NORMAN, Okla. - After 70 touchdown passes in two seasons as the starting quarterback at Oklahoma, Jason White still doesn't consider himself the Sooners' primary strength.
"It's funny," White said. "The first three or four years, it was always about the defense. I still think it is about the defense. We're always going to be a defensive team."
He may be the only one who sees it that way. White on Wednesday was selected as The Associated Press' Big 12 offensive player of the year for the second straight season in voting by reporters who regularly cover the league for newspapers in the seven states with Big 12 teams.
He joins Texas' Ricky Williams, who won the honor in 1997 and 1998, as the only two-time selections.
The defending Heisman Trophy winner said he's not focused on individual honors this season. Instead, he wants to win the Big 12 title and the national title.
"We won every individual award last year you could win and we have nothing to show for it," he said.
Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson was selected as the conference's defensive player of the year, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson was picked as the league's offensive newcomer and Colorado linebacker Jordan Dizon was named the defensive newcomer of the year.
The all-conference teams will be released Thursday.
White got 15 of the 20 votes for offensive player of the year, with Texas running back Cedric Benson receiving three and Peterson receiving two. Johnson and Peterson were unanimous picks. Dizon got half of the 20 votes as defensive newcomer, with eight other players also receiving votes.
White, who has had reconstructive surgery on both knees and said he had "bumps and bruises" all last season, had to work out of the shotgun most of last season. But his ability to stay healthy this season has made a big difference, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
"He really hasn't been in the training room hardly at all," Stoops said. "His ability to be under center, to take snaps throwing it and running it from under center, gives us a lot more dimensions as an offense.
"It gives him more dimensions himself on top of that. His ability to move the pocket and run away from sacks and scramble has also really helped him this year."
White's play down the stretch quite possibly won him the award.
White, who has thrown for 2,707 yards and 30 touchdowns with only four interceptions this season, has attempted 183 passes without an interception and has thrown 17 touchdown passes in that span.
Johnson, who racked up 128 tackles and two sacks for the Longhorns, made one of those interceptions against White when the teams played Oct. 9. He also leads the conference in tackles for a loss with 19 - 12 solo and 7 assisted.
"He is the best defensive player in the country," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He's also been a better leader than he's been before. He's raised the level of play of everybody around him."
Peterson, who has 1,671 yards and 12 touchdowns on 286 carries this season, has added a bonafide rushing threat to the Oklahoma offense. He ranks seventh in the nation with an average of 151.9 rushing yards per game.
"Adrian brings a lot to the team," White said. "Just his presence being out there, the defense has got to be ready for him. When he's out there, they're going to try to stop the run. When he's not, they're going to drop back to pass."
Dizon will get an up close look at White and Peterson on Saturday when the Buffaloes play the Sooners in the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City, Mo.
Dizon started nine games for the Buffaloes and set a freshman record at Colorado with 78 tackles. He also leads all Big 12 freshmen in that category.