Here we go! Time to work our way through the summer we’re back to our Big 12 position rankings. With these posts we give our opinions on each of the offensive and defensive position groups and rank them from first to worst. We only defend our top three and bottom two in the rankings and while we’re sure to say something that’s out of this world crazy it’s also a great way to get football conversations going. So, enjoy and make sure to sound off with your opinions in the comments section below.
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 Quarterbacks
|2. Oklahoma State||27|
|3. Kansas State||22|
|4. West Virginia||21|
|8. Texas Tech||9|
|9. Iowa State||4|
Unanimity – The only thing that we agreed upon unanimously here was that Texas Tech wasn’t the lowest ranked QB unit in the Big 12 but that they were still pretty low. We all three had the Red Raiders coming in at #8 in the conference.
Almost Agreed – We came really close to Oklahoma State being unanimous at #2, Kansas State at #4, Baylor at #6 and Iowa State at #10.
All Over The Place – We really didn’t know what to do about West Virginia, TCU, Kansas, or Texas. We had lots of thoughts and no agreement.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma | For the better part of the last two decades the Sooners have always found a way to reload at the quarterback position. Dillon Gabriel is coming in from UCF where he previously played under Oklahoma’s current offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. The transition should be smooth and easy considering the familiarity of offensive schemes and the player/coach relationship is already formed. Gabriel threw for over 7,000 yards in his first two seasons at UCF. With even more offensive weapons around him at Oklahoma, I think Gabriel could be one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2022.
2. Oklahoma State | I’m assuming most will have Oklahoma State and Spencer Sanders at number one in their rankings. However, Sanders has always been turnover prone. He has thrown 31 interceptions in his three years at OSU. This is what keeps me from putting them at the top. I do believe he is one of the most talented QB’s in the conference, and he is also hands down the most experienced. Here’s to hoping Sanders can put away with the INT’s and have a solid senior season.
3. Kansas State – Adrian Martinez was a solid quarterback at Nebraska for four seasons. It seems like the guy has been around forever. Now, he gets one last shot and it’s with a new team in Manhattan. He has thrown for over 8,000 yards and 45 touchdowns during his career. I think KSU is the perfect landing spot for Martinez as far as schematics go. I believe we will see a smooth transition and a much better offense from the Wildcats.
4. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Iowa State – The Cyclones will have a new man under center with the departure of Brock Purdy. Hunter Dekkers will be the guy after waiting for a couple years as the backup. He was a 4-star recruit and has a ton of potential. But, due to being very unproven I have to put him near the bottom of my rankings.
10. Kansas – Last season the Jayhawks split time between Jason Bean and Jalon Daniels. Daniels took over after leading the way to a victory against Texas. I assume he will be the guy to start out the year under center. I understand that Kansas is finally starting to slightly trend in the right direction, but they will continue to struggle under center in 2022.
1. Oklahoma State | Spencer Sanders is the reigning All-Big 12 First Team Quarterback, and he earned the spot after having a pretty spectacular year. Still, he has plenty of room to improve, and if he does that, he could put the Cowboys back in the Big 12 Championship Game.
2. TCU | Max Duggan has been solid—good, but not great—over the last few years, but I think he makes a jump this season to get the Horned Frogs back a couple of extra wins.
3. Oklahoma | Dillon Gabriel is a solid transfer, but if you’re expecting him to be the next Heisman contender for the Sooners, you’re probably wearing crimson-colored glasses. He’s a solid dude for a transition year for the Sooners, though, and he has what it takes to put Oklahoma back in the Big 12 Championship game.
4. Kansas State
5. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Kansas | It’s the Jayhawks, so it’s hard to rank them much higher than the bottom spot or so, but Jalon Daniels might be just what the doctor ordered to get Kansas a couple of extra wins this season.
10. Iowa State | Like most of Iowa State’s key skill players, Brock Purdy is gone, and the Cyclones are starting fresh with Hunter Dekkers. He’s a big guy at 6’3″, and he has plenty of potential, but he has plenty of questions to answer.
1. Oklahoma | This could easily be viewed as a, “homer pick” but let me tell you why it isn’t. Dillon Gabriel’s 8,037 passing yards (in less than three full seasons, mind you) is the second most of any quarterback in the conference. Adrian Martinez has thrown for 8,491 yards (in four season). Gabriel has thrown 60 touchdown passes in his collegiate career, which is the most of any active quarterback in the Big 12. Turnovers is ultimately going to be what earns my top spot vote and Gabriel has thrown just 14 picks in his entire career. Spencer Sanders threw 12 just last season alone.
I know that the level of competition at Central Florida isn’t what Gabriel will be facing in the Big 12 but the other way to look at that is that the level of talent he had around him in Orlando isn’t what he’ll have in Norman. Dillon Gabriel is an extremely talented quarterback, reunited with his old offensive coordinator, and playing on the most talented team he’s ever been a part of. I feel pretty confident about this pick.
2. Oklahoma State | Spencer Sanders was the media pick for the top quarterback preseason and I get why. He’s practically inherited the spot after the conference had a mass exodus of QBs following the 2021 season. Sander’s has 6,911 career passing yards at Oklahoma State, to go along with 50 touchdowns, but it’s the 31 interceptions that make me cringe when I think about him being a First-Team All-Conference type guy.
3. West Virginia | JT Daniels kind of snuck into the conference under the radar. Still officially in a battle for the starting position, Daniels does bring a national championship pedigree to Morgantown. During his time at Georgia he produced a 7-0 record as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs.
4. Kansas State
8. Texas Tech
9. Texas | Hudson Card and Quinn Ewers are locked in a battle for the starting job. Ewers is favored to win the job because of his high ceiling of potential. I’m not going to deny that he’s got talent and will undoubtedly move the Longhorns up this list but he’s also go zero snaps as a starting quarterback. That means he, and the Longhorns, will have to start near the bottom and work their way up.
10. Iowa State | Speaking of zero snaps as a starter, Hunter Dekkers is the new signal caller for the Cyclones. He’ll enter the 2022 season with a total of 114 career passing yards.
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