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Which Big 12 Players Have the Best Shot Taking Home Hardware This Year?

Kickoff is right around the corner and of course everyone is trying to predict how the season will go. From who is going to the playoff to who is winning the Heisman, everyone has a preseason list. As we creep into the month of August, all the preseason college football lists are out.

Several Big 12 players are on the watch lists, and I will share my thoughts on their chances of actually winning an award when the season ends. Since there are quite a few names in the conference on both sides of the ball, I went ahead and started with the offense first.


Davey O’Brien Award (Best Quarterback)

Candidates and their Chances to Win

Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders: 10%

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel: 25%

Thoughts: Not to be rude here but when the regular season is over, I don’t even think Spencer Sanders will be the best quarterback in the Big 12 Conference. While he did improve last season, he still is susceptible to costly turnovers. I am giving the edge to Dillon here because I really like his upside. He’s got plenty of starting experience and has thrown 70 touchdown passes in his career to just 14 interceptions. He also has improvement his completion percentage each season and it was a shame that an injury kept him on the sidelines for most of last season. Gabriel should be really fun to watch in Jeff Lebby’s offense.


Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year)

Candidates and their Chances to Win

West Virginia QB JT Daniels: 10%

Iowa State DL Will McDonald IV: 10%

TCU WR Quentin Johnston: 10%

Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson: 10%

Texas WR Xavier Worthy: 10%

Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders: 10%

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel: 15%

Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn: 50%

Texas RB Bijan Robinson: 50%

Thoughts: This is an offensive driven award that nine time out of ten goes to running backs or quarterbacks. For me, the Big 12’s best chance at getting a winner would be from the top two running backs in the conference. Deuce Vaughn and Bijan Robinson are two of the best running backs in the game and I wouldn’t be shocked if either player won.


Doak Walker Award (Best Running Back)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Texas RB Roschon Johnson: 5%

Oklahoma State RB Dominic Richardson: 10%

Oklahoma RB Eric Gray: 10%

TCU RB Kendre Miller: 15%

Kansas RB Devin Neal: 15%

Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn: 85%

Texas RB Bijan Robinson: 85%

Thoughts: This is a clear cut two horse race for the Doak Walker Award. Deuce Vaughn and Bijan Robinson. Both are extremely talented, and you could honestly flip a coin to determine which guy has the best shot. These two running backs are generational players in my opinion and could start for just about any college football team in the entire country. Don’t be shocked if one of these guys end up in New York City at the end of the season.

John Mackey Award (Best Tight End)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Texas TE Ja’Tavion Sanders: 5%

WVU TE Mike O’Laughlin:5%

Oklahoma TE Brayden Willis: 5%

Baylor TE Ben Sims: 20%

Thoughts: The tight end position has been an odd one in the Big 12. Iowa State has always had the best tight end in the conference for the last three seasons but there are some different faces this season. Ben Sims is the best of this group and caught six touchdown passes this season. When it’s all said and done, I don’t feel confident in any of these guys actually winning the award.

Biletnikoff Award (Best Wide Receiver)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Texas WR Isaiah Neyor: 10%

Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims: 15%

Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson: 20%

TCU WR Quentin Johnston: 35%

Texas WR Xavier Worthy: 40%

Thoughts: Much like the running back group, there is a clear gap between these players. Xavier Hutchinson, Quentin Johnston, and Xavier Worthy are the top three wide receivers in the Big 12 and then there is a gap between them and everyone else. It’s going to be interesting to see how their quarterback situations work out, but they are certainly talented enough on their own. One to keep an eye out for is Marvin Mims from Oklahoma. I am sure new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby will find a way to get him the ball more this season.

Rimington Award (Best Center)

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Kansas C Mike Novitsky: 5%

Oklahoma State C Preston Wilson: 5%

TCU C Steve Avila: 10%

Baylor C Jacob Gall: 15%

West Virginia C Zach Fraizer: 20%

Iowa State C Trevor Downing: 20%

Thoughts: Offensive linemen are tough to pick from, but the trio of Jacob Gall, Zach Fraizer, and Trevor Downing are on my preseason first team All-Big 12 list. There are plenty of good centers in the conference this season and it would be fun to see one of these guys win the award. It’s been awhile since a Big 12 center won.

Outland Trophy

Finalists and their Chances to Win

Baylor OL Connor Galvin: 10%

Baylor DT Siaki Ika: 15%

Kansas State OL Cooper Beebe: 40%

Thoughts: There were a ton of names in the Big 12 on this watch list because there are about 90 total players on the list. So, I went ahead I gave my top three Big 12 players for this award. Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe is raved about on Pro Football Focus. Last season he didn’t allow a single sack and had an 87.5 pass blocking grade.

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