Over the summer, I put together a list ranking the Big 12 quarterbacks heading into the season. Jerrod Johnson’s spotty play obviously has him nowhere near the number one spot, not to mention his starting job is now hanging by a string. But now that the conference schedule is fifty percent complete and we have something concrete to go on, here’s how I’d slot them thus far along with some of the best individual games we've seen in 2010.
Most Impressive Game:
Landry Jones versus Florida State – given the opponent and Jones gaudy numbers against a very solid FSU defense, I don’t think there’s been a better overall performance. Jones was 30-40 for 380 yards and four touchdowns without throwing an interception in the Noles only defeat of the season.
Robert Griffin versus Colorado: 22-27 for 234 yards and 1 TD; rushed 15 times for 137 yards.
Blaine Gabbert versus Oklahoma: 30-42 for 308 yards and 1 TD with no interceptions.
Brandon Weeden versus Tulsa: 23-32 for 404 yards and 6 TD’s.
Landry Jones versus Iowa State: 30-34 for 334 yards and 3 TD’s with no interceptions.
Taylor Potts versus Baylor: 42-59 for 462 yards and 4 TD’s with 1 interception.
Taylor Martinez versus Oklahoma State: 23-35 for 323 yards and 5 TD’s; 19 rushes for 112 yards.
Carson Coffman versus Kansas: 15-16 passing for 184 yards and 2 TD’s; rushed 10 times for 49 yards.
Now, to the rankings:
5. Taylor Martinez
Coming into the season, few outside Nebraska even knew who Taylor Martinez was. Zac Lee wasn’t a shoe in for the starting quarterback job, but if it wasn’t him, many figured it would be last year’s backup, Cody Green. Enter Martinez.
Taylor was named the starter just before the season opener versus Western Kentucky and didn’t disappoint taking his first career rushing attempt on the third play of the game 46 yards for a touchdown. Martinez has filled the stat sheets with his running ability and currently sits third in the Big 12 averaging 124 yards on the ground while scoring 12 times to go along with it.
He also showed against Oklahoma State that when given the chance, he can hurt you with his arm as well. Martinez connected on 23 of 35 passes for 323 yards and five touchdowns against the Cowboys.
He did have a couple downers against South Dakota State and Texas, but has been impressive overall considering he’s just a freshman. Nebraska is currently 6-1 with Martinez starting all seven games.
- Kansas State: 5-7-128 and 1 TD; 15 carries for 241 yards and 4 TD’s
- Oklahoma State: 23-35-323 and 5 TD’s; 19 carries for 112 yards.
4. Landry Jones – Oklahoma
Jones has led Oklahoma to a 6-1 start and currently sits third in the Big 12 averaging 299.3 yards per game. He’s also thrown 17 TD’s against five interceptions while completing 66.8% of his passes against one of the tougher schedules in the country.
Jones struggled in the season opener against Utah State but bounced back in a big way the next week against Florida State. He has been inconsistent at times, but has looked good more times than not in his first full season as the starter.
- Florida State: 30-40-380 and 4 TD’s with no interceptions.
- Iowa State: 30-34-334 and 3 TD’s with no interceptions.
3. Brandon Weeden – Oklahoma State
Weeden is enjoying the results in the first year of Dana Holgorsen’s spread attack in Stillwater. The Cowboy offense has lit up the scoreboard all year and Weeden is a big reason why. He leads the conference with 321.3 yards per game and has made good use out of one of the country’s best wide outs, Justin Blackmon. He’s thrown 21 TD’s on the year but does need to clean up the nine interceptions he’s thrown so far.
Overall, the Cowboys are off to a 6-1 start after being a team many picked to finish last in the Big 12 South. It’s hard to find much fault in Weeden’s performance after coming into the year with little playing experience while backing up Zac Robinson a season ago.
- Tulsa: 23-32-404 with 6 TD’s and no interceptions.
- Texas Tech: 24-35-356 with 1 TD and 2 interceptions.
2. Blaine Gabbert – Missouri
Gabbert has led the Tigers to a surprising 7-0 start after knocking off the #1 team in the country (according to the BCS) last weekend. Gabbert has remained mostly healthy this year and the results show it.
Gabbert’s numbers aren’t as flashy as some in the conference, but has played his best against the two best defenses he’s faced this year and has basically been a model of consistency for the Tigers. His season could go from very good to special with a road win at Nebraska this week as Mizzou looks to stay unbeaten.
- Texas A&M: 31-47-361 with 3 TD’s and no interceptions.
- Oklahoma: 30-42-308 with 1 TD and no interceptions.
1. Robert Griffin – Baylor
Griffin doesn’t sport the perfect 7-0 record that Gabbert does, but he has Baylor at 6-2 and bowl eligible the last week in October (Baylor last went to a bowl in 1994). As a freshman in 2008, Griffin was known for his running prowess more than his throwing ability. While he can no doubt still run following last season’s ACL injury, his passing is now as dangerous, if not more so, than his ability to tuck it and run.
As a freshman, his threw for 2091 yards. This year he’s already surpassed that number in seven games with 2373 yards through the air while throwing 18 touchdowns against four interceptions. And then throw in his 384 yards on the ground and Griffin has become the most dangerous quarterback in the conference. Texas coach Mack Brown said on Monday he has no idea why Griffin isn’t being touted more for the Heisman trophy. His numbers, combined with Baylor’s success, probably leads credence that Griffin should at least be in the conversation.
Griffin has torn up the Big 12 through four conference games and only seems to be getting better each week. In his last game out, he had his best passing game of the year throwing for 404 yards against K-State. The week before, he rushed for 137 yards against Colorado. Griffin currently sits first in the Big 12 in total offense averaging 344.6 yards per game.
The toughest part of Baylor’s schedule is still ahead, but if the first half of the season is any indication, Griffin is going to have his name attached to numerous postseason awards.
- Colorado: 22-27-234 with 1 TD and 1 interception; 15 rushes for 137 yards.
- Kansas State: 26-38-404 with 4 TD’s and 1 interception.
So what do you say? There's still another month left of the season. Is there going to be a big shake up between now and the end of the season?