By now, it should be abundantly clear that the Big 12 has been the greatest success story in college football.
The league is the best in college athletics, and it’s also one of the most entertaining.
We’ve seen teams like Baylor and TCU get national attention, and we’ve seen Oklahoma and Baylor take their game to the next level.
But this has been a league that’s had a lot of heartbreak in recent years, as the conference has gone from a powerhouse to an afterthought.
After the 2011 season, when the conference made a massive splash when it announced it was leaving the Big Ten for the ACC, the league lost a lot in that transition.
It went from being a powerhouse conference to being a fringe power, and now, as we approach its 20th season, it’s left its mark on a number of players.
We spoke with nine of the top 10 players in the nation to get an inside look at the Big XII and why the league is still going strong.1.
Josh Allen, Texas Tech.
Allen was an incredible prospect who came into the league as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect, but had an uneven debut as a sophomore.
His first season was derailed by injuries, but his sophomore season was even worse.
He started all 13 games, was named the Big 16 Offensive Player of the Year and had a career-high 7.9 yards per carry.
It was a big year for Allen, who became the first player in the history of the Big East to finish with 1,000 career rushing yards, 715 rushing touchdowns and 9,000 total yards.
In his final two years, Allen led the Big West with 614 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
His best year came as a junior, when he rushed for 1,094 yards and 18 touchdowns, but also had a major setback when he tore his ACL in the season opener.
Allen has now been to all eight bowl games and finished with a career high 5,938 rushing yards this season, but he’s still coming off a season that saw him rush for a career low 1,926 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Allen had a rough 2015, but in the end, he turned the corner in 2016.2.
Alex Collins, Baylor.
Collins had a great rookie season in 2015, averaging nearly 18 yards per rush and 11.6 yards per pass.
But he had a terrible season as a senior, averaging just 7.7 yards per attempt and 11 total touchdowns.
The junior missed two games with a knee injury, but it’s hard to believe that he was anything but a top-15 pick in the draft.
Collins is an explosive runner who runs with the speed of a running back, but isn’t as quick or agile as a running tight end.
Collins also doesn’t have much of a catch radius, as he only caught 55.7 percent of his passes this season.
He is, however, one of four players to average at least 2,000 rushing yards for Baylor.3.
Brandon Scherff, TCU.
Scherff was the Big 13 Offensive Player Of The Year in 2015 after he led the conference in total offense.
But his sophomore campaign was a complete disaster.
Scherf rushed for 3,976 yards and 21 touchdowns, while averaging only 4.1 yards per run.
Scheriff is a great pass-catcher, but that’s not enough to make up for his struggles as a runner.
Scherfe averaged just 2.4 yards per completion this season and has never scored more than 20 rushing touchdowns in a season.
ScherFF had a bad year, but still finished with 1.9 touchdowns per game.
He’ll have to show a bit more consistency in 2017 to make a jump to the elite level he’s projected to be, but TCU has been playing very well the past few years.4.
Marcus Harris, Oklahoma.
Harris was a top recruit for the Sooners in the 2014 class.
He had a terrific career, finishing with 1 of 7 rushing touchdowns, including a school record 3 rushing TDs in one game.
But the sophomore was plagued by injuries that limited his production.
Harris had two ACL surgeries in 2014, and finished the 2015 season with 1 touchdown rushing.
He finished the 2016 season with 2,863 rushing yards.
The former five-star recruit needs to be able to run like a running quarterback to be a great NFL running back.5.
Brandon Browner, Kansas State.
Browner was the top overall recruit in the 2015 class, and he played well for Kansas State this season as the team was coming off the bowl season.
Browners career totals are staggering: 1,788 rushing yards with 23 touchdowns.
Brown was the starting quarterback for the Shockers and had 2,542 rushing yards on the year, good for 9.6 per carry average.
However, he did suffer a torn ACL in his second game, forcing him to miss a few games.
Brown has shown flashes of promise in 2016, but the injury bug