It's getting close to that time of the year. The 2013 regular season is entering the final stretch. That means more BCS championship talk and individual awards.
How is the Big 12 looking in the postseason awards picture?
Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)
Semifinalists: Bryce Petty, Baylor; Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Thoughts: The two best players on the Big 12's best team make the cut. With other names like Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, there's only going to be so much room on the Maxwell Award semifinalist list. The Big 12 isn't a conference full of stars this year.
Davey O'Brien Award (Nation’s Best Quarterback)
Semifinalist: Bryce Petty, Baylor
Thoughts: The Big 12 hasn't been a quarterback conference in 2013, mainly because that spot has been a revolving door for just about every team except Baylor. Not surprisingly, Petty is the only Big 12 player on the O'Brien semifinalist list. Tough to argue with that.
Jim Thorpe Award (Nation’s Outstanding Defensive Back)
Semifinalists: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma; Jason Verrett, TCU; Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
Thoughts: All three are deserving of being named a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award. It's tough to single out just one guy in TCU's secondary since that entire unit is filled with talent, but Verrett is the best shutdown corner in the conference. Though they didn't make the semifinalist group, West Virginia's Darwin Cook and Karl Joseph have also had excellent years forcing turnovers.
Lou Groza Award (Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker)
Semifinalists: Ryan Bustin, Texas Tech; Anthony Fera, Texas; Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
Thoughts: Georgia's Marshall Morgan or Tulane's Cairo Santos should be considered the favorites for this year's award. Hunnicutt was 1-of-2 Thursday night against Baylor, missing a 48-yard attempt.
Chuck Bednarik Award (College Defensive Player of the Year)
Semifinalists: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Thoughts: There shouldn't be an argument with Jeffcoat, who has been spectacular. It is a little disappointing not to see Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller on the list. A former walk-on, Mueller has been an absolute force in the backfield with 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Not to mention, he has the best individual forced fumble/recovery in the conference. It's also a little surprising not to see Verrett's name.
Ray Guy Award (Nation's Outstanding Punter)
Semifinalists: No Big 12 representatives.
Thoughts: Kirby Van Der Kamp from Iowa State isn't on the list? For shame!
Butkus Award (Nation's Top Linebacker)
Semifinalists: No Big 12 representatives.
Thoughts: Had Texas' Jordan Hicks not sustained a season-ending injury against Kansas State, he may have made the cut here.
Lombardi Award (Nation’s Best Lineman or Linebacker)
Semifinalists: No Big 12 representatives
Thoughts: Baylor's Cyril Richardson seemed like a natural inclusion before the start of the year, but the Bears' offensive line hasn't quite been the stout group it was hyped to be. Also, it's becoming increasingly disturbing that Chris Whaley's name hasn't been mentioned anywhere. His stats aren't the best on his own team, but he has two fumble recoveries for a touchdown for Texas.
Outland Trophy (Nation’s Outstanding Interior Lineman)
Semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 20.
Thoughts: The Big 12 was well-represented when the Outland Trophy watch list was released over the summer, but there are some more well-known names, like Jake Matthews (Texas A&M) and Louis Nix III (Notre Dame), that may come away with the hardware.
Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year)
Semifinalists will announced on Nov. 13.
Thoughts: It's going to be tough for anyone from the Big 12 to beat out the likes of Winston or Manziel. It's possible Petty could make his way on to the list, however.
Nagurski Award (National Defensive Player of the Year)
Finalists will be announced on Nov. 21.
Thoughts: There could be some familiar names on the finalists list, but the best bet seems like Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat.
John Mackey Award (Most Outstanding Tight End)
Semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 18.
Thoughts: According to David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro was left off the midseason Mackey Award watch list because former coach Tommy Tuberville felt Amaro should be labeled a wide receiver. This is tragic. Amaro is the fifth-leading receiver in the country with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.
Biletnikoff Award (Nation’s Outstanding Receiver)
Semifinalists announced on Nov. 18.
Thoughts: Since Amaro apparently isn't eligible for the Mackey Award, maybe he can nose his way in to the running for the Biletnikoff Award? Baylor's Antwan Goodley may also have a shot with 974 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Doak Walker Award (Nation’s Outstanding Running Back)
Finalists announced on Nov. 25.
Thoughts: Seastrunk's injury against Oklahoma came at a bad time. Also, he's rarely played a full game this season. Otherwise, his numbers would be the most ridiculous in college football. Still, Seastrunk's 11 touchdowns are among the best in the country. He'll be in the running for the award if he has a big November.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.
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