It's officially awards watch list season. Over the next couple weeks, college football's major awards will release lists of players they are watching this season. Players not on preseason watch lists will still be eligible to win later in the season.
Eleven Big 12 players are on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given annually to college football's top player. Here they are, in alphabetical order. The SEC had the most players on the watch list, with 13.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
Dominique Whaley, RB, Oklahoma
Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Casey Pachall, QB, TCU
Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas
Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Maxwell Award is basically the mini-Heisman, so look for the same usual suspects when you're looking at the favorites. Certainly, Landry Jones, Geno Smith and Collin Klein are at the top of that list. Joseph Randle could make some noise, too. If Malcolm Brown somehow has to carry the load at Texas and the Longhorns rise up and win 10-11 games, he could be a factor in this race.
It's a pretty good watch list, otherwise. The biggest snub in my book would be West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey. If Austin is on the list (and he should be), why the heck wouldn't Bailey be? Those two are arguably the Nos. 1 and 2 receivers in the league.
Andrew Luck won the award last year. Texas' Colt McCoy was the last Big 12 player to win the Maxwell Award. He took it home to Austin in 2009. Vince Young also won it in 2005, a year after Oklahoma's Jason White won the award.
Texas is tied for third nationally with four winners.