|LB Arthur Brown led Kansas State's defense in Saturday's upset win at Oklahoma. (US Presswire)|
Here's our update on the Big 12's top players who appear to have promising professional futures.
Why he has the top spot: In Saturday's 31-21 win over Maryland -- an outing some considered a down game for Smith and the Mountaineers offense -- he still put up quality numbers, completing 30 of 43 passes for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns without tossing an interception. He is the clubhouse leader in the Heisman Trophy race and simply hasn't made a real mistake through one-quarter of his regular season.
Season stats (three games): 96 of 118 passing (81.36 percent), 1,072 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 67 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Player ranking: Smith is ranked 10th overall and rated as the second-best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Smith gets to make his Big 12 debut when Baylor (3-0) visits Morgantown on Saturday. If statistical trends hold, the senior should have an excellent chance to put up gaudy numbers yet again, as Baylor ranks 113th out of 120 FBS teams in passing defense, yielding 315 yards per game through the air to SMU, Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe. Smith and the Mountaineers have a much more polished passing attack than any of those teams.
2. WR Terrance Williams, 6-2, 205, Baylor
Why he has the second spot: He's a constant threat to make the biggest of plays, averaging more than 20 yards per reception. He caught a pair of pivotal touchdown passes in last week's win at Louisiana-Monroe, including a late 22-yard scoring reception that put the game out of reach. While much of the attention on Baylor's offense has to do with the job QB Nick Florence has done replacing Robert Griffin III, Williams has more quietly done an outstanding job replacing last year's top receiving threat, Kendall Wright.
Season stats (three games): 17 receptions, 353 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns, sixth in the FBS in receiving yards per game (117.67)
Player ranking: Williams is ranked 27th overall and is the fourth-highest rated wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Williams gets to attempt to trade blows with the aforementioned Smith this weekend, as Baylor travels to Morgantown to face the Mountaineers on Saturday. WVU's pass defense isn't much better than Baylor's, ranking 103rd in the nation, allowing 276.7 passing yards per game, so Williams should have an opportunity to impress once again this weekend.
Why he has the third spot: Jeffcoat and the Longhorns had last week off, but in his last outing, he had four tackles, a sack and a QB hurry against Ole Miss. He and teammate Alex Okafor combine to form the Big 12's most formidable pass rush threat from the defensive line. He has plenty of speed coming off the edge -- a commodity valued by NFL teams.
Season stats (three games): 18 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass breakup, 5 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble.
Player ranking: Jeffcoat is ranked 20th overall and is the third-highest rated defensive end in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: Jeffcoat will get to face an offense that like to put the ball in the air, as Texas travels to Stillwater this weekend to face Oklahoma State. The Cowboys figure to start QB J.W. Walsh as Wes Lunt recovers from a knee injury. OSU's offense tends to get the ball out of the backfield quickly, as it ranks ninth nationally in fewest tackles for loss allowed (3.3 per game).
Why should you watch him? To put it simply, Brown always seems to find away to be around the football. He led the team in tackles yet again in Saturday's upset win at Oklahoma with eight. He brings a physical presence to the Wildcats' defense and does a solid job in pass coverage as well.
Season stats (four games): 36 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 2 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery.
Player ranking: Brown is ranked 49th overall and is the fourth-highest rated outside linebacker in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: The Wildcats take a week off after their win over the Sooners, but Brown gets a favorable matchup in his next outing Oct. 6 against Kansas, which has had a struggling offense early this season.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).