Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is one of the top freshmen performers this season.
With the halfway point of the 2012 college football season approaching, it's time to take a look at some of the top freshmen performers so far this season. For the purpose of this article, Athlon included true and redshirt freshman, with an emphasis on the offensive and defensive performers. Quarterbacks grabbed three of the top five spots, as UCLA's Brett Hundley barely edges Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel for No. 1.
Week 5 provided plenty of excitement in the Big 12. West Virginia and Baylor met for a 70-63 shootout in Morgantown, while Texas and Oklahoma State matched up for a thriller in Stillwater. The Longhorns rank as Athlon's No. 1 team, but the top three aren't separated by much.
David Ash leads Texas in road test against Oklahoma State
With only four games involving Big 12 teams, this is a light week in the schedule. But what the Big 12 lacks in quantity, it may make up for it in early signpost games for conference contenders.
A week after Kansas State’s upset of Oklahoma in Norman reset the picture at the top of the conference, teams like Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor will have key games setting the tone for October.
Week 4 provided a few surprises in Big 12 play. Kansas State shocked Oklahoma in Norman, allowing the Wildcats to jump from No. 5 in Athlon's power rankings to No. 2. Kansas State is one of the least flashy teams in the nation but always finds a way to win. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas and Iowa State had a bye week, while West Virginia knocked off Maryland and TCU beat Virginia.
Non-conference play highlights the majority of the college football action this Saturday in the Big 12. Two teams take on opponents from the ACC (Virginia vs. TCU and Maryland vs. West Virginia), while Kansas travels to Northern Illinois and Baylor takes on Louisiana-Monroe. The biggest game of the Week 4 slate in the Big 12 is Oklahoma hosting Kansas State.
Week 3 featured a pedestrian slate of games in the Big 12. TCU-Kansas was the only conference game, while Texas easily handled Ole Miss on the road and Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma State cruised to victories. The Horned Frogs were victorious in their first Big 12 game, but the Jayhawks showed signs of progress in defeat.
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Offensive Player of the Year Standings
Week 3 is not the most glamorous slate of action in the Big 12. TCU-Kansas is the only conference game, while Texas-Ole Miss is the only other matchup featuring two BCS teams. Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech play teams from non-AQ conferences, while West Virginia, Baylor and Iowa State have games against FCS foes. It's a light week of action, but there are still plenty of storylines and matchups to watch this Saturday.
TCU opened the 2012 season in dramatic fashion. The Horned Frogs opened a renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium with an easy 56-0 win over Grambling. There's a lot of momentum around the program this season, especially with a move to the Big 12.
However, Saturday's win over Grambling might not have been the most exciting thing the fans got to watch. Before kickoff, the game ball was delivered via jetpack.
After going undefeated in Week 1, the Big 12 wasn't so lucky in Week 2. Oklahoma State fell on the road to Arizona, while Kansas suffered a surprising defeat to Rice. Oklahoma and Texas had easy victories over bad competition, and TCU opened a renovated stadium with an easy victory over Grambling. Iowa State moved to 2-0 with an ugly, but crucial 9-6 victory over Iowa.
Big 12 Post-Week 2 Offensive Player of the Year Standings
The competition wasn't particularly impressive, but Big 12 teams finished Week 1 with a 9-0 record. Eight Big 12 teams are in action this Saturday, with Baylor and West Virginia on a bye week. Non-conference play continues in Week 2, but Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State have key tests against BCS foes.