Part one: Ranking the Big 12 quarterbacks
Football’s most important and scrutinized position is magnified to an even greater degree in the pass-happy Big 12.
Quarterbacks can win you games or throw you out of them.
And for the most part, your standing in the conference is directly related to the skill and effectiveness of your signal caller.
Here’s a look at how the Big 12 teams stack up, taking into account their present and future situation behind center. This is not purely ranked on the starters, but rather what they have now and what they have coming, however unknown those quantities may be.
Starter – Dayne Crist (senior)
Backup – Michael Cummings (freshman)
Top recruit – Jordan Darling (3-star)
Much like the team, KU’s quarterback situation is a disaster. The current starter, Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist, has been awful. Through four games, he’s thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions, completing only 47 percent of his passes. And after playing poorly (10/26 for 147 yards) in last Saturday’s loss to Northern Illinois, Crist’s job security was thrown into question by the media. But Charlie Weis quickly shot it down, saying: “There’s a big separation between the first guy and the second guy.” Probably not a good sign for the future in Lawrence.
9. Iowa State
Starter – Steele Jantz (senior)
Backup – Jared Barnett (sophomore)
Top recruit - Trevor Hodge (3-star)
Seneca Wallace and Steele Jantz both have great names. But that’s where the similarities between the former and current Cyclone quarterbacks end. Wallace was a legend, Jantz has been a bust, showing promise in practice that’s led to wild inconsistency in games. He’s thrown a conference-high seven interceptions this season, including three in an atrocious 73-yard performance against Texas Tech last Saturday (a 24-13 home loss). Some fans have called for backup Jared Barnett. I’m not sure it’d be much of an upgrade.
Starter – Nick Florence (senior)
Backup – Bryce Petty (sophomore)
Top recruit – Chris Johnson (3-star)
Maybe RGIII’s breakout 2011 campaign will eventually lead to another RGIII-type talent coming down the road. But for now, the cupboard is bare. Nick Florence has proven to be a capable one-year replacement. He even threw for 581 yards and five touchdowns in that 70-63 flag football game against West Virginia last week. But he’s a fifth-year senior, departing after this season with question marks behind him.
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