The start of the college football season is still a few weeks away, but it's clear which teams can count on big things from their quarterbacks. The Big 12 is home to some of the most high-powered offenses in the entire country, and having good signal callers is what makes those offenses go. Here is how every quarterback in the conference stacks up going into the 2017 season:
10) Carter Stanley, Kansas Jayhawks
Stanley earned the starting job late last year and figures to enter the season as the starter, but has to hold off JUCO transfer Peyton Bender. It's a competition that will probably go into the season though it's Stanley's to lose. He passed for 959 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in nine appearances last year, including three starts.
9) Jacob Park, Iowa State Cyclones
Park goes into the season as the unquestioned starter for Iowa State, and they're hoping for a breakout season from him. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder threw for over 200 yards in four of the Cyclones' last five games, but needs to be more consistent.
8) Kenny Hill, TCU Horned Frogs
Could Hill be higher on this list? He certainly has the talent to be. However, his play declined as the season wore on last year and finished with just 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions - including six touchdowns and eight interceptions over TCU's last eight games. Hill didn't perform any better in the spring and is receiving a serious push from true freshman Shawn Robinson. If Hill doesn't return to form, he won't finish the season as TCU's starter.
7) Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech Red Raiders
Shimonek is taking over for Patrick Mahomes and the Red Raiders have high expectations for him. The former walk-on transfer is now in his fourth year in the program and showed his command of the offense in the spring game by throwing for 179 yards and two touchdowns. In limited action last year, he passed for 464 yards and six touchdowns with an interception. The only question with him is getting on-field experience.
6) Zach Smith, Baylor Bears
Smith is expected to beat out Arizona transfer Anu Solomon for the starting job and Baylor is very, very high on him. The sophomore made four starts at the end of last season and was dominant when he was on the field, throwing for 1,526 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Consistency is also the key with him, though that will likely come with more experience.
5) Jesse Ertz, Kansas State Wildcats
Ertz's dual-threat ability is what makes Kansas State's offense go. He needs to become better as a passer (57.6 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, four interceptions), but ran for over 1,000 yards and added 12 more scores on the ground. Ertz has missed the entire offseason with a shoulder surgery but will be ready to go for the start of the season.
4) Shane Buechele, Texas Longhorns
Buechele was dynamite early in the season but fell apart late, throwing two touchdowns and five interceptions in the last three games of the year (all losses). Some of that can be blamed on him being a true freshman, but the Longhorns can't afford him to have any kind of a drop off. Luckily, it looks like that won't happen.
Now that Tom Herman is in town, Buechele is expected to take another (big) leap forward by becoming more consistent in his decision-making. If Herman can get him to play like some of his other pupils (J.T. Barrett, Greg Ward), the Texas offense will shine.
3) Will Grier, West Virginia Mountaineers
The Florida transfer will start Week One for the Mountaineers following his PED suspension and that means great things for West Virginia. He was dynamite in his six games for the Gators before the suspension, passing for 1,204 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions, and has wowed coaches with his production this spring. Dana Holgorsen has given him the keys to WVU's high-powered offense, and Grier's talent gives them the potential to have one of the best units in the entire country.
2) Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Rudolph still largely flies under the radar on the national scale, but he is no slouch. He threw for over 4,000 yards last year, with 28 touchdowns and just four picks. Mayfield's numbers are better, but Rudolph still has room to grow. With star WR James Washington back, the Cowboys could be in a for big year under Rudolph's guidance.
1) Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Sooners
Mayfield struggled against Ohio State early last year, and that helped tank his Heisman hopes. But, his season overall was once again impressive. He completed 71.2 percent of his passes for 3,669 yards, 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He didn't run as much as he did in 2015, but still picked up 143 yards and six touchdowns. He's now the completely unquestioned leader with Dede Westbrook, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon all in the NFL - and is the best player in the conference.Back to the Big 12 Newsfeed