The Big 12's Best

The Sooner State dominates postseason awards in the Big 12.

The Sooner State dominates postseason awards in the Big 12.

Athlon will be awarding postseason honors to each BCS conference in the country. Today we look at the Big 12’s best for 2010.

For the sake of this exercise, the Heisman and Bednarik will function as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Outland will be given to the offensive lineman of the year while the Lombardi will be given to the defensive lineman of the year. Two fictitious awards, the Adrian Peterson Freshman of the Year honor and the Desmond Howard return specialist of the year award, will be given as well.

Heisman Trophy (MVP/POY): Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
The most important player in this league could have easily been the quarterback for Baylor, yet for similar reasons, Weeden gets the nod. Weeden had his team within one score of a Big 12 title berth after shattering the single-season passing mark for the Cowboys. His veteran, mature presence undoubtedly helped with the 17 new starters.

Chuck Bednarik Award (Def. POY): Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
The league’s best coverman was the Prince from Lincoln. He led the league in passes defensed with 13, adding a sack and 47 total tackles. Teams consistently ignored his side of the field as he matched up with the opponent’s top wideout. Amukamara could be the top pure coverman in the nation and could be the first cornerback taken in the NFL Draft.

Davey O’Brien Award (QB): Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Weeden’s 4,037 passing yards were first in the league (until the title game when Landry Jones passed him with the extra game) and his 156.53 passer rating was the league’s best this season. His 32 TD passes were second only to Jones — who, again, had a extra game.

Doak Walker Award (RB): DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
This was going to go to Kendall Hunter or Murray. Murray led the league in yards from scrimmage (1,716 yards) and trailed only Justin Blackmon in scoring by a non-kicker. Murray also finished in the league’s top ten in receptions per game (5.31). His final line of 257 carries, 1,121 rush yards, 69 receptions, 595 yards and 19 total TDs makes him the top RB in the league.

Fred Biletnikoff Award (WR): Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
This one was a tough call. No, seriously. Blackmon was the nation’s best wideout, leading the country in receptions per game (9.27) and yards per game (151.4) and finishing first in the Big 12 in scoring by a non-kicker (fourth nationally with 10.9 ppg). Yet, Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles was deserving as well. They were the best two wide receivers in the nation, but you have to give the edge to a guy who had no fewer than 105 yards in every game he played.

John Mackey Award (TE): Michael Egnew, Missouri
The Tigers’ tight end trailed only Ryan Broyles and Justin Blackmon for catches per game in the Big 12 this fall (6.92). He was arguably the most productive pass-catching tight end in the nation as his 83 receptions were 29 better than next in line (Collin Franklin – 54). He finished second nationally in yards for a tight end with 698.

Outland Trophy (O-Lineman): Nate Solder, Colorado
The lone bright spot on the Buffalo squad, Solder led the way for Rodney Stewart and his 1,318 yards — good for third in the Big 12. With very little else around him on the offense, the fact that Stewart averaged over 100 ypg is extremely impressive. Look for Solder to be a first-round selection the upcoming NFL draft.

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Athlon Sports picks its postseason awards for the 2010 Big 12 conference.

Dick Butkus Award (LB): Von Miller, Texas A&M
There is a small bit of confusion at this spot since names like Von Miller and Sam Acho are technically listed as linemen but play the hybrid role. Miller led the league in sacks with 9.5. He forced three fumbles, picked off one pass, recovered a fumble, deflected six passes and totaled 46.5 tackles. He finished third in the league in tackles for loss as well with 14.5. If Miller counts as only a lineman, then this award probably goes to Orie Lemon of Oklahoma State.

Jim Thorpe Award (DB): Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
See the Chuck Bednarik award above.

Lombardi Award (D-Lineman): Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma
Oklahoma has never had a Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Beal was the Sooners’ first this fall. He led the league in tackles for loss with 18 and finished third in sacks with 8.5.

Adrian Peterson Award (freshman): Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
Martinez experienced some bumps in the road — injuries, inconsistency, his coach publicly berating him on national TV — but also led his team to the Big 12 title game. He finished with 1,578 yards, 9 TDs, 6 INTs, 942 yards rushing and 12 TDs on the ground.

Lou Groza Award (K): Dan Bailey, Oklahoma State
The Pokes kicker led the league in scoring (11.42 ppg) and was second nationally in that category. His 2.0 field goals made per game (24 total) led the league and were third nationally. Again, the Cowboy was an easy selection.

Ray Guy Award (P): Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
The Pokes punter finished third nationally — and led the league — with an average of 46.24 yards per punt.

Desmond Howard Award (KR/PR): Williams Powell, Kansas State
Even though he didn’t return punts, Powell led the nation at 34.6 yards per kick return. His 726 kick return yards were second in the league, and he took one back against Baylor.

Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (HC): Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Replacing 17 new starters, including the school’s all-time leading passer at quarterback, was a tall order. But Gundy had his team within two plays of the Big 12 title game, and he got a win in Austin for the first time in decades. This was an easy choice.

Broyles Award (Asst Coach): Dana Holgerson, Oklahoma State
All Holgerson did in his first season in Stillwater was generate the most offense of any team in the nation. Oklahoma State boasted the nation’s top unit, averaging over 537 yards per game. The Cowboys also led the league in scoring at nearly 45 ppg.

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