Category: News Published on Monday, 26 March 2012 12:27 Written by John Hasselbeck Hits: 1484
The 2012 college football season seems like a far off dream as basketball tops all the sports headlines. BCSNN is taking a break from March Madness to focus on the skill players that get all the credit when a team wins and all the blame when they lose. The automatic qualifying conferences are packed full of talented quarterbacks. We're not breaking down who the best are, but instead who fans should pay the most attention to. Some are returning stars and others are taking over for team leaders that have moved on. Is the on the field general for your team on the list?
It already looks like Landry Jones will be a Heisman candidate in 2012. His biggest weakness in 2011 was a bad habit of throwing to the wrong color jerseys. In five different games last season, Landry threw multiple picks with the final count being 15 INTs. Despite being color blind in those instances, it’s hard to deny this kid’s production. Jones put up over 4,400 yards through the air with a completion percentage of 63 percent.
Oklahoma will continue to make things easy for Jones too with a very solid receiving core for him to throw to. The Sooners can do it on the ground as well which means all the pressure won’t be on the QB and potentially open up some big plays. Watch Landry, because if this kid gets off to a strong start, he’ll be the front-runner for the Heisman by week four.
Honorable Mention: Geno Smith - WVU
A lot of people have slotted Barkley as the number one QB in all of college football for 2012. There is no debating that USC has produced some impressive QBs in the past, but the world of college football has a tendency to jump on the Trojan train a little too quickly. Barkley will be a front-runner for the Heisman if only because he wears maroon and gold.
Like a lot of quarterbacks last season, Barkley had better numbers than “God’s Gift to Sports Writers” Andrew Luck. For many this puts the returning gun slinger in the top spot. After looking over the stats for 2011, we’re not going to bow down to USC just yet, but do believe he’ll be one to watch. There is no doubt you’ll hear a lot about Barkley, but we’ll be waiting to see how his numbers compare to other QBs before we hand him any trophies.
Honorable Mention: Keith Price - Washington
Did someone ask about dual-threat quarterbacks? You can’t really talk about dual-threats without mentioning Michigan’s Denard Robinson. You can criticize this kid’s arm all day long, but there is no debating that he gets it done and has been a huge part of returning Big Blue to the national stage and the tradition of success the school was once accustomed to.
Robinson does have an issue with interceptions. His picks went up last season over 2010, but it should be noted that his combined 36 TDs were an improvement over the previous season as well.
Despite a rough showing against the ACC’s Virgina Tech, look for Denard to start the 2012 season on a blistering pace of hurting defenses with both his feet and arm. Playing in the Big Ten will give him plenty of exposure. It will be up to Denard what he does with that exposure.
Honorable Mention: Braxton Miller – Ohio State
Boy was there a lot of hype around the Seminoles last year! E.J. Manuel had a load of expectations on his shoulders to bring FSU back to the level they had reached in the 90s. All the talk and all the hype resulted in a trip to the Champs’ Sports Bowl. That isn’t exactly a BCS bowl, but it did get them back on the national stage.
So yes, E.J. had a bit of a hard time handling the expectations last year. However ask any fan or any coach and they’ll all say the same thing – “It’s a new season”. Manuel had a decent 18 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions last season and should improve greatly in 2012. Thanks to 2011 giving the young talent a taste of humility and letting the Seminoles as a whole know that you need to back up the hype, 2012 should be a great season for FSU and their QB.
Honorable Mention: C.J. Brown – Maryland
Connor Shaw aims to give Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks a season without silly off the field stories about drunken antics and try to keep the attention of the media and fans on the actual turf. Shaw didn’t get a lot of action in 2011, but the playtime he did see showed a lot of promise.
In the Capital One Bowl against the Big Ten’s Nebraska Shaw was able to get 230 yards on only 11 completed passes. His accuracy might be a question, but his arm is a rocket launcher and should provide for some exciting deep ball completions. He also has a knack for protecting the ball. During his bowl appearance, he didn’t have a single turnover. There isn’t a lot of tape on Shaw yet, but all eyes will be on him this season. Look for Spurrier to mold this QB into a solid gun-slinger in a very competitive SEC.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Wilson - Arkansas
The first instinct here is to ask why Cincinnati’s QB is the most important one to watch in the Big East. The simple answer is because of who he is replacing. Those who follow the Bearcats know the 2011 Big East Co-Champs struggled after losing Zach Collaros to injury. Munchie came in and had his struggles, but also showed signs of being the QB Cincinnati needs in 2012.
He’s almost certainly the starting option for coach Butch Jones after showing he can win games after settling down. He has the height to provide a great field of vision and the legs to make plays like his predecessor Zach Collaros. Munchie will be the most watched QB in the Big East as fans try to figure out if UC is rebuilding or can pick up where they left off after the 2011 Liberty Bowl win.
Honorable Mention: Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville