Big 12 Football: 10 Best Big 12 Quarterbacks of All Time

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IMay 15, 2013

Big 12 Football: 10 Best Big 12 Quarterbacks of All Time

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    The Big 12 is a quarterback-driven league and has been since its inception in 1994.

    A number of high-profile quarterbacks have taken snaps in the league, and this is a look at the 10 best to come through the ranks.

    Three Heisman Trophies and a handful national titles are represented by this group. Sam Bradford is an obvious choice, but names like Michael Bishop may not be immediately recognized. 

    Who takes No. 1?

No. 10: Jason White, Oklahoma Sooners

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    Jason White was an unlikely star for Oklahoma during the mid-2000s. He produced a Heisman Trophy in 2003 after having reconstructive knee surgery in both knees early in his career.

    White was completely immobile, but the spread offense at Oklahoma helped him produce great numbers. 

    He started for the Sooners for two years and finished with 7,922 passing yards and 81 passing touchdowns.

    Watching him play against the Big 12 and win big was impressive. White overcame devastating injuries to become one of the league's best.

No. 9: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Brandon Weeden became the “old guy” in college football when he joined the Cowboys program in 2008. By 2010 he was the starter and had become one of the country’s top storylines alongside star receiver Justin Blackmon.

    He passed for over 4,000 yards two years in row and ended his career with 75 passing touchdowns.

    The Cowboys marched to 23 wins in two seasons with Weeden leading the offense. 

    Weeden finished his career with 9,260 passing yards and a 69.5 completion percentage.

    He was a first-round draft selection to the Cleveland Browns in 2012. 

No. 8: Collin Klein, Kansas State Wildcats

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    Kansas State was in the BCS title discussion for two seasons with Collin Klein leading the offense. The Wildcats looked to his leadership and tenacity to fuel a Big 12 title run in 2012.

    Over the course of his four-year career, Klein passed for 4,724 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for 2,485 yards and 56 touchdowns.

    His impact on the Kansas State program will be unforgettable, despite his lack of explosive passing numbers. Klein was a leader and took the offense on his back for two straight seasons, taking the Wildcats to a BCS bowl game in 2012, which happened to be Kansas State's first since 2003.

No. 7: Seneca Wallace, Iowa State Cyclones

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    Seneca Wallace is arguably the best quarterback to walk the locker room at Iowa State.

    He arrived as a JUCO transfer in 2001. In two seasons as the starter for the otherwise mediocre Cyclones, Wallace was able to pass for 5,289 yards and 26 touchdowns.

    He also rushed for 912 yards and 15 scores.

    Wallace was a game-changer and was able to neutralize elite talent. Throughout his career, his biggest impact came as sandlot-style player. The strategy was to sit back and let him make plays.  

    Iowa State hit the national stage for two years thanks to his electric play. 

No. 6: Vince Young, Texas Longhorns

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    Winning national titles is the highest honor that a college football player can achieve. Winning the Heisman is a close second.

    Vince Young knocked down one of those achievements while at Texas—he guided the Longhorns to the national title in 2005, but he finished second in the Heisman voting in 2005.

    Some argue he should have walked away with the award thanks to his strong 2005 season. He finished the year with 3,036 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns while also adding 1,050 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs to his stat line.

    He finished his Longhorns career with 6,040 passing yards, 3,127 rushing yards, 44 passing TDs and 37 rushing TDs. His career record as a starter was 30-2.

No. 5: Michael Bishop, Kansas State Wildcats

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    Kansas State has produced a host of talented defenders over the years, but their quarterbacks have also had some talent. Michael Bishop was a JUCO transfer to Kansas State prior to the 1997 season.

    He took over the starting role in 1997 and put up modest numbers, but his senior year was what put Bishop in elite company.

    The 1998 season brought an offensive explosion that saw Bishop toss for 2,844 yards and 23 touchdowns. He only had five interceptions.

    He also rushed for 748 yards and 14 touchdowns that year. He was a consensus All-American and won the Davey O’Brien Award for his performance.

    He finished his career with 4,401 passing yards, 1,314 rushing yards, 36 passing touchdowns and 23 rushing scores.

    He isn’t mentioned much, but Bishop is one of the best to have taken the field in the Big 12. 

No. 4: Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Kingsbury was one of the first players to play in the Mike Leach adaptation of the “Air Raid” offense at Texas Tech.

    He played in 43 games during his career and finished with a handful of records. He passed for 12,423 yards and 95 touchdowns as the Red Raiders quarterback. He is now the head coach for the Texas Tech program.

    Despite being labeled as a system quarterback, Kingsbury was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round during the 2003 draft. 

No. 3: Landry Jones, Oklahoma Sooners

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    Landry Jones is one of three Sooners quarterbacks on the list. He produced a ton of wins and churned up a lot of passing yards during his career.

    His Oklahoma career ended with an astounding 16,646 yards passing and 123 passing touchdowns. He threw for 4,000 yards or more three years in a row.

    He didn’t finish with a ton of accolades or awards, but Jones was one of the best to play in the Big 12. He was a system quarterback, but his production was off the charts. 

No. 2: Robert Griffin III, Baylor Bears

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    Most people don’t look to Baylor when mentioning elite quarterbacks, but in 2011, the Bears produced one of the best the Big 12 has ever seen.

    Robert Griffin III stole the country’s attention when he plowed through the conference to become the first Heisman winner in Baylor history. He finished the year with an astounding 189.5 passer rating while passing for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns.

    He also added 699 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

    In his career, Griffin III finished with 10,366 passing yards, 2,257 rushing yards and 111 total touchdowns.

    Griffin III was one of the most explosive dual-threats to ever take the field in conference history.

No. 1: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma Sooners

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    Oklahoma has produced a lot of talented quarterbacks through the years, and Sam Bradford is the best of the Big 12 era.

    He was a three-year starter beginning with his freshman season.

    His sophomore campaign produced a Heisman Trophy after he tossed 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He finished the year with 4,720 passing yards and a 180.8 passer rating.

    Over the course of his career, Bradford was able to toss 88 touchdowns and pass for 8,403 yards. He has continued his success in the NFL as the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. 

    He was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft.