It’s that time again! As we try to navigate through the next two months that lead up to the start of the college football season we’ll be looking through the various Big 12 position rankings and discussing which teams have advantages and which teams have a lot of work to do. As always we’ll start with the big money position and discuss the signal callers.
Today the Heartland Sports writers give their take on the quarterbacks across the conference, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings below 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.
|Heartland Sports Consensus Quarterback Rankings|
|2. Iowa State||36|
|3. Oklahoma State||30|
|4. West Virginia||27|
|5. Kansas State||24|
|8. Texas Tech||10|
Unanimity – Unanimously we agreed upon two things. Oklahoma and Iowa State are #1 and #2 in the Big 12. That may be a point that’s debatable but it’ll be really hard to form an argument against it though.
Almost Agreed – We were really close with Oklahoma State being #3 in the conference but one of us just doesn’t have enough trust in Spencer Sanders to make it a unanimous decision.
We were also pretty close to agreeing across the board that Kansas is last in this category but once again we were one defector short of making that unanimous.
All Over The Place – There are several quarterback battles across the conference that will go through the summer so that left us a bit scattershot with Texas but inexplicably we collectively couldn’t get a bearing on TCU, Kansas State, and West Virginia either.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma | The Sooners are primed for another great offensive season with Spencer Rattler at the helm. After leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 championship in his freshman season, Rattler returns for his second year as one of the best players in the country. He will be the favorite to win the Heisman, but just how far can he take the Sooners in 2021?
2. Iowa State | Brock Purdy has been a major key to the success the Cyclones have seen in recent years. During his three years as a starter he has racked up 24 wins, including a Fiesta Bowl victory. He has this ability to come alive at the end of games. Almost as if he uses the first three quarters of the game to find weaknesses in the defenses he faces. Iowa State came close to a Big 12 Championship last year, and with Purdy returning they should be in a great spot to make another run at it.
3. Oklahoma State | Spencer Sanders has shown incredible potential from the day he arrived on campus in Stillwater. There’s no doubt he can sling the ball around. However, he is very turnover prone. He has thrown 19 interceptions the last two years at Oklahoma State. The reason I think he deserves to be in the top three is because he will no longer be an underclassmen. He’s now played two seasons and will have the experience needed to take care of the football. I think we will see a big year from Spencer Sanders in 2021.
5. Kansas State
6. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Kansas | The Jayhawks were winless in 2020, but they did get some experience for Miles Kendrick who played in seven games last year. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. Kendrick will be playing for his third coach in three years at Kansas. It looks like we will see another typical Kansas football season, but who knows!
10. Baylor | No one has less experience at the quarterback position than Baylor. That is why they come in last in my rankings. Gerry Bohanan will be the likely starter for the Bears. He only threw one pass last season, but he has been in the program for three years now. Maybe Baylor has a star in Bohanan and no one knows it yet.
1. Oklahoma – Returning an electric player with a knack for big plays, Spencer Rattler and the Sooners sit at the top of the list. Proving to be a reliable decision maker, expectations are soaring from year one to two as a starter. Possessing intangibles that others simply don’t have, it’s hard to put OU anywhere else.
2. Iowa State – With possibly the strongest arm, Brock Purdue is an NFL ready quarterback. However, the quarterback seemingly plateaued during the course of the year. Late game mistakes cost the team in big moments which is the reason ISU sits firmly at the second spot.
3. West Virginia – As a potential spoiler to the Big 12 hopes of others, Jarrett Doege improved tremendously. Limiting turnovers consistently, the signal caller tossed four last season. Keeping that number down will be key. Regardless, Doege is a strong candidate to anchor this team and propel the Mountaineers to some unlikely wins.
4. Kansas State
5. Oklahoma State
8. Texas Tech
9. Baylor – Losing one of the most productive players in school history is not an easy pill to swallow. Replacing a starting quarterback will be difficult in the current climate of BU Football.
10. Kansas – Bringing in a new coach and new starting quarterback is never a good sign. With two big hurdles to overcome, I’m not sure this is the program to shock the country. For now KU remains at the bottom of the heap.
1. Oklahoma | Spencer Rattler is the favorite to win the Heisman trophy, and he’s the reason I’ve got the Sooners at the top of my quarterback rankings. As a redshirt freshman, Rattler was extremely efficient. Even in a 37-30 loss to Kansas State, when he threw 3 of his 7 interceptions, he still put up solid numbers (387 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns while completing 30-of-41 pass attempts). Rattler is a dual-threat quarterback, and he’s going to be the key to the Sooners’ success this season.
2. Iowa State | For years, Brock Purdy has fallen just short of being the Big 12’s best quarterback, primarily because of whoever is running the show in Norman, Oklahoma, and that is the case again this season. Purdy’s numbers dropped off a bit last year compared to his sophomore season, but that’s not really a cause for concern. As a Senior, Purdy likely has a Big 12 Championship on his mind, particularly after the narrow loss to Oklahoma in last year’s Big 12 Championship game.
3. Oklahoma State | The Cowboys have struggled with quarterback play the last few seasons, mostly because of inconsistency. Spencer Sanders is still the guy, but his proneness to injury is a concern. Even if he is healthy, some fans believe Shane Illingworth should be the starter. I still believe in Sanders, and I’m firmly in support of his starting the season on the field, but if he doesn’t show vast improvement after a few games, maybe Mike Gundy should consider switching things up.
4. West Virginia
6. Kansas State
9. Texas Tech | With the departure of Alan Bowman to Michigan, the Red Raiders now turn to Tyler Shough, a transfer from the University of Oregon. The junior had varied success with the Ducks over the last two years, and he falls to 9th in my rankings because he’s more of a question mark than anything.
10. Kansas | The Jayhawks are at the bottom of some Big 12 rankings. Surprise, surprise. Miles Kendrick and Thomas MacVittie will battle for the starting position at quarterback, but will it really make a difference? I don’t think Kansas is going to have some great big turnaround this season, so regardless of who starts to begin the season, the honest truth is that both guys will likely get playing time, even if it’s just to give the guy on the field a break from having to run away from opposing defenses.
1. Oklahoma | This is Spencer Rattler’s league now! Oklahoma’s next star quarterback officially arrived during the second half of the Red River Rivalry and took over as the face of the conference from that point forward. With a full spring and summer workouts under his belt in 2021 the projections of Rattler being a Heisman finalist and top NFL draft pick aren’t far fetched.
2. Iowa State | Brock Purdy may have passed the torch to Rattler in last season’s Big 12 championship game but the Cyclone signal caller is still a lock to be mentioned for postseason awards and will hear his name called in the spring for the NFL Draft.
3. Oklahoma State | This is a huge year for Spencer Sanders. He’s got the size, athleticism, and arm strength to be an elite quarterback in this conference but injuries and turnovers have haunted him through his first two seasons. In twenty starts Sanders has thrown twenty interceptions. That’s a trend that absolutely has to change.
4. West Virginia
5. Kansas State
9. Texas Tech | This is a crucial year for Red Raider head coach Matt Wells and the best quarterback he had on his roster in 2020 is now playing for Michigan. That leaves the Red Raiders with Tyler Shough who transferred in from Oregon after struggling with turnovers and poor decisions led him to split time in the Ducks offense with Anthony Brown.
10. Kansas | Call me all the names that you’d like but I’m done trying to spin anything positive about the Jayhawks. Prove it to me on the field this fall and maybe I can have a different attitude heading into the 2022 season.
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