With the 2010’s coming to an end, it’s time to debate the All-Decade Big 12 team. It isn’t an easy debate and certainly there are going to be selections we have that you will disagree with, but that’s what makes it fun.
Granted, this decade saw a lot of movement for the Big 12 with teams coming and going. We will do it this way: your team has to currently be in the Big 12 and your success has to have been in the Big 12. That means Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Geno Smith (who spent most of his career in the Big East), will not be selected.
So let’s get right to it.
Quarterback: Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
Baker Mayfield finished his Big 12 career with 131 touchdown passes to 30 interceptions, 14,607 passing yards and a 68.5% completion percentage between his one year at Texas Tech and three with the Oklahoma Sooners. His career touchdown passes are No. 2 in the Big 12 and he’s No. 3 in the Big 12 in passing yards. Oh, and he’s No. 1 in the Big 12 in being responsible for 153 career touchdowns. In 2015, he finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting, third in 2016 and then won the award in 2017, while leading OU to two College Football Playoff appearances.
QB Honorable Mentions: Robert Griffin III (Baylor); Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State); Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State); Landry Jones (Oklahoma); Trevone Boykin (TCU), Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
Running Backs: Shock Linwood (Baylor); Samaje Perine (Oklahoma)
These two guys were workhorses in the Big 12 for their respective teams. Linwood had at least 128 carries in each season at Baylor, totaling 713 carries for 4,213 yards, while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. His rushing yards make him No. 4 on the all-time Big 12 rushing list. I don’t think anyone outside of Baylor fans would have guessed that. As for Perine, his 4.122 rushing yards in just three seasons rank him No. 7 all-time. His 49 rushing touchdowns rank him the highest of any Big 12 running back for his career this decade. Both are well deserving.
RB Honorable Mentions: Justice Hill (Oklahoma State); James Sims (Kansas); John Hubert (Kansas State); David Montgomery (Iowa State); Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State)
Wide Receivers: James Washington (Oklahoma State); Tyler Lockett (Kansas State); Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)
This was a tough call as the decade has in many ways been about the wide receiver in this conference. For Justin Blackmon, his career technically started in 2009, but only 260 of his 3,564 receiving yards came in the previous decade. His two incredible seasons of 2010 and 2011 are ranked No. 3 and No. 12 in single-season receiving yards in Big 12 history, respectively. His 2010 season ranks as arguably the best statistical season for a wide receiver in college football history. His 1,782 yards were the best ever in the Big 12 and his 20 receiving touchdowns ranked No. 1 in the NCAA. He won back to back Biletnikoff Awards at OSU and was a 2010 consensus All-American.
Meantime, James Washington ranks second in Big 12 history in career receiving yards with 4,472, along with 39 receiving touchdowns, which ranks No. 5 in Big 12 history. He won the 2017 Biletnikoff Award as well and is in the Top 10 in the Big 12 in career yards from scrimmage. Rounding out the wide receivers is Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett, who might be the most underrated player in Big 12 history. Would you have guessed it’s Lockett who ranks No. 6 in Big 12 career receiving yards? Be honest. I did not realize that. He was a 2014 consensus All-American and he’s No. 9 in the Big 12 in career receptions with 249.
WR Honorable Mentions: Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma); Allen Lazard (Iowa State); Kendall Wright (Baylor); CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma); DeDe Westbrook (Oklahoma); Kareem Grant (Texas Tech)
Tight End: Jace Amaro (Texas Tech)
Amaro had the best single-season for a tight end in Big 12 history. He was a 2013 consensus All-American after racking up 1,352 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. For his career, he had 1,818 yards, barely edging out his runner up, Mark Andrews, in career receiving yards. Both guys have one All-American to their name, so I’m giving Amaro the edge due to his history 2013 campaign.
Honorable Mention: Mark Andrews (Oklahoma); E.J. Bibbs (Iowa State)
Fullback: Trey Millard (Oklahoma)
Millard was a bulldog for the Sooners, consistently playing all four years at Oklahoma, with 538 career rushing yards and 677 receiving yards. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection his final three seasons in Norman.
Honorable Mention FB: Winston Dimel (Kansas State); Kye Staley (Oklahoma State)
Offensive Line: Dalton Risner (Kansas State); Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma); La’Raven Clark (Texas Tech); Orlando Brown (Oklahoma); Cyril Richardson (Baylor);
This was obviously incredibly tough. But let’s get to the reasoning. Dalton Risner was a staple with the Wildcats, starting 50 of 51 career games, earning three First-Team All-Big 12 nods and an All-American selection as a senior. Gabe Ikard was a consensus All-American in 2013, a three-time All-Big 12 player, and a freshman All-American in 2010. La’Raven Clark was also a Big 12 staple, earning three first-team All-Big 12 nods, with one second-team nod, and was named a second-team All-American by CBS Sports in 2015 and by USA Today in 2014. Orlando Brown had himself a great career at OU, being named the Big 12 offensive lineman of the year in 2016 and 2017, along with being a consensus All-American in 2017. Cyril Richardson was a consensus All-American in 2013 at Baylor and was named the Big 12 offensive lineman of the year in 2012 and 2013 and is also the only Big 12 player to win the Jim Parker Trophy, given to the nation’s top offensive lineman, this decade.
Honorable Mention OL: Levy Adcock (Oklahoma State) Spencer Drango (Baylor); Cody Whitehair (Kansas State); Tyler Orlosky (West Virginia); Zach Crabtree (Oklahoma State); Bobby Evans (Oklahoma); Ben Powers (Oklahoma)
Stay tuned, we will announce the defensive selections next week!
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