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Phil Steele's All Big 12 Midseason Teams - Defense

This morning we looked at Phil Steele's offensive All Big 12 teams. Something I forgot to mention in the offensive post is that all three big 12 quarterbacks are listed on the three spots for the All American team. Ridiculous. Its like Dan Hawkins said early this year, Cody Hawkins may be the worst quarterback in the Big 12 but the 15th best in college football. We all know Cody is no where near the top 50 but Coach Hawk's description of the Big 12 talent at quarterback is dead on. 

It's now time to look at the three defensive teams. Rightfully so, there are a few more Buffs on this list. Just for your reading pleasure, make sure that you are viewing this page in wide mode which can be switched in the upper left side of the page underneath the Ralphie Report logo.

1st Team Defense 2nd Team Defense 3rd Team Defense
DL Brian Orakpo, Texas Brandon Harold, KSU McKinner Dixon, TT
DL George Hypolite, Colorado Auston English, OU Kurtis Taylor, Iowa St
DL Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma Roy Miller, Texas Brandon Williams, TT
DL Stryker Sulak, Missouri Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska Zach Potter, Nebraksa
LB Joe Pawelek, Baylor Keenan Clayton, OU Travis Lewis, OU
LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri Jeff Smart, Colorado Matt Featherston, A&M
LB Ryan Reynolds, Oklahoma Andre Sexton, OSU Roddrick Muckelroy, Texas
CB Cha'pelle Brown, Colorado Jacob Lacey, OSU Chris Harris, Kansas
CB Nick Harris, Oklahoma Jamar Wall, TT Armandon Murillo, Nebraska
S Daniel Charbonnet, Texas Tech Darrell Stuckey, Kansas Justin Garrett, Missouri
S Lendy Holmes, Oklahoma Jordan Lake, Baylor Ryan Walters, Colorado

K Alex Henry, Nebraska Jeff Wolfert, Missouri Grant Mahoney, Iowa St
P Justin Brantley, Texas A&M Derek Epperson, Baylor John Gold, Texas

Hard to argue defensive teams because guys like CU DT George Hypolite don't necessarily have great stats but still make an impact with double teams. That being said, I don't believe Hypolite has been a first team player this year. Yes, I hear all of you "rabid goldfish fans" with the argument that he gets double teamed every game constantly but I am not buying it. He got some good pressure early in the game last week so he is not a total ghost this year but 2nd or 3rd team would be more appropriate. It is going to be hard to keep Williams and Dixon from Texas Tech out of 2nd or 1st team with the production they have put up so far. OU's McCoy and UT's Orakpo are locks for first team, maybe Auston English from OU could sneak in there. I am excited the see Stryker Sulak from Missouri play this weekend. He doesn't get the recognition of the big defensive lineman in the conference but he is still a solid player, currently ranked 9th in the Big 12 with four sacks.

Linebackers...Ryan Reynolds for Oklahoma was a first teamer before he got hurt. Can't argue with Weatherspoon from Missouri and Pawelek from Baylor taking the other two first team spots. Those guys are tearing it up right now with Pawelek ranked #3 in the nation in tackles/game. Watch out for CU LB Shaun Mohler jumping into an All Big 12 team when it is all said and done. Right now, Mohler ranks 8th in the Big 12 in tackles, averaging 8 per game. I think CU LB Jeff Smart will end up being a 3rd team guy especially with more tackles to be had for Keenan Clayton and Travis Lewis from OU. Texas LB Rodderick Muckelroy deserves to be 2nd team as well. He is an animal on the field especially the last couple of weeks. His best game of the year was against OU if that tells you something.

Good for Steele to recognize the play of Buffs CB Cha'pelle Brown. He has been great in supporting the run and against the pass with a couple of big picks this year. Brown and Nic Harris from OU make a deadly first team at cornerback. It will be interesting to see if Cha'pelle can the respect to maintain the first team. The Buffs are currently ranked #1 against the pass in the Big 12 and fortunately, they will avoid Oklahoma and Texas Tech who are both pass happy offenses. But shutting down a potent Kansas State passing game was impressive. And now to my favorite Big 12 player this year...S Lendy Holmes from Oklahoma. I have visions of him dawning the Broncos blue and orange next year. He ranks second in the Big 12 in interceptions with three but it's his ability to be all over the field that makes him special. He has more big plays to his name than any other Sooner defender in my opinion. CU safety Ryan Walters is currently on Steele's third team as he is having another good season, leading all defensive backs in the Big 12 with 7.3 tackles a game (Sexton from OSU is considered a linebacker in Steele's ratings).

Kickers and punters...who cares. I officially think there are hardly any good special teams players in the Big 12 if the Kansas State kicker won "Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week" last week after missing two field goals and losing by one point.