The thing that could have derailed the Longhorns' hopes for a big 2013 was a big number of players pushing their names forward into the draft. Instead, just one player — defensive tackle Brandon Moore — elected to make the jump, and he happens to play a position the Longhorns are absolutely stacked at.
The Sooners were already going to have massive defensive replacements before top playmaker Tony Jefferson decided to go pro. And Tom Wort leaving was just a little extra salt in the wound. Kenny Stills going early doesn't hurt the Sooner receiver talent that much, though it does mean the Sooners are out their top two receivers from a year ago. He could have helped the new quarterback transition more easily. Aaron Colvin returning at cornerback does help some.
WINNER: Texas Tech
Kerry Hyder was the Big 12's most active defensive tackle a year ago, while Eric Ward was among the league's top receivers. While neither might have been an elite pro prospect, there were certainly lesser players jumping into the fray. Tech returning both players means the Red Raiders have some really nice pieces for new coach Kliff Kingsbury to play with on both sides of the ball.
Remember the lesser players comment? Ward certainly had a better season than TCU counterpart Josh Boyce, but that didn't stop Boyce from electing to jump early to the NFL. His absence hurts in that he could have been huge next year with pass-first Casey Pachall returning. Stansly Maponga didn't have a great year by the numbers, either. True, he was banged up, but what better reason to return and have a big senior year? The Horned Frogs can deal with his loss more easily, but losing an elite pass-rusher always hurts.