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A few who just missed the top 25

We finished off our countdown of the conference's top 25 players on Tuesday, but trimming the bottom of the list was extremely difficult. Plenty of players got left off who you'll hear from often when the season arrives. Here's eight of them in no particular order:

Baron Batch, RB, Texas Tech

Batch scored 14 rushing touchdowns last season, more than any other back in the conference, and was fifth in rushing yards, with 884. He also had the second-highest yards per carry average of backs with at least 100 carries. As you'd expect from a Red Raider running back, he also established himself as a top target in the passing game, catching 57 passes for 395 yards and a touchdown.

Kyle Hix, OT, Texas

Hix earned All-Big 12 honorable mention as the Longhorns' right tackle in 2009, his second year as starter. This season, with the Longhorns leaning a bit more heavily on the running game, he'll be counted on to help pave the way for teammates Tre' Newton and Fozzy Whittaker.

Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska

One of the bright spots of Nebraska's offense last season, Paul caught 40 passes for 796 yards and four touchdowns. If Zac Lee (or whoever becomes Nebraska's quarterback in the fall) can get him the ball more effectively, he's easily capable of hitting the 1,000-yard mark.

Kelechi Osemele, LT, Iowa State

Osemele earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2009 and protected the blind side of Austen Arnaud, who was sacked just 16 times. He and his fellow linemen, including center Ben Lamaak, also helped Alexander Robinson rush for 1,195 yards last season and the 17 total sacks were third fewest in the conference. Preparing for his second full season as starter, Osemele could make the postseason list with another solid effort.

Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma

One of the Big 12's hardest hitters, Carter intercepted four passes, broke up five more and made 88 tackles in 2009. He earned All-Big 12 second-team honors in his first year as full-time starter, and was the Sooners' second-leading tackler.

Alex Torres and Detron Lewis, WRs, Texas Tech

Torres and Lewis put up almost identical numbers in 2009 and should be due for two more big years in 2010. The pair both caught six touchdown passes, topping 64 catches and 800 yards apiece.

Drew Dudley, LB, Kansas

Dudley should be solid in the Jayhawks' deepest group: linebacker. Kansas needs to be better on defense to win games, and doing that starts with Dudley. Last season, he made 88 stops, 8.5 tackles for loss and had three sacks.