Amid all the distractions of the LHN, we've failed to discuss the release of the media's Preseason All Big-12 Team.
I've cut and pasted below for visual effects:
QB: Landry Jones, Oklahoma - Green chile, ftw. Most consistent QB in the Big 12.
RB: Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M - Good call.
RB: Bryce Brown, Kansas State - Hmmm, didn't see enough of him at Tennessee to say he'll run all over this conference, but he'll sure get plenty of opportunities under Bill Snyder. When healthy, I still think Christine Michael is the cream of the crop, but Brown will most likely put up better numbers.
RB: Roy Finch, Oklahoma - This one is kind of a head scratcher as he's not assured to be the primary ball carrier. He could serve as a hand warmer in Jeff Fuller's fanny pack. I would have ditched him for the sure thing at WR as Fuller might be the highest draft pick in the conference next spring, if he lays down a nice 40 in Indy.
WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State - Duh, but I don't think he's going to run or catch good enough to be drafted where most think he will.
WR: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma - WRs will dominate the league again this year, especially when you consider the formidable duo of Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon at Baylor.
TE: Michael Egnew, Missouri - Stat monster, possession receiver with very few TE skills. I would prefer New Mexico's Lucas Reed, but he plays in the wrong conference.
OL: Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State - A serviceable pick in a largely ho-hum tackle class.
OL: Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State - I apparently missed the boat on Osemele and the scouts seem to be buzzing about him. One thing I am personally excited about for the new Big 12 is that I'll get to see all the players. Osemele is on my checklist.
C: Ben Habern, Oklahoma - My mental rolodex is doing nothing at the center position, so I'll settle for Habern. David Snow of UT has some tools that are worth keeping an eye on.
OL: Lonnie Edwards, Texas Tech - He's been the best guard in the conference for the last year and a half. Glad to see he's finally getting his due. Limited in mobility to a degree at the second level, but dominating at the point of attack.
OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M - An upside pick, but a good one at that. Normally, I would chastise for starting 3 tackles, but I'm positive the media had in mind to bump Osemele inside to guard like I do. Savvy thinking by the writers, imo.
- I'm actually somewhat impressed overall with the offensive selections and it's a good place to start.
DL: Brad Madison, Missouri - I like Madison, but it seemed I saw more snaps from Jacquies Smith last year. For some reason, I'm thinking this might not be the final season pick as the raw talent of Jackson Jeffcoat or Alex Okafor will bump someone in the end.
DL: Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma - He gives up a lot of size in the run game, so he'll have to play the ole' game a bit. Has the speed to be a serious threat on passing downs, however. I guess the writers are going to concede the run game with 3 DEs. Since they didn't pick a 3-tech for you, I'll give you a sleeper pick. Cooper Bassett at OSU. Think I'm joking? Just wait until you see this guy run. Was just a pup last year, but Bassett is one of the most athletic tackles this league has seen in a while. I'm gambling he bulked up from the 260 he played at last year after moving from TE. Size could set him back from winning a starting gig on his own team. Or at 6'5", create a 290-lb warp driven machine with 3-4 end potential at the next level.
DL: Kheeston Randall, Texas - The surest thing on the DL and could work his way up the draft with a consistent senior year.
DL: Frank Alexander, Oklahoma - Without Aldon Smith, Sam Acho and Jeremy Beal, DE accolades are up for grabs. I liked Alexander in 2009 and I suspect he'll bounce back fine from injury.
LB: Travis Lewis, Oklahoma - Will this guy ever graduate?
LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State - He's probably alright, but we'll see how he does facing all the explosive spread offenses of the former south division.
LB: Keenan Robinson, Texas - I'm a big fan.
DB: Coryell Judie, Texas A&M - Best cover man in the league.
DB: Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State - If he runs well, which I think he can, Martin will have several lucrative options at the next level.
DB: Blake Gideon, Texas - The token white guy, who has been around forever pick. Just edged out next year's choice of Cody Davis. I like my guy because he's my guy, but Tony Jefferson looks special to me despite his positional label.
DB: Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma - He looked like a victim at times last year, so I'm not sold. A healthy Justin Gilbert at OSU has the most potential. Tyler Stephenson at Baylor could build on a solid finish to 2010 as well.
K: Grant Ressel, Missouri
P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
KR: Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
PR: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU - He's got the most street cred, so no use taking risk.
Defensive Player of the Year: Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma - He's been around long enough to deserve it.
Newcomer of the Year: Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas - I'm confused. Is Bryce Brown eligible? My thinking is a freshman, who showed up in the spring, or a JUCO will win.