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Ranking the Big 12's Quarterbacks for 2015

Trevone Boykin

Trevone Boykin

The Big 12 is known for its high-scoring offenses and quarterback play, but the league enters 2015 with several unknowns under center. TCU’s Trevone Boykin is the clear favorite for first-team all-conference honors and one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy. However, after Boykin is a host of unproven names. Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph ranks as our No. 2 quarterback after a promising finish to 2014, while we project Baylor’s Seth Russell to continue the successful run of signal-callers in Waco.

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of quarterbacks only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the quarterbacks in the Big 12 for 2015.

Ranking the Big 12 Quarterbacks for 2015

1. Trevone Boykin, TCU

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

Under new co-coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham, Boykin emerged as the Big 12’s top quarterback and one of the most improved players in the nation. TCU’s offense averaged 46.5 points per game last year, which was a significant bump from the 25.1 mark in 2013. Boykin threw for 3,901 yards and 33 scores last season and ranked second on the team with 707 yards and eight touchdowns. The senior is among the nation’s leaders for the 2015 Heisman Trophy.

2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

Rudolph’s emergence at the end of 2014 is a big reason why Oklahoma State is poised to move up the Big 12 standings in 2015. The true freshman did not play through the first 10 games but started the final three contests and guided the Cowboys to a 2-1 mark in that span. Rudolph ended the year with 853 yards and six scores, while completing 57 percent of his passes. With an improving offensive line and one of the Big 12’s top receiving corps, Rudolph should push for all-conference honors in 2015.

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3. Seth Russell, Baylor

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

Russell takes the reins of Baylor’s high-powered offense after Bryce Petty expired his eligibility. Since 2010, the starting quarterback for coach Art Briles has passed for at least 3,500 yards in each season. Additionally, in three out of the last five years, the starter has eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark. Russell threw for 804 yards and eight scores in limited action last year, which included one start against Northwestern State while Petty was out due to a back injury.

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4. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

Putting Mahomes at No. 4 assumes he beats out Davis Webb for the job and starts all 12 regular season games. As a true freshman last year, Mahomes threw for 1,457 yards and 16 scores, with a bulk of his production coming in the final three games. Mahomes also brings a different element to the offense with his dual-threat potential. He only managed 104 yards on 46 attempts last season, but the rushing ability only adds to what should be a dynamic Texas Tech offense in 2015.

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5. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

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Oklahoma finished spring without a definitive answer under center, but all signs point to Mayfield taking the first snap of the 2015 season. Mayfield sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules after leaving Texas Tech following the 2013 campaign. In Mayfield’s only season with the Red Raiders, he threw for 2,315 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 186 yards and three scores. In Oklahoma’s spring game, Mayfield led all quarterbacks with 176 passing yards.

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6. Skyler Howard, West Virginia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

Howard entered spring neck-and-neck with William Crest for the No. 1 spot under center. However, Howard pull ahead throughout the offseason workouts, which may allow the West Virginia coaches to use Crest in an all-purpose role in 2015. Howard gained valuable experienced at the end of 2014 by starting the final two games and threw for 346 yards and three scores against Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl. The junior college recruit was slated to redshirt last season but injuries to Crest and Clint Trickett forced him to play. Considering the track record of quarterbacks in Dana Holgorsen’s offense, it’s safe to assume Howard will post big numbers if he picks up where he left off in the bowl game and the Mountaineers find a replacement for star receiver Kevin White.

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7. Tyrone Swoopes/Jerrod Heard, Texas

There’s a ton of potential with Texas’ quarterback situation in 2015. But will the Longhorns get consistent production from their signal-callers? Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard were both four-star recruits in the 247Sports Composite and finished spring in a tight battle for the No. 1 spot. Last year, Swoopes completed 224 of 384 passes for 2,409 yards and 13 scores. He also rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Heard did not play as a redshirt, but he finished the spring on a high note by completing 20 of 29 passes for 177 yards in the spring game. The upside is there for both quarterbacks to take a step forward in 2015, especially with the offense shifting to more of a spread approach. 

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8. Sam Richardson, Iowa State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

Richardson was steady in his second full year as Iowa State’s starter, completing 254 of 451 passes for 2,669 yards and 18 scores. He missed the matchup against Kansas due to injury, but in Big 12 contests last year, the Florida native averaged 239 passing yards per game. The Cyclones should be better on offense in 2015, especially with a talented receiving corps in place, featuring the return of Quenton Bundrage from injury, along with the development of sophomore receiver Allen Lazard. Richardson should also benefit from another offseason to learn under coordinator Mark Mangino. With the returning talent at receiver, No. 8 might be too low for Richardson.

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9. Joe Hubener, Kansas State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

Hubener is the favorite to replace the underrated Jake Waters under center for K-State in 2015. The Kansas native has an interesting backstory, as he joined the program as a walk-on after never starting a game at quarterback in high school. In two seasons of playing time with the Wildcats, Hubener has completed 9 of 17 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown. He has rushed for 147 yards and three scores on 29 rushing attempts. Competing with Hubener for the starting job is sophomore Jesse Ertz and incoming freshman Alex Delton.

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10. Michael Cummings/Montell Cozart, Kansas

Cummings is penciled in as the starter in Lawrence, but a knee injury in the spring game has clouded his availability for 2015. If Cummings returns in time, he should be the starter after completing 137 of 244 passes for 1,715 yards and nine scores last year. But if Cummings is sidelined for the full season, Cozart is the likely replacement. He threw for 701 yards and five scores and started five games in 2014. If the Jayhawks look to the future, true freshmen Ryan Willis or Carter Stanley could get a chance to play.

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