Basketball

12 Thoughts on This Week in the Big 12: A Bad NFL Draft, Big 12 Steal, + Who Will Flop?

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1) All in all, it was a bad weekend for the Big 12 in the NFL Draft. Of the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 had, by far, the least amount of players drafted. The order went SEC (54 players drafted), ACC (47), Pac-12 (39), Big Ten (35), and the Big 12 (25). This is more disappointment for the Conference. In December, they became the only Power 5 conference left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff. Now, they carry the notion of having the fewest amount of players drafted to the NFL. Also, to say this was just a one year blip on the radar would be inaccurate. The numbers were not much different last year. The SEC came in first (49), ACC (42), Pac-12 (34), Big Ten (30), and Big 12 (17). Yes, you can argue they have fewer teams than the other conferences. But, the gap is such that it should be cause for concern for a conference looking for increased respect.

2) Interestingly enough, it was the Oklahoma Sooners who had the most players drafted out of the Big 12 with seven. Despite what has been considered, by OU standards, a down couple of seasons in Norman, the respect for the program and for Bob Stoops continues to help pump out NFL talent. That’s the bright side. A Bob Stoops hater would say: “if we have the most players drafted in the Big 12 this season, how did we once again come up well short of expectations!?” Fair point… fair point.

3) Credit to the Seattle Seahawks who traded up for Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett in the second round of the draft. Lockett can be what Percy Harvin once was for the Seahawks … albeit a (hopefully) healthier version. Lockett will be the excellent return man and a great 2nd or 3rd option at wide receiver. He’s a great fit for the Seahawks, and if you’re a player, there’s only a handful of organizations with the stability that comes with the Seahawks. Both sides should be very happy.

4) The biggest reach of a pick from the Big 12 was Oklahoma WR Dorial Green-Beckham, selected by the Titans in the second round. Sure, Green-Beckham was the top recruit out of high school and is an athletic and physical specimen. But, in his two seasons at Missouri, he got by on mostly athletic ability and size. Then, you factor in his several off-the-field incidents, the fact that he hasn’t played organized football in two years, and that everyone else in the NFL is just as athletic as he is… DGB is in for a rude awakening this season. I don’t see him panning out.

5) Speaking of former OU wide receivers that didn’t pan out … remember Trey Metoyer? He came to the team in 2012 as a very highly touted and recruited wide receiver. But, he started just 4 of 11 games in 2012 and played in only 4 games in 2013. Metoyer left the Sooners in 2013 after being charged with indecent exposure. Authorities say he publicly exposed himself to two different women in Norman. Well, Metoyer has been sentenced to eight years of probation after being convicted of the indecent exposure. This is the classic example of how quickly a career can be thrown away. As someone once told me, the NFL isn’t full of the best athletes in the country, the NFL is full of the best athletes in the country who stayed out of trouble. Amen.

6) OK … back to guys who made it: West Virginia WR Kevin White, selected 7th overall by the Chicago Bears. It was well known the Bears needed a wide receiver for Jay Cutler to overthrow … I mean a wide receiver to replace Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Jets. With White, the Bears now have, arguably, the best ‘young’ one-two WR punch in the league with White and Alshon Jeffrey.
Personally, White is known as nothing but a standup individual. Growing up, White worked for two summers at McDonald’s while working to become a better football player. No entitlement attitude, limited ego, the guy just gets it.

7) The top quarterback in the Big 12, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, was rumored to potentially be a late first/early second round pick, but fell to the fourth round where the Jets traded up a pick to draft him. Sure, history tells us no quarterback should want to go play for the Jets. But, I have more faith under the new regime of GM Mike Macagnan and head coach Todd Bowles. I really think it’s a great fit for Petty. He’s a smart, hardworking guy who will give Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick everything they can handle this summer. Ultimately, I think Geno Smith gets the nod as starter, but give Petty one year to learn an NFL system, sit on the bench, and the Jets may very well have their franchise quarterback beginning in 2016.

8) Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy made some incredibly interesting comments last week in a conversation with the Tulsa World, saying his 2011 team would have beaten LSU by three touchdowns. Boom. But, you know what? I don’t think that’s crazy. If you recall, that was the year Alabama backdoored their way into the BCS National Championship game, for an all-SEC, regular season rematch between LSU and Alabama. ‘Bama ended up getting the nod over Oklahoma State, who suffered a late season overtime road loss to Iowa State on a strangely played Friday night game, the same day the school lost their women’s basketball coach to a plane crash.
Oklahoma State deserved to be in the National Title game based on their entire body of work in 2011. And yes, I’m with Gundy, they would’ve rolled LSU.

9) Staying with Gundy, the Tulsa World article also noted Gundy feels rejuvenated in Stillwater is a ready for another 10 seasons with the Cowboys. It was an honest conversation in which Gundy admitted to making mistakes when he flirted with openings at Arkansas and Tennessee. But, in fairness, I think any person that is always looking for more to achieve wonders whether or not the “grass might be greener” elsewhere. Sure, Gundy has had a tenuous relationship at times with AD Mike Holder and booster T. Boone Pickens, but I really wouldn’t hold the Arkansas/Tennessee situations against him if I were an Oklahoma State fan. Simple reason? He did stay in Stillwater.
Also, Gundy did something not many Type A personalities want to, nor can admit: that he hit a wall during his time with OSU. An FBS football coach the kind of job that will wear down just about any human being. But, for Gundy to say as much is refreshing and rare. Kudos to him for the entire piece.

10) Here is our tweet of the week. Gets back to #1. Hate to admit this, but it’s brutal honesty. And it’s a trending problem.

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11) Scouts, talent evaluators, and columnists continue to rave about incoming Kansas big man Cheick Diallo. KU Sports’ Tom Keegan even wrote that Diallo is the missing piece for a potential Final Four team next season. While I have never see Diallo play, he is a top-10 prospect nationally, and at 6’9”, 225, is the 3rd ranked player in the country at his position of power forward. The only thing I worry about Diallo, who is from Mali, moved to the US in 2012 to pursue his basketball future at Our Savior New American in Centereach, NY, is that he has not played hoops for all that long (2010). Sure, it is similar to Joel Embiid, who didn’t start playing the game until his mid-teens, and turned himself into the #3 overall pick in the NBA Draft. But, expecting every raw big man to become a top-5 pick in the NBA Draft is asking a lot.
If Kansas is going to make a Final Four run, it’s because there will be continued improvement from those already on the roster such as Perry Ellis, Devonte Graham, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas, and others.

12) Of course we haven’t had our weekly picks against the spread since basketball season ended. But, we are already looking to football season, as some week one lines have been released! TCU opens up as a 19.5 point favorite at Minnesota. Baylor is favored by 35.5 points against SMU. Texas is a 12.5 point underdog against Notre Dame. Just reading and thinking about the lines make me crave for late August to be here already! That being said… I don’t mean to rush the summer. But, I gotta admit, there’s nothing quite like the anticipation of the college football season (NFL too).

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