I can’t adequately begin to describe how disorienting it was putting together this year’s edition of the Blatant Homerism All-Big 12 Team. In the past, the league has been overflowing with offensive stars, while selecting players on the defensive side of the ball felt like picking a combo meal at Taco Bell. This season, up was down, left was right and there are a bunch of Mexican Pizzas on the O.
I’ll have some picks for award winners up later, but without further adieu, the Blatant Homerism 2013 All-Big 12 Team:
QB: Bryce Petty, Baylor
RB: Charles Sims, West Virginia
WR: Antwan Goodley, Baylor
WR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
WR: Eric Ward, Texas Tech
TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL: Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor
OL: Trey Hopkins, Texas
OL: Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State
All-Purpose: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
*Petty and Amaro might have been the easiest selections on the board. You can knock the Baylor quarterback’s gaudy numbers as a product of his system, but at least Petty held onto his job all year. As for Amaro, he proved to be the pre-eminent offensive weapon in the league. He created headaches for defensive coordinators throughout the league and should thrive in a creative offensive system on the next level.
*With such a poor year at quarterback, it would make sense that figuring out the wide receivers would turn out to be a difficult task as well. I had a really difficult time leaving off Saunders and Mike Davis of Texas, but at the end of the day, I sided with the production of Goodley, Lockett and Ward.
*I felt like the AP voters did a pretty good job with the selections on the offensive line, which tends to be where you’ll see the most controversy. I went with Lucas over Parker Graham of Oklahoma State, but either would deserve it. (I will admit that it doesn’t feel right not having one Cowboy on the first team.)
*I just had to make a place for Saunders. In a year in which OU’s quarterback situation was a mess, he made so many big plays for the Sooners. Deep threat, possession guy, jet sweeps, punt returns - he did it all this season.
DL: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
DL: Ryan Mueller, Kansas State
DL: Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
DL: Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
LB: Jeremiah George, Iowa State
LB: Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma State
LB: Eddie Lackey, Baylor
DB: Jason Verrett, TCU
DB: Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
DB: Gabe Lynn, Oklahoma
DB: Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
All-Purpose: Jacques Washington, Iowa State
*Cedric Reed was a tough omission on the defensive line. Call Tapper a homer pick if you'd like. He will also be one of the best pass rushers in the nation next year, so you should probably buy in now.
*So many good candidates at linebacker this year. (Can’t believe I’m saying that.) I wouldn’t argue against OU’s Eric Striker, Tech’s Will Smith and KSU’s Blake Slaughter being on the first team.
*Defensive back was one position where I thought the AP writers went with a couple name picks in Aaron Colvin and Ty Zimmerman. Both were missing in action enough this year to the point that I wouldn’t have them on first unit.
*Whatever the objections to his on-field demeanor, I can’t leave Dixon off. He just made too many enormous plays for the Bears this season. And who would have thought Lynn would develop into a high-caliber safety at OU? He was great playing centerfield for the Sooners and was nails in run support.
*I went with stat sheet stuffer Washington for the wildcard position over Striker. Striker offered such a disruptive force for the Sooner D, but the Cyclone safety did more for his team from an all-around standpoint.