Who are the best Big XII quarterbacks for the 2022 season? It’s a question that actually is more complicated than it appears at first glance. In the Big XII, only five of the ten league members have a starting quarterback returning for the upcoming season. So while there should be plenty of talent across the league, we simply don’t know how the new quarterbacks are going to adjust/fit in with their new respective teams. So let’s revise and ask the question one more time: Which returning quarterback is the best Big XII quarterback?
Best Big XII Quarterbacks Returning for 2022
Serious quarterback talent has landed in the Big XII via the transfer portal. Kansas State added Adrian Martinez from Nebraska. Oklahoma brought in Dillon Gabriel from UCF. West Virginia welcomed college journeyman JT Daniels from Georgia (and USC before that). Lastly, Texas was able to secure only the sixth-ever “perfect” ranked recruit in 247 history Quinn Ewers. Ewers graduated high school early to take advantage of the new relaxed NIL rules in place during his one year at Ohio State before coming back to the Lone Star state.
The Big 12 also saw two quarterbacks with starting experience leave the conference. Iowa State standout Brock Purdy declared for the NFL draft and Casey Thompson transferred from Texas to Nebraska. So with only five teams bringing back quarterbacks who started for them last season, who can claim the right to be the best Big 12 quarterback?
Third Best Big XII Quarterback: Blake Shapen
Baylor reached new program heights in 2021, capped off with a Big XII conference title. Head Coach Dave Arranda now enters his third season as Baylor’s coach and will be bringing back the two quarterbacks that guided the offense. Arranda had stated previously at the start of spring practice that he had “preferred” to name a starting quarterback at the end of spring football. He had also made it very clear that Sophmore Blake Shapen had to outperform Gerry Bohanon to win this job. After all, Bohanon stated 10 of the 13 total games in the 2021 season. He threw for 2200 yards, 18 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and also ran 323 yards and nine touchdowns. Well, news broke on Tuesday night that Shapen has indeed outplayed well enough this spring to be named the 2022 Bears’ starting quarterback. The news caused Bohanon to enter the transfer portal by Wednesday afternoon.
For Shapen to perform this well on a team with aspirations to get back to the Big XII championship game, it speaks to how impressed the coaching staff is with him. The coaching staff must believe he is the player that can elevate this Bear’s offense to the next level.
Second Best Big XII Quarterback: Max Duggan
TCU’s new head coach didn’t even have to move out of his old house as former SMU coach Sonny Dykes takes over in Fort Worth for the 2022 season. Shortly after taking the job and TCU started its offseason, Dykes stated that the quarterback position was “open.” There is a good chance Dykes just is keeping the team on its toes, but there would have to be a major change if Max Duggan wasn’t the Horned Frogs starter this year. Duggan is in his fourth season with TCU. He has been the starting quarterback for 29 of their last 32 games. In his 2021 campaign, Duggan posted similar numbers to Bohanon as they both only played in 10 games last year. The TCU quarterback threw for 2048 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also ran for 352 yards with three touchdowns. His wealth of experience in the conference alone should keep Chandler Morris on the sidelines to at least start the season.
The Best Big XII Quarterback: Spencer Sanders
The best Big XII quarterbacks returning for 2022 is a narrow field but had a clear winner. The book on Spencer Sanders is well-established at this point. In three seasons as the starting quarterback for Oklahoma State, his completion percentage has been 62.8, 62.8, and 60%. His number of passing attempts in the first nine games each season were 229, 247, 227. Last season, he had a career-high in passing yards (2839), passing touchdowns (20), rushing yards (668), and rushing touchdowns (10). Sanders enters his fourth season as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback with the ability to take down any team on their schedule single-handedly.
He is normally good for one or two games in which he puts the team on his back and carries them to victory. But most of the time, Sanders is just a solid quarterback that knows how to lead this team. The knock-on Sanders is that he can still mix in one or two clunkers. In these games, the Cowboys have to win in spite of his efforts. Remember, he did throw four interceptions in the Big XII title game and came three inches short of still winning and possibly crashing the college football playoff.