For the original Big 12 story, and a look at how the players were ranked coming out of high school, visit: http://recruiting.scout.com/2/1029874.html
Blackmon's 11-game numbers of 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns rank as one of the greatest seasons in Big 12 history. What's frustrating is that if he would have played against Kansas State, and only put up an average game, he would have finished the regular season with 1,816 yards and 20 touchdowns, easily within striking distance of Michael Crabtree's conference high marks of 1,692 yards and 22 scores. As it was, he made a claim for the most dominant season since Crabtree, and at times drew comparisons to the former Texas Tech star. It's worth noting that he seemed to be the only receiver who got the best of our defensive player of the year, putting up a 100-yard game.
Big 12 First Team
Quarterback: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Reports came out of Stillwater this past spring that the Cowboys had found their quarterback in the overage Weeden. But I don't know that anybody thought Weeden would emerge as the conference's top signal caller. He passed for 4,037 yards and 32 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions on the year.
Running back: Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
The second of the triplets, Hunter rushed for a Big 12-best 1,516 yards and 16 touchdowns, serving as a consistent rushing threat all year long. That longevity is why I picked him over Cyrus Gray, who was the Big 12's top back over the last half of the season. Gray rushed for 838 yards (139.7 per game) and 10 touchdowns in six games, but had just 195 yards and two touchdowns in the first six.
Next one up: Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M
Wide receivers: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma We've already touched on Blackmon's year, one which ranks among the best in Big 12 history. And that's saying something with the receivers the conference has seen. Broyles had an exceptional year of his own, catching 115 passes for 1,391 yards and 13 touchdowns, but was largely overshadowed by Blackmon's efforts. Both Blackmon (sophomore) and Broyles (junior) are underclassmen.
Next one up: Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
Egnew is the latest in a nice line of pass-catching tight ends for the Tigers, and was far-and-away the most effective player at his position in the Big 12. Egnew hauled in 83 passes for 698 yards and four touchdowns, essentially serving as a reliable safety valve for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, and another tough-to-cover receiver on third downs.
Solder is one of the Big 12's top professional prospects, a tackle with exceptional reach and great feet. He's also one of the key reasons that back Rodney Stewart finished third in the Big 12 in rushing. Adcock was the best lineman on what was supposed to be a retooling group. Instead, Oklahoma State's offensive line paved the way for a 1,500-yard rusher and a 4,000-yard passer.
Next one up: Eric Mensik, Oklahoma
When watching Taylor Martinez, Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead run wild this year, it was nearly impossible not to notice the gaping holes they were able to find up the middle. Credit Henry with their lack of impediments. Henry routinely blew open gaps for big plays and made blocks downfield. Edwards was a key component in Texas Tech steadying the offensive ship after a somewhat rough start. The Red Raiders were able to average 4.1 yards per carry, somewhat of a surprise in what was expected to be a rough transition from Mike Leach's Air Raid offense.
Next one up: Ryan Miller, Colorado
Center: Tim Barnes, Missouri
The anchor of a Missouri line that finally was able to break through against the big boys, paving the way for wins against Texas A&M — albeit before the Aggies hit their stride — and Oklahoma. Barnes was a great leader and the conference's top man-in-the-middle.
Next one up: Ben Lamaak, Iowa State
Kicker: Dan Bailey, Oklahoma State
Bailey drilled 24 of 28 field goals on the season, and actually finished the year as the Big 12's top scorer, putting up 137 points in 12 regular season games (11.4 per game). Bailey hit a long of 52 yards on the year and made 65 of his 66 freebies. You could also make a case for Alex Henery's accurate leg here, though Henery didn't attempt nearly as many kicks.
Next one up: Alex Henery, Nebraska
Athlete/All-Purpose: DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
Murray's regular season numbers told the story of his multi-faceted skill set. He rushed for 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns, then added 64 catches for 535 yards and five touchdowns in the passing game. That made him the only back to rank in the Big 12's top 10 in both rushing yards per game (seventh) and receptions per game (tied for ninth). He finished first in the league in all-purpose yards and second to Blackmon in all-purpose yards per game.
Next one up: Daniel Thomas, Kansas State