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Predictions for This Season (Top 3)
1A—Oklahoma Sooners (Landry Jones); 1B—West Virginia Mountaineers (Geno Smith); 3A—TCU (Casey Pachall); 3B—Kansas State Wildcats (Collin Klein)
Let me begin this slideshow with a debate within a debate. Keep in mind, all of this information is subjective, so feel free to agree or disagree with anything posted—this is a projection, after all.
With Brandon Weeden and Robert Griffin III off to the NFL, the competition for "best quarterback in the Big 12" definitely becomes slimmer. Oklahoma's Landry Jones would have been the runaway winner if it hadn't been for the newcomers. With that being said, I still feel like it's a toss-up.
Jones has progressed (albeit at a very slow rate) every season at Oklahoma and, through three seasons, is the most prolific passer in Sooners history. He has been shredding Big 12 defenses (insert SEC fan comment here) since he was a freshman, totaling 12,379 yards and 93 touchdowns. Jones has also never lost a bowl game—of course, he's never been to a national championship, either.
As a senior, Jones will be expected to lead his team to his first national championship berth, but he is going to have to fix the inconveniences that have plagued his otherwise tremendous career in order to get to that point.
Fellow senior Geno Smith, quarterback for the West Virginia Mountaineers, is coming off a very impressive season in the Big East. Smith hit a new high in every category worth mentioning, including pass yards (4,385), touchdowns (31) and passer rating (152.6). However, I think it's worth noting that the competition is going to only get tougher for Smith in the Big 12, so there's no way of knowing how he's going to react.
With that being said, Smith did put up nearly 500 passing yards against LSU last season in a loss, and he did throw for over 400 yards and six touchdowns against Clemson in the Orange Bowl...
It's going to be a fun to watch both Jones and Smith do battle against the Big 12 this season, but keep an eye on fellow newcomer Casey Pachall from TCU. In his first year as a starter, Pachall carried a rebuilding Horned Frogs team to an 11-2 record.
Collin Klein out of Kansas State is also another name to watch due to his relentless ground attack abilities, but he's going to need to improve his passing game to bypass Jones, Smith or Pachall.