Griffin, Jones or Weeden?
Quarterback play is usually strong in the Big 12, but there's quite a shakeup among passers next season. The early departure of Blaine Gabbert creates a significant question mark for Missouri, while Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas Tech are all searching for their next starter. Much was expected of Texas' Garrett Gilbert in 2010, but he managed only 10 touchdown tosses to 17 interceptions.
With a lot of uncertainty facing some schools under center in the Big 12, the preseason discussion for first-team all-conference should be pretty simple - Baylor's Robert Griffin, Oklahoma's Landry Jones or Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden.
Here's a look at each player and their stats from last season -
Robert Griffin, Baylor: 3,501 pass yds., 22 TDs, 8 INTs, 635 rush yds., 8 TDs
Landry Jones, Oklahoma: 4,718 pass yds., 38 TDs, 12 INTs
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: 4,277 yds., 34 TDs, 13 INTs
All three players have a strong case to earn first-team preseason honors, but my early lean is with Jones. With receiver Ryan Broyles back and the emergence of Kenny Stills, the Sooners should have the Big 12's top offense. Jones has also displayed steady improvement, cutting his interceptions from 14 (449 attempts in 2009) to 12 (617 in 2010).
Weeden and Griffin are fine candidates and both should post huge stats in 2011. However, Oklahoma State will miss coordinator Dana Holgorsen, while Griffin scored only two touchdowns in the final three Big 12 conference games last season.
Agree or disagree with my pick of Landry Jones as the Big 12's preseason No. 1 quarterback? Message me on Twitter - AthlonSteven and let me know.