This is a ranking of Big 12 quarterbacks as we head to the 2012 season. New faces enter the league, as TCU and West Virginia start their first seasons in the Big 12.
1) Landry Jones – Oklahoma:
This one is a clear no-brainer. Jones comes back for his senior year as the all-time passing leader with 12,379 yards. That total also puts him at fifth in Big 12 history. He has nine 400-yard passing games and 21 300-yard games. T will be interesting to see what happens this year with a new group of receivers, as Ryan Broyles has moved on to the NFL. But freshman Trey Metoyer, who blew up in the spring game, will combine with Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds to continue the powerful passing attack.
2) Collin Klein – Kansas State:
Klein blew up last year, his first as a full-time starting quarterback. The true dual-threat quarterback led the Wildcats in rushing (1,141 yards, 27 touchdowns) and passing (1,918 yards, 13 touchdowns). He will have a plethora of receivers to throw to and spread the ball around last year. Seven receivers caught nine or more balls and all of those seven also caught a touchdown.
3) Geno Smith - West Virginia:
Geno Smith comes over from the Big East with West Virginia and might just be the best quarterback in this league as well. The rising senior completed nearly two-third of his passes last year for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns. He became the first passer in WVU history to throw for over 4,000 yards and only second in Big East history. His 4,352 yards of total offense also set the WVU and Big East records. His 33 touchdowns set a West Virginia record and was tied for third in Big East history.
4) Seth Doege - Texas Tech:
Texas Tech continues to roll out quarterbacks with gaudy numbers and Doege is no exception. Last season, the rising senior threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also returns seven of his top receivers, including top three, from last season in an offense that looks to be the most potent in the Tommy Tuberville era.
5) Casey Pachall – TCU:
Pachell had quite the debut last season. Having to replace Andy Dalton, who led the Cincinnati Bengals to the NFL playoffs, didn’t prove to be too difficult. All Pachell did was break Dalton’s school records in completions (228), completion percentage (66.5) and passing yards (2,921). His 25 touchdowns were just two off of Dalton’s school record 27.
6) Dayne Crist – Kansas:
Coach Charlie Weis brought in a nice quarterback recruiting class when he took the Kansas job. He got Crist and Jake Heaps to transfer in. Crist will start because of his experience with Weis. The senior has started 10 career games, including nine in his sophomore 2010 season, which saw him suffer a season-ending ruptured patella tendon. At the time of his injury, his 2,033 passing yards were good for 14th
in the country.
7) David Ash/Case McCoy – Texas:
The two quarterbacks went back-and-forth last season and it continued through the spring football season. Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin seems pleased with how both played during the spring and makes it seem as if it will not be decided until fall on who starts in the season opener. Ash threw for 1,068 yards and four touchdowns, while McCoy had 1,045 yards and seven scores.
8) Jared Barnett – Iowa State:
Barnett comes into his sophomore season after having quite the welcome to college football last year. Starting in six games, including upset victories over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, he led them to a bowl berth for the second time in three years. The win over Oklahoma State was the biggest win in school history, as the Cyclones had been 0-56-2 all-time against teams ranked sixth or higher. He finished the season with 1,201 passing yards, 437 rushing yards and a combined seven touchdowns.
9) Nick Florence – Baylor:
Florence has the unfortunate designation of replacing Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. This wouldn’t be the first time he would replace RG III though. When Griffin and Blake Szymanski both went down in 2009, Florence was thrown into action in his true freshman season. He went on to pass for 1,786 yards and six touchdowns, completing 62 percent of his passes.
10) Wes Lunt – Oklahoma State:
The only reason Lunt is this low is that nobody has seen the true freshman play yet. OSU coach Mike Gundy named Lunt the starter after spring football. Lunt enrolled early to participate in spring practice. He is a four-star recruit out of Rochester, Illinois, who threw for 3,650 yards, 31 touchdowns and four interceptions in his senior season despite missing early portions of the year with an injury. He is the first true freshman to start a season at quarterback for the Cowboys since at least 1950. And all he has to do is replace Brandon Weeden, an NFL first-round draft pick.