CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Big 12's reputation of producing top-notch quarterbacks has been handed a setback by graduation, injuries and ineffective play.
Still, many coaches aren't worried. They believe the next crop of heralded signal-callers will show up eventually.
"Every now and then you get a big graduating class of them and you're waiting for the new guys to step up and carry that reputation," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday. "I'm sure there'll be guys as we go through the next year or two who will be those guys again."
As the Big 12 looks for the next Landry Jones, Nick Florence, Geno Smith or Collin Klein, two QBs have emerged to give the pass-happy league hope that the future will get here quickly.
Fourth-year junior Bryce Petty is the latest quarterback at Baylor, and Texas Tech walk-on freshman Baker Mayfield has posted some staggering numbers entering the start of conference play.
"I know there's some young guys who are doing some good things," said Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. "But it's way early. Once we hit the heart of the conference, you'll see some of those young quarterbacks emerging as stars not only in this league, but around the country."
Kingsbury is certain that Mayfield could take the star label to heart if he earns it.
Mayfield has completed 64 of 90 passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception in wins over SMU and Stephen F. Austin. He'll get a test Thursday night against No. 24 TCU.
"If he can continue to raise his level of play, he could handle the situation," Kingsbury said. "He has a huge chip on his shoulder. He has goals in mind and wants to prove a lot of people wrong. That's going to help keep him focused."
TCU coach Gary Patterson recalled that Mayfield attended a camp in Fort Worth, but the Horned Frogs didn't offer him a roster spot.
"For whatever reason, we didn't pull the trigger," Patterson said. "Obviously we're not very smart in doing some things. But we also didn't offer Johnny Manziel.
"Baker's done an unbelievable job his first two ballgames. I think he's a winner. We've got our hands full this week."
No. 22 Baylor leads the nation in total offense at 737 yards per game thanks in part to Petty, who has completed 32 of 40 passes for 650 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
Petty waited to start behind Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and the record-setting Florence last season.
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