MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia receiver Kevin White and safety Karl Joseph were named All-Big 12 selections by the league’s coaches Wednesday, and graduate transfer Shaq Riddick earned Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
Offensive lineman Mark Glowinski was voted to the second-team, along with kicker Josh Lambert, who despite being a Lou Groza finalist had to take a back seat to TCU’s Jaden Oberkrom within his own conference.
Texas sensed a similar snub for defensive lineman Malcom Brown, who wrecked plays on a weekly basis only to see Defensive Player of the Year honors go to TCU linebacker Paul Dawson.
Longhorns defensive coordinator Vance Bedford went to bat for Brown with a pair of tweets:
“Malcom Brown was up for national awards but our own conference does not see what the nation sees.”
“Every team in the BiG twelve had to game plan him. Someone tell me how he was passed over.”
These college awards slant heavily toward championship teams, and TCU deserves spoils after an 11-1 season. I’ll even stick up for Dawson, to a degree: He played a man’s game in Morgantown by making 12 tackles, a sack, and a one-handed interception that led to a Frogs’ touchdown in what became a 31-30 win. (A last-play win, of course, thanks to Oberkrom’s 37-yard field goal.)
Dawson led the Big 12 with 128 tackles, tied for the lead with three fumble recoveries, and tied for third with four interceptions.That’s big-time production in all the statistically splashy categories, leading to moments this season where I thought he was TCU’s best player even as Trevone Boykin soaked up the Heisman glow reserved for offensive stars.
Brown led all Big 12 linemen with 63 tackles and interior linemen with 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He was a monster, a devastating point-of-attack factor and a player who figures to be a high NFL draft pick. With great defensive linemen being rarer than productive linebackers, you can understand the griping from Texas. But the Dawson pick also was credible, especially considering TCU led the league in scoring defense.
Boykin, of course, won the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year. His plus-23 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio was the best in the conference, representing a marvelous development for a player who lined up primarily at receiver last season. Boykin’s 363 yards per game also topped the Big 12, though he frequently benefited from receivers turning short passes into big gainers. Boykin also ranked only fourth in quarterback efficiency (behind Jake Waters, Bryce Petty and Pat Mahomes) and fifth in completion percentage.
West Virginia’s White was a viable POY candidate for a while, at least until seeing his targets reduced in the final month. Boykin’s only real competition for the offensive award came from Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine, whose league-leading 1,579 yards were 353 better than runner-up Shock Linwood. Perine’s 21 touchdowns were five more than the next-best player at any position.
Years from now, I think Perine’s stellar freshman campaign, bolstered by his FBS-record 427-yard output against Kansas, will be the most remembered aspect from this season.