We're counting down to the beginning of the season with the top 25 players in the Big 12. The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing players from the bottom of the list all the way to No. 1.
Here's more on my criteria.
Let's move on with the list:
No. 14: BJ Finney, C, Kansas State
2012 numbers: Helped Kansas State rush for 2,522 yards and pass for 2,701 yards while giving up just 14 sacks.
Most recent ranking: Finney was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Finney: Bill Snyder, y'all. Kansas State had arguably the best offensive line in the Big 12 last season, and Finney was the best player on it. He was a second-year starter who'll enter his third year as the middle of the Wildcats' line.
Most impressive? He began his career as a walk-on and has matured into one of the Wildcats' leaders. K-State has been 21-5 with him snapping the ball to Collin Klein, and even though K-State will be breaking in a new quarterback this fall, Finney and the four guys flanking him (including No. 16 on this list, LT Cornelius Lucas) will provide a strong performance up front. Finney, a 6-foot-4, 303-pound native of Andale, Kan., was a freshman All-American back in 2011 and figured to keep improving.
Back when he was being recruited, he had his heart set on playing for Frank Solich at Ohio. Then the Bobcats suddenly ran out of scholarships. Finney's family couldn't afford college, and he had to earn a scholarship in two years or his career would be over. Sure enough, he made it happen. It's an amazing story, but Finney is more than just a great story. He's a great player.
The rest of the list:
No. 15: Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech
No. 17: Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor