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Big Ten's Best Quarterback Matchups of 2016

J.T. Barrett

J.T. Barrett

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 Ten. Here are the top 10 quarterback matchups involving Big Ten teams for 2016:

Big Ten'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. Tommy Armstrong Jr. (NEB)  vs. J.T. Barrett (OHST)  11/5

This pair can really run the football. Armstrong and Barrett have combined for 2,927 yards and 37 scores on the ground over their careers. 


3. Tommy Armstrong Jr. (NEB)  vs. C.J. Beathard (IOWA)  11/25

Arguably the biggest on-field matchup in the Big Ten West this year, these two veteran quarterbacks will grind out a pro-style offensive attack. Keep an eye on Armstrong against standout Iowa cornerback Desmond King.


4. C.J. Beathard (IOWA)  vs. Wes Lunt (ILL)  11/19

Lunt and Co. look to rebound from last year's 29-20 loss where he got sacked three times. This time he gets the Hawkeyes in Champaign.


5. Dakota Prukop (ORE)  vs. Tommy Armstrong Jr. (NEB)  9/17

This clash will boast two dual-threat quarterbacks who can beat you with their legs. The pair combined for 1,197 yards and 18 scores on the ground last fall. Prukop - a graduate transfer from Montana State - is fighting to hold onto the starting job in a tight battle with redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen.


6. C.J. Beathard (IOWA)  vs. Mitch Leidner (MINN)  10/8

Who will hoist the Floyd of Rosedale after the 4th quarter? Iowa did last fall but will Leidner beat the Hawkeyes and get it back under first-year coach Tracy Claeys? The Golden Gophers fell just short (40-35) of an upset in Iowa City last season.


7. John O'Korn (MICH)  vs. J.T. Barrett (OHST)  11/26

This will be Barrett's third time playing in this game, but it will be O'Korn's first. Will that be the difference between the second clash of Harbaugh versus Meyer?


8. Mitch Trubisky (UNC) vs. Wes Lunt (ILL)  9/10

Lunt has battled injuries and some bad luck in his Illinois career, but if healthy, the senior should thrive under new coordinator Garrick McGee. Trubisky is one of college football's top breakout quarterbacks for 2016.


9. Tyler O'Connor (MSU)  vs. DeShone Kizer (ND)  9/17

All eyes will be on O'Connor and Kizer on Sept. 17, as this game could have a huge impact on whether or not the Fighting Irish or Spartans make it to the College Football Playoff. Even if Kizer starts, Malik Zaire could see plenty of snaps for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.


10. Dane Evans (TULSA)  vs. J.T. Barrett (OHST)  9/10

After throwing for 4,332 yards and 25 scores last fall, Tulsa's Dane Evans is one of the nation's most underrated quarterbacks for 2016. Evans will test a rebuilt Ohio State secondary, but the Golden Hurricane defense will have their hands full trying to slow Barrett.