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Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys

2018 Big 12 Football Position Rankings | Quarterbacks

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Happy Birthday America!!! Through everything you’re still the greatest country on earth.

Now that we’re into the month of July it’s time to start our Big 12 position breakdowns. Each of the Heartland Sports writers give their take on a specific position, ranking them from first to worst. Each writer is asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.

The consensus rankings come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.

What’s fascinating about Big 12 quarterbacks is that there are more unsettled battles at the position than perhaps any summer of the last 10 years. That leads to a lot of, “I just don’t know” moments.

 Heartland Sports Consensus Quarterback Rankings
Ranking Points
 1. West Virginia  40
2. Oklahoma 35
3. Iowa State 30
4. TCU 26
5. Texas 25
6. Baylor 23
7. Oklahoma State 20
8. Kansas State 13
9. Texas Tech 8
10. Kansas 5

Craig

  1. West Virginia: The Mountaineers have without a doubt the best returning quarterback in the Big 12. He may not just be the best in the conference, he might be one of the best in the country. Will Grier will be returning with possibly the highest power offense in the Big 12. He missed two games a season ago due to injury, and still threw for nearly 3,500 yards. Grier could find himself in New York for the Heisman ceremony at the end of the year.
  1. Oklahoma: The Sooners will be looking to reload on offense after graduating Baker Mayfield. The good news is Oklahoma has a professional athlete up next at the quarterback position. Kyler Murray will head up the high power offense for the Sooners in 2018. While he is fairly unproven, he looked phenomenal in his few appearances last season. His overall athletic ability puts him high on my list for pre-season quarterback rankings. Murray might be another candidate from the Big 12 in contention for the Heisman Trophy.
  1. Baylor: While there’s not a whole lot going on down in Waco, the quarterback position is looking solid for the Bears. Charlie Brewer will be back as a sophomore and look to build on what he did a season ago. As a true freshman, he threw for 1,562 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. Not to mention he also completed 68% of his passes. Brewer is the only thing Baylor fans are excited about for this coming season.
  1. Iowa State
  2. Texas
  3. TCU
  4. Kansas State
  5. Oklahoma State
  1. Kansas: The Jayhawks have been the worst offense in the Big 12 for quite some time now. The uncertainty at the quarterback position for the 2018 season means it’s likely to happen again. However, with junior college transfer Miles Kendrick coming to Lawrence, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they do just a bit better than the guys in Lubbock.
  1. Texas Tech: Texas Tech has had one of the most dangerous offensives in the Big 12 in recent years. That being said, if the spring game was any indication of how the offense will perform this season they could be in some trouble. The defense actually outscored the offense during the game. With no clear front runner for the starting job at this point, I think the Red Raiders could be in some trouble.

Rich

  1. West Virginia: Unquestionably, Will Grier enters the season as the top rated quarterback in the conference. Behind a 65% completion rate and 34 passing touchdowns before an injury, the signal caller is poised for yet another stellar year. As long as the offensive line holds up and Grier plays within his abilities, WVU could play the role of spoiler in the league.
  1. Iowa State: The defensive output of Iowa State impressed fans across the nation. However, it was the offense scoring points after Kyle Kempt took over for Jacob Park during conference play. Tossing 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions on 243 attempts, the Cyclones rejoiced when Kempt received a sixth year of eligibility. Needless to say, this is one quarterback with unrivaled experience. Keeping the interception number to a minimum, ISU will look to follow up the successes from last year on both sides of the ball.
  1. Oklahoma: Possibly the most athletic quarterback of the bunch, Kyler Murray is expected to start for the Sooners come September. Yet, the quarterback has not started multiple games in a season over the past two years. Taking over, there are plenty of weapons that surround Murray which should lead to much success. The starting experience is lacking but this kid certainly has the talent.
  1. Baylor
  2. Texas
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. TCU
  5. Kansas State
  1. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders always produce a productive quarterback regardless of name. With Nic Shimonek gone, the reigns are now in the hands of McLane Carter. Failing to provide consistency in a start against Texas, the jury remains out on Carter. The quarterback may put up some decent numbers but there’s a learning curve fans can expect to experience this season.
  1. Kansas: There’s a clear lack of top tier talent on the roster at the position for the Jayhawks. With two quarterback vying for the starting role, neither separated himself from the other. Combining to throw more interceptions than touchdowns leaves the fanbase wanting more.

Zack

  1. West Virginia: Senior Will Grier enters the upcoming season undoubtedly the most experienced and most talented quarterback in the conference…for now. After dislocating his finger early in a game against Texas, Grier was forced to miss the regular season finale against Oklahoma and the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Utah, both losses for the Mountaineers, so he is anxious to get back on the field and prove that he’s a capable and talented field general.
  2. Oklahoma: Junior Kyler Murray is the big name under center for the Sooners, especially considering he has an MLB contract waiting for him after the season. Replacing Baker Mayfield is no easy task, and Murray isn’t as good of a passer as Mayfield, but his athleticism lends to his mobility. Murray is expected to be the starter, but don’t sleep on sophomore Austin Kendall, an athletic quarterback in his own right.
  3. Texas: No, I’m not on the “Texas is back” train, but I do believe that sophomore Sam Ehlinger may be the top quarterback in the conference by the end of the season. Ehlinger is a mediocre passer, but his ability to do damage on the ground makes him extremely dangerous, especially to Big 12 defenses. If he can work on his passing efficiency, there is no telling what his ceiling is. Also, don’t forget about junior Shane Buechele. Buechele has started in 19 games for the Longhorns over the last two seasons, so the starting spot is still up for grabs.
  4. Iowa State
  5. Oklahoma State
  6. Baylor
  7. TCU
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Kansas State: Junior Alex Delton and sophomore Skylar Thompson were “dead even” in the quarterback battle following their spring game. Both had some strong games to finish out last season after senior Jesse Ertz was injured, but neither seems poised to lead the Wildcats to much success.
  10. Kansas: Jayhawk football has been a mess for a while now, and their quarterback battle appears to be no different. Undersized JUCO transfer Miles Kendrick impressed coaches in their spring game, but senior Peyton Bender and junior Carter Stanley both started in multiple games a season ago, so there is no telling who will be under center come the season opener.

Matt

  1. West Virginia: Not only is Will Grier the top returning passer in the Big 12, he’s also the top Heisman candidate the conference has to offer going into the season. I’ve got a lot of questions about the Mountaineers as the season approaches but one of them isn’t about the quarterback.
  2. Oklahoma: Admittedly this is by default. Kyler Murray is an exceptional athlete with a very limited track record at the collegiate level. The very small glimpses that Oklahoma fans have seen from him have been fun and with the majority of the conference still in heated battles for the position Murray earns the #2 spot.
  3. TCU: Perhaps I’m a bit higher on the Frogs than anyone else but my opinion is that if it weren’t for Kyler Murray then we’d be talking about Shawn Robinson as the top dual-threat quarterback in the Big 12.
  4. Iowa State
  5. Oklahoma State
  6. Texas
  7. Kansas State
  8. Baylor
  9. Texas Tech: It has to be shocking to see the Red Raiders down this far on the list but the biggest shock is that it’s pretty much consensus. Kliff Kingsbury is going to need to pull off a miracle in Lubbock this year and that is going to have to start by getting McLane Carter ready to start.
  10. Kansas: The good news for the Jayhawks is that they return both starters from last season. The bad news is that Peyton Bender and Carter Stanley both struggled significantly through the season.
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