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2023 Big 12 QB Rankings

By |2023-06-28T07:47:35-05:00June 28th, 2023|Categories: Local News, Sports|Comments Off on 2023 Big 12 QB Rankings

by Mason Voth • EMAWOnline – Managing Editor – @TheRealMasonV


Gabriel threw for over 3,100 yards and 25 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Oklahoma found a way to lose games despite big games from Gabriel, who had a QBR over 80 in four of the six losses he played in for Oklahoma.

Gabriel is also the most proven quarterback playing in the Big 12 this upcoming season, as this will be his fifth season as the starting quarterback and he has been good in each, except for his last season at UCF where he was injured early in the season.


K-State lost Adrian Martinez early in their road trip against TCU and the reborn version of Will Howard shined before also getting injured in the game. Howard didn’t look back, he cruised to a 48-0 win over Oklahoma State and was carried off the field the following week and two weeks later came back in relief of an injured Martinez to carve up Baylor.

What Howard did better in his third season behind center for K-State was throwing the ball downfield with confidence. He threw for 15 touchdowns and only four picks, while putting up over 1,600 yards on just under 200 pass attempts. Everything that seemed to ail Howard in his first two seasons in Manhattan had seemingly gone away and he led the Wildcats to a Big 12 title. Now he is on NFL radars, just attended the Manning Passing Academy and will have to prove 2022’s resurgence wasn’t a fluke.


Daniels was forced to miss time last season though, exiting just before halftime against TCU and not returning until over a month later against Texas. Most of Daniels’ big numbers came early in the 2022 season where he carved up West Virginia, Duke, Houston and Tennessee Tech.

Daniels might have the highest ceiling of the quarterbacks in the league, but 2023 will be about proving that he can replicate his results against the top half of the Big 12. His defense and other parts of his team also need to help him out quite a bit more.


Bijan Robinson was the sole reason for Texas offensive success in 2022 and there was no better example of that than the game against K-State. Texas used Robinson to help build an early lead, but the game started to move back in K-State’s favor when Quinn Ewers became a bigger focal point in the offense.

Ewers’ talent was obvious at times, but it never felt like he was anything special. He was young though and year two brings major expectations for the Longhorns who have not won the Big 12 since 2009. He has the talent around him, now it is time for Ewers to make the leap in his third season on a college football roster.

Ewers had a QBR of 64.8 last season, which ranks 7th out of the expected starting quarterbacks in the Big 12 for 2023.


Shough transferred from Oregon ahead of the 2021 season and while he has been better than some would think, he hasn’t necessarily been great for Texas Tech. Shough is another quarterback that has plenty of experience playing in games and the Power 5 level. Expectations are high in 2023 for Texas Tech and Shough will be a major reason they either meet or fall short of those.


I expect UCF to be a top half of the Big 12 team this season and I think Plumlee will be in that same range as a quarterback. The biggest question will be seeing how he adjusts to a full season of Big 12 football where the defenses will be tougher and sometimes the expectations and needs of an offense are greater as well.


Duggan took the job and ran with it, literally, to a Heisman finalist season and a Fiesta Bowl/College Football Playoff victory. Morris had to sit back and watch and only think of what could have been. 2023 will be the chance for the former Oklahoma quarterback to live up to previous expectations. TCU will take a drop off this season based on everything they lost last season, but Morris could give the Frogs more fight than anticipated.


Metrics like QBR didn’t like what they saw from Kedon Slovis at Pitt last season, in fact, he had the worst QBR of starters in the Big 12 this upcoming season at 46.8.

Slovis transferred to Pitt from USC looking to have a breakout like Kenny Pickett, but instead put up pedestrian numbers for the Panthers. Slovis now moves on to his third school in his career (similar to another former USC turned Big 12 quarterback like JT Daniels), and is searching for a return to form like his freshman season with the Trojans where he had a 30/9 touchdown to interception ratio.


Blake Shapen had a promising appearance in the 2021 season for Baylor and his performance led many to believe he was heading toward being one of the better quarterbacks in the league and taking Baylor to the top again. While the numbers weren’t bad for Shapen, his play in 2022 left a lot to be desired.

Baylor went 6-7 last season and the only team with a winning record that they beat was Texas Tech.


Is Donovan Smith too high on this list? Probably. But I have always liked what I saw from Smith when he was on the field with some big throws and the ability to run. After seeing action as a reserve at Texas Tech the last few seasons, and playing some tight end in their bowl game, Smith has moved on to help replace Clayton Tune at Houston.

Smith is the start of a run on quarterbacks that are on their second chances and haven’t done anything worthy of praise or are too early to tell what they will be.


I really like the skillset of a supremely athletic player like Jones, but the question will come down to if he has the talent of a quarterback and if that develops under Scott Satterfield at Cincinnati.


Iowa State had an amazing defense in 2022, it just gets overshadowed by the fact the Cyclones went 4-8 and only won one Big 12 game. That is even with the Cyclones having a wide receiver in Xavier Hutchinson who got drafted. So, the blame has to fall on the quarterback.

There is no reason Dekkers should have thrown 357 passes in 2022, and that high pass attempts number led to 14 interceptions and 26 sacks. Iowa State needs to find a more balanced approach to give Dekkers any chance to move out of the cellar of Big 12 quarterbacks.


One good note from Greene last season is that in the limited playing time, his QBR would have been good for third in the Big 12 this upcoming year, only behind Jalon Daniels and Will Howard.

West Virginia has a big non-conference slate with Pitt and Penn State, so it will be sink or swim early for the Mountaineers.


If you want any evidence that Oklahoma State probably won’t be very good in 2023, Alan Bowman being their starting quarterback is it. Bowman seemed to have hype every season at Texas Tech, but wound up injured and eventually made the curious decision to transfer to Michigan where he was in a big quarterback room that never had his name come up. So after two years sitting behind Jake McCarthy and Cade McNamara, Bowman is back in the Big 12 at Oklahoma State.

Bowman hasn’t really played in over two years and transferring out of Texas Tech and not getting any mention at Michigan doesn’t say anything special should be expected of Bowman.

At least he is going to crack the code to the 3-3-5 defense though, right?



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