Allan Taylor compares his ballot to the All-Big 12 preseason squad

West Virginia safety Karl Joseph returned a fumble 38 yards for a touchdown against Iowa State.

 

IRVING, Texas — Safety Karl Joseph was the lone West Virginia player named to the media’s Preseason All-Big 12 football team on Wednesday.

The hard-thumping junior is entering his third year as a starter, though his first two seasons overlapped with two of the worst statistical defenses in Mountaineers history.

Here’s the complete rundown, which to the surprise of my ballot, did not include WVU offensive guard Quinton Spain. More commentary after the list:

2014 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team
Offensive Player of the Year:
  Bryce Petty, Baylor, QB
Defensive Player of the Year:
  Devonte Fields, TCU, DL
Newcomer of the Year:
  Tyreek Hill, Oklahoma State, WR
Offense
Pos
Name
School
Ht
Wt
Cl
Hometown
WR
Antwan Goodley
Baylor
5-11
225
 Sr.
Midland, Texas
TE
EJ Bibbs
Iowa State
6-3
261
 Sr.
Chicago
OL
Spencer Drango
Baylor
6-6
305
 Jr.
Cedar Park, Texas
OL
Cody Whitehair
K-State
6-4
309
 Jr.
Abilene, Kan.
C
B.J. Finney
K-State
6-4
303
 Sr.
Andale, Kan.
OL
Daryl Williams
Oklahoma
6-6
329
 Sr.
Lake Dallas, Texas
OL
Le’Raven Clark
Texas Tech
6-5
303
 Jr.
Rockdale, Texas
WR
Tyler Lockett
K-State
5-11
175
 Sr.
Tulsa, Okla.
QB
Bryce Petty
Baylor
6-3
230
 Sr.
Midlothian, Texas
RB
Shock Linwood
Baylor
5-9
200
 So.
Linden, Texas
RB
Malcolm Brown
Texas
6-0
228
 Sr.
Cibolo, Texas
PK
Michael Hunnicutt
Oklahoma
6-1
180
 Sr.
Richardson, Texas
KR
Tyler Lockett
K-State
5-11
175
 Sr.
Tulsa, Okla.
Defense
Pos
Name
School
Ht
Wt
 Cl
Hometown
DL
Ryan Mueller
K-State
6-2
245
 Sr.
Leawood, Kan.
DL
Devonte Fields
TCU
6-4
240
 So.
Arlington, Texas
DL
Chucky Hunter
TCU
6-1
305
 Sr.
West Monroe, La.
DL
Cedric Reed
Texas
6-6
271
 Sr.
Cleveland, Texas
LB
Bryce Hager
Baylor
6-2
235
 Sr.
Austin, Texas
LB
Ben Heeney
Kansas
6-0
230
 Sr.
Hutchinson, Kan.
LB
Eric Striker
Oklahoma
6-0
221
 Jr.
Seffner, Fla.
DB
Zack Sanchez
Oklahoma
5-11
179
 So.
Keller, Texas
DB
Sam Carter
TCU
6-1
215
 Sr.
New Orleans
DB
Quandre Diggs
Texas
5-10
204
 Sr.
Angleton, Texas
DB
Karl Joseph
West Virginia
5-10
196
 Jr.
Orlando
P
Spencer Roth
Baylor
6-4
225
 Sr.
Knoxville, Tenn.
PR
Levi Norwood
Baylor
6-2
200
 Sr.
State College, Pa.

My ballot agreed completely with all three player of the year candidates: How do you pick against Petty posting stratospheric numbers in the league’s most prolific offense? And how do you bet against a healthy and motivated Fields prospering under one of the Big 12’s top defensive minds? The newcomer is more of a tossup, so I’ll lean toward Hill—perhaps the fastest player in the FBS—making an instant impression in Oklahoma State’s uptempo attack.

There was only mild dissension with the rest of the first-teamers, where I concurred with 17 of the 26 picks. The distinctions:

• I had Spain listed ahead of K-State’s Whitehair, though admittedly there are only marginal differences. Both are fifth-year seniors with almost identical NFL draft stocks.

• Bibbs is a talent, but no Big 12 tight end made my ballot. I went with three receivers instead—you know, like almost every offense in the league. My receivers were Baylor’s Goodley and K-State’s Lockett, along with one who didn’t make the announced team: Texas Tech dynamo Jakeem Grant. The 5-foot-6 Grant made 65 catches with seven touchdowns despite a ton of balls going Jace Amaro’s direction.

• I also took a flyer on WVU kicker Josh Lambert over Oklahoma’s Hunnicutt, who was the safe choice.

• My kick returner was Baylor’s Corey Coleman over K-State’s Lockett, and my punt returner was Daje Johnson of Texas over Baylor’s Norwood. (I’m kicking myself for not asking Joe DeForest his personal opinion on these guys.)

• On the D-line, I left off a terrific defensive end, K-State’s Ryan Mueller, in favor of Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper. This may wind up being particularly egregious should Mueller win the Ted Hendricks Award, but I love Tapper’s potential and I hate picking chalk.

• My other D-line disagreement involved leaving off TCU’s Hunter in favor of Texas’ Malcom Brown, who’s taller, longer and more productive.

• Among the linebackers, I omitted the Jayhawks’ Heeney in favor of Oklahoma’s Dominique Alexander, who was fabulous in the second half of his freshman season.





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