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K-State's Glenn Gronkowski: Phil Steele preseason first-team All-Big 12

Only one player on the first team is suboptimal, but several more got recognition further down.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phil Steele All-American and All-Conference teams have been announced, and there isn't a Wildcat to be found on the former. However, fullback Glenn Gronkowski has been named to Steele's All-Big 12 first-team.. a tight end. Okay, sure.

Baylor led the way with seven first-team picks, followed by Oklahoma with five, TCU with four, Texas Tech and West Virginia with three each, and a pair apiece from Texas and Oklahoma State. Kansas and Iowa State were shut out (and in fact Kansas also has nobody on the second team).

Baylor also dominated the second team with seven selections while Oklahoma had six. Four Wildcats were named to the second team: OL Cody Whitehair, S Dante Barnett, K Matt McCrane, and KR Morgan Burns.

K-State had three more selectiosn on the third team with OL Boston Stiverson, LB Elijah Lee, and CB Danzel McDaniel. DT Travis Britz and PR Dominique Heath rounded out the Wildcat selections by making the fourth team.

Initial reaction is that Baylor and Oklahoma, as a pair, are grossly overrated here; Steele is in effect saying that you could take the starting 22 plus specialists from Baylor and Oklahoma, make one team, and every single player but three on that team would be either the best or second-best player at their position in the conference. That's ridiculous.

(The three exceptions: kicker, punter, and the fifth offensive lineman.)

This isn't K-State bellyaching over a lack of inclusion; that much about this list is probably fair, although we could argue passionately that Whitehair belongs on the first team. It's also not a slight on Baylor or Oklahoma. Every last one of their selections is a quality football player. What's ridiculous is the idea that these two teams are so drastically dominant. TCU only has seven selections on the first two teams combined, and they return the vast majority of what was arguably the best team in the league last year, 61-58 notwithstanding. Texas only has three selections on the first two teams combined. Texas.

So we'll just have to see how the season plays out. Based on Steele's vibe, the Big 12 is a two-team race this year, and Purple People need not apply regardless of whether they're mammalian or amphibian.

Your thoughts?