There's a lot of riff-raff when it comes to preseason watch lists. The Doak Walker isn't one of them.
Less dependent on wins and team success, the award's got a nice history of legitimately going to the best running back all the land.
Ten players from the Big 12 made the list, and there might be a few contenders -- or at least finalists -- among the group, which is the biggest of any conference:
Baron Batch, Texas Tech
Jay Finley, Baylor
Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M
Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Christine Michael, Texas A&M
DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
Alexander Robinson, Iowa State
Rodney Stewart, Colorado
Daniel Thomas, Kansas State
Derrick Washington, Missouri
Now, if someone would like to explain to me how Jay Finley (370 yards) makes this list and Roy Helu (1,147 yards) doesn't, I'm all ears. Snub of all snubs right there. But in the same breath, I'd like to also remind you that it's also a watch list.
Of the backs in the Big 12, the favorites for the award would probably be Thomas or Helu, who both look likely to crack 1,000 yards once again as the focus of their teams' offenses. Big years by DeMarco Murray, Kendall Hunter or Christine Michael might do it, too.
But in tune with what I wrote about yesterday, the one thing that sticks out about this is how many more players made this list than others. The Big 12 put four quarterbacks on the Manning list and five on the O'Brien.
Six receivers landed on the Biletnikoff list.
The Doak Walker list is only more evidence that -- even with an egregious omission from the list -- the Big 12's talent on offense has shifted to the running game.