Colleague KC Joyner has an interesting piece up on ESPN Insider this week examining the players in college football whose skill sets are the most perfect fits for how they're used in their respective teams.
Fascinating stuff, but two Big 12 talents made his list.
The first is rather obvious: Kansas State's Collin Klein as the "Bell cow option quarterback."
K-State's highest achievements have come when they have mobile quarterbacks (Hi there, Ell Roberson and Michael Bishop!), and this year, the Wildcats have yet another one. There's an air of skepticism about the SnyderCats outside of Manhattan, but don't be surprised if K-State springs another big year on us and wins 11-12 games when the season's over.
The biggest reason would be Klein, who Joyner notes was one of only seven players in college football with over 300 carries (he had 316) and was the only QB in the nation with over 250 carries. We saw Klein play the role of bell cow most when he beat Texas A&M with his arm and his legs, rushing for five touchdowns and 103 yards while also amassing 281 yards through the air.
The other player on Joyner's list? "Shutdown corner" Carrington Byndom at Texas.
Couldn't agree more. Texas' scheme sometimes puts cornerbacks on an island, but it emphasizes strong one-on-one matchups, and Byndom might be the Big 12's best when it comes to going mano a mano with receivers. That was never clearer than when he shut down Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon in a loss last season. Blackmon scored a touchdown, but holding him to four catches and 48 yards was huge. Making matters even more impressive? Byndom held Blackmon to those numbers on 10 targets during the game, nearly intercepting two passes.
The scariest part for the rest of the Big 12? The league doesn't have a receiver on Blackmon's level this year, and Byndom is still roaming the secondary. Look out.