The 2021 football season is shaping up to be another strong year for quarterbacks in the Big 12 conference. After enjoying four years of Charlie Brewer and Sam Ehlinger, Baylor and Texas look to break in a new signal-caller this fall. However, the rest of schools will be working with a good amount of experience at the position. Below is a ranking on where I think the QBs stand going into this season
1.) Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) - The obvious safe choice for the #1 ranking. He will be a Heisman favorite going into the year and has a great supporting cast. People forget that he was up and down early in 2020 before picking things up later in the year. He also has the best wins out of everybody on the list—a Big 12 Championship and a NY6 bowl win over an SEC opponent.
2.) Brock Purdy (Iowa State) - While Rattler might be the most naturally gifted out of the group, Purdy has arguably the best overall body of work. Last year was probably a little bit of a disappointment on an individual level. His overall yds were down and his interceptions matched his 2019 total. But at the end of the day he has led the Cyclones to a NY6 victory and has the team as a favorite to return to Arlington for a Big 12 title game appearance.
3.) Max Duggan (TCU) - He took a step forward in 2020 that I think most TCU fans can be happy with. Most notably, getting to a 60% completion rate, which was a vast improvement from his freshman year. He has always had tremendous upside and any concern was just about his consistency as a passer. He got better in 2020 and we will see if he can take another positive step in 2021. A fun player to watch compete in the conference, Duggan will have plenty of help around him
4.) Skylar Thompson (Kansas State) - I would argue that no other QB in the conference has done more with less. He has two victories against a top-5 Oklahoma team and was the leader of 2019 Wildcats team that would have been the surprise team of that season if it weren’t for Baylor. All of this while battling competition and going through a coaching transition. Before his 2020 season ended due to injury, Thompson had not thrown an interception.
5.) Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State) - It’s absolutely insane how similar the numbers were for Sanders in 2019 and 2020. And that is the reason why I can’t put the Cowboys QB higher on the list. Of course, at his best he is a true dual-threat QB that can beat you in multiple ways— and at times he has flashed elite talent. But he just hasn’t done anything to “wow” me yet. Some of that has been due to injury. And as of now I think Thompson has shown a little bit more at this point.
6.) Tyler Shough (Texas Tech) - I’ll admit I don’t know much about the Oregon transfer. He put decent numbers in 2020 in his 1st year in a starting role. He threw for over 1500 yds in 7 games and played in both a conference title game and Fiesta Bowl. He can likely save his head coach’s job by getting the Red Raiders to bowl eligibility.
7.) Jarret Doege (West Virginia) - Doege has been a net positive for the Mountaineers. He helped rejuvenate their 2019 season once he took over the starting role and got them back into a bowl game in 2020. Overall, the one time G-5 player has been a solid QB. What puts him at the bottom half of this ranking has more to with the talent of the guys in front of him. It seems like the ceiling is a little bit lower and he doesn’t have the same dynamic capability on the ground as several of the other QBs in the conference.
8. Tie) Zeno/Bohanon (Baylor) Thompson/Card (Texas) - As mentioned earlier both schools will be breaking in new starters for the first time in years. I expect the winner on each team to shoot up the list after the season, but I can’t justify it when neither team as a clear-cut starter. For the Bears, Zeno finished 2020 as the #2 guy and has been involved in some big moments, but threw a couple of interceptions in the spring game. For the Longhorns, Casey Thompson put together a memorable Alamo Bowl performance, but now has to play and showcase his talents for new coaches.
10.) Jalon Daniels (Kansas) - The Jayhawk QB should be improved from his 1 TD - 4 int 2020 performance.