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.
This time around 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 Pass Catchers Rankings|
|2. Iowa State||37|
|2. West Virginia||27|
|4. Texas Tech||24|
|8. Oklahoma State||17|
|9. Kansas State||13|
Unanimity – As expected, we couldn’t find agreement across the board with any single program here. This is the most diverse we’ve been with a position to this point.
Almost Agreed – We were really close with agreeing across the board with Oklahoma at #1 and Iowa State at #2. We were also one person away from being unanimous with Kansas being #10.
All Over The Place – We really didn’t know what to do with Baylor, Oklahoma State or TCU. Those three didn’t receive a single duplicate vote.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma | This position group has probably been the toughest to rank so far. I went back and forth, but the Sooners seem to have the best receiving group in the Big 12. All eyes will be on Marvin Mims who recorded 9 touchdowns as a freshman last season. But, Oklahoma also has plenty of depth with Theo Wease, and Austin Stogner as well. Those three combined for over 1,500 yards this past year. When you add Jadon Haselwood returning from injury, the Sooners look primed for another explosive offense in 2021.
2. Iowa State | Iowa State will be a force to reckon with through the air this year. They will be returning Xavier Hutchinson, and tight end Charlie Kolar. Kolar led the Big 12 in catches last year, and Hutchinson was still able to produce 771 receiving yards. Pretty remarkable that both of those guys put up the numbers they did. You could make plenty of arguments for the Cyclones to come in at number one here. That being said, I put them behind Oklahoma because I think the Sooners will be airing it out far more often than the Cyclones with Spencer Rattler at QB.
3. West Virginia | I’m not sure if anybody else will agree with me on this one, but I think the Mountaineers could be “sneaky good” at the receiving position in 2021. They will be returning 4 of the top 25 leading receivers in the Big 12 last season. Winston Wright led the way a year ago with 553 yards. But, the Mountaineers also have plenty to be excited about in Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Sam James, and Sean Ryan as well.
4. Texas Tech
6. Oklahoma State
9. Kansas State | Kansas State does have some decent talent on their roster at the receiver position, but can anyone throw them the ball? It is difficult to give receivers who may not be catching many passes a high ranking. The Wildcats will put their hopes in Chabastin Taylor. Over the course of three seasons he has played in 23 games averaging just under 13 yards per catch.
10. Kansas | There’s not a lot of good coming out of the Kansas football program right now. Perhaps senior wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter will give Jayhawks fans a little something to be excited about. He’s their best hopes of getting anything done in the passing game this season. A year ago he brought in 458 yards through the air and caught two touchdowns. Just like with Kansas State, I’m not sure they’ve got the quarterback talent to have any breakout receivers.
1. Oklahoma | Marvins Mims is the primary reason I’ve got the Sooners at the top of the Wide Receiver/Tight End rankings. He was Oklahoma’s top receiver last season, and he’s poised to be even more impressive this season. Also, don’t forget about Austin Stogner. The tight end was top 10 in the Big 12 in receiving yards per game last season.
2. Iowa State | The Cyclones bring back 2 of the top 10 pass catchers in the Big 12 from 2021 in wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson and tight end Charlie Kolar. The duo accounted for nearly half of Iowa State’s receiving yards on the season as well as 11 of the team’s 20 receiving touchdowns.
3. West Virginia | Winston Wright and Bryce Ford-Wheaton each hauled in 400+ receiving yards a season ago, and they could make for quite the pair this season. Jarret Doege is a solid QB, so expect the Mountaineers to have a successful season through the air.
4. Oklahoma State
5. Kansas State
9. Kansas | The Jayhawks have a plethora of seniors at the receiver position, but it IS Kansas after all.
10. Texas Tech | Erik Ezukanma, the leading receiver for the Red Raiders a season ago, broke his arm in the spring and will likely miss a chunk of the season. Without him, Tech has a lot of question marks at the receiver position, so despite a history of a strong passing game, the Red Raiders could struggle this year.
1. Iowa State – With Charlie Kolar drawing much of the attention at the tight end spot, Xavier Hutchinson has plenty of room to work on the corners. As a dynamic duo in the receiving game, the two ranked inside the top ten of the conference in yards per game a year ago. With one more year of experience and confidence, the receivers should once again be primed for a big year. Can any combo out pace this pair in the coming year?
2. Oklahoma – Exploding onto the scene, Marvin Mims put the rest of the conference on notice. Possessing plenty of complimentary talent and youngsters galore, much of the roster is unproven. Theo Wease will be the second option early. But, how do the rest of the names fit in and will they produce at a high level?
3. Texas Tech – As a familiar name, Erik Ezukanma is now an upperclassman. Leading the charge, it could easily open things up for the sophomore Myles Price. Of course, the signal caller may very well dictate just how effective the group as a whole is in the upcoming season. Still, it’s a group with proven talent that can cause damage.
4. West Virginia
8. Oklahoma State
9. Kansas State – A team that struggles in passing the ball, the Wildcats leading receiver was a running back. All the pressure falls on Chabastin Taylor to pick up the slack. Without the consistent numbers, it’s hard to put this group for KSU any higher than number nine.
10. Kansas – There are receivers on the roster in Lawrence. Yet they don’t get the ball enough. With the departure of Andrew Parchment, it will be an interesting situation playing out for the program and the passing game.
1. Oklahoma | Yes, I do realize that there’s a strong argument to be made here for Iowa State but the quality depth that Oklahoma has at the position is undeniable. Marvin Mims will return as the top receiver in the league and has Theo Wease and a healthy Austin Stogner to grab the attention of defenders. In addition the Sooners added Arkansas transfer Mike Woods in the offseason to complete what isn’t just the best receiving corps in the conference but one of the best in the nation.
2. Iowa State | Here’s where Charlie Kolar and Xavier Hutchinson fit in. Kolar is the top tight end that the conference has to offer and Hutchinson is a burner who hauled in 64 receptions for 771 yards last season. They will no doubt be a dangerous duo again this fall.
3. Texas Tech | The Red Raiders are returning First Team All-Big 12 receiver Erik Ezukanma who showed out in 2020 with 748 yards, and six touchdowns, on 46 receptions.
7. West Virginia
8. Kansas State
9. Oklahoma State | The Cowboys are hitting the reset button after losing Tylan Wallace and Dillon Stoner. Brennan Presley and Braydon Johnson are the next crop of stars at the receiver position for OSU but they have some really big shoes to fill.
10. Kansas | No commentary is needed here.
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