Degeorge’s Takeaways: We Don’t Need The Big 10, and the Big 12 is An Entertaining Joke

What Is The Big 12

I love Big 12 football, and the reason is it is the most unpredictable conference in the Power 5, and possibly all of college football. The consensus best team in the conference, Oklahoma, looked to be cruising against a Kansas State team that lost their opener to Arkansas State. And suddenly the Sooners lose to the Wildcats 38-35, for the second year in a row. Highly touted Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler looked impressive most of the game, but he struggled in crunch time and made big mistakes. He was 30 of 41 for 387 yards and four touchdowns, great stats until you add in three interceptions, with one of them to end the game.

The presumed second-best team, Texas, beat Texas Tech in overtime 63-56, but they needed to come back down 15 points with a little over 3 minutes to play to tie it up, and then an overtime victory. The third best team, Oklahoma State, narrowly won for the second week in a row, this time beating a bad West Virginia team 27-13. And then you have Iowa State beat TCU 37-34, even though signal-caller Brock Purdy threw possibly the worst pick-six I have ever seen. This conference does not play defense, and there offenses just compete to outrun the other down the field.

If I have to pick a favorite right now I would say Baylor because they have experience at quarterback with Charlie Brewer, and they are the only team to play anything resembling defense. Am I confident in picking that? Not at all. The Big 12 right now is like March Madness, I have no conviction with any pick.

If you’re looking for a fun football game, I suggest watching the Big 12. That being said, if you’re looking for good teams who live up to expectations… do not watch.

An All SEC Conference Schedule Is A Bruiser

Mike Leach

In every other power five conference, there are two or three games you know are going to be difficult on your schedule, and the rest you do not generally have to worry about, but that is not the case in the SEC. The SEC West has six teams that any team could lose to on any given day. Alabama and Auburn are brutes, LSU is too talented to ever take for granted, and although Texas A&M has not put it all together, they have too many pieces to be taken lightly. Then theres the wonderful emergence of the Mississippi schools. If any state deserves Mike Leach of Mississippi State and Lane Kiffin – the Lane Train – of Ole Miss, it is Mississippi. Mississippi State knocked off the defending national champions, LSU 44-34, and there quarterback, K.J. Costello, threw for 623 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, effectively leading Mike Leach’s air-raid offense. Meanwhile, Ole Miss lost 51-35 to Florida, but they played the Gators competitively and really impressed me. Even Arkansas, who lost 37-10 to Georgia, looked competitive, leading the ‘Dawgs 7-5 at halftime.

Yes, we did already know the SEC West is tough, but is the East? Yes. Florida and Georgia are always powerhouses, Tennessee recruits at a high level, but does not seem to put it together, but they can win games. Florida’s offense was pretty much impossible to stop as Kyle Trask threw for six touchdowns. Georgia was slow out of the gate, but they eventually rolled Arkansas with their third-string quarterback, and the Vols gutted out a tough road win at South Carolina. Kentucky lost to Auburn 29-13, but the Wildcats were a couple plays away from a different game. Missouri got wiped by Alabama, but traditional cellar-dweller Vanderbilt only lost 17-12 to Texas A&M, So at best, there are 3-4 easy games. That is a grueling schedule for teams. We always see an SEC team come out undefeated or with one loss, and you know they are a legitimate team, because they need to go past so many dominant squads. If I am an SEC coach, there are not many game nights I would be able to get any sort of sleep.

BIG 10 and PAC 12, WE DO NOT NEED YOU

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I have been clear about my issues with the BIG 10, and I feel the same way about the PAC 12, but they are just followers of the BIG 10, so I will focus my anger on the BIG 10. Hear this loud and clear: we do not need you -and your shortened schedules – coming back. College football this weekend was extremely exciting. The SEC games were well played and interesting, the ACC games were competitive, the Group of Five games were close, and it was good football to watch, while the aforementioned Big 12 games were extremely hilarious and engaging. So Big 10, what gives you the right to jump in late because other conferences figured it out? And then think you can schedule Ohio State vs Michigan on the same day of Army vs Navy. This is a shame, and it is horrible that this was allowed to happen. Army-Navy is an American tradition. It is the only game played on week 16, and has been that way since 2008. This is the reason I boycott the BIG 10, because they do things like this. The average fan will watch Ohio State-Michigan and not Army-Navy. It is a shame for the game and a shame for the country. I will not be watching and I hope anyone who calls themselves a fan of college football will watch Army-Navy, not Ohio State-Michigan. BIG 10, how about you take The Game to the spring, and let us have the season we wanted, without you.

Andrew’s Weekend Takeaways: The U Is Back

The U Is Back

A one time football powerhouse, tossed into a pit of shambles and mediocrity throughout most of the 21st century. There have been moments of greatness, but never anything sustained. Every time the U looks good, everyone theorizes that they are back to their winning ways, just like in the 1980’s. I am doing that right now. The University of Miami is back. They dominated Louisville on Saturday 47-34. They only won by 13, but this game never felt close. The defense did give up 34 points, but they forced three turnovers, which has become their niche. The turnover chain is what the new U is about. They are flashy, and they fly to the football. They bring to life the term “pressure defense”. They have been doing this since 2017 though, so why are they back?

D’Eriq King that’s why.

King was 18/30 for 325 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He was not very effective running the ball, just 8 carries for 9 yards, but the Hurricanes did not need his legs, just his arm on Saturday. I am also very impressed with offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. In their first game against UAB, Miami ran the ball very effectively and did not throw much, but ran King more frequently. He adjusted against Louisville and opened it up through the air. I predicted Miami was going to run a lot, but I was wrong as they had a very effective aerial attack, while mixing in a very solid ground game, getting 134 yards from Cam’Ron Harris. I do not know whether Miami can return to their former glory in the coming years, but I do know the U is a force to be reckoned with in 2020.

Oklahoma State Needs Spencer Sanders To Be Healthy

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Oklahoma State

The high powered, highly praised Cowboy’s offense looked abysmal against Tulsa on Saturday. An offense I thought would be among the best in the country this year could not get it together. They have a “big three” in Stillwater with running back Chuba Hubbard, wide receiver Tylan Wallace, and quarterback Spencer Sanders. Hubbard had 27 carries for 93 yards and 1 touchdown, Wallace had 4 catches for 94 yards and 0 touchdowns, and Sanders was 2/2 for 23 yards. Wallace was electric, Hubbard was good but could have been better, and Sanders was injured in the first quarter.

What should have been a blow out turned into a messy game for the Cowboys. Part of this was the poor offensive line play which gave up 6 sacks and were poor in run blocking. The other issue was the injury to Sanders. He is the least talked about in this ‘big three’, but a talented Sophomore who has experience and adds a dynamic component to the offense that his backups could not. Stillwater is known for good quarterback play, and head coach Mike Gundy is an offensive genius. If Sanders can stay on the field the Cowboys will be fine and I still believe will have an electric offense, but without him they really struggled.

The ACC Again Proves To Be Unpredictable

First-year+quarterback+Kenny+Pickett+completed+15+of+23+passes+after+he+replaced+Ben+DiNucci+during+the+second+quarter+of+the+Panthers%E2%80%99+20-14+loss+to+Virginia+Tech+Saturday.+%28Photo+by+John+Hamilton+%7C+Managing+Editor%29

Another good weekend of ACC football left me perplexed at how these games unfolded. I thought Duke would cruise against a bad Boston College team, but BC won by 20. I also thought Pittsburgh would blow out a horrendous Syracuse team, but they only won 21-10. Wake Forest and NC State played a close 3-point game, seemingly cementing both squads as middle-of-the-pack squads with a solid offense. Miami-Louisville was relatively close while providing high-scoring entertainment, even though Miami was in control. And of course, I have to mention preseason favorites Notre Dame and Clemson, who blew out bad non-conference opponents in USF and The Citadel, respectively. Another weekend proved to me that this league is going to be really competitive this year except for Clemson. It is not necessarily the best football, but the ACC will boast some very fun and exciting football games.

Andrew’s Week 2 Takeaways: ACC a Jumble Behind Clemson, Big 12 Top-Heavy

The Big 12 has a very strong top, and a very poor middle/ bottom

The top two teams in the Big 12 this weekend were dominant. Oklahoma destroyed Missouri State 48-0, and Texas waxed UTEP 59-3. Both played weak opponents, but beat them handily and proved they were good football teams who were ready to play a season. Oklahoma State, who is the third best team in the Big 12, did not play, but I expect them to be good as well. West Virginia also looked good this week beating Eastern Kentucky 56-10, but I do not expect the Mountaineers to be a contender in this conference. Baylor and TCU also did not play because of postponements, so they escape the coming criticism that the rest of the league will be hearing. Now for the rest of the conference, Texas Tech won 35-33 against Houston Baptist, and FCS opponent. Texas Tech comes out of this weekend looking the best compared to Kansas, Iowa State, and Kansas State. Kansas got blown out 38-23 by Coastal Carolina, who finished second to last in the Sun Belt last year. What’s even worse is this is the second year in a row Kansas has lost to Coastal Carolina. Kansas State followed the trend by losing 35-31 to Arkansas State, another Sun Belt opponent. They did lose on a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left, but this is a middle of the pack Big 12 opponent losing to a middle of the pack Sun Belt opponent. It is not acceptable. And lastly Iowa State dropped an egg against Louisiana, yet another Sun Belt team, losing the game 31-14. Highly touted Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was 16-35 for 145 yards 1 interception and 0 touchdowns. He was absolutely atrocious, and to make matters worse, Louisiana scored two special teams touchdowns. Texas tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Kansas embarrassed themselves this week and embarrassed there conference.

The ACC is going to be interesting this year, but Clemson is really, really good

The ACC had a good weekend this week, with four inter- league games. In out of conference play ACC squads went 3-0, as Miami pulled away from UAB, Louisville beat Western Kentucky, and Pitt handled Austin Peay with ease. In conference play, Notre Dame vs Duke ended 27-13 in favor of the Fighting Irish, Georgia Tech beat Florida State 16- 13, North Carolina dominated Syracuse 31-6, and Clemson cruised past Wake Forest 37-13. The Notre Dame and Georgia Tech games were interesting and seemed like they could go either way – the Irish only led by four entering the fourth quarter, and Georgia Tech overcome a 10-0 deficit and two blocked kicks to top the Seminoles. North Carolina was so much better then Syracuse, and a 21-point fourth quarter exemplified that and put the game in the bag. Meanwhile, the #1 team in the country did what they were supposed to against Wake Forest – crush them.

This league looks to be really competitive for the second spot behind Clemson. There are a handful of teams that showed this weekend they are capable. Clemson is easily the best team in this league, and showed why against Wake Forest. With their offense led by the best and most experienced quarterback/running-back duo I’ve ever seen in Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, the Tigers are the most complete team in both the ACC and the country.

The Sun Belt had possibly its best weekend ever

Sun Belt logo

Four Sun Belt teams won this week, three against Big 12 opponents, and one against a Conference USA opponent. Also, South Alabama was close to beating a strong AAC team in Tulane. This conference showed to be stronger then expected, and they looked really impressive in one of the best weekends in conference history. The Sun Belt has become the “Fun Belt” conference officially. Appalachian State is still the best team, overcoming a slow start to beat Charlotte 35-20, but Louisiana (31-14 upset of #23 Iowa State) is very good, and there are other teams that could keep things interesting. For the first time ever, I can say I was impressed with the Sun Belt.

Degeorge: FCS ON ESPN? Takeaways From College Football’s Wild Season Opener

The 2020 season kicked off Saturday with the Austin Peay Governors versus the Central Arkansas Bears. The game was played at a neutral site – the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. Central Arkansas won 24-17. This game was whacky from the start; The football was sloppy, which is always expected in the first game of the season, especially with a shortened offseason and so much uncertainty around the season. The first play of the game was a 75-yard touchdown run by CJ Evans Jr. of the Governors. This game showed why we all love college football. Although the play was sloppy, it was still a thrilling game that had viewers on the edge of there seats.

Central Arkansas

Breylin Smith, QB- 26/49, 283 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, -9 yards rushing, 1 fumble lost

Kierre Crossley, RB,- 12 carries, 110 yards, 1 touchdown

Cameron Myers, RB- 13 carries, 76 yards, 0 touchdowns

Tyler Hudson, WR- 5 receptions, 82 yards, 0 touchdowns

Lujuan Winningham, WR- 6 receptions, 80 yards, 1 touchdown

Central Arkansas came into the game as 4.5 point favorites. In an early season game, I predicted the team that turned the ball over the most would lose. Surprisingly, this was not the case, as the Bears lost the turnover battle 3-2, but still pulled out a thrilling victory. Junior quarterback Breylin Smith, who was outstanding last season, was not that sharp, particularly in the early going for Central Arkansas. Entering the contest, Smith was my key factor coming into this game because of the experience and body of work he has. He did not put forth his best performance, but I really credit the Bears’ coaching staff because they did not abandon the passing attack, and they tried to get Smith high percentage throws to shake the rust off.

I will especially credit Smith with performing like a good, experienced quarterback down the stretch – he kept throwing and continued to get better as the game went on. Also, with the game on the line, wow was he clutch. He hit Winningham in the end zone with 37 seconds left to score the game winning touchdown. He also made two big throws to Tyler Hudson on the game-winning drive. Smith’s performance was comparable him to a pitcher who did not have their best stuff, but battles to get a win. He was not very accurate or consistent throughout the game, but he stayed out of pressure, kept battling, and did what he had to do to keep his team in the game. And when it was crunch time, he was absolutely money.

I also want to highlight Hudson and Winningham. The Bears have some FBS-level talent at receiver in this duo. They were both phenomenal and are big time athletes. Meanwhile, the defense stepped up in a big way, limiting the Governors to 10 points after that initial 75-yard gutpunch to start the game. Evans was held to 23 yards on 9 more carries, while the Bears forced Austin Peay quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall into an ugly 14-31 performance, with an interception and fumble. All-in-all, I was very impressed with the talent and the grit of the Bears, pulling out a tough win in a nationally televised game, kicking off what is sure to be a strange and unique 2020 season. Central Arkansas has a short week with a game at UAB on Thursday, September 3rd. I look forward to see what they can do against a high level Conference USA team.

Austin Peay Key Stats

Jeremiah Oatsvall, QB- 14/31, 181 yards passing, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 37 yards rushing, 1 touchdown, 1 lost fumble

CJ Evans Jr, RB- 10 carries, 98 yards, 1 touchdown

Brian Snead, RB- 13 carries, 43 yards, 0 touchdowns

Jay Parker, WR- 3 receptions, 55 yards, 0 touchdowns

BIG 12 Power Rankings, Award Predictions

Power Rankings

1: Oklahoma

  • To be the man, you gotta beat the man. And until they’re dethroned, the Sooners remain #1 here. To stay there, they’ll hope Spencer Rattler becomes the latest QB prodigy under Lincoln Riley, and playmakers aplenty populate the skill positions in Norman. They have plenty of talent to work with, and the Sooners should feature a loaded offense in 2020.

2: Oklahoma State

  • Chuba Hubbard is an absolute monster out of the backfield, and they may just have the offense around him to keep pace in the Big 12 this season. Quarterback Spencer Sanders was solid last season and looks to take another step forward, while his favorite receiver, Tylan Wallace, opted for another year wih the Cowboys.

3: Texas

  • Sam Ehlinger starts the season as the best quarterback in the big 12, although the development of Spencer Rattler for Oklahoma may change that. His Longhorns may not be ‘back’ just yet, as Texas looks good, but not great. The offense should be pretty good, but their defense that averaged over 30 points allowed per game must improve for the Longhorns to compete for a title.

4: Kansas State

  • Debuting a new coach last season, Kansas State went 8-5 and beat Oklahoma. They have to replace some production in the trenches, but Skylar Thompson is a fairly consistent quarterback not prone to making many mistakes. He should keep the Wildcats in a lot of ballgames.

5: Baylor

  • After nearly making the Playoff a year ago, Baylor figures to take a step back this season. They lost coach Matt Rhule to the NFL, They gave up under 20 points a game in the Big 12 – an extremely impressive feat. Their defense lost a lot of production (9 of their 11 top tacklers) but they return Charlie Brewer under center and have some intriguing offensive talent to keep them competitive in 2020.

6: Iowa State

  • Brock Purdy took a slight step back last season, but he remains a top-tier quarterback within this conference. Iowa State didn’t lose a single game by more than 10 points in the regular season last year, losing by more than 1 possession just once, losing five games by an average of 4.2 points. If they can turn some of those tight losses into wins, they’ll be improving on this 6th-place ranking.

7: Texas Tech

  • Texas Tech will hope to win a lot games 52-49, or by other similar scorelines. They return a lot of offensive talent from their 4-8 team a year ago, but they also lost lot of pieces from a defense that was already giving up a whopping 7.2 yards per play.

8: Texas Christian

  • TCU has struggled recently after a solid stretch of success in the middle years of the decade. Freshman 5-star running back Zach Evans could make an impact this season, and their defense appears to be solid, if not great. Solid defense can be good enough to win in the Big 12, if the offense is clicking, so the Horned Frogs will need to get their retooled offense up to speed pretty quickly with a conference-only schedule ahead.

9: Kansas

  • Not last – what a shocker here for the Jayhawks! Kansas showed marginal improvement in the debut season of Les Miles, including encouraging wins against Boston College and Texas Tech. They also lost 10 seniors off their defense and will be breaking in a new starter at quarterback. Running back Pooka Williams should be the bread and butter of Miles’ offensive scheme, and we’ll see if he can bring the Jayhawks a win or two.

10: West Virginia

  • West Virginia averaged only 19.6 points per game last season. In the air-raid, offense-heavy Big 12, that’s just not going to cut it. They could improve on that mark, with Jarret Doege returning under center and a promising group of receivers complementing him in the offense. However, the ground game is a major question mark after averaging just 2.63 yards per pop last season, so retooling the backfield and offensive line will be a must for the Mountaineers, if they are to stay competitive in any way shape, or form in 2020.

Offensive Player of the Year

Spencer Rattler- Quarterback, Oklahoma

  • Chuba Hubbard won this award last season, breaking a string of four straight Oklahoa players. Rattler is a 5-star recruit and figures to be an absolute stud in Lincoln Riley’s system. Far be it from us to start doubting Riley’s QB-whispering abilities now.
Peach Bowl

Defensive Player of the Year

Caden Sterns- Safety, Texas

  • Picking this award can feel like a crapshoot in a conference that routinely sees absolute slugfests, with both teams rising over 30 or 40 points. Stearns is an intriguing pick here, as he will have to be a leader for a Texas secondary that must improve if the Longhorns are to finally breakthrough.

Coach of the Year

Mike Gundy- Oklahoma State

The Cowboys haven’t made the Big 12 title game since it was re-instated in 2017, as 20`16 was the last year they finished top-2 in the conference. They haven’t taken home a Big 12 title since 2011, but they have as much promise as they’ve had in recent memory. Gundy came under fire this offseason for wearing a controverisal T-shirt in public, an act that was called out by some of his own players. If he can regain control of the locker room and get the Cowobys to the Big 12 championship, he is very deserving of this award.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy takes the field prior to an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)

Championship Game

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State

Oklahoma wins 42- 31

  • To be the man, ya gotta beat the man. And it’s not happening this year. Boomer. Sooner.

Corona Causes Major CFP Evaluation Questions

Due to the coronavirus, the college football season, and especially the College Football Playoff, has a lot of questions surrounding the possibilities of playing. The BIG 10 and the PAC 12 have already announced they will be playing conference only games for the 2020 season, and the other power five conferences, the SEC, the ACC, and the BIG 12, are all expected to follow the conference only games model. The Group of Five conferences have not made decisions on their schedules for 2020. This will be an exceptionally hard year for the committee to decide who will get into the Playoff because there will be no common opponents, and the Group of Five will also be even more unlikely to get a bid into the playoff with no power five contests. The CFP directory has announced they will be flexible and ready for any situation that results in a season.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrates a touchdown against Ohio State.

The question on a lot of minds right now is what does a conference-only schedule mean for the Playoff? The committee will have to adjust the way they review teams – that is the only option. In past years, common opponents and strength of schedule were weighed heavily; this year, these categories will not have the same effect. I believe that this year will mostly be an eye test. The committee will have to watch the top teams, and I believe they will have to rank them based off of which teams are dominating. I also believe this will be a “what have you done for me lately” situation. Although the committee is not supposed to take prior years into account, these are human voters and prone to biases. \

This also raises even more questions. First is how do you rank conferences? For example, say we have a situation similar to 2019 where Ohio State, Clemson, and LSU are undefeated. Hypothetically, you have an undefeated Oregon and an undefeated Oklahoma, and both are conference champions. How will the committee rank the PAC 12 versus the BIG 12? This situation, which would be highly unlikely, but could arise, would come down to margin of victory. However, the BIG 12 is stronger then the PAC 12, so if Oregon has a better margin of victory, but Oklahoma is in a tougher conference, does Oklahoma get in?

Another question is that of a team is dominating but has a slip up in one close road game, and then you have another team that is undefeated but has one all close games, which gets in? Another hypothetical situation that could possibly happen: Ohio State loses to Penn State in a close game on the road, but blows out every other team, whereas Oregon is undefeated but most of their wins is close, which team will get in?

What happens if Clemson loses a tight game although Clemson has been a consistent performer in the playoff semifinals and national championship. In a season full of questions, will the Committee look at past seasons? With all of these questions, the biggest factor for the committee’s decisions will be the eye test – the teams that are truly dominating will be ranked the highest. Another unknown is what does the committee decide when teams have quarantined players and drop a game because they lose a key piece. For example, what if Justin Fields, quarterback for Ohio State, is sidelined because of the coronavirus, and Ohio State drops a game to Rutgers (an extreme example) because of it, a game they easily would have won with him? How does that factor into the committee’s decision?

An intriguing option that is being discussed around college football, is the one year expansion to an eight team playoff. I like a lot of college football fans would love to see an eight team playoff. The reason that this is almost necessary for this season is the fact that the committee is not going to have enough information I believe to properly rank these teams. Because of these circumstances, I don’t know if there will be enough evidence to name definitively the best four teams, That is why I believe if they expand to eight teams fir one year, they can duke it out on the gridiron and the committee will not face as much scrutiny, and it will give more power five teams a chance within the confines of these strange circumstances. The Committee announced they are weighing there options, but experts do not expect that they will make a decision until late October, because there first rankings will not be out until the first week of November.

The biggest takeaway I have for teams with CFP aspirations, is that there is even less room for error this year then in past years. Teams need to go out and dominate every night they play and can leave no questions unanswered. The committee will have to base their final decision on how a team looks to determine who the best teams are, so top teams must avoid any slip-ups or close and overtime games against a bad team – nobody can question that this will be a radically different season, and that extends from season openers to the Playoff.

DeGeorge: Big 12 Quarterback Rankings 2020

10: Miles Kendrick, Kansas, Junior

2018 Stats: 11-19 passing for 100 yards and 1 touchdown. 16 rushing attempts for 47 yards and 1 touchdown.

Kendrick played in a backup role in 2018 and did not play in 2019. He is a dual threat quarterback and was listed as a three star recruit by 247sports, and he is a decent decision maker and does not make a lot of mistakes. My concerns about Kendrick, however, are that he has not played much, he is undersized (5’10, 205 lbs), and he does not have talent around him. He also does not have the potential to carry his team. He is still in a battle with Thomas MacVittie, but he is projected to win that competition – my take on Kendrick is he is an average player on a below average team.

9: Jarrett Doege, West Virginia, Senior

2019 Stats: 79-120 passing for 818 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. 11 rushing attempts for -41 yards and 0 touchdowns.

Doege has experience as a transfer from Bowling Green, where he was a starter. Last year, he won the starting job and played pretty well in four games. He is a pro style quarterback at 6-2, 200 pounds and was rated as a three star quarterback by 247sports. Another quarterback with not a lot of talent around him, I think Doege will have a decent year and may surprise people, but in a pretty stacked Big 12 quarterback room, I have him ranked 9th. He is a good decision maker with experience, but in an offensive conference, not having weapons around you can be fatal.

8: Skylar Thompson, Kansas State, Senior

2019 Stats: 177-297 for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. 114 rushing attempts for 405 yards and 11 touchdowns.

A 6’2 and 210 pounds, Thompson is a dual threat quarterback, who was ranked as a three star recruit by 247sports. A quarterback with a lot of experience playing the Big 12 gauntlet, he has plus decision making and leadership. He has been praised for his leadership, and he brings back a strong receiving core, but K-State replaces all five offensive lineman. The reason Thompson is rated low is because he struggles with his accuracy, and he will struggle with that entirely new offensive line. For another year, Thompson will lead Kansas State to mediocrity. I like his leadership ability, but I do not believe he has the talent or the throwing ability to really succeed in the Big 12.

7: Max Duggan, TCU, Sophomore

2019 Stats: 181-339 for 2,077 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. 130 rushing attempts for 555 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Duggan played well at times as a freshman for a struggling TCU team. He showed a fierce competitive drive and leadership that is not often seen in freshman. As a 6’2, 190-lb, dual threat quarterback, the TCU signal-caller was ranked as a four star recruit by 247sports. Duggan has the potential to have a breakout year, which we saw at times last year. However, I think that he’s one year away from that happening. TCU does not have a lot of offensive weapons, and Duggan still will suffer through some growing pains. He will eventually be a dominant quarterback in this league, but he still needs to improve. I believe he will build on his freshman season in 2020, but I do not believe he will have the breakout year that many project.

6: Alan Bowman, Texas Tech, Junior

Alan Bowman

2019 Stats: 101-157 for 1,020 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. 7 rushing attempts for 14 yards and 1 touchdown.

Bowman played in only three games in 2019, but he had impressive numbers in the air raid offense. The former three-star recruit (247sports) has had to battle through injuries in his last two seasons. He is a 6’3, 210-pound, pro style quarterback The biggest question surrounding Bowman is his health. If he remains injury-free, I believe he will have a breakout year. He has all the talent and potential in the world to excel in a weak defensive conference. He is the perfect quarterback for the Big 12 because of his arm strength and accuracy. He does not have insane talent around him, but he has enough to pair with his talent. The only reason he is not ranked higher is because the Big 12 has great quarterbacks, and injuries are a question. A lot of experts rank him lower, but I believe Bowman will be dominant this year if he is on the field.

5: Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State, Sophmore

Spencer Sanders

2019 Stats: 155-247 for 2,065 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. 139 rushing attempts for 628. yards and 2 touchdowns.

Sanders, a 6-2 195 ILBs dual threat quarterback who was a four star by 247sports, returns to Stillwater for his second year. His numbers were good his freshman yea,r and there is definitely talent to build off of. The main concern is the 11 interceptions, but I chalk many of those up to inexperience. He can run and throw at a high level, and he has talent around him coming back in Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard. I have him at #5 because I think the guys in front of him are better, but I really think the top six on this list can finish in any order – that is how deep of a list this is. I look for Sanders to have a big year for the Cowboys.

4: Charlie Brewer, Baylor, Senior

Charlie Brewer

2019 Stats: 251-389 for 3,161, 21 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. 147 rushing attempts for 344 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Brewer is a 6-1, 188 ILBs pro style quarterback, who was a three star prospect by 247sports. He is a fierce competitor with talent and I believe he will have a really good year, but there are multiple questions surrounding his 2020 campaign. First, how will he blend with a new coach in Dave Aranda? Many people believe his success was due to new Carolina Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule, and this is his chance to prove them wrong. Also, his offensive line really struggled last year, and he needs to be protected to succeed in 2020. He lost Denzel Mims to the draft, but he does have playmakers around him. I believe Brewer will have a great year based off of his competitive spirit and will to win. He is not the most talented guy on this list, and he may not have the most talented team around him, but I believe he has the most grit out of all the quarterbacks in the Big 12 and that is why I see him having a good year.

3: Brock Purdy, Iowa State, Junior

2019 Stats: 312 of 475 for 3,982 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. 93 rushing attempts for 249 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Purdy is 6-1, 202 ILBs, pro style quarterback, who was a three star by 247sports. Purdy could be number one on this list. He is an absolute stud. The reason I have him at #3 is that he does not have the talent around him that Ehlinger and Rattler have, which limits his ability to put up big-time numbers. He has great accuracy and good arm strength. He is not known as a running quarterback, but he can do so effectively if needed. Look for another big year out of him at the helm of this Iowa State offense. He is proven as a talent and he is a good leader. Do not be surprised if Purdy is a darkhorse Heisman candidate.

2: Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma, Freshman

A five star rated by 247sports, Rattler is 6-1, 198 ILBs, and he was the number one pro style quarterback in the 2019 class. He is an absolute stud who can throw and run at high levels. He is inexperienced, but I believe that inexperience is helpful to him because he sat behind Heisman finalist Jalen Hurts and learned how to be a great quarterback and leader. The other thing that makes me optimistic about Rattler is the system and coach Lincoln Riley. Since Riley took over, his three quarterbacks have at least been Heisman finalists and two have won. The reason I rank him at two is because he is relatively unproven, and as much as I want to put him at #1 and believe he could be the best quarterback in the Big 12, I can not really justify it before he takes a snap in the 2020 season. That being said, look for a great year out of Rattler and the Sooners.

1: Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Senior

Sam Ehlinger

2019 Stats: 296-454 for 3,663 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. 163 rushing attempts for 663 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Ehlinger is a 6-2, 230 ILBs, dual threat quarterback rated as a four star by 247sports. As much as I believe there really are six guys that could top this list, I put the most proven and most experienced quarterback at number one. Ehlinger has played in a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays in his career at Texas. The team underachieved last year, but his numbers were great, and I believe they will improve in 2020. I see no reason that he will not be a Heisman finalist. I would not definitively say he is the most talented quarterback on this list, but you can not coach experience. Ehlinger will have another big year in Austin, and hopefully he will prove me right and be the best quarterback in the Big 12.

2020 Junior College Football Preview

While there’s plenty of blue-chip talent in high school, some of the best prospects come out of the NJCAA, the junior college NCAA football league, with some of the best college and NFL hopefuls around battling it out on the gridiron. With an interesting season coming up, here are the conference predictions for the NJCAA season.

Conference Predictions

Iowa Community College Athletic Conference

Winner: Iowa Western Community College Reivers

Iowa Western is a perennial powerhouse in Junior College Football. The Reivers finished at number four in the nation last year, and are stacked again. They have the number one player in the country, Defensive Tackle Perrion Winfrey. He is 6 foot 4, 305 pounds, and is committed to the University of Oklahoma. In a weak conference, the Reivers will be tough to beat.

Best Player: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Iowa Western

Kansas Jayhawks Community College Conference

Winner: Independence Community College

The Jayhawk Conference is considered by some the best conference in the nation. Unlike every other conference, they can have an unlimited number of out of state players, so they have some of the most talented teams in the country. Independence or #DreamU of the popular Netflix series Last Chance U, is loaded this year. They have three of the top ten players in the country with Nabab Joseph, a Cornerback, who is deciding between Alabama and Georgia, Deandre Butler, who plays defensive end and is committed to Auburn, and Jeremy Flax, an offensive tackle headed to Kentucky. Although there are many talented teams like Hutchinson who finished third in the country last year, Butler, and Garden City, it is really hard to pick against Independence this year.

Best Player: Deandre Butler, DE, Independence

Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges

Winner North Division: East Mississippi Community College

Winner South Division: Copiah- Lincoln Community College

Winner: East Mississippi Community College

The other conference that is considered the best conference in Junior College football is loaded again this year. With last year’s national champion, Mississippi Gulf Coast, East Mississippi, Copiah- Lincoln, Northwest Mississippi, and others, the conference is wide open. East Mississippi, also featured on Last Chance U, is a perennial powerhouse. They have five national championships under their belt and could easily win another one in 2020. Copiah- Lincoln did not perform to expectations last year, but they have plenty of talent on their roster, headlined by defensive end and Mississippi State commit Jordan Davis, the number two player in the country. Although a handful of teams could win this conference, I like East Mississippi and Copiah-Lincoln facing off for the title, with East Mississippi taking the crown.

Best Player: Jordan Davis, DE, Copiah- Lincoln

Minnesota College Athletic Conference

Winner Eastern Division: Rochester Community College

Winner Western Division: North Dakota SCS

Winner: Rochester Community College

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference has not had a lot of national success as of late. Rochester went to the national championship in 2015 and was crushed by Northwest Mississippi. Because there is no powerhouse in this conference, it is a very competitive league. Basically any team could win on any day. The highest ranked player in the conference is Rayshaad Roddy, defensive tackle for Fond Du Lac Community College. He is the 193rd ranked player in the country and committed to the University of Charlotte. Rochester and North Dakota SCS have had the most success recently on a national stage, so I have them playing for the championship, with Rochester, historically the best team in the conference winning it all.

Best Player: Rayshaad Roddy, DT, Fond Du Lac

Northeast Football Conference

Winner: Lackawanna Community College

With only three teams in this conference, it does not seem like there is a lot of firepower, but they make up for their lack of quantity in quality. Lackawanna played for the national championship last year, and Monroe College went to a bowl game. The Northeast is not a known power throughout Junior College football, but there is a lot of talent in this small conference. There are four players in the top 50, with three of them at Lackawanna, led by safety Ji’Ayir Brown, a Penn State commit. Due to Lackawanna having the most talented and most known program in the conference, I have them winning it all.

Best Player: Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Lackawanna

Southwest Junior College Football Conference

Winner: Blinn College

Another conference full of talent and history. This Conference is full of well known teams at the national level like Kilgore, Trinity Valley, New Mexico Military, Tyler, and Blinn. Many current and former NFL players have come out of this conference. Blinn finished last in the conference last year, but I have them going from worst to first, mostly based on the talent they have on campus. They have three of the top-twenty players in the country, including the #8 player in the country in Josh Ellison, an absolute beast at defensive tackle, headed for Oklahoma at the end of his JUCO career. There are a couple other teams who will challenge Blinn, especially an extremely talented Kilgore roster, but I have Blinn winning it all.

Best Player: Josh Ellison, DT, Blinn

JUCO football Early Top-10 and All-American Team

After picking the conference winners and best players in the first half of my junior college preview, I made a Way-Too-Early Top 10 for the junior college season, as well as an All-American roster.

Early Top Ten

1: Blinn College

2: East Mississippi Community College

3: Independence Community College

4: Lackawanna Community College

5: Copiah-Lincoln Community College

6: Northwest Mississippi Community College

7: Hutchinson Community College

8: Iowa Western Community College

9: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

10: Butler County Community College

First Team All Americans

Offense

QB: Stephon Brown, Independence

RB: ZaQuandre White, Iowa Western

RB: La’Damian Webb, Jones

WR: Omar Manning, Kilgore

WR: Danny Gray, Blind

TE: Lou Dorsey, Iowa Western

OL: Jeremy Flax, Independence

OL: Trevor Reid, Georgia Military

OL: Antwan Reed, ASA College

OL: Tariq Stewart, ASA College

OL: Sebastian Dolcine, Copiah- Lincoln

Defense

DL: Perrion Winfrey, Iowa Western

DL: Josh Ellison, Blinn

DL: Jordan Davis, Copiah- Lincoln

DL: Deandre Butler, Independence

LB: Marvin Dallas, Georgia Military

LB: Tyrus Wheat, Copiah- Lincoln

LB: Breon Dixon, Iowa Western

DB: Nabab Joseph, Independence

DB: Brian George, Highland

DB: Ji’Ayir Brown, Lackawanna

DB: Tray Bishop, Navarro