Six Big 12 teams ranked among the top 20 offenses in college football last season. As the league's defenses are relentlessly pelted with jokes and jabs, there's no denying most of their 10 teams know how to score points.
Though many of the Big 12's most prolific offensive performers from 2016 are gone (e.g. Patrick Mahomes, Dede Westbrook and KD Cannon), they have an army of returning players capable of demolishing stat sheets and scoreboards, including a few Heisman Trophy candidates.
Here is the best offensive player on each Big 12 team for the 2017 season.
Baylor – Terence Williams, RB
Even with a "significant" shoulder injury that could sideline him multiple games, Terence Williams is Baylor's best and most reliable offensive player.
He didn't have the 6.3 yards-per-carry average from his 2015 freshman season but he still led the Bears in rushing with 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"The doctors have tried to be patient with him and make sure he really, really heals," head coach Rhule said in late July. "Terence has an NFL career ahead of him at some point and I want to make sure he's healed before he goes out there."
Iowa State – Allen Lazard, WR
A former four-star recruit who stayed in Iowa to play for the Cyclones, Allen Lazard is already the best receiver in program history. Now it's a matter of chasing more records.
“In my humble opinion, I think Allen has a chance to be one of the best players in college football,” head coach Matt Campbell said last fall. “My job is to work to get him there.”
The 6-foot-5, 222-pounder ranked fifth in the conference with 1,018 receiving yards last year and should benefit from an improved Jacob Park at quarterback.
Kansas – Peyton Bender, QB
This could one of a half-dozen players. Though the Jayhawks' offense is as deep as it's been in years and appears headed in the right direction after nearly a decade of ranking among the worst units in the FBS, they still have a bunch of unproven players, among them quarterback Peyton Bender.
Bender — who hasn't even won the starting job over sophomore Carter Stanley yet — is a JUCO transfer who previously played one season at Washington State. He's perfect for David Beaty's version of a conservative air raid system and has been praised by the third-year coach all offseason.
Kansas State – Dalton Risner, OT
A redshirt junior with 26 starts under his belt, Dalton Risner has transformed from little-known three-star interior lineman recruit into one of the nation's premier offensive linemen.
In 2016, he led a Kansas State rushing attack that averaged 231.8 yards per game (fourth in the Big 12 and third-highest in program history) and a program-best 5.27 yards per carry.
“Risner is one of the most efficient players in college football,” said Taylor Wright of Pro Football Focus. "…Risner plays with great extension in hands and arms to keep defenders off his chest to avoid being thrown off of pass and run blocks in ways you don’t see often in college football offensive lineman.”
Oklahoma – Baker Mayfield, QB
Baker Mayfield is an All-American, Heisman finalist and two-time All-Big 12 First-Team quarterback. He's one of the top three players in college football.
He has 76 passing touchdowns and more than 7,600 yards the last two years and led the FBS in passer rating when under pressure for a second-straight season (119.2).
Oklahoma State – James Washington, WR
Without quarterback Mason Rudolph, James Washington might not as good, but he'd still be one of the best receivers in the nation.
He has 26 career touchdowns, is averaging 19.9 yards per catch the last two seasons and had at least one reception of 30 or more yards in 10 of their 13 games last year. His career yards-per-reception average of 19.2 ranks ninth among all FBS receivers who've played the last five years and he's well ahead of former Oklahoma State legends Dez Bryant (16.5) and Adarius Bowman (17.2).
TCU – KaVontae Turpin, WR
TCU's offense occasionally struggled because of dropped passes, bad routes and unreliable run blocking, among other things. They also didn't have a healthy KaVontae Turpin. He battled injuries all season and played just eight games, though most of those came when he wasn't 100 percent.
A blazing receiver and return man who can also run the ball, Turpin had 45 receptions for 649 yarrds and 20 carries for 116 yards as a freshman in 2015. He also averaged 10.6 yards on punt returns (one touchdown) and 27 yards on kick returns.
Running back Kyle Hicks, center Austin Schlottman and quarterback Kenny Hill also worthy of consideration for TCU's best offensive player.
Texas – Connor Williams, OT
Connor Williams was dominant as a sophomore last year. He had a pass-blocking efficiency of 99.2, according to Pro Football Focus, and was named a consensus First-Team All-American.
“He’s a junior going into the season, and I’m sure he’ll leave. But if you look at his body of work if he were to stay four years, I think at the end of the day he’s the greatest offensive lineman in the history of UT which is saying something,” said former Texas lineman Dan Neil.
Williams is playing for a top-five selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Texas Tech – Keke Coutee, WR
Jonathan Giles was Texas Tech's best offensive player until he transferred to LSU after spring practice. That leaves fellow receiver Keke Coutee in his place.
One of the top candidates to lead the Big 12 in receiving yards this year, Coutee is a 5-foot-11, 185-pounder junior who will see heavy volume in the Red Raiders' pass-happy offense. He averaged 16.2 yards per catch and is a perfect fit for new quarterback Nic Shimonek, who, like Patrick Mahomes, loves the deep ball.
West Virginia – Justin Crawford, RB
Only five other FBS running backs averaged more yards per carry in 2016 than JUCO transfer Justin Crawford (7.3). He finished third in the Big 12 in rushing despite having six games with 42 or fewer yards, including games of minus-two, 12 and 16 yards.
Will Grier has All-Big 12 potential, but for now, their best offensive player is Justin Crawford.