Prepping the preseason top 25 players list

Before and after every season, we rank the top 25 players in the Big 12, and it's time to do it again before 2013 officially kicks off.

We'll have No. 25 later today, but here's my criteria for the list.

  • My postseason list takes into account only the past year. My preseason list factors in the player's entire career. That will cause a few shifts.

  • This is not a list of the top 25 NFL prospects in the league. Pro potential is not a factor.

  • How do I approach this list? Imagine I were drafting the best overall talents in the league. Each player's role or meaning to his team is irrelevant. This is not a "most valuable" list. It's the Big 12's best players.

  • Sometimes stats tell the whole story. Other times, they don't. Player X might have had more tackles or more yards or interceptions than Player Y, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be higher than Player Y on the list.

  • This is all about who deserves it. It's not a MLB All-Star team. I don't place token players on the list so each team is represented.

This list is always difficult to put together, but that was especially true this time. The NFL draft and graduation took a toll on last year's list, and the amount of elite talent in the Big 12 is definitely down to start the season. I expect a lot of breakout seasons across the league (mostly on offense) because of that inexperience, but piecing together this list was tougher than in most preseasons.

Get ready for the road to No. 1 to start later today.