Big 12 Football: The Midseason Award Winners
We are officially halfway through the college football season, which means it's time to hand out some cyber hardware.
We've got your Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.
We also have a few extra awards in store for Big 12 fans.
Offensive Player of the Year: Geno Smith
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
With so many incredible players in the Big 12 playing on offense, it was difficult to narrow this award down to just one person, but Geno Smith gets the nod for so many reasons.
Where would No. 13 West Virginia be without him?
He is the man that makes things happen for the Mountaineers, and when they don't happen, he takes off running and gains a few extra yards for his team.
Smith throws the ball very accurately—he hits his target 75.3 percent of the time. He's also never hit the wrong target, passing for 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Smith is currently the front-runner in the race for the Heisman Trophy.
Defensive Player of the Year
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Jason Verrett has been a busy young man. The 5'10", 180-pound junior cornerback already has four interceptions this year for TCU.
The Horned Frogs defense is the second best in the Big 12, and a large part of that is due to Verrett's outstanding play.
He's broken up eight passes and already has 12 passes defended.
Special Teams Player of the Year
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West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin is a huge threat whenever quarterback Geno Smith is throwing the ball in his direction. But Austin also gives coverage teams nightmares every time the ball is kicked in his direction.
How feared is Austin?
Austin has returned nine kicks for 293 yards, which gives him an average of 32.56 yards per return. He hasn't taken one to the house yet, but you know that's coming, don't you?
Freshman of the Year
Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
True freshman defensive lineman Devonte Fields has made a huge splash in his Big 12 debut. The 6'4", 240-pound defensive end has already forced two fumbles this season.
Fields also has 6.5 sacks on the season, which means he will be giving his opponents' quarterback a personal meet-and-greet at least once every game.
Isn't that nice?
Coach of the Year
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There are probably a few coaches in the Big 12 that wouldn't be too upset if Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder retired. His resume is already legendary.
He engineered the greatest turnaround in college football in his first tenure at Manhattan (1989-2005). When the Ron Prince era didn't go as planned, he came back for an encore, and right now, his 6-0 Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings.
He's a coach's coach. He recognizes talent, develops it and never stops teaching. And he does it all without benefit of a Top 25 recruiting class.
Biggest Surprise Team of the Year
Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy
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With only four returning starters on the 2012 squad, it looked like a rebuilding year for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
It got even more concerning when quarterback Wes Lunt went down with what appeared to be a knee injury on September 15.
J.W. Walsh filled in, and the Cowboys set a school record with 742 total yards in their 65-24 victory over Louisiana.
Who thought the Cowboys would be 3-2 in mid-October?
Most Improved Team of the Year
Red Raider head coach Tommy Tuberville
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We knew it wouldn't take much time for Tommy Tuberville to get Texas Tech back in the thick of things.
The No. 17 Red Raiders (5-1) shocked the world when they laid a whooping on West Virginia last Saturday, beating the Mountaineers 49-14.
The Red Raiders also have one of the stingiest defenses in the country, yielding an average of 243 total yards per game.
Lubbock, Texas, is smiling again.