The Big 12's best assistant coaches in 2012

Taking a page out of the book of our Big East bloggers, it's time to tab the best assistant coaches in the Big 12 over the past season. Anyone not a head coach is eligible.

1. Todd Monken, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks, Oklahoma State. Monken was robbed as a nominee for the Broyles Award as college football's top assistant coach. Monken dealt with injuries that no other assistant in the league had to and still kept Oklahoma State producing. The Cowboys had three (!!) 1,000-yard passers and had the nation's No. 5 offense.

2. Art Kaufman, defensive coordinator, Texas Tech. Yes, Tech backslid a bit late in the season, but Tech was one of the nation's worst defenses a year ago and Kaufman moved them into one of the better defenses in the league, including some early-season dominance. Texas Tech was 114th in total defense last season. Kaufman moved the Red Raiders up to 39th.

3. Mike Stoops, defensive coordinator/secondary, Oklahoma. Stoops had tons of talent in his unit, headlined by Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin, but he turned one of the Sooners' weaknesses from a year ago into one of its strengths. This was the highest-profile hire of the offseason, and it paid off. Oklahoma gave up 18 touchdown passes a year ago. This season: Just nine.

4. Joe Wickline, offensive line, Oklahoma State. Another year, another fantastic go-around by the big guys up front in Stillwater. Wickline had an experienced unit this year and didn't have to deal with the injuries of 2011, but OSU threw the ball 461 times and only gave up 10 sacks, the fewest in the Big 12. Additionally, the Cowboys boasted the Big 12's No. 1 running back, Joseph Randle, and the league's No. 2 rushing attack.

5. Wally Burnham, defensive coordinator, Iowa State. Burnham had a pair of star linebackers to play with, but helped produce breakout stars in DL Jake McDonough and safety Durrell Givens, too. Iowa State gave up more than 24 points in just four games.