3. Kansas State
At the top it was co-champions in the conference, with the head-to-head win going to Baylor, who used some late heroics to edge TCU 61-58 in Waco. Still, TCU faced what is considered to be the tougher schedule and would likely walk in to a re-match with the Bears on a neutral field as the favorite. It would have been a real treat to see the two teams square off one more time in the Cotton Bowl for true conference supremacy.
Bill Snyder continues to do a great job coaching the Kansas State squad and it has a stranglehold on the spot behind the top two teams and besides its losses to both TCU and BU it rolled through the rest of the conference competition, outscoring numbers four and five on this list by a combined score of 54-30.
The Sooners entered the year as a national championship contender, but limped to the finish line losing the ‘Bedlam Battle’ to Oklahoma State as well as dropping four of its last eight games. For the first time it seems the Sooners are now vulnerable at home as well, dropping three games at Gaylord Memorial Stadium in 2014.
UT is used to being listed higher on this list, but to be honest the way the season unfolded it is fortunate to be in the top half of the teams. A late flurry, winning three-of-four to finish the season, and a decisive victory over West Virginia gives the ‘Horns some momentum under first year head coach Charlie Strong.
Offensive Player of the Year – Trevone Boykin
It is going to be a clean sweep for TCU for the major awards this season, and the team was led on offense by the record-breaking quarterback, who exceled in the team’s new up tempo offense. Boykin, who played his high school ball at West Mesquite High near Dallas, Texas, was tops the Big 12 and third nationally in total offense with 363.0 yards per game. He has set TCU single-season records for passing yards (3,714), touchdown passes (30), total offense (4,356) and touchdowns responsible for (39). He is a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and was named the Big 12 Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
Defensive Player of the Year – Paul Dawson
Dawson was recently named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Big 12 by the Associated Press and they were right on with this selection. For the second consecutive year he led the conference with tackles per game, but in 2014 he extended his efforts from 7.1 tackles per game to 10.7. Dawson is the lone player in the nation with at least 100 tackles, five sacks and four interceptions. He has 18 1/2 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, five pass breakups and five quarterback hurries.
Coach of the Year – Gary Patterson
Gary Patterson led the Horned Frogs to their first Big 12 championship in just their third season in the conference. TCU was picked seventh in the preaseason conference poll. Patterson is TCU's all-time winningest coach with 131 victories, and he now has a unique stat, winning six conference championships in three different leagues during his 14 seasons as head coach. Patterson has guided the Horned Frogs (11-1) to the 11-win mark and the team finished sixth in the final College Football Playoff standings.
Offensive Freshman of the Year – Samaje Perine
Perine is the easy selection here and with the best game in the history of college football – a 427 yard, five touchdown performance against Kansas – underneath his belt he quite honestly pushed for overall tops in the conference period. With a bowl game pending (injury) Perine has rushed for 1,579 yards on the season, moving him into 10th place on the freshman all-time single-season rushing list in FBS history and seventh on the OU all-time single season rushing chart. His 21 rushing touchdowns tie him for fourth on the OU all-time single season rushing touchdown list with Steve Owens.
Defensive Freshman of the Year – Taylor Young
He red-shirted in 2013, but the DeSoto (Texas) High product wasted little time in making his presence felt in 2014. He finished second on the team in total tackles behind All-Conference selection and tackle machine Bryce Hager. Young was playing his best football at the end of the year, as his 13 tackles against Kansas State was his season high. He racked up 77 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and forced two fumbles. He has already earned Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors per the Associated Press.