The quarterback is easily the most important on-field position for any college football team. Signal-callers can truly make their teammates better and enhance their play on the field. While quarterback - especially proven ones - are valuable, this position is not easy to evaluate and the overall performance can depend on some of the help from the supporting cast. These pocket passers and dual-threats are some of the best in the nation and these clashes should make it an enjoyable season in the Big 12. Here are the top 10 quarterback matchups involving Big 12 teams for 2016:
Big 12's Best QB Matchups of 2016
1. J.T. Barrett (OHST) vs. Baker Mayfield (OU) 9/17
One of college football's biggest non-conference games also features two Heisman contenders. Mayfield will look to attack a young Buckeye secondary, while Barrett hopes to replicate what Clemson's Deshaun Watson did to the Sooners' defense in the Orange Bowl.
2. Baker Mayfield (OU) vs. Greg Ward Jr. (HOU) 9/3
Two Athlon Sports All-Americans square off at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on the opening Saturday of the 2016 season. If Ward and Co. can somehow pull off the upset, the Cougars will have a good shot at an unbeaten record.
3. Baker Mayfield (OU) vs. Patrick Mahomes II (TTU) 10/22
The one-two quarterback punch of our Big 12 all-conference team, Mayfield and Mahomes will put up some video game like numbers in this shootout. This game also marks Mayfield's return to Lubbock after spending the first two seasons of his career with the Red Raiders.
4. Seth Russell (BAY) vs. Patrick Mahomes II (TTU) 11/25
These two signal-callers combined to throw for 6,757 yards and 65 touchdowns last year - and that's with Russell missing six games due to injury. Expect a high scoring affair on Black Friday in Arlington.
5. Mason Rudolph (OKST) vs. Baker Mayfield (OU) 12/3
Even though the Big 12 doesn't have a conference championship game in 2016, this game will have a huge implication in the College Football Playoff outlook.
6. Baker Mayfield (OU) vs. Seth Russell (BAY) 11/12
The Sooners and Bears combined for 78 points in a mid-November shootout last year. Will we see the same type of production in 2016?
7. Patrick Mahomes (TTU) vs. Mason Rudolph (OKST) 11/12
Expect the offensive fireworks to fly on Nov. 12 in Boone-Pickens Stadium between these two quarterbacks.
8. Mason Rudolph (OKST) vs. Seth Russell (BAY) 9/24
Rudolph looks to bounce back and get some revenge versus Baylor after he got sacked six times in a 45-35 loss in Stillwater last fall.
9. Skyler Howard (WVU) vs. Tanner Mangum (BYU) 9/24
The Mountaineers and Cougars meet in a neutral site game in Landover, Md. for an intriguing late-September non-conference affair. Can Howard pick up where he left off in the Cactus Bowl? Can Mangum stay at the top of the depth chart with Taysom Hill back in the mix?
10. DeShone Kizer (ND) vs. Shane Buechele (TEX) 9/4
This primetime matchup is the only game on Sunday during the first weekend of the 2016 season. And it should be a good one. Will Buechele live up to the hype in his first year under center? Kizer finished spring at the top of the depth chart, but he has to hold off Malik Zaire this fall. Could the Fighting Irish play two quarterbacks?