In this week's Take Two, we debate what Big 12 player had the biggest gripe about being left off ESPN.com's All-America team, which did include TCU QB Trevone Boykin, Baylor OT Spencer Drango and Baylor DE Shawn Oakman.
Take 1: Brandon Chatmon -- Baylor DT Andrew Billings
Oakman gets most of the headlines, memes and praise for Baylor’s defensive front, but the senior might not even be the best defensive lineman on his team. And Oakman’s praise of his teammate during Big 12 media days is a sign he agrees.
As anyone who saw Billings chase down former Kansas running back Corey Avery would attest, the junior is just as much of a physical freak as Oakman. He moves like a running back and is a record-breaking weight lifter. He transformed that incredible physical ability into production as a sophomore, earning All-Big 12 honors as a disruptive and durable force in the middle while starting all 13 games. Billings finished his 2014 season with 37 tackles including 11.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and nine hurries.
This season, Billings is hoping to boost those numbers, particularly his sacks. The junior is convinced he left a lot of sacks on the field during his second season in the defensive interior for the Bears. Surrounded by other top-notch linemen in Oakman and Beau Blackshear, Billings has the talent and should have the opportunity to increase those numbers with offenses forced to account for the rest of the defensive line.
Billings may not have landed on the list of preseason All-Americans but don’t be surprised if he finds himself on the postseason list.
Take 2: Jake Trotter -- Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah
This isn't an argument about who the better player is between Billings and Ogbah. Billings got my preseason vote for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. You won't find a bigger Billings fan than I.
To me, though, Ogbah has the biggest gripe, because Oakman was placed on the All-America team over him, among other defensive ends. Oakman is obviously a great player. But sometimes the myth exceeds the actual man. Last season the coaches named Ogbah -- not Oakman -- the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year for a reason.
Sure, Oakman is an imposing presence, but Ogbah was the more consistent play-to-play performer last season. They both finished with 11 sacks last year. But Ogbah got there without playing alongside a defensive lineman the caliber of Billings. And he got there despite lining up for a defense that returned only three other starters from the season before.
During Big 12 media days last month, even Oakman admitted he didn't even know who Ogbah was. Because he's not 6-foot-9, 275 pounds and he doesn't sport a crop top with eight-pack abs, Ogbah isn't the household name Oakman is.
But Ogbah is a heck of a player. And he has the biggest gripe of any Big 12 player omitted from the All-America team.