Just because James Franklin, Austin Wuebbels, and Trey Barrow didn’t make the ESPN’s All-Big 12 teams doesn’t mean they were forgotten. The trio made ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben’s most-underrated team.
"Time for a new take, with a little help from the Big Ten Blog: The All-Underrated team.My criteria: The conference’s most underrated player at each position. This is, of course, subjective. This isn’t for the second-best player at each position. It’s for the player who doesn’t get enough respect. The only rule: He can’t be on my All-Big 12 team."
In a conference that posted heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III and season-long heisman candidates Brandon Weeden and Landry Jones, it’s easy to overlook the sophomore quarterback of a 7-5 Mizzou team. But despite the growing pains that come with the first year as a starter (10 interceptions, including three against Kansas’ FBS-worst defense), Franklin actually managed a traditionally high-octane Tigers offense beautifully. He paced Missouri with 20 touchdowns through the air and 13 with his feet. He also recorded a quarterback rating of 141.2 (just .8 off RGIII’s effort in his first year as a starter) and completed just under 65 percent of his passes.
Mizzou’s other two players on the list, Wuebbels and Barrow, received a little more recognition for their efforts, making the AP’s all-Big 12 second team. Wuebbels anchored a shaky Mizzou line riddled with injuries. With his senior season behind him, many expect Wuebbels to be a good offensive line prospect in the upcoming draft. At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, expect to see him playing guard on Sundays for the lucky team that drafts him.
Barrow meanwhile, a kicker-turned-punter, helped the Tigers defense all year by consistently dropping opposing offenses deep in their own territory. Along with serving as the placekicker following the hamstring injury to Grant Ressel, Barrow averaged over 45 yards per punt. As the placekicker, Barrow filled in nicely for the hot-and-cold Ressel, hitting five of seven field goals and all 18 of his point-after-attempts.