Top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 21

With signing day quickly approaching, it’s time to close the chapter on the 2013 season. We’re counting down the top 25 players in the Big 12 in 2013 over the next few days with a list collaboratively selected by Jake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson. We continue the postseason countdown with the No. 21 player in the Big 12.

No. 21: Clint Chelf, QB, Oklahoma State

Previous ranking: Unranked in the blog’s preseason list of the Big 12’s Top 25 players.

Making the case for Chelf: Chelf lost his starting position to J.W. Walsh two series into the season opener against Mississippi State. But when Chelf finally got the job back in late October, he took off. As a result, the Cowboys did too.

Chelf was terrific leading Oklahoma State to a validating 52-34 win at Texas Tech on Nov. 2.

Then, he unleashed two of the best quarterback performances of the Big 12 season in back-to-back weeks.

At Texas, he threw for 197 yards and ran for another 95 while racking up four touchdowns in Oklahoma State’s convincing 38-13 victory.

The following week, with ESPN “College GameDay” in Stillwater, Chelf completed 19 of 25 passes for a career-high 370 yards and three touchdowns, as the Cowboys routed Baylor, 49-17. He had a 48-yard reception on a trick play, as well. For the second consecutive week, Chelf also posted the second-highest QBR in college football, delivering a score of 97.8 (scale zero to 100). Thanks to that two-game run, he finished the season eighth nationally in QBR, and joined Brandon Weeden as the only other Oklahoma State quarterback to earn all-conference honors. Chelf was second team behind Baylor’s Bryce Petty.

Though they ultimately came up short, the Cowboys had a chance to win the Big 12 title in the regular-season finale. Chelf was the biggest reason why.

The rest of the list:

No. 22: Jeremiah George, LB, Iowa State

No. 23: Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma

No. 24: Ty Zimmerman, S, Kansas State

No. 25: Calvin Barnett, DT, Oklahoma State