Friday, October 28, 2011

College Football - Top 5 Players Post-1980 - Big 12 Edition

Oklahoma Sooners
  1. Sam Bradford, QB
  2. Brian Bosworth, LB
  3. Keith Jackson, TE
  4. Roy Williams, S
  5. Ryan Broyles, WR
A Heisman winner with a 50-TD pass season, Bradford gets the #1 spot on the Sooners list.  Bradford's career numbers were hindered by the injury suffered his senior year, but he still owns many career passing records.  Bosworth may have been crazy, but he was also a crazy-good linebacker on the great Sooner teams of the mid-80's.  Broyles is now the all-time NCAA receiving yardage leader, while Jackson helped Bosworth on those Switzer-era teams.  Williams was a hard-hitting safety who helped define the Sooner defenses at the turn of the century.

Texas Longhorns
  1. Ricky Williams, RB
  2. Vince Young, QB
  3. Colt McCoy, QB
  4. Derrick Johnson, LB
  5. Cedric Benson, RB
Williams beats out the quarterbacks for #1 in the last 30+ years of Longhorn football.  Heisman-winner Williams left school as the all-time NCAA Division I-A rushing yardage leader.  Young and McCoy are hard to separate, so Young gets the edge as a National Championship winning signal-caller and de facto Heisman-winner.  It is hard to find a better Championship Game performance than that of Young's.  Johnson was a force at linebacker and Benson is not too far behind Williams on the all-time rushing lists.

Texas A&M Aggies
  1. Dat Nguyen, LB
  2. Johnny Holland, LB
  3. Darren Lewis, RB
  4. Von Miller, LB/DE
  5. Ray Childress, DT
Most of the Big 12 lists are dominated by offense.  Not the lame-duck Aggies who will take a defensive tradition to the SEC.  Tackling machines Nguyen and Holland lead the way here, followed by Lewis, the A&M all-time leading rusher with over 5,000 yards.  Miller dominated as a pass-rusher in 2009 and 2010.  Childress wraps up the Aggie Five as an All-American DT in the early 1980's.

Missouri Tigers
  1. Brad Smith, QB
  2. Chase Daniel, QB
  3. Chase Coffman, TE
  4. Jeremy Maclin, WR
  5. Justin Smith, DE
Two players with over 13,000 yards in total offense who eached produced over 100 touchdowns lead the Tigers Five.  Smith is my choice as #1, despite being second to Daniel in almost every passing category.  That is because Smith, a QB, is also the all-time leading rusher in Mizzou history.  Coffman and Maclin each exceed 30 total touchdowns in their prolific careers.  Smith was a dominating pass-rusher who brings a little defensive flair to the list.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
  1. Barry Sanders, RB
  2. Thurman Thomas, RB
  3. Leslie O'Neal, DE
  4. Justin Blackmon, WR
  5. Rashaun Woods, WR
Its a pretty darn good list when the top two names are the running backs listed above.  Picking between them is not an easy endeavor.  I am going with Sanders, who sat behind Thomas for two years before his break-out in 1988.  What a break-out it was though.  2,628 yards, 39 total TD's, four 300-yard rushing performances.  Thomas is no slouch as the all-time leading rusher and second to Sanders in career TD's, but we may never again see a player like Sanders.  O'Neal adds a little defense to the Cowboys, while Blackmon and Woods are to receiving, what Thomas and Sanders are to rushing.

Kansas State Wildcats
  1. Chris Canty, CB
  2. Mark Simoneau, LB
  3. Darren Sproles, RB
  4. Terence Newman, CB
  5. Michael Bishop, QB
Defense takes 3 of the 4 top spots in the last 30 years of Wildcat football, led by 2-time All-Americans Canty and Simoneau.  Sproles is the top offensive players, with 6,812 career all-purpose yards and 48 career touchdowns.  The final spot came down to two quarterbacks, Bishop and Josh Freeman.  I went with Bishop, who had a similar career in one less season than Freeman and had the single better season in 1998.

Kansas Jayhawks
  1. Aqib Talib, CB
  2. Todd Reesing, QB
  3. Dana Stubblefield, DT
  4. Dezmon Briscoe, WR
  5. Anthony Collins, OT
Kansas does not have a decorated football program, but Talib was an All-American who was one of few Jayhawks to separate themselves at their position.  Ressing almost doubles-up the next best passer in Kansas history.  Stubblefield is another of just a few dominant defensive players to wear a Jayhawk uniform.  Briscoe is the all-time leading receiver in yards and touchdowns, surpassing the next closest by 13 TD's.  Collins was an above-average tackle who earned All-America honors as well.

Texas Tech Red Raiders
  1. Michael Crabtree, WR
  2. Zach Thomas, LB
  3. Graham Harrell, QB
  4. Montae Reagor, DE
  5. Byron Hanspard, RB
Crabtree gets the nod at #1 based on two years of sheer dominance.  In just those 2 seasons, Crabtree racked up 231 receptions, 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns.  Thomas was a 2-time All-American linebacker in the mid-90's who always has a nose for the ball, including 7 career fumble recoveries.  Harrell, until recently, was the career NCAA passing yardage leader with 15,793 yards and also threw 134 touchdowns to boot.  Reagor and all-time leading rusher Hanspard complete the Red Raider Five.

Baylor Bears
  1. Thomas Everett, DB
  2. Santana Dotson, DT
  3. Robert Griffin III, QB
  4. Gerald McNeil, WR
  5. James Francis, LB
Everett is the most decorated Baylor Bear in the past 30 years, making him an easy choice to top this list. Everett was a two-time All-American and Thorpe Award winner in the mid-80's.  Dotson was a force in the middle in the early 90's.  We are watching Griffin light up the record books the past few seasons and he may end up #2 on the list.  McNeil and Francis round out the list.

Iowa State Cyclones
  1. Troy Davis, RB
  2. Tracy Henderson, WR
  3. Doug Skartvedt, OT
  4. Karl Nelson, OT
  5. Ben Bruns, C
Davis is the #1 Cyclone in a landslide.  The only Division I-A player with two 2,000 yard seasons, Davis twice led the nation in rushing yards.  Henderson was a two-time All-American who left school as the Big 8 receiving record-holder.  Three offensive lineman make it a clean sweep for the offense for Iowa State.

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