Our preseason All-Big 12 team:
QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Sooners: No returning quarterback in college football has more career wins than Mayfield, who is 27-9 as a starter. Mayfield also has a chance to join Herschel Walker as the second player since the 1940s to finish in the top four of the Heisman voting three times.
RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State Cowboys: The reigning Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Hill’s ability to make the first defender miss is yet another reason why Oklahoma State’s offense figures to be devastating.
RB Justin Crawford, West Virginia Mountaineers: In his first season in Morgantown, Crawford rushed for almost 1,200 yards while averaging a whopping 7.3 yards per carry. His ability to reel off big plays will keep defenses from teeing off on QB Will Grier.
FB Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma: Though primarily a blocker, Flowers can run and catch when the Sooners need him to. This season, with a new core of rushers in the backfield, OU will especially need Flowers’ reliable lead blocking.
WR James Washington, Oklahoma State: Already with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Washington is an ESPN preseason All-American and the early favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wideout.
WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State Cyclones: Lazard is just the fourth player in Iowa State history to go over 1,000 receiving yards in a season. A four-year starter, he is one of the most consistent receiving threats in the country.
TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma: The Sooners are banking that Andrews, already a lethal red zone target, can double as a go-to option for Mayfield anywhere on the field.
OL Connor Williams, Texas Longhorns: Williams, an ESPN preseason All-American, has started every game of his Texas career and allowed only one sack and five pressures last season. He also paved the way for Doak Walker Award winner D'Onta Foreman.
OL Zachary Crabtree, Oklahoma State: With 33 career starts, Crabtree is by far the most experienced returning offensive lineman in the Big 12. He was also second-team All-Big 12 last year.
OL Orlando Brown, Oklahoma: Brown, an ESPN preseason All-American, has started 26 straight games for the Sooners and is the reigning Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year.
DE Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas Jayhawks: The Big 12 preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Armstrong is also the league’s top returning rusher coming off a season in which he was second in the conference with 10 sacks and a Big 12-best 20 tackles for loss.
DT Poona Ford, Texas: Ford has as much talent as any defensive tackle in the league. With Tom Herman calling him Texas' "hardest-practicing player" this preseason, Ford could be on the verge of putting it all together in his final season.
DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma: The Sooners are quietly optimistic that this Canadian native can give them the sort of difference-maker they've been sorely missing inside up front in recent years.
DE Reggie Walker, Kansas State: Last year’s Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Walker will try to fill the shoes of departed Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Willis as K-State’s primary playmaker off the edge.
LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma: A relentless pass-rusher, Okoronkwo finished third in the Big 12 with nine sacks in his first season as a starter. He should be even better in 2017, especially with the Sooners shifting to a 4-3 front that will unleash Okoronkwo more off the end.
LB Travin Howard, TCU: The reigning Big 12 tackle champ, Howard finished last year with 130 tackles, the third-highest total in the Gary Patterson era in Fort Worth.
LB: Malik Jefferson, Texas: After a disappointing sophomore season, Jefferson has been moved from the inside to weakside linebacker, where he should be a more dynamic playmaker in new coordinator Todd Orlando's system.
CB Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma: A four-year starter, Thomas had 17 pass breakups last season, which tied for third most in OU history. When locked in, he can blanket any receiver in the country.
S Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State: Flowers is the enforcer for the Oklahoma State defense against the pass and a heavy hitter when helping against the run.
S Dravon Askew-Henry, West Virginia: A preseason knee injury derailed Askew-Henry's entire 2016 season. When healthy, he's one of the best defenders in the Big 12, having started every game of his first two seasons in Morgantown.
CB D.J. Reed, Kansas State: The reigning Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, Reed tied for seventh in the nation last year in disrupted dropbacks (sacks/interceptions/batted passes/passes defended). In Reed and Duke Shelley, the Wildcats own the top corner tandem in the Big 12.
K Matthew McCrane, Kansas State: McCrane has nailed 36 of his 40 career field goal attempts, a 90 percent success rate that currently ranks first in K-State history.
P Zach Sinor, Oklahoma State: Texas' Michael Dickson led the league in punting by an average of nearly five yards last year. But Sinor is the biggest reason why Oklahoma State opponents had the worst average starting field position in the nation in 2016.
Returner Byron Pringle, Kansas State: Also the Wildcats' leading returning receiver, Pringle topped the Big 12 last year with an average of 29 yards per kick return.