Here we go! To work our way through the summer we’re back to our Big 12 position rankings. With these posts we give our opinions on each of the offensive and defensive position groups and rank them from first to worst. We only defend our top three and bottom two in the rankings and while we’re sure to say something that’s out of this world crazy it’s also a great way to get football conversations going. So, enjoy and make sure to sound off with your opinions in the comments section below.
This time around the Heartland Sports writers give their take on the linebackers across the conference, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings below come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.
|Heartland Sports Consensus Lineacker Rankings|
|5. Kansas State||18|
|6. Oklahoma State||17|
|7. Iowa State||13|
|9. West Virginia||7|
|10. Texas Tech||6|
Unanimity – After being all over the place with the defensive back rankings we finally found some things to agree upon when it comes to the linebackers. We all agree that Oklahoma is stacked with talent! We also agreed across the board that Texas Tech probably has the highest hill to climb in terms of replacing talent at the second level of the defense.
Almost Agreed – We came pretty close with being unanimous with Texas at #2, Iowa State at #7, and West Virginia at #8.
All Over The Place – We didn’t agree at all with Kansas State. One of us has the Wildcats at #3 in the conference while the other two have them at #5 and at #7.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma – The Sooners were solid a year ago at the linebacker position and the 2022 season is primed to be even better. The return of David Ugwoegbu and DaShaun White is huge for OU. Danny Stutsmann is another exciting young guy and Kobie McKenzie should be able to have an immediate impact upon his arrival in Norman.
2. Oklahoma State – Oklahoma State is also reloading at the linebacker position in 2022. Slightly new crew, but just as talented. They do have a few guys returning in Mason Cobb, Kamryn Farrar, and Lamont Bishop. The big game changer is transfer Xavier Benson. He is a huge boost to this Cowboy linebacker group.
3. Baylor – The Bears made my top three because of Dillon Doyle. He could be one of the best linebackers in the Big 12 this season. He recorded over 90 tackles a year ago. Now heading into his third year with Dave Aranda, he is primed for his best season yet.
5. Kansas State
7. Iowa State
8. West Virginia
9. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders simply aren’t returning much talent at all in 2022. There’s very few familiar names on the roster.
10. Kansas – The Jayhawks are also rebuilding a majority of their linebacker group this season. But, they would be in last place regardless.
1. Oklahoma | The Sooners bring in the top linebacker group thanks to the experience of DaShaun White and Danny Stutsman. Both have started in their share of games, and when you add Shane Whitter to the mix, you have a ton of defensive snaps played already.
2. Texas | DeMarvion Overshow and Luke Brockerymeyer put Texas in the top 3 with their success over the last couple of years. Both started 10 games each last season, so their experience will help fuel the Longhorn defense.
3. TCU | Dee Winters was the leader of the Horned Frogs defense a season ago, and he’ll reprise that role this season. Jamoi Hodge had a strong finish in 2021, and I can see him picking up right where he left off.
4. Oklahoma State
6. Iowa State
7. Kansas State
9. Texas Tech | The Red Raiders are set up to struggle due to the graduating of Colin Schooler and Riko Jeffers, but who knows, maybe they could be good. I’m just not expecting that at this point.
10. West Virginia | The Mountaineers could very well move up this list, but there are plenty of questions with Lance Dixon being the experienced one in the group with only 4 starts and Lee Kpogba is just a JUCO transfer. This group can only move up from here.
1. Oklahoma – The Sooners lost Brian Asamoah to the NFL but return a load of talent at the linebacker position. While it’s still unclear as to exactly how Ted Roof will use his backers, what it clear is that any combination of DaShaun White, David Ugwoegbu, Danny Stutsman, and Clayton Smith is going to be pretty potent.
2. Texas – Oklahoma gets the top spot due to depth but there isn’t much of a gap between the Sooners and Longhorns. Led by DeMarvion Overshown, Texas returns three starting linebackers who are likely to have NFL careers ahead of them.
3. Kansas State – Probably not a popular pick here but the Wildcats return Cody Fletcher and Daniel Green from a defense that placed fifth in the Big 12 against the run last season. The transfer out of Wayne Jones keeps KSU from having a trifecta of returning starters here but they should still be on pace for an improvement in 2022.
7. Iowa State
8. West Virginia
9. Texas Tech | Krishon Merriweather stands alone as the returning starter from last season’s linebacker corps. Tech lost two linebackers to the NFL and one to the transfer portal which opens the door for a lot of question marks heading into the 2022 season.
10. Oklahoma State | Speaking of question marks, I have a lot of them right here. Malcolm Rodriguez and Devin Harper where critical to the Pokes’ run to the Big 12 championship game in 2021. Both are going to be collecting NFL paychecks in 2022 which leaves OSU with zero returning starters this fall.
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