It's fun to look back on the season and remember some of the highs and lows, but I thought I would take a different approach with my reflection, and have a little fun with it. Here is the first annual installment of Big 12 Football Superlatives!
Best Dressed: TCU and Texas, tie. The Frogs white helmets with white pants and purple jerseys might be the best "new school" look in the conference, in my highly biased opinion, while UT holds the title for best "classic look" with their burnt orange tops, white pants, white helmet, and that iconic longhorn logo.
Best Smile: Chuck Hunter, TCU. The TCU senior lights up a room when he flashes the pearly whites, and no one seemed to have more fun than Chucky, on or off the field.
Quote of the Year: Chris Del Conte, TCU. Does anything stand out more, when all things are considered, than CDC's proclamation that "Our greatest PR and our greatest strength is our student-athletes, our coaches, letting their performance on that field speak for itself"? While other schools, coaches, and Ads politicked and hired PR firms, TCU was content to go about their business and prepare for the next opponent, leading them to what will likely be a top 3 finish in the final polls.
Most Likely to Succeed: Malcolm Brown, Texas. The defensive tackle lost out of player of the year honors, but may be the surest thing in the NFL draft. The All American was dominant for the Longhorns, and his skills should translate easily to the next level.
Coolest Couple: Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, TCU. The co-offensive coordinators turned the Frog's laughing stock of an offense in to one of the most potent in the country, and a former WR/RB in to a Heisman contender at QB. Here's hoping that this couple doesn't have a breakup after their freshman year :(
Best Hair: Mike Tuaua, TCU. With his luxuriously flowing locks, the junior defensive star has a future in shampoo commercials with Troy Polomula. He barely holds off WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, who's wind swept comb over is truly one of a kind.
Biggest Drama King: Art Briles, Baylor. The Bear's coach was a good quote all season, at least when you could understand him through the foot in his mouth. Between questioning the amount of southerners on the CFB Playoff committee, calling voters un-American, or his shredding of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby during the Big 12 trophy presentation, Briles was never far from a microphone or unwilling to say something to get people's attention. But after his team blew a 20 point second half lead in the Cotton Bowl, he became more of a joke than a sympathetic figure.
Biggest Prankster: Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma. DGB, who was once the biggest signing in Mizzou history, was kicked off the Tigers squad for multiple run ins with the law and picked up by the Sooners. But the joke was on Stoops - the former #1 receiving recruit in the country will never suit up in the crimson and cream, choosing instead to forgo his remaining two seasons of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
Biggest Over-Achiever: Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech. While not the only two sport athlete in the conference, he may soon be the most accomplished, as the true freshman shined on the gridiron after injuries hastened his development. Mahomes performed so well down the stretch for Tech that he apparently scared off their 5* QB commit, and the pitcher could be a big part of a Tech baseball team that hopes to return to the CWS after their surprising run last season.
Best Hall Monitor: Charlie Strong, Texas. Strong came in to Austin and ran players out from day one, cleaning up the locker room and turning his team in to HIS team. While the new regime didn't produce on the scoreboard, the vibe around Austin is definitely different than the free-wheeling Mack Brown days of old.
Mostly Likely to be President: Art Briles, Baylor. He's already proven he can politick with the best of them, he is supremely quotable, exceptionally whiny, and like most politicians, capable of talking a good game, making promises, and then not holding up his end of the deal.
Best Athlete: Kolby Listenbee, TCU. Listenbee showed his speed on the football field this year, breaking free for several long touchdowns over the course of the season. But Kolby might be an even bigger star on the track, where he has posted a 10.23 official 100m dash as well as a wind aided 10.12, making him the fastest man in the conference.
Worst Dancer: Baylor Bears sideline. I don't know what is going on with the masks and the dancing and the coaches crowd surfing, but whatever it is supposed to be, it it ultimately epically stupid.
Best Dancer: David Porter and Kolby Listenbee, TCU. The dynamic receiving duo were well known throughout the season for their excellent TD dances, and their Nae Nae at the Peach Bowl after Listenbee ripped the ball from Golson for a score was pretty legit.
Best Looking: Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech. The conference's reigning "Pretty Boy" is well aware of his good looks, openly admitting to flirting with potential recruit's mothers on in home visits. But while I will readily admit Kliffy is cute, we all know winning is sexy, and therefor I'll always be a Gary Girl.
Most Intellectual: Chris Giron, Texas. Anyone who is on the Academic All-American team while studying Aerospace Engineering wins this going away.
Mr. Congeniality: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. Snyder's self-deprecating wit and monotone delivery bely his good nature and warm heart. Snyder, who is well known for sending handwritten notes to opponents win or lose, is quite possible the most respected man in college football, a lesson Jim Mora learned the hard way. Manhattan will be a colder place the day he decides to step down (again).
Classiest: David Ash, Texas. The senior QB saw his career cut short due to concussion problems, but was an exemplar for Texas and college football in general both before and after his retirement. His senior night moment at DKR had even Frog fans teary eyed on Thanksgiving.
Most Interesting Man in the Big 12: Chuka Ndulue, Oklahoma. The defensive lineman is of Nigerian descent, speaks three languages, loves soccer, and Japanese anime, and Kenny G, and hopes to work for Apple someday.
Best Facial Hair: Nick O'Toole, West Virginia. If you're going to get noticed as a punter in a conference known for not having to punt much, there's not a better way to do it than with a killer 'stasche, and O'Toole has that in spades.
Best Moment: Trevone Boykin, TCU. Boykin's flip in to the end zone against Kansas State stands out as the best moment of the year in a season full of exciting plays. At the time, the touchdown seemed to stamp his pass to NYC, and while that didn't come to fruition, his season was one for the record books and had TCU as the talk of college football. Boykin's flip takes the title (barely) over Nigel King's incredible tip drill touchdown against the Frogs - because this is a TCU blog and that almost cost us the game ;).
Worst Moment: Art Briles, Baylor. Briles take down of commissioner Bob Bowlsby during the Big 12 trophy presentation was an embarrassment locally and nationally for the Bears and the conference, and set off a fire storm in the media over the debate of who belonged - TCU or Baylor. BU's hiring of a PR firm shortly thereafter and their failed attempt to strong arm their way in to the final four became an embarrassment after they surrendered a 20 point second half lead and coughed up the Cotton Bowl.
Most Likely to Be a Coach: Clint Trickett, West Virginia. The Mountaineer quarterback was forced to retire due to concussion issues, but his talent and skill would translate well to the sidelines. Here's hoping there's a GA position for him in Morgantown or elsewhere next fall.
Teacher's Pet: Bryce Petty, Baylor. The Bear's QB just looks like the guy who sits in the front row of every class and brings his teachers apples on Mondays, doesn't he? But in all seriousness, Petty has been a class act for his four years, and by all accounts is a great kid, as evidenced by his being elected the Bobby Bowden FCA award winner for the 2014 season.
Newcomer of the Year: Allen Lazard, Iowa State. The freshman wide receiver just edges out Baylor's KD Cannon, as Lazard put up impressive numbers despite the fact he basically played without a QB. Lazard is a beast at 6'5", and while his 45 receptions and three TDs aren't the gaudy stats of some of his WR brethren, imagine what he will do if the Cyclones can get any kind of consistent play under center next year.
Are there any I left out? Are there too many TCU winners (of course not)? Leave your superlatives in the comments!