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Picking the Pre-Season Big 12 Quarterback

Corn Nation has been asked to participate with some Big 12 bloggers in choosing a pre-season Big 12 team. The first part of the process has been to nominate the players from Nebraska that we'd like everyone else to consider. The second part involves us ranking the best players from the conference with the exception that we cannot pick a player from our own team. The results will be compiled by the guys at the Ralphie Report for presentation later. For the quarterback position we were asked to rank two players.

Mizzou's Chase Daniel is the overall favorite Big 12 quarterback, unanimously chosen by myself, Husker Mike and Blankman. He's a senior (experienced), he's put Missouri on the college football map if only for a year so far, and he's got an astounding cast going into this season. With him ride the high hopes of the Mizzou faithful (who are only now coming out of the woodwork).

It'd be a damned shame if the expectations came crashing down when Mizzou doesn't win again in Lincoln on October 4th. Nearly as bad would be if Daniel is seen on national TV going after another booger - people would start to question his leadership skills. Still, is there another choice for the best Big 12 quarterback?

Chase Daniel as a Fathead. Some might consider that as redundant.

My second choice would be Graham Harrell of Texas Tech. Graham Harrell is going to be overlooked by everyone because every Texas Tech quarterback puts up wild numbers, part of the 'system' label that he will not shake until the Red Raiders win a championship in something. You could say that he's immediately replaceable and you may be right, but if there's one offense I've always enjoyed watching it's the gimmick that is Mike Leach.

Graham, Graham, he's our man! If he can't do it, then he'll be replaced by another guy who will throw for a bazillion yards! (Well, maybe he's not the best choice for the #2 quarterback.)

Note that my second choice is not echoed by my two colleagues. Both of them chose Sam Bradford of Oklahoma. That's understandable as he lead the nation in pass efficiency last season and set the freshman record for touchdowns, beating out Colt McCoy who set that record in 2006.

The reason I would not choose Bradford is because of sophomoritis. Colt McCoy looked like a superstar coming into 2007, then fell flat on his face. It's not that he had a horrible, horrible year, it's that everyone expected superstardom and they got average. That's typical of most freshmen phenoms.

There's quite a change that happens between your freshman and sophomore year. Freshmen are wide-eyed, and not entirely aware of what they've gotten themselves into. Freshmen phenoms moving into their sophomore year tend to be shakier because they're suddenly very aware that they're on the high rope with over 50% of the crowd cheering for them to fall. This is the only reason I wouldn't choose Bradford. I'm on of that over 50% that expects him to fall.

I'm biased of course - I'd like to see him fall the hardest when the 2008 Cornhuskers show up in Norman, a place that got picked as one of the ten best places to live in the nation. Who the hell did they bribe for that?

Sam Bradford - if there was a pick for the Big 12 'name' quarterback most likely to let everyone down, he's my guy.

I'm not going to overrule my colleagues, so Corn Nation's two top nominees for pre-season Big 12 quarterback of the year are:

  • Chase Daniel, Missouri
  • Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

I, of course, reserve my right to 'I told you so' (as if that's a one-way street), but it's fitting that the winner between Bradford and Harrell will be settled on the field. The Oklahoma - Texas Tech game will most likely determine the Big 12 South winner. Given it's July and the game seems about a thousand years away, I have the feeling I'll be rooting for Tech at that time, if for no other reason than it's time someone else besides Oklahoma or Texas ruled the South.