Purify, Nebraska
Another great tall receiver. Needs to get better at route-running. His other downside is that Nebraska will spread the ball around more than most other teams.
- Limas Sweed, Texas
Tied Texas' single-season touchdown reception record last season with 12. He'll be a senior with plenty of experience on a team that will need to score.
- Todd Blythe, Iowa State
Great receiver, unfortunately his quarterback will be on his back by the time Blythe is seven yards downfield. He'll get his reward on Sunday.
All the great players above and you get to choose only one for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
My choice - Chase Daniel, Mizzou quarterback.
Missouri's offense won't be a problem this year. Tony Temple is a good running back. They have excellent receivers, Coffman and Rucker are mentioned above and you'd have to include Will Franklin. Daniel is set for an explosive season and he will need it if the Tigers are going to be successful. Scoring points won't be a problem for Missouri. Giving them up will.
No doubt that most people will pick Colt McCoy based on his 2006 season. My second pick would be Adarius Bowman because I believe he's going to be an explosion this coming season.
So who's your pick for the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year?
Is there any one in the Big 12 I didn't mention that should have been?