Oklahoma Sooners: Baker Mayfield

It was a quiet and productive spring at Oklahoma. The Sooners emerged relatively free of injuries and were able to tinker with their systems on both sides of the ball. This week we'll review OU's spring. On Monday, we began with five questions that were answered during the Sooners' 15 practices. Today, we move on to five questions that remain unanswered.

[+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsTrevor Knight is already a good QB, as evidenced by his play last season but now he needs to take the next step in his development.
Which Trevor Knight will trigger the Sooners this fall? Knight left no doubt how good he could be after his MVP performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Now the OU quarterback needs to answer how good he is over the course of a season. It’s easy to forget Knight is just a sophomore with plenty of developing to do if he plans to become one of the Big 12’s top signal-callers. His subpar spring game is an example, as he finished with 53 passing yards and one interception during a disappointing showing. Transforming from a good quarterback to a great quarterback is the next step in Knight’s progression.

Who will be the starting running back? The competition promises to continue into August, but don't be surprised if it continues deep into the season. OU has plenty of good options including sophomores Keith Ford and Alex Ross, but this competition could be decided by what the Sooners' running backs do without the ball in their hands. Ross had an excellent spring but didn’t star in the spring game while Ford showed he can play at a Big 12 level as a freshman. The running back battle could be the most exciting battle to monitor this fall.

How will Ahmad Thomas be used? The sophomore has really come on since the middle of last season. He saw time against Alabama and held his own, then built upon that performance with a strong spring. It would be a surprise if he’s not a major contributor on OU’s defense; it’s just a matter of where he plays. Thomas is a versatile defensive back who can play safety or nickelback. He’s the type of guy the Sooners can leave on the field -- regardless of the offense they’re facing -- and feel confident he will make an positive impact against the run or pass.

Who will back up Knight? Baker Mayfield is the obvious choice … in 2015. The former Texas Tech quarterback was the standout of the spring game and will have Knight feeling like his starting spot is never secure when he becomes eligible to play for the Sooners after sitting out the 2014 season. This fall, however, Knight’s backup remains a question mark. Redshirt freshman Cody Thomas looks like he could develop into a quality quarterback, and the new NCAA rules will allow the Sooners to quicken his development like never before. Thomas should be considered the favorite to win the No. 2 job but Justice Hansen's decision to enroll early has allowed him to get one spring under his belt and he could arrive in the fall much more comfortable than the average freshman. This is another battle that could last deep into August.

Who will make big plays in the passing game? Austin Bennett. Blake Bell. Jordan Smallwood. Durron Neal. K.J. Young. Those names could emerge as key targets for Knight this fall but none of them have locked down a spot in the offense quite yet. Smallwood, who probably had the best spring of the bunch, will undoubtedly play a role but OU needs someone to emerge as a legit, consistent threat alongside Sterling Shepard or risk watching one of the Big 12’s top returning receivers be double teamed constantly.

Mayfield stars without regret

April, 15, 2014
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He achieved perfection, all while making his dream come true.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield left the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium turf as the clear star of the spring game on Saturday. The former Texas Tech quarterback was 9 of 9 for 125 yards and two touchdowns during his first public appearance as a member of the Sooners. Mayfield was the Big 12 offensive freshman of the year at Texas Tech before electing to transfer to OU in January but is ineligible to play in 2014 due to transfer rules.

[+] EnlargeMayfield
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsFormer Texas Tech QB Baker Mayfield made a big impression with his performance in the Oklahoma spring game.
“He’s a guy that’s performing extremely well for the 14th day [in the program],” said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel, who also coaches the quarterbacks. “In our meeting room, he’s the most experienced guy. Obviously some of that [experience] wasn’t here but he performed in a great way. The guys in our program love him and we look forward to him being eligible whenever that is.”

Mayfield started seven games for the Red Raiders as a true freshman walk on a year ago, finishing with 2,315 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He grew up as an OU fan, despite living in Austin, Texas, sparking his decision to transfer and play for the Sooners.

“I’m disappointed for him that the rules don’t allow him to play (in 2014), but in the end he has been a great teammate to these guys and the staff,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “We all love him. He has fit in wonderfully here.”

Mayfield’s first spring as a Sooner has re-affirmed his decision. With Blake Bell's move to tight end and Kendal Thompson’s transfer, Mayfield got plenty of chances to show what he can do behind projected starting quarterback Trevor Knight. And he got to put on the crimson and cream jersey he admired as a youth. He capped it all off with his stellar spring game outing after approaching the spring game as his bowl game since he’s not expecting to see the field this fall.

“I was trying to make it like a game time experience for myself so that I’ll have that thought and mentality for the next time I have that experience,” he said. “I felt I did well, but there’s definitely stuff I need to work on. I’m patient enough. I think I’ll be OK. It’ll be rough, but I’ll get through it.”

A full season without games will be tough but it’s likely to pay dividends for the Sooners and Mayfield. He’s slated to run the scout team this fall, providing an unusually experienced signal caller to challenge Mike Stoops’ defense as it prepares for games during the 2014 season. Meanwhile, a superb OU defense will, undoubtedly, force Mayfield to continue to develop as a quarterback.

“I’ll get better and make them better too,” Mayfield said. “They’ll be doing their stuff, throwing blitzes at me, doing all sorts of things. That will only make me better.”

It’s not the ideal situation but Mayfield has no regrets, he’s enthusiastic about being a Sooner.

“I had the plan to come here because I wanted to win a national championship,” said Mayfield, who claimed he would have picked OU even if Bell and Thompson remained in the quarterback competition. “Whether it’s driving the defense on scout team or doing whatever. I grew up an OU fan, so I’m just trying to help out however I can.”
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Oklahoma held its spring game on Saturday with excitement around the program continuing to build this offseason. Here are some postgame thoughts, offense only, on OU’s spring finale. Check back later today for a defense only post. To be clear, this is an informal collection of my observations after the spring game. For a more formal and general spring game review, check out this post from earlier today.

  • Undoubtedly some Sooners fans left the stadium disappointed with what they saw from Trevor Knight. He finished 5-of-14 for 53 yards with one interception. Yet it’s not time to panic, for several reasons. First, Sterling Shepard was on the sidelines. The junior will be Knight’s go-to receiver and could become one of the Big 12’s best playmakers. Two, Knight was going against a solid and athletic defense while using a relatively vanilla offense. Three, injuries along the offensive line didn’t make things any easier, with multiple projected starters out of the spring game. Finally, Knight's ability to make plays with his feet was taken away with his blue, no-hit jersey limiting his impact in the running game.
  • [+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
    Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsTrevor Knight had a rough outing on Saturday.
    Nonetheless, Knight must play better. Period. Some people have been quick to insert his name among the nation’s best after his Allstate Sugar Bowl performance. He’s still young, relatively inexperienced and has been inconsistent at times early in his career. Let’s wait until he’s consistently efficient before we anoint him as one of the nation’s, or even the Big 12’s, top quarterbacks.
  • Anyone who was surprised by Baker Mayfield’s performance must have missed the rest of the Big 12 in 2013. The former Texas Tech quarterback was the Big 12 offensive freshman of the year for a reason.
  • Mayfield seemed genuinely excited to be a Sooner. He grew up an OU fan and said he would have decided to join the Sooners even if Blake Bell had not changed positions and Kendal Thompson did not transfer. While he is ineligible to play this fall, his presence could pay off big time. OU’s defense will be tested in ways you normally wouldn’t expect from a scout-team quarterback and the Sooners defense should make Mayfield a much better player with its overall talent and playmakers all over the field.
  • Tight end Taylor McNamara had two touchdown catches in the spring game. Could a pass-catching tight end return to OU’s weekly game plans this fall? Maybe. A wait-and-see approach would be wise, as adding a big receiving threat has been a goal for the past two seasons. McNamara and former quarterback Bell, who missed the spring game with an injury, appear to be the most likely candidates at tight end if it does happen.
  • Speaking of receiving threats, true freshman Dimitri Flowers should make an impact this fall. He spent a lot of time with the first-team offense before a hyper-extended knee ended his day. He can block, he can catch and he’s picked up the offense as if he’s entering his junior season. It appears OU has found a hidden gem in the three-star Class of 2014 signee. Don’t be surprised if he emerges as the big-bodied receiving threat OU’s offense has been lacking as his blocking and overall versatility could secure a key role in the offense, allowing the Sooners to adapt on the fly.
  • OU has talented receivers but will miss Jalen Saunders, a likely NFL draft pick. K.J. Young and Austin Bennett, Jordan Smallwood and Derrick Woods each showed flashes of ability but need to develop quickly if the Sooners hope to provide quality receiving options for Knight this fall.
  • Nobody seized the starting running back spot with a eye-opening day. Daniel Brooks led the way with eight carries for 67 yards and Keith Ford finished with nine carries for 29 yards. Alex Ross, who had been praised throughout the spring, added three carries for six yards. The door is wide open for Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, two ESPN 300 running back signees, to make an immediate impression on the coaching staff and earn carries this fall. The Sooners need someone to step up and make defenses account for them from the running back position this fall. It doesn’t matter who it is.
  • OU could end up looking back at this spring as a critical time for developing depth along the offensive line. Several linemen, including guards Adam Shead and Nila Kasitati and tackle Tyrus Thompson, sat out the spring game, allowing backups such as tackles Josiah St. John and Sam Grant to get plenty of chances. The offensive line struggled at times.
  • The backup quarterback position remains up in the air, but Cody Thomas, a redshirt freshman, looked solid, going 5-of-9 for 52 yards and a touchdown. Justice Hansen, a true freshman, struggled with the speed of the game at times, finishing 4-of-8 for 58 yards and one touchdown but with some good moments.

Spring game review: Oklahoma

April, 14, 2014
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The excitement surrounding Oklahoma’s football program is night and day compared to a year ago. The Sooners announced 43,500 fans in attendance for their spring game on Saturday, a school record. Last year’s announced crowd was 29,200. With the Trevor Knight era fully underway, here’s a recap of OU’s spring game.

[+] EnlargeMayfield
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsFormer Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield was impressive in the spring game.
Best offensive performance: Baker Mayfield stole the show, completing 9 of 9 pass attempts for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The former Texas Tech quarterback, who transferred to OU in January after earning Big 12 offensive freshman of the year honors last season, is ineligible for the 2014 season. Nonetheless, Mayfield outshined Knight, the Sooners’ projected starter this fall, with his flawless outing. Mayfield has Big 12 game experience, and it showed throughout the spring game. He’ll spend this fall giving OU’s defense fits while leading the scout team.

Best defensive performance: Linebacker Eric Striker looked like he was in midseason form with two sacks and one tackle for loss. Striker, who starred in OU’s Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama, picked up right where he left off. He continually got into the offensive backfield and appeared unblockable at times coming off the edge. He could be poised for a dominant junior season.

Best debut: True freshman Dimitri Flowers looks ready to help the offense immediately. One of the scariest scenes of the spring game was Flowers lying on the ground, clutching his knee. Fortunately for the Sooners, it was just a hyper-extended knee for the fullback/tight end hybrid. Flowers has impressed with his football IQ and receiving skills during his short time on campus as an early enrollee. He tied for the team high with four receptions and finished with 40 receiving yards. He should be a key contributor this fall.

Notable play: Sophomore linebacker Jordan Evans had the hit of the day against K.J. Young on a receiver screen. Evans’ hit popped the ball up in the air, allowing defensive tackle Jordan Wade to secure Knight’s lone interception of the day. It was a key play because Evans played with the No. 1 defense after returning starter Frank Shannon, OU's leading tackler in 2013, missed the game for personal reasons. Shannon's status remains unclear, so the Sooners could turn to Evans to be the man alongside Dominique Alexander this fall if Shannon is unable to return. Evans looked ready for the task on Saturday.

Developing storyline: OU’s defense clearly won the day. The Sooners are young, talented and versatile on that side of the ball, led by Striker and returning All-Big 12 defensive end Charles Tapper. OU’s secondary, a potential concern with the loss of two-time All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin, had a strong day in coverage, particularly the starting unit. Sophomore Dakota Austin was solid sliding into Colvin’s former spot opposite Zack Sanchez. If this unit continues to develop, it could be one of the best and more versatile defenses in the nation.

Biggest question answered: Few, if any, questions got answered. The defense was dominant, but that wasn't surprising, and nobody separated themselves in the running back derby or backup quarterback race. Keith Ford and Alex Ross will welcome true freshmen Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine into the running back competition this summer. At quarterback, Cody Thomas outperformed Justice Hansen, but didn’t put a stranglehold on the backup quarterback position heading into the summer. The best development of the game was a relatively injury-free outing.

Biggest question emerging: Which Knight will lead the Sooners in 2014? He didn't look like the Allstate Sugar Bowl MVP, going 5-of-14 for 53 yards and one interception. Evans' hit led to his lone pick, but he was inefficient and unproductive. The defense carries a large portion of the blame and the receiving corps, without top target Sterling Shepard and potential starter Durron Neal, also contributed to Knight's underwhelming spring finale. Knight knows he will have to perform much better for OU's national title dreams to approach reality.

Quotable: “I don’t know that you ever get anything answered in 15 practices. What I feel like is there has been improvement. Players that haven’t had a ton of experience have more now. We’ll build on it.” -- OU coach Bob Stoops
Justice Hansen could look back upon this spring as a turning point in his life.

The Oklahoma quarterback enrolled early to participate in spring football with his new team. And, with Kendal Thompson’s departure and Blake Bell’s shift to tight end, Hansen is getting plenty of opportunities to impress.

[+] EnlargeJustice Hansen
Max Olson/ESPNJustice Hansen, who was ranked No. 100 in the 2014 ESPN 300, could be the Sooners' backup QB this season.
The Edmond, Okla., native is showing slow but steady improvement during his first semester at OU, even though he’s being challenged in new ways on a daily basis.

“It’s extremely hard on every one of our players who come in here, but especially on our quarterbacks,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “It’s extremely difficult. There’s so much thrown at you so quickly. Within six weeks of being here, you’re on the practice field going against guys that have been here, they’ve been through the system and understand the system.”

The Under Armour All-American and former ESPN 300 prospect's talent has been on display, but so has his inexperience.

“Justice coming right from high school has the biggest adjustment,” coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s really a talented guy with his arm and how he’s worked.”

Hansen is having the normal ups and downs of a freshman with good days and good throws alongside bad throws and mental mistakes. But, more importantly, he’s improving and learning from the setbacks.

“It’s overwhelming at times,” said Heupel, who also coaches the Sooners’ quarterbacks. “But the first four days before spring break you saw him get better each day. Since they've been back, he’s comprehended things even better.”

OU needs Hansen or redshirt freshman Cody Thomas to prove they’re ready to handle backup duties behind starter Trevor Knight. Saturday’s spring game could go a long way in showing if Hansen is ready to handle the task or if he’ll have to postpone his arrival as a impact player until a much later date. With some much to learn, Hansen would have to be considered the dark horse candidate to earn the No. 2 quarterback role as he joins Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield, who is ineligible for the 2014 season, as lone newcomers to the quarterbacks room. Yet, if his development continues or even accelerates, he could be ready sooner rather than later.

“I think by the time you finish spring ball, you get through summer and you come back into fall camp, he’ll be really comfortable with what we’re doing,” Heupel said. “I expect him to grow leaps and bounds by the time fall ends.”

No matter what happens, the early enrollee has impressed Knight, who is the veteran of the group even though he’s preparing for his redshirt sophomore season. One trait in particular has stood out to OU’s incumbent starter.

“His composure, he stays really composed, it’s not a 'rah, rah' thing,” Knight said. “He takes constructive criticism extremely well. He comes in the meeting room and works as hard as he can and he’s answering questions, he’s done a really good job.”
His voice sounds the same but the weight of his words land differently throughout the halls of the Switzer Center.

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight is growing into his role as “the man” behind center this spring. His leadership in the hallways and meeting rooms of OU’s football building could be a key to the 2014 season.

[+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesTrevor Knight's performance in the Sugar Bowl solidified his status at Oklahoma.
“Building off of last year and being the oldest guy, it kind of forces you to step up and be that leader,” Knight said. “I feel like guys are looking at me to be that guy and I think I’ve done a good job of being that and they’re following pretty well.”

For the majority of the 2013 season the quarterback spot remained unclear as Knight was joined by Kendal Thompson and Blake Bell as options at the position. Now, after Knight’s stellar Allstate Sugar Bowl, the sophomore is the unquestioned starter and the guy the offense will turn to for leadership when adversity hits.

“[It’s] his ability to speak with a louder stick in the weight room and locker room,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “For him to [show] more of his personality and [put his] stamp on the offense.”

Yet, Knight’s role has undertaken a bigger change than his daily approach. Heupel often praised his work ethic and habits while he was redshirting in 2012, saying Knight was preparing as if he was the starter despite being the scout team quarterback at the time.

That part of Knight’s personality is as present as ever.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily a change in his demeanor,” Heupel said. “He’s a great leader, a great kid on and off the field. He’s extremely competitive. He’s the same guy every day, in the meeting room or on the field, he doesn’t change. Hopefully that will transcend through entire football team.”

Those traits are one of the reasons the coaching staff didn’t think twice about naming him the opening day starter a year ago.

“I don’t notice it being much different,” coach Bob Stoops said. “Because he always did what you wanted him to do.”

It’s easy to forget that Knight is still a young player with three years to play and plenty of improvement to make. He’s the oldest player in the quarterback room with Baker Mayfield (who is ineligible for 2014 after transferring from Texas Tech after his true freshman season), redshirt freshman Cody Thomas and true freshman Justice Hansen alongside him.

“It’s nice to be the oldest guy and be that leader,” Knight said. “But I know that I haven’t accomplished much yet. I’m still a young guy so I want to build off of that and get better and better every day.”

This spring isn’t just about becoming comfortable as the focal point and leader of the offense. Knight needs to become a better quarterback.

“He continues to progress,” Heupel said. “We think he has a great command of what we’re doing and he’s understanding defenses better. He should only get better at every practice with every rep.”
Spring football is just over the horizon.

Oklahoma is coming off a banner 2013 campaign featuring an 11-win season and an Allstate Sugar Bowl win over SEC power Alabama, yet the Sooners have several position groups they need to address if they hope to make a national title run in 2014. This week, we’ll take a closer look at the top five position groups that need to improve during spring practices. We finish the series with the Sooners' quarterbacks at No. 1.

The breakdown

[+] EnlargeTrevor Knight
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesTrevor Knight showed a glimpse of his potential with Sugar Bowl win.
On campus: Trevor Knight, So.; Baker Mayfield, So.; Cody Thomas, redshirt freshman; Justice Hansen, Fr.

Summary: It would be easy to ignore the 12 regular season games that led up to the Sugar Bowl. Sorry, this isn’t that kind of party, thus the Sooners quarterback position needs the biggest improvement this spring. Blake Bell has moved to tight end, Kendal Thompson elected to transfer and Knight was knocked out of multiple games by injury last season.

This could be a position that provides the foundation of a championship run or become a position of peril in 2014.

Knight’s MVP performance in OU’s 45-31 win over Alabama was a glimpse of his potential. Yet he had struggles during eight games played in the regular season, finishing with 819 passing yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions, which includes his 348-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl. His improvement during the final stretch of the season, particularly against Iowa State, Kansas State and Alabama, should give fans confidence the Sugar Bowl was a sign of things to come, not an aberration. He can further that message with a strong spring.

Knight didn’t finish two of the five games he started as a redshirt freshman, so developing quality depth is the most important goal of the spring.

Mayfield, who walked on to the Sooners after leaving Texas Tech, is on campus but won’t be eligible to play in 2014. His presence will be valuable nonetheless since he’s had success in the Big 12 before his arrival in Norman, Okla.

Thomas is set to play baseball for the Sooners as well as take part in spring football. OU is confident he can handle both and continue to develop. As the lone quarterback other than Knight who was on campus last fall and still remains at the position, it is an important spring for Thomas to show he will be ready to play this fall. He’s an intriguing prospect with tremendous upside, so it wouldn’t a major surprise if he handled all his spring duties with ease and lessened the concern about the position as a whole.

Hansen’s decision to enroll early looks like a brilliant one after Bell’s move to tight end and Thompson’s transfer. He’ll get the opportunity to show the coaching staff he’s ready to play immediately and could win the backup job with a stellar spring. The Under Armour All-American is a good fit for OU’s system and has the tools to be a productive quarterback. It will be interesting to see how quickly he transitions into a collegiate quarterback.

The list

Big 12 lunchtime links

January, 13, 2014
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I feel for Wes Welker having to wear this helmet. He still scored a TD Sunday.
In the next few weeks leading up to signing day it’s a great time to take a position-by-position glance at Oklahoma’s roster. This series, called State of the Position, will look at the playmakers, up-and-comers and current commitments or targets at each position as recruiting really heats up during these final weeks before signing day on Feb. 5.

Starter/contributors: sophomore Trevor Knight, senior Blake Bell

Knight and Bell took pretty much all of the snaps at quarterback in 2013. That’s a good and bad thing. Knight looked like a future star while winning the Allstate Sugar Bowl and OU wouldn’t have been there without Bell’s exceptional performance during the final drive of Bedlam. Yet, OU’s passing game didn’t look anything like the attack we’ve come to expect from the Sooners, passing for more than 250 yards just twice in 2013.

But the future looks bright for Knight, the redshirt sophomore who was outstanding in the Sugar Bowl and appears poised to enter 2014 in the same spot he started 2013: OU’s starting quarterback.

Bell, a senior, had terrific games against Tulsa, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech but stumbled in losses to Texas and Baylor. He’s a solid option but likely faces long odds to supplant Knight.

On the cusp: junior Kendal Thompson, redshirt freshman Cody Thomas

Thompson could be in position to slide in as Knight’s backup in 2014, despite Bell’s experience advantage. Coach Bob Stoops said Thompson is a better fit for some of the quarterback run game tactics they’ve used in 2013 as an explanation for turning to the redshirt junior during Bedlam. So seeing Thompson secure a spot on the depth chart wouldn’t be a major surprise.

Thomas is coming off a redshirt season where he impressed while running the scout team during his first semester on campus. This spring will be critical for him as he tries to rise on the depth chart although his baseball duties could make that challenge even harder.

On the recruiting trail: current commitment Justice Hansen

The No. 101 player in the ESPN 300, Hansen will add another promising prospect to the quarterbacks meeting room. The UnderArmour All-American brings size, athleticism and the physical skills to excel running any offense.

Overall Grade: B+

The Sooners have a sophomore quarterback with exceptional talent in Knight, a veteran in Bell, an intriguing option in Thompson and two solid young prospects in Thomas and Hansen. If you add former Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield, who plans to walk on, the Sooners have a meeting room with depth and options unmatched by anyone in the Big 12. Yet without consistent production from Knight, or someone else, it won’t matter. If Knight can consistently perform at a high level as a sophomore, this grade quickly jumps to an A+. If not, OU could have a meeting room full of talented but inconsistent quarterbacks, much like it did in 2013.
Last month, in a stunning move, Baker Mayfield decided to transfer from Texas Tech despite winning the starting quarterback job in the preseason as a walk-on true freshman.

Mayfield, who also started Texas Tech’s regular-season finale against Texas, had initially vaguely cited a “miscommunication” with coach Kliff Kingsbury as the reason.

Just as stunning, Mayfield later revealed he would be enrolling at Oklahoma, which in the spring will have five scholarship quarterbacks, including freshman Trevor Knight, who was named MVP in the Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama.

Even though he was a walk-on at Texas Tech, Mayfield is still bound by NCAA transfer rules, and the Red Raiders have not granted him a release to transfer within the conference. Under Big 12 and NCAA rules, if Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma anyway, not only would he have to sit out a year, but he would lose a season of eligibility.

Mayfield, however, is hoping this week Texas Tech will grant his appeal to be eligible right away.

In an interview with ESPN.com Wednesday evening, Mayfield went into more detail about why exactly he left Texas Tech; and why now he wants to go to Oklahoma, even though the Sooners seem to have their quarterback of the future in Knight:

[+] EnlargeBaker Mayfield
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsBaker Mayfield is hoping to enroll at Oklahoma and compete for the starting quarterback job.
Jake Trotter: What was the reason that you decided to leave Texas Tech after being the starting quarterback to end the regular season?

Baker Mayfield: Well, a lot of things played into it. It was over time. When I got hurt [Week 5 at Kansas], there was no communication between me and my coach [Kingsbury]. When I got healthy, I didn’t know why I wasn’t playing right away. At that time, we were losing a couple games in a row. I was still clueless as to why I wasn’t playing. That was really frustrating for me because I started the first five games and we won. So, I just didn’t really know exactly what he was thinking or what the situation was. So that happened. And then going from a week-to-week basis not knowing whether I was going to play or not and how short the leash would be if I had an average half, how quickly I would be pulled or anything like that. It was making me uncomfortable, and I just didn’t want to be there anymore. I loved Lubbock and I loved my teammates. But going through that and then them tell me they’re still working on a scholarship for next fall, and I wouldn’t have one for this semester coming up. It was all that.

Trotter: So they told you they wouldn’t have a scholarship for you in the spring, either?

Mayfield: Exactly. They said they were still working on one for next fall.

Trotter: Was that the final straw for you?

Mayfield: I mean that was kinda leading up to it, yes. Then after the Texas game on Thanksgiving, the next week we went in, I was splitting second-team reps after starting on Thanksgiving. I still had no idea what was going on. I’d just had enough at that point.

Trotter: So after the Texas game, you were splitting second-teams behind Davis Webb?

Mayfield: Michael [Brewer] was going first. I don’t know if he [Kingsbury] did that by age, but there was no explanation for why he was doing it. Right when we started our first bowl practice, right before the practice, he [Kingsbury] said it was a straight-up competition and that was how they were going to determine the starting quarterback. I didn’t think that was really fair. I’m not one to be afraid of competition at all because I’ve gone through that my whole life at Lake Travis [Mayfield’s high school], too, and when I got to Tech. But I didn’t think that was fair because I had done my job when I had gotten the opportunity. I mean, I thought I needed more of a chance, and I wasn’t getting it. And they were splitting the reps equally so that was the last straw.

Trotter: So when you told Coach Kingsbury, what was his reaction and what was that conversation like?

Mayfield: I mean, he was shocked, although he was quoted saying he knew one of the quarterbacks was going to transfer. He was shocked to think it was me leaving. And he was saying how he had been behind me the whole time. I had no idea because of the miscommunication and the lack of communication, really. And not knowing what he was thinking. I mean, if you gave me another chance to go through it again, I still wouldn’t think he was behind me, and I was his guy the whole time. I know he did give me the opportunity to start in the first place, and I’m thankful for that. I worked my butt off to get there, and I thank for him for taking a chance on me -- starting a walk-on quarterback. But after that, when he was rotating us, there was no explanation.

Trotter: So do you feel like it was a lack of communication more than a miscommunication, which is the word you had used when you first decided to transfer?

Mayfield: Yeah, I would say that.

Trotter: What was the reaction of your teammates when you told them?

Mayfield: They understood. All the guys I loved and had gone through all those tough times with, they understood completely. They supported me. And I got nothing but good wishes from them. All of them, including all of the quarterbacks, understood.

Trotter: What was it like watching the National University Holiday Bowl on TV, or did you even watch it?

Mayfield: Oh, I watched all of it. I was so proud of them. I knew Arizona State was going to be a good team, but they just blew [it] out of the water. I was jumping up and down in Austin, Texas for those guys.

Trotter: OK, so you decide to leave Tech, were there any other schools you looked at?

Mayfield: I mean, yes, there were. I got some calls from places Tech had to released me to, but I wasn’t that interested.

[Kliff Kingsbury] was shocked to think it was me leaving. And he was saying how he had been behind me the whole time. I had no idea because of the miscommunication and the lack of communication, really.

-- Baker Mayfield, when he told Kingsbury he was transferring from Texas Tech
Trotter: Who were some of those schools?

Mayfield: East Carolina, Houston -- just some other schools that kinda talked to me back in high school, but nothing I was ever really interested in.

Trotter: So it seemed like OU was the one school you had in mind when you decided you were going to transfer, correct?

Mayfield: Yes. Out of high school, I applied to three schools right off the bat: Oklahoma, TCU and I think Tech was the third. But I didn’t really want to go to Tech until late in the spring of my senior year. Oklahoma and TCU were my first two options coming out of high school. That’s where I wanted to go. And I wasn’t going to give TCU another chance after they basically screwed my whole recruiting over from the start [TCU recruited Mayfield but never offered a scholarship]. So OU was where I’ve always wanted to go. I grew up an Oklahoma fan. I used to go to all the games watching a bunch of people who are in the NFL now.

Trotter: How do you become an OU fan in Austin?

Mayfield: That’s what a lot of people ask. I never really was a big fan of Texas, and when I traveled to OU games -- because my dad used to play and old coaches would give us tickets -- me at six years old to 12 -- I used to go to like two games a year before hitting high school football. I just grew up a fan. Then one of my best friends is Garrett Gilbert. When I watched him go through all of that at Texas, it just made me just absolutely hate what they did to him and watching fans boo a 20-year-old kid off the field, it was just terrible.

Trotter: So, have you talked to any OU coaches at all?

Mayfield: Not at all.

Trotter: Have you talked to any OU players?

Mayfield: I mean I know Trevor Knight, but not really. I congratulated a couple of them after the Sugar Bowl.

Trotter: So you’re just going to show up at OU and just show up for football practice -- is that the plan?

Mayfield: Well, I’m still waiting on my appeal, which is happening this Friday.

Trotter: You’re doing the appeal on your own. OU is not handling that, correct?

Mayfield: Correct. They can’t handle it because Texas Tech has blocked my communication to any Big 12 schools. And so, that’s what we’re having to deal with. The appeal will decide whether I can join the football team and also eligibility-wise and everything that involves football.

Trotter: So if they deny your appeal, what does that mean?

Mayfield: I haven’t thought about that, because I think I have a good case, and I think I should have a chance because I walked on to Texas Tech, I didn’t have anything paid for; I was not recruited. I just knew people at Texas Tech [and said] I’m just going to go to school there and have fun and go out for the football team.’ That’s what I did, and it wound up working out perfectly for me. And so, for them to have the final say as to where I can go for my future, it’s kinda ridiculous in my mind because they didn’t pay for anything, and I didn’t even have a scholarship promised to me for this next semester. So I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m hoping for the best for my own sake.

Trotter: If the appeal is denied, will you look at other schools since you won’t be eligible?

Mayfield: Yeah, I probably would, but I don’t know.

Trotter: But if they do grant the appeal, you will be going to OU?

Mayfield: Yes.

Trotter: I think people are confused by your decision to go to OU because you have somebody like Trevor Knight who seems pretty entrenched after that Sugar Bowl, and they have four other quarterbacks on scholarship. Why would you go to OU when you’d have a better chance of playing if you went somewhere else?

Mayfield: I know what they’re thinking. Trevor played phenomenal in the Sugar. He beat Alabama, which had arguably the top defense for five years in a row. Yeah, they can say that. But I’m not scared of competition at all. I like Trevor. He’s a nice guy. And I know Blake Bell is a big dude and has some good ability. I watched from the sideline [as he] beat us. He played one of his best games against Texas Tech. But I mean, I’m not scared of that at all. It’s not just about the football, too. Oklahoma is just a better academic opportunity as well. It’s just a better school. It’s just a better opportunity for me at this point.

Trotter: So this isn’t strictly a football decision for you? Is that what people don’t understand?

Mayfield: Exactly. I left Texas Tech because of the football. and that was frustrating to me. I had to get out of there as soon as possible before all of Lubbock erupted on me. I got out of there. Now it’s about finding a place to settle in and get comfortable. OU is a place that’s familiar to me.

Big 12 mailbag

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
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In the final mailbag of 2013, we discuss West Virginia quarterbacks, Texas coaches, Baker Mayfield and bowl payouts.

To the ‘bag:

Connor in Austin, Texas, writes: Do you think that the last few seasons (let's go back to the 5-7 season) have been enough to legitimately tarnish the self-recruiting power of the Texas football program? I can't imagine 5-star prospects choosing to go to a school they know has underperformed over the years.

Jake Trotter: Texas’ recruiting has slipped a bit the past couple years. But tarnished? No way. Texas is Texas. And with the right coach, the Longhorns will surely be back to landing top-five classes annually.

[+] EnlargeChip Kelly
Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY SportsChip Kelly leaving the Eagles to coach the Longhorns? Tough to see that one happening.
James in El Paso, Texas, writes: Jake, Do you think Chip Kelly is on the list for Texas, and do you think the talks for the head coaching job heat up once the Eagles' season is over?

Trotter: I actually don’t. Why would Kelly leave Philly after one year? The Eagles are a win away from making the playoffs, and with so much young offensive talent on that team, they ought to be a playoff fixture for years to come. I doubt Kelly bolted for Philly with the idea of going back to the college game after just one year. And I doubt Texas would want a coach under NCAA sanctions.

Scott in Edgewater, Md., writes: I heard West Virginia changed its fight song to "I'll Be Home For Christmas". Who is WVU going to select as QB next season? If you had to guess now, what is WVU's record next year at the end of the season? I would hope that you would pick them as having the toughest non-conference schedule in the league.

Trotter: West Virginia’s schedule next year is brutal. Before conference play, the Mountaineers play Alabama in Atlanta and Maryland on the road. Then in conference, West Virginia has to go to Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. If the Mountaineers win more than seven games, it would constitute an outstanding season. As for the quarterback, I feel like Dana Holgorsen wants Ford Childress to be the long-term answer. But is he? Childress did not play well in his two starts before the pectoral injury. And there will be plenty of competition in the spring with junior-college transfer Skyler Howard set to join the fray.

Alan in Austin, Texas, writes: Really enjoy the Big 12 coverage. Quick question about Baker Mayfield and walk-ons in general. Reports I have read indicate Tech is restricting where Mayfield transfer. This would seem to make sense with a scholarship player since the institution has made a financial investment in the player. However, for a non-scholarship player this comes across as being vindictive. Mayfield does have a pretty good insight into the program but given the type of offense that Tech runs with its limited number of plays and the emphasis on reads, this doesn't make sense to me. Any thoughts?

Trotter: There are all types of double standards in college football, and this is hardly the only one. A coach can take another job within a conference, but if a player does, he suffers severe repercussions to his eligibility. The rules are the rules. But there are a lot of more rules for players than for coaches.

Mike in Goldsby, Okla., writes: Assuming the rumors about Baker Mayfield walking on at Oklahoma turn out to be true, do you think he could be a starter next year?

Trotter: Assuming Mayfield would be eligible to play, I would be stunned. Mayfield is skilled. But he doesn’t fit the pistol option offense the Sooners have installed for the future with Trevor Knight. That said, in all likelihood Mayfield would not be eligible next season under transfer rules anyway. And if that turned out to be the case, he would be too far behind the other Oklahoma quarterbacks by the time 2015 rolled around to have much of a chance.

rtXC1 in Denison, Texas, writes: Hey Jake! Do you think Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott regrets not taking the entire Big 12 South while he could. That would've clearly been the No. 1overall conference in all sports.

Trotter: Don’t blame Scott. He tried twice. And both times, Texas thwarted the deal.

Scott in Plano, Texas, writes: Huge fan of the blog! With the Big 12 only filling in six bowls this year, what kind of financial impact does that have on the conference?

Trotter: The combined payouts of the Texas, New Era Pinstripe and Heart of Dallas bowls comes to around $4.6 million. Since the Big 12 didn’t have enough teams to fill out those bowls, that money is going to other conferences. However, Oklahoma going to the Allstate Sugar Bowl netted an extra $6 million (after expenses) for the conference. So even with three fewer bowl teams than last year, the Big 12 will actually reap more bowl money this year with the extra BCS game.

Big 12 stats that defined the season

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
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Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State leaned on defensive improvement in several statistics to finish in the top half of the Big 12 while several stats reveal why Kansas, Iowa State, TCU and West Virginia didn't reach bowl eligibility.

Here is one stat from each Big 12 team that helped define the season:

[+] EnlargeBaker Mayfield, Ahmad Dixon
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesBaylor's offense got most of the pub, but the Bears' defense -- led by senior safety Ahmad Dixon -- was one of the stingiest when it comes to yards allowed per play.
Baylor’s yards per play allowed: The Bears offense has been explosive and high scoring for the past several seasons, so seeing it again in 2013 was nothing new. But, this season, their defense more than held up their end of the bargain allowing 4.53 opponent yards per play, leading the Big 12 and ranking sixth among FBS teams. A defense laced with veterans, including safety Ahmad Dixon, helped BU’s unit rank among the nation’s best, and the athletes that have become commonplace on the Bears offense are starting to surface on the defensive side of the football with talented young guys such as defensive end Shawn Oakman and safety Terrell Burt.

Iowa State’s sacks allowed: The Cyclones allowed 37 sacks in 12 games, an average of 3.08 per game. ISU finished last in the nation and tied for No. 113 among FBS teams in the category. The trouble protecting the passer speaks volumes about the injury struggles Paul Rhoads’ team had along the offensive line. Ten different ISU offensive linemen started games this season, with nine different starting lineups starting the first 11 games. All of ISU’s offensive problems began up front.

Kansas’ yards per play: It’s amazing to think how bad Charlie Weis’ offense was this season. The Jayhawks ranked among the worst in the nation in several categories, but their 4.28 yards per play was No. 120 among FBS teams. KU entered the season with much higher expectations for this offensive unit, particularly with BYU transfer Jake Heaps as the triggerman. Yet the Jayhawks never really found any consistency, as Weis and company tried several different things to jump start the unit. KU scored more than 20 points twice this season, letting down a defense that was much improved over last year’s group.

Kansas State’s yards per play: When you think of the top offenses in the Big 12, it takes a while to get to Kansas State. Yet the Wildcats featured a surprisingly explosive offense despite losing uber-productive quarterback Collin Klein off last year’s squad. This year’s K-State offense averaged 6.3 yards per play, second to only Baylor in the Big 12 and No. 28 among FBS teams. Bill Snyder’s ability to find harmony while using Jake Waters and Daniel Sams in a two-quarterback system led to 33.4 points per game by an offense that didn’t enter the season expected to be among the Big 12’s best.

Oklahoma’s yards allowed per game: The Sooners allowed just 336.3 yards per game to lead the Big 12 and finish No. 13 in the FBS. OU entered the season with a lot of questions and concerns about a defense that was embarrassed by Johnny Manziel in last year's Cotton Bowl and was losing a bunch of starters, yet the Sooners defense improved thanks to several young players, including defensive end Charles Tapper and Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year Dominique Alexander. OU's defense was the foundation of the Sooners' 10-2 season and Sugar Bowl berth.

Oklahoma State’s opponent third down conversion rate: The Cowboys defense was among the Big 12’s best in its first season under Glenn Spencer. Their third down production was superb, allowing opponents to convert just 31.3 percent of their third down attempts to lead the Big 12 and finish seventh among FBS teams. OSU’s veteran defense and willingness to be more aggressive on third downs under Spencer played a key role in its success in those situations and eventual 10-2 finish.

Texas sack percentage: The Longhorns' ability to get after the quarterback played a key role in their success. UT featured two of the Big 12’s top pass rushing threats in Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed. That duo helped UT sack opposing quarterbacks on 8.6 percent of passing plays, ranking No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 9 among FBS teams while finishing with 37 total sacks, including 35 during Big 12 play, helping UT to a 7-2 conference record.

TCU third down conversion rate: The Horned Frogs converted just 32 percent of their third down attempts this season, ranking eighth in the Big 12 and No. 113 among FBS teams. It’s easy to see why the Horned Frogs have brought in former Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham to take over their offense. TCU’s defense was good enough to be in the Big 12 title race, its offense was not.

Texas Tech passing yards per game: It was a terrific debut season for head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense despite some musical chairs at the quarterback position. The Red Raiders averaged 392 passing yards per game to lead the Big 12 and rank second among FBS teams despite having true freshmen Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb running the offense. Without one of the nation’s elite passing offenses, it’s unlikely the Red Raiders earn a bowl bid with a 7-5 record.

West Virginia’s opponent third down conversion rate: The Mountaineers allowed opponents to convert 42.7 percent of their third down attempts, ranking last in the Big 12 and No. 91 among FBS teams. WVU’s inability to get off the field in those important moments was one reason the Mountaineers’ defense allowed 455 yards per game, leading to the team's 4-8 finish.

Big 12's lunch links

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
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In case you missed it on Wednesday, the Big 12 has released its all-conference honors.

Big 12 releases all-conference honors

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
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Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year, and Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and TCU cornerback Jason Verrett shared defensive honors.

Big 12 champ Baylor led the league with a school-record 10 first team players and earned three individual awards, including Coach of the Year (Art Briles) and Offensive Lineman of the Year (guard Cyril Richardson).

Oklahoma State had a league-high 11 players named to the first or second teams. The awards were voted on by the league’s coaches.

Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year
Art Briles, Baylor

Defensive Lineman of the Year
Ryan Mueller, Kansas State

Offensive Newcomer of the Year
Charles Sims, West Virginia

Co-Defensive Players of the Year
Jason Verrett, TCU; Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

Offensive Freshman of the Year
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech

Defensive Newcomer of the Year
Isaiah Johnson, Kansas

Offensive Player of the Year
Bryce Petty, Baylor

Defensive Freshman of the Year
Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma

Offensive lineman of the Year
Cyril Richardson, Baylor

Special teams Player of the Year
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

First-team offense

QB – Bryce Petty, Baylor
RB – Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
RB – Charles Sims, West Virginia
FB – Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR – Antwan Goodley, Baylor
WR - Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
WR – Tevin Reese, Baylor
TE - Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
OL – Spencer Drango, Baylor
OL – B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OL - Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL - Cyril Richardson, Baylor
OL - Parker Graham, Oklahoma State
PK –Anthony Fera, Texas
KR/PR – Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

First-team defense

DL - Ryan Mueller, Kansas State
DL - Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State
DL – Chris McAllister, Baylor
DL - Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
DL - Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
LB - Jeremiah George, Iowa State
LB – Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State
LB – Eddie Lackey, Baylor
DB – Jason Verrett, TCU
DB – Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
DB – Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
DB – Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
DB – Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
P – Spencer Roth, Baylor

Second-team offense

QB – Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
RB – James Sims, Kansas
RB – Malcolm Brown, Texas
FB – Kye Staley, Oklahoma State
WR – Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
WR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
WR – Jaxon Shipley, Texas
TE – E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State
OL – Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
OL – Daryl Williams, Oklahoma
OL – Donald Hawkins, Texas
OL – Trey Hopkins, Texas
OL - Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
PK –Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
KR/PR – Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State

Second-team defense

DL – Tyler Johnson, Oklahoma State
DL – Chucky Hunter, TCU
DL – Cedric Reed, Texas
DL – Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech
DL – Will Clarke, West Virginia
LB – Ben Heeney, Kansas
LB – Eric Striker, Oklahoma
LB – Caleb Lavey, Oklahoma State
DB – Jacques Washington, Iowa State
DB – Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State
DB – Sam Carter, TCU
DB – Carrington Byndom, Texas
DB – Darwin Cook, West Virginia
P – Nick O’Toole, West Virginia

Ranking the Big 12's top 25 quarterbacks

October, 29, 2013
10/29/13
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Naming the best quarterback in the Big 12 is easy. Deciding who's second-best right now is near-impossible. So we went a step further: Why not rank them all?

This continues to be been a strange, unpredictable year for Big 12 quarterbacks. We’ve already seen 18 start at least two games. Only three schools -- Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State -- have started the same guy for every game, and even they've used multiple quarterbacks.

The following rankings judged how these QBs are playing right now as well as their full 2013 resumes. Deciding where to slot injured passers was tricky. You might not agree with all or any of these rankings, but this is how we'd size up the competition after nine weeks:

[+] EnlargeBryce Petty
Peter G. Aiken/Getty ImagesConsidering how well he's run Baylor's high-scoring offense and the fact he leads the Big 12 in nearly every passing statistic, there is no debate that Bryce Petty is the Big 12's top QB.
1. Bryce Petty, Baylor: Best passer in the Big 12 by nearly every statistical measure, first in FBS in yards per attempt, TD-INT ratio of 18-1 and it's only his first season of starting. The gap between No. 1 and everyone else on this list right now is tremendous. -- Max Olson

2. Case McCoy, Texas: The career backup has been a huge part of Texas' resurgence. In wins over Oklahoma and TCU, McCoy has Adjusted QBRs of 83.9 and 95.4. -- Jake Trotter

3. Davis Webb, Texas Tech: Webb hasn’t been perfect but he’s averaging 420.67 passing yards and 5.67 completions of 20 yards or more in TTU’s past three games. He’s been very solid for a true freshman. -- Brandon Chatmon

4. Daniel Sams, Kansas State: He might be too high at No. 4, but Sams is the best athlete of the bunch and already has 538 rushing yards on just 100 carries. Still has plenty to prove as a passer. -- MO

5. Blake Bell, Oklahoma: Great against Texas Tech and Notre Dame, bad against Texas. Has promising moments as a passer, firm grasp on the job and a chance to prove he's league's second-best QB. -- MO

6. Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech: The walk-on made waves while leading the Red Raiders to a 5-0 start before a knee injury sidelined him, but he threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his final three starts before the injury. -- BC

7. Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State: Chelf finally has the job again, but he'll have to complete more passes to keep it. His completion percentage this year is less than 50 percent. -- JT

8. David Ash, Texas: Ash is throwing again, and could be cleared to return soon. But will he resume his starting role? The way McCoy is performing, probably not. -- JT

9. J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State: His combination of moxie and leadership is hard to deny but his struggles connecting on deep passes led to Chelf replacing him in the starting lineup. He remains a valuable piece as the disposal of Mike Gundy’s squad, however. -- BC

10. Jake Waters, Kansas State: Juco transfer is starting to get the hang of Big 12 ball and his own offense, and coming off an impressive showing against West Virginia. -- MO

11. Casey Pachall, TCU: Pachall has only played in seven games over the last two seasons. It would be difficult for anyone to overcome that level of rust. -- JT

12. Clint Trickett, West Virginia: Trickett’s season has mimicked the roller coaster nature of WVU’s offense, but he did lead the Mountaineers to a win over Oklahoma State, the highlight of their season. -- BC

13. Seth Russell, Baylor: Getting mop-up time and experience in every game this season and has 427 yards on 60 percent passing. Would he start for a couple Big 12 teams? -- MO

14. Sam B. Richardson, Iowa State: Richardson has been banged up all year, and it's shown. At some point, the Cyclones may be forced to go with the healthier option in Grant Rohach. -- JT

15. Jake Heaps, Kansas: The BYU transfer just can’t seem to find any confidence or rhythm for the Jayhawks passing attack, forcing Charlie Weis to start drastically experimenting with KU’s offense. -- BC

16. Trevone Boykin, TCU: Dual-threat sophomore has his moments, but five touchdowns and nine turnovers in 2013. Back to backing up Pachall and could play some receiver. -- MO

17. Trevor Knight, Oklahoma: Knight won the job out of camp, but lost it to Bell two games in after moving the chains ineffectively. Bell's performance against Texas Tech means Knight will remain on the sidelines. -- JT

18. Michael Brewer, Texas Tech: Generally expected to be the Red Raiders starter heading into fall camp, Brewer has been surpassed by the true freshman quarterbacks. -- BC

19. Paul Millard, West Virginia: Started first two games for the Mountaineers before losing his job, got another chance late against K-State. -- MO

20. Ford Childress, West Virginia: The freshman quarterbacked West Virginia's worst performance of the year, a 37-0 loss to Maryland, before suffering a pectoral injury that could keep him out the rest of the year. -- JT

21. Grant Rohach, Iowa State: He’s come off the bench to replace Sam Richardson in ISU’s last two games but has yet to surpass 100 passing yards in the game. -- BC

22. Montell Cozart, Kansas: True freshman is now splitting snaps with Heaps and got half the reps against Baylor. Can make plays in the run game and be a spark. -- MO

23. Michael Cummings, Kansas: Cummings started five games in 2012 but has lost the No. 2 spot to Cozart, and is unlikely to play much going forward with Heaps also part of the offense. -- JT

24. Tyrone Swoopes, Texas: The 6-foot-4, 245-pound true freshman made his debut on Saturday and is a talented rusher, but he didn't attempt a pass. If McCoy goes down, he'll have to take over. -- MO

25. Tyler Matthews, TCU: The Horned Frogs got so desperate for production they turned to the redshirt freshman on multiple occasions, yet he’s seen very limited game reps and hasn't completed a pass this season. -- BC

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