Big 12 Football: All-Conference Team for September

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2013

Big 12 Football: All-Conference Team for September

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    Johnathan Gray
    Johnathan GrayJim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

    We're a month into the college football season, and that means it's time to take a look at who have been the best players at each position in the Big 12. 

    Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty leads the conference signal-callers, averaging over 330 yards through the air per game. 

    Running back Lache Seastruck, Petty's counterpart, has also looked impressive early on and leads all rushers in the conference at 139 yards on the ground a game. 

    Checkout those guys and others on the Big 12 All-September team. 

    *All stats used obtained from the Big 12 website unless otherwise noted

     

QB: Bryce Petty, Baylor

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Bryce Petty is the emerging star in a wide open Big 12 this season. He leads the league in total offense with 1,038 yards through three games. Keep in mind, half the league has played four games. 

    Petty is also second in the league in pass efficiency with a 239.5 rating. He only trails Seth Russell, his backup. 

    In addition to being the most prolific passer in the league, Petty has also led the Baylor Bears to a perfect 3-0 record through the first month in the season and has his team poised for a run at a Big 12 title. 

RB: Johnathan Gray, Texas

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    While the Texas Longhorns' season has gotten off to a shaky 2-2 start, running back Johnathan Gray is tearing things up in Austin. 

    Through four games, Gray has 350 yards and three touchdowns on the year and ranks third in rushing yards per game at 87.5. 

    His coming out party this year happened against the Kansas State Wildcats. Not only did that 31-21 win get the Longhorns off a two-game losing streak, but his 141 yards against the reigning Big 12 champions earned him the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Week. 

RB: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    While Johnathan Gray has been impressive this season, no other running back has put up better numbers than Baylor's Lache Seastrunk. 

    Currently, he leads the conference in rushing yards per game at 139.0, nearly 46 yards per game better than James Sims of Kansas, who ranks second. He also has a league leading six rushing touchdowns. 

    The combination of Bryce Petty and Seastrunk is sure to be a dangerous one as the Bears prepare to enter league play this week against West Virginia, which is fresh off its upset win of Oklahoma State. 

WR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

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    Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats may not like their 2-2 record so far this season, but their struggles have had nothing to do with Tyler Lockett. 

    Lockett is first in the Big 12 in receptions per game (7.2) and second in receiving yards per game (117.2). He also set a school record for receiving yards in a game with 237 against Texas two weeks ago. 

    The Wildcats are struggling with a two-quarterback system that includes Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. But Lockett has at least been a consistent threat that both guys can rely on. 

WR: Tevin Reese, Baylor

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    Bryce Petty's favorite target for the Baylor Bears has been Tevin Reese. 

    Reese is third in the Big 12 in receiving yards per game at 116.7 and fifth in receptions per game at five. 

    His best game of the year came in Week 2 against Buffalo, when he racked up 130 yards receiving, as well as a score. 

    Reese's partner in crime has been Antwan Goodley, who actually leads the Big 12 in receiving yards per game at 123.3. 

TE: Jace Amaro

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    Being a starting quarterback for a Big 12 team as a walk-on freshman has been no easy task for Baker Mayfield. But his job has been made much easier thanks to tight end Jace Amaro. 

    Amaro is tied for first in the league in receptions per game at 7.2. He's also fourth in the conference with 91.8 yards receiving per game. 

    He certainly is living up to the hype of being voted onto the league's preseason team and has been a huge part of Texas Tech's 4-0 start. 

OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor

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    Cyril Richardson is the star of the Baylor offensive line, which has been the league's best so far. 

    The Bears not only have the best rushing attack in the league but also have the second-fewest sacks allowed at just four. 

    Both those marks are particularly impressive considering Baylor's uptempo style. So this offensive line is not only shutting opponents down, but they're doing it despite running 79.5 plays per game, according to TeamRankings.com

OL: Parker Graham, Oklahoma State

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    Oklahoma State's offensive line has been riddled with injuries this season but has still been successful. And Parker Graham has been a model of consistency for that unit. 

    The Cowboys are the best team in the Big 12 at protecting the quarterback so far, as they've allowed a league-low three sacks. 

    Following its upset loss to West Virginia, Oklahoma State looks to get back on track this week against Kansas State. 

OL: James Dunbar, TCU

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    After not participating with the team in 2012 due to academic issues, per Christian Corona of The Dallas Morning News, James Dunbar is making the most of his 2013 season. 

    TCU has only allowed five sacks this season, which ranks fourth in the league. 

    The rest of the Horned Frogs are looking to get back to .500 in Big 12 play this week as they travel to face the Oklahoma Sooners. 

OL: Trey Hopkins, Texas

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    Texas running back Johnathan Gray wouldn't be one of the league's best running backs without the help from his offensive line. And Trey Hopkins has been the star in the trenches for the Longhorns. 

    The Longhorns are third in the league in rush offense and have allowed only six sacks through four games. 

    After getting back to .500 on the season with a 31-21 win over Kansas State, the Wildcats will look to go 2-0 in the Big 12 against Iowa State this week. 

C: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

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    Gabe Ikard is the cornerstone for the Oklahoma Sooners offensive line, which has performed extremely well in the early going. 

    Against Notre Dame last week, the Sooners rushed for over 200 yards and made a stout Irish defensive line that includes Louis Nix III look helpless. 

    The Sooners have also allowed just four sacks on the year, tied for second-least in the league with Baylor. 

    A strong offensive line that can set the tone in the trenches will be crucial in the wide open Big 12. 

DL: Shawn Oakman, Baylor

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    While Baylor's offense has been prolific, its defense has been almost as impressive through the first three games of the season. 

    In the trenches, defensive end Shawn Oakman has shown that he can be a star in the league. Currently, he leads the league with eight tackles for loss, 2.5 more than Ryan Mueller of Kansas State, who ranks second. 

    The Bears offense will keep them in any game this year. But defense wins championships, so Oakman's play is sure to have a huge impact as the Bears try to make a run at a Big 12 title. 

DL: Ryan Mueller, Kansas State

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    Kansas State's defense hasn't looked good this season, but that's not because of defensive end Ryan Mueller. 

    This guy has the second-most tackles for loss in the conference with 5.5 and is also seventh in sacks with two. 

    The Wildcats have to improve its pass rush as they only have seven sacks on the year. And Mueller is sure to be a huge part of that effort. 

DL: Will Clarke, WVU

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    Will Clarke is one of the stars on a revitalized West Virginia Mountaineers defense. 

    Against Oklahoma State, where the Mountaineers upset the Cowboys 30-21, Clarke had six tackles. 

    Clarke is also currently second in the Big 12 with three sacks. 

    The Mountaineers travel to Baylor this week, where they'll have to deal with the Bears' high-octane offense. 

DL: Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech

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    Kerry Hyder of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is living up to the reputation of being a preseason All-Big 12 defensive lineman. 

    Hyder ranks fourth in the league in tackles for a loss at five, and he's also forced two fumbles. 

    The Red Raiders defense as a whole has performed well this year, ranking 51st in the NCAA in total defense. 

    Texas Tech is 4-0 and opens Big 12 play this week at Lawrence against the Kansas Jayhawks. 

LB: Blake Slaughter, Kansas State

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    Ranked third in the Big 12 with 31 tackles, Slaughter has been Kansas State's best defensive player by far. 

    Slaughter, who's a senior this season, redshirted last season as he would've been buried on the roster behind Arthur Brown. But this season, he's a captain for a defense that had to replace nine starters. 

    However, the Wildcats haven't gotten off to a good start as the defending Big 12 champions, losing to FCS North Dakota State in Week 1 and falling to Texas two weeks ago. 

    The Wildcats will look to earn a huge win in Stillwater this week, though, as they play the Oklahoma State Cowboys. 

LB: Ben Heeney, Kansas

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Ben Heeney has been far and away the best player on Kansas' roster this season, and he's a possible candidate for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. 

    In addition to leading the conference in tackles with 32 (10.7 per game), he also has two tackles for loss and four passes defended. 

    The Jayhawks look like they'll continue to be bottom-feeders in the Big 12 this season, but Heeney is certainly a star in Lawrence that will get serious looks by NFL scouts. 

LB: Brandon Golson, WVU

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    Brandon Golson has been another standout for the West Virginia defense, which is experiencing a resurgence this season. 

    Golson is tied for second in the league with three sacks and also has four tackles for a loss. 

    The Mountaineers are coming off their upset win of Oklahoma State and now travel to Baylor this week. 

     

DB: Jacques Washington, Iowa State

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    Jacques Washington is second in the Big 12 in tackles with 31 and is proving to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league. 

    The Cyclones had two star linebackers in Jake Knott and A.J. Klein last year. But it's been Washington that has filled their shoes in 2013. 

    His best game this year was in the 27-21 loss to Iowa, where he had 13 tackles. 

DB: Jason Verrett, TCU

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    Jason Verrett, a preseason All-Big 12 defensive back, is second in the league with seven passes broken up. 

    Verrett is a star in Fort Worth on a defense loaded with talent, including Devonte Fields. He's also well on his way to surpassing last year's mark of 16 pass breakups. 

    The TCU Horned Frogs will look to rebound from its 0-1 start in Big 12 play this week with a trip to Norman as they face the Oklahoma Sooners. 

DB: Sam Carter, TCU

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    Carter is part of an elite pass defense at TCU, and he may very well be the best player in the secondary for the Horned Frogs. 

    Although TCU has gotten off to a rough start, Carter already leads the league in interceptions with three and has also taken one back for a touchdown. 

    He also has 3.5 tackles for a loss, which ranks in the top 20 in the Big 12. 

    The Horned Frogs face the Oklahoma Sooners this week. 

DB: Darwin Cook, WVU

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    Darwin Cook rounds out the defensive representatives from West Virginia on this list. 

    Cook is not only third in interceptions in the Big 12 with three but he also has defended four passes. 

    He also ranks 23rd in tackles in the Big 12 with 31, a lot for a defensive backs. 

    West Virginia faces a huge test at Baylor this week in a game that could define both team's seasons. 

P: Anthony Fera, Texas

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    Anthony Fera has been one of the deadliest weapons for a Texas team that at times has struggled on offense. 

    To date, Fera has pinned nine of his punts inside the 20-yard line, which ranks second in the league. He also averages 43.5 yards per punt, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. 

K: Mike Hunnicutt, Oklahoma

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    Hunnicutt has been one of Oklahoma's most consistent players throughout his tenure, and his play this year has been exceptional. 

    The Sooners kicker leads the league in field goal percentage at 90.9, as he's hit 10 of his 11 attempts. He's also booted a 44-yarder.

    Oklahoma resumes Big 12 play this week as they host the TCU Horned Frogs.