Power Ranking Bryce Petty and the Big 12 Quarterbacks
It’s a scary thought that Bryce Petty has only been the Baylor Bears’ gunslinger for one season, having thrown for 4,200 yards, 32 touchdowns to just three interceptions after replacing Robert Griffin III.
An even scarier thought is the fact that he will be even better and could have more firepower around him – we might as well mark him down as a Heisman finalist now.
But how does the rest of the conference pan out? There’s a lot of continuity and experience, with some real competition for the No. 2-7 spots.
Check out my Big 12 quarterback rankings:
1. Bryce Petty, Sr., Baylor
2013 stats: 250-of-403 (62.0 percent), 4,200 yards, 32 TDs, 3 INTs … 94 carries, 209 yards (2.2 ypc), 14 TDs
Why: It’s going to be hard to match Baylor’s offensive numbers last season, as the Bears scored an NCAA-high 52.4 points per game and had the fifth-highest overall passing numbers. But the No. 1 offense is ready to reload with weapons like wideouts Corey Coleman and Robbie Rhodes, TE Tre’Von Armstead, and RB Johnny Jefferson at Petty’s aid.
2. David Ash, RS Jr., Texas
2013 stats: 53-of-87 (60.9 percent), 760 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs … 31 carries, 152 yards (4.9 ypc), TD
Why: As much as the Texas quarterback position is scrutinized, we forget that Ash is actually pretty dang good – but only when healthy. Ash suffered yet another setback when he fractured his foot during the final week of spring ball, and that obviously set the offense back by the way it performed in the spring game. The fact of the matter is that brings stability, having won 12-of-16 games as a starter the last two seasons, and his ability to throw the deep ball with precision is something the Longhorns desperately missed in 2013.
3. Davis Webb, So., Texas Tech
2013 stats: 226-of-361 (62.6 percent), 2,718 yards, 20 TDs, 9 INTs
Why: Webb could easily jump up to the No. 1 spot in these rankings if he starts out the 2014 season as hot as he ended things in 2013. The sophomore tore Arizona State apart in the Holiday Bowl, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns. Webb looks like he’s ready to be one of the Big 12’s best quarterbacks, having produced similar numbers in the Red Raiders’ spring game.
4. Trevor Knight, So., Oklahoma
2013 stats: 79-of-134 (59.0 percent), 819 yards, 9 TDs, 5 INTs … 67 carries, 445 yards (6.6 ypc), 2 TDs
Why: This is where it gets difficult. As I’ve said a lot recently, Trevor Knight could be one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Or he could be in the latter half of the Big 12 Conference. We just don’t know. Knight shocked the world when he dissected the Alabama secondary for 348 yards and four touchdowns. But in seven other appearances last season, he completed just 52.2 percent of his attempts and averaged 67.3 yards per game. The consistency needs to be there for him to move up in the rankings, but there’s no doubt there’s massive potential.
5. Jake Waters, Sr., Kansas State
2013 stats: 159-of-260 (61.2 percent), 2,469 yards, 18 TDs, 9 INTs … 118 carries, 312 yards (2.6 ypc), 6 TDs
Why: Since Kansas State’s loss to FCS North Dakota State in the 2013 season opener, Jake Waters became a different quarterback. Yes, his playing time became sporadic as he split time with now-receiver Daniel Sams, but you could tell that Bill Snyder and QB coach Del Miller continued to work with him as he progressed and developed into a confident starter. Waters went 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) for 271 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Wildcats’ conclusive win over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and I believe that’s the quarterback we’ll see in 2014.
6. Matt Joeckel, RS Sr., TCU*
2013 stats: 22-of-37 (59.5 percent), 293 yards, 2 TDs
Why: Texas A&M transfer Matt Joeckel hasn’t won the starting job yet, but should beat out Trevone Boykin for his experience as a quarterback under great pass-minded quarterback coaches like Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury. His ability to control an offense, make reads and move the chains with excellent short-game accuracy makes him a good fit for Gary Patterson’s new up-tempo scheme.
7. J.W. Walsh, RS Jr., Oklahoma State*
2013 stats: 113-of-190 (59.5 percent), 1,333 yards, 9 TDs, 5 INTs … 58 carries, 294 yards (5.1 ypc), 3 TDs
Why: Walsh is the obvious favorite for his experience, but hasn’t established himself among the rest of the competition just yet, which is actually quite worrisome for Cowboy fans. Walsh has the leadership skills you want in your starter – and there have been times where he makes great plays by putting the ball on a line – but there’s still a lot of room for improvement in terms of accuracy and decision-making.
8. Clint Trickett, RS Sr., West Virginia*
2013 stats: 123-of-233 (52.8 percent), 1,605 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs
Why: Coming out of high school, scouts raved about Trickett’s accuracy and ability to deliver a clean, consistent ball, decision-making skills and poise in the pocket. Every single one of those traits were tested in his first season with West Virginia after transferring from Florida State. Trickett never seemed comfortable in Dana Holgorson’s offense, but with a year under his belt to learn the system and understand his teammates’ tendencies, he should be getting back to being a more efficient passer.
9. Grant Rohach, RS So., Iowa State*
2013 stats: 110-of-191 (57.6 percent), 1,208 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs
Why: Rohach led Iowa State to back-to-back wins to end the 2013 campaign, throwing for over 600 yards and six touchdowns in the process. He outplayed both Sam Richardson and Joel Lanning in the spring game, and brings a level of excitement and passing dynamic that the Cyclones need on offense.
10. Montell Cozart, So., Kansas
2013 stats: 23-of-63 (36.5 percent), 227 yards, 2 INTs … 66 carries, 214 yards (3.2 ypc), TD
Why: Cozart presents a threat to opposing defenses with his running/scrambling ability (which he will have to do a lot of this season), but his mechanics as a passer are extremely raw and need a lot of work.
What are your Big 12 quarterback rankings? Hit me up on Twitter!