Irving, Texas In the 15 seasons of the Big 12, the talent pool has been deep enough to produce perennial contenders for the national championship, the Heisman Trophy and all other measures of success.
But who was the best of the best?
Former Texas quarterback Vince Young, former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops rose to the top in voting for the Associated Press’ all-time, All-Big 12 team, released Wednesday.
With the conference as we’ve known it going into its final weeks, the AP asked voters for this year’s all-conference squad to pick a team based on the league’s entire run. Voters were asked to take into account how a guy played over his entire tenure in the Big 12 and not to factor in whether the player became a star or a bust as a pro.
Suh and Young were chosen the top players on each side of the ball.
Suh and Stoops were runaway winners in the voting by 20 writers from newspapers across the seven states.
Suh and Stoops had the same reaction when told of the news Wednesday: “Wow.”
“I feel honored, for sure, and humbled because I’ve got great respect for the other strong, successful programs in the league and the other great coaches,” Stoops said.
“That’s huge!” said Suh, who at 6-foot-4, 307 pounds is rather large himself. “That’s a great honor.”
Young was a narrow choice over another Longhorns star, running back Ricky Williams. Of the 26 position players chosen, Suh and Williams were the only unanimous picks.
Four guys were named on all but one ballot: Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree, Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson, Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen and Oklahoma safety Roy Williams.
Kansas and Iowa State were the only schools not to have a player named to the team.