Friday, June 22, 2012
Who you got: Geno Smith or Landry Jones?
By David Ubben
The debate is already simmering, and may reach a boil by the time the heat of August arrives.
Landry Jones' career began on an enormous stage at Cowboys Stadium on the opening weekend of the 2009 season. Since then, he's grown into the Big 12's most experienced quarterback and a Heisman candidate in each of the past two seasons.
He regressed statistically as a junior in 2011, throwing three more interceptions and nine fewer touchdowns on 55 fewer attempts than he did in 2010.
Still, after Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden left for the NFL, Jones largely stood alone as the Big 12's premier passer.
Well, that is until the new guys crashed the Big 12.
There are a few All-Big 12 teams trickling out, and you've seen a player ranking or two roll out, too. West Virginia's Geno Smith certainly has a case as the Big 12's best quarterback, even before he's played a game in the league.
Here's how the pair compared statistically in 2011:
Jones: 355-of-652 (63.2 percent), 4,463 yards, 29 TD, 15 INT
Smith: 346-of-526 (65.8 percent), 4,385 yards, 31 TD, 7 INT
Jones has 11 more career starts than Smith, and Smith also plays for offensive whiz Dana Holgorsen, who spent nearly a decade under Mike Leach and revitalized Oklahoma State's offense in 2010.
He'll get a second year with Holgorsen in 2012, but Jones is the more highly sought-after NFL prospect, and both are capable of putting up huge numbers and leading their teams to BCS bowl wins and double-digit win seasons.
A national title in 2012 is within reach for both players.
If you had to pick one, though, who would it be? Who's the best quarterback in the Big 12? Vote in our poll.