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Big 12 football: Making some preseason predictions

The Oklahoman's staff writers make their preseason predictions for Big 12 offensive and defensive player of the year, along with predicting the newcomer of the year and making three bold predictions.
Oklahoman Published: July 22, 2013


photo - Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk (25) celebrates their 41-14 win over Kansas following an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson) ORG XMIT: TXWAC110
Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk (25) celebrates their 41-14 win over Kansas following an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson) ORG XMIT: TXWAC110

The Oklahoman's staff writers make their preseason predictions for Big 12 offensive and defensive player of the year, along with predicting the newcomer of the year and making three bold predictions.

Ryan Aber, OU writer

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lache Seastrunk, Baylor

Seastrunk might've been the Big 12's best offensive player at the end of last year, finishing the season with five 100-plus yard rushing performances in the final six games. This season, Seastrunk will break out and become one of the best players in the country, though.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Devonte Fields, TCU

Fields will miss the first two games due to suspension but he'll be back when by the time Big 12 play starts. Fields was dominant last season as a freshman and only figures to get better, anchoring the front of the best defense in the Big 12.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Charles Sims, West Virginia

With his pass-catching ability out of the backfield, the Houston transfer figures to be a perfect fit for Dana Holgorsen's offense. Sims, who will take advantage of the graduate-transfer rule that allows him immediate eligibility, rushed for 851 yards and had 373 receiving yards in just nine games last season with the Cougars.

THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS

1. Tracy Moore finishes with a 1,000-yard season. Moore has had a solid career with the cowboys but hasn't finished with more than 672 receiving yards. Now, with a second chance at a senior season, Moore takes advantage and breaks into four figures and becomes Clint Chelf's favorite target.

2. Texas finishes in the second division. The Longhorns are once again picked up near the top of the Big 12. What exactly have they done lately to earn it? Texas consistently has the top-rated recruiting classes and the preseason hype but for the last three seasons has been a flop. That doesn't change this year as the Longhorns finish in the bottom half of the league. Texas returns a boatload of starters but coming off a 5-4 Big 12 record, is that necessarily a good thing?

3. Kansas won't win a Big 12 game for the third consecutive season. Every dog has its day, right? Not the Jayhawks, at least not lately. They still don't have the firepower to compete with even the below-mediocre teams near the bottom of the Big 12 and the Jayhawks become only the second Big 12 team (1999-2001 Baylor was the other) to go three seasons without a conference win.

John Helsley, OSU writer

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State

The Big 12's top returning receiver was dominant a year ago, despite so much attention from enemy defenses. With Tracy Moore and others to command respect, Stewart will find more room to work, and to thrive.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Devonte Fields, TCU

A warning flag must be waved in lieu of Fields' suspension. Still, if he hasn't let his big freshman breakout go to his head, he will rule the league and strike fear in offensive tackles and quarterbacks across the Big 12.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Kevin White, West Virginia

The transfer wideout is a big, physical player expected to thrive in his debut with the Mountaineers. And he'll be given every opportunity in Dana Holgorsen's wide open offense.

THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS

1. OSU receivers Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore will battle for notice as the Big 12's best receiver, but redshirt freshman Jhajuan Seales is the one Cowboys fans will be talking about by season's end.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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