Best Big XII Quarterbacks Returning for 2023

With Spring football wrapped up, we shift our focus to determining who are the best Big XII quarterbacks returning for the 2023 season.

A great quarterback can cover up a lot of deficiencies on any college football team. Veteran quarterbacks stack invaluable knowledge of experience on top of the skills they already possess. So teams with a great veteran quarterback have the potential to rise above the rest of their conference. No doubt the Big XII conference title in 2023 is going to be a wild race. So which team can confidently look in their huddle and say that their guy is the best Big XII quarterback returning for the 2023 season?

Best Big XII Quarterbacks Returning for 2023

Welcoming New Teams

It will be a new look regarding Big XII membership for the 2023 season. There is some quarterback continuity to be found amongst the new Big members. But because they were not a part of the conference last year, these teams will be left out. Simply because they are not “returning” to the Big 12. Our focus is centered around the teams who played Big XII football last season. Certainly, Big XII newcomers can have a massive impact on the season (which we saw last year). But they will have their moment later this off-season.

Third Best: Tyler Shough

Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire still has not officially named a starting quarterback for the 2023 season. But after a Spring season where Texas Tech finished up healthy, all signs point to Shough being THE guy. The former four-star recruit who transferred in from Oregon has gone 8-1 as a starting quarterback for the Red Raiders. The biggest knock on Shough is his health as he has yet to start more than 50% of games in any of his two seasons in Lubbock. One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that in the 2023 season, he will run the same offense two years in a row. This will be the first time in his career that this will happen. Assuming Shough can stay healthy for all/most of the season, he is going to grab the attention of a lot of folks with the numbers he puts up in Zach Kittley’s offense.

Second Best: Quinn Ewers

This is not a joke; the Texas Longhorns should be the favorite to win the conference. If you don’t believe it, listen to their coach. At a luncheon for the Houston Touchdown Club last week, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian had a message for the Longhorn nation. “This is our last year in the Big 12,” he said. “The goal is to win a conference championship, and I think we have the roster and the team in place to go and do that.” The Longhorns can do that because they have the second-best Big XII quarterback starting for them this year.

No, it’s not Arch Manning no matter what the message boards will tell you. Ewers had moments last year that supported his perfect 247 recruiting ranking out of high school. With the departures of Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, it will be up to Ewers to lead the Longhorn offense. Reports from Spring camp have stated Ewers has continued to develop and get better. Texas doesn’t lack playmakers outside, so Ewers has the ability to make a Heisman run in addition to a conference championship run.

The Best Big XII Quarterback: Jalon Daniels

One of the best playmakers in the entire conference is going to nab the title of the best Big XII quarterback returning for the upcoming season. Kansas quarterback Daniels took the 2022 season by storm. The duel-threat quarterback guided the lowly Jayhawks to a 5-1 start before injuries sidelined him for a few weeks. Daniels has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of four-and-a-half to one while also rushing for 425 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games. He was absolutely building a Heisman campaign before his injury. A healthy Daniels is going to allow the Jayhawks to continue to ascend out of the basement of the conference. Kansas should feel very confident coming off its best season in over 15 years because not only is Daniels the best Big XII quarterback entering the season, he is one of the best college quarterbacks in the country.


Photo courtesy: Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK