IRVING, Texas — Gone is Sam Bradford.
So too are Colt McCoy, Todd Reesing and Zac Robinson.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Big 12's status as a quarterback league has gone with them.
Even if the name recognition of Big 12's individual quarterbacks has.
"Those quarterbacks that left were great quarterbacks," said Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman. "But there's some great quarterbacks ready to take over.
"It's now time for them to step forward, and I'm sure that they will."
Whether the Big 12 preserves its reputation as the best quarterback conference in college football will depend heavily on the performance of Sherman's signal-caller, Jerrod Johnson.
Coming off a breakout season in which he threw for almost 3,600 yards and 30 TDs as a junior, Johnson was named the preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
But even Johnson didn't receive the attention at Big 12 Media Days this week that some of his predecessors like Bradford, McCoy and Robinson did last year, or Chase Daniel and Josh Freeman did the year before.
And Johnson knows why.
"I think the reason those guys had so much notoriety and success is that they won football games," said Johnson, whose Aggies finished 6-7 last season. "Those guys were proven winners. That's why they had so much preseason hype.
"There's a lot of good quarterbacks in this league, but you get your notoriety from winning games. So I think if we win games, we'll get the attention, too."
Johnson won't have to carry the banner of Big 12 quarterbacks alone.
Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, whom Johnson befriended during the summer at quarterback camps, joins Johnson among the league's premier quarterbacks.
Despite playing with a badly sprained ankle throughout the year, Gabbert passed for just under 3,600 yards and 24 TDs.
"When Sam and Chase and Colt were young, people didn't really know about them. I feel that's where we are now," Gabbert said. "We still have big-time guys, but we're young, we're going into our first or second years playing."
Other schools and their fans have reason to be excited about the upside of their quarterbacks.
Sophomores Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Garrett Gilbert of Texas showed glimpses of brilliance after Bradford and McCoy went down with injuries last season.
Twenty-six-year-old Brandon Weeden also shined while leading Oklahoma State to a come-from-behind win over Colorado in 2009, and will have the benefit of operating under first-year offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen's pass-happy system.
And lastly, Baylor's Robert Griffin, undoubtedly the most electrifying dual-threat quarterback in the Big 12 if not the nation, will return to the field after rehabbing from last year's ACL tear.
"This is still a quarterback league, there's still great quarterbacks in this league," said Texas Tech quarterback Steven Sheffield. "It's there. The guys are there. The offenses are there.
"Once they see them all play, they're going to be talking about them, too."