Whose three-headed monster is scariest?

July, 1, 2010
7/01/10
9:00
AM ET
After Adam Rittenberg over at the Big Ten and Brian Bennett in the Big East, it's now the Big 12's turn to take a look at the top three-headed monsters in the conference.

I may have snuck a fourth or fifth head on a couple of these, but the name of the game is skill positions.

1. Texas A&M
QB: Jerrod Johnson
RB: Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray
WR: Jeff Fuller and Uzoma Nwachukwu

What's so scary about them: Size, speed and skill. These guys have lots of all of it. Johnson was built to be a quarterback at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, with fast wheels to match his arm -- one of the strongest in the conference. Michael and Gray are a pair of backs with low centers of gravity -- especially Michael -- who split carries evenly and combined for 1,601 yards on the ground. Johnson threw for 3,579 yards and added 506 rushing yards. At 6-foot-4, Fuller is a perfect red zone target with speed who's also tough to bring down in the secondary. He and Nwachukwu combined for 13 touchdown catches in 2009.

2. Oklahoma
QB: Landry Jones
RB: DeMarco Murray
WR: Ryan Broyles

What's so scary about them: Lots of points and lots of yards. Murray and Broyles contributed to the best offense in college football history in 2008, and Jones threw for more than 3,000 yards last season in his first year as a starter. Jones didn't take all the first-team practice snaps until the last half of the year after Sam Bradford underwent season-ending surgery. Jones must limit his interceptions (14, tied for the nation's fifth-most) and Murray must stay healthy, but the entire group has to learn how to take their act away from Owen Field, where they lost all five games in 2009. With a year of experience behind him and Broyles and Murray to lean on, Jones could make a case as one of the conference's best quarterbacks by season's end.

3. Texas Tech
QB: Steven Sheffield or Taylor Potts
RB: Baron Batch
WR: Alex Torres and Detron Lewis

What's so scary about them: We'll probably only see one of these quarterbacks this season and they'll have plenty of talent to work with. They have the challenge of adjusting to new offensive coordinator Neal Brown, but the system is still pretty much the same, only faster. Batch has rushed for 1,642 yards in the past two seasons, but he's also an extremely capable receiver, hauling in 102 passes for 844 yards over that span. Torres and Lewis both topped 800 yards receiving in 2009 and caught six touchdowns apiece, and either could hit four digits in 2010. Expect the scoring in Lubbock to continue.

4. Missouri
QB: Blaine Gabbert
RB: Derrick Washington
WR: Wes Kemp and Jerrell Jackson

What's so scary about them: Washington is the experienced vet of the group, earning meaningful carries for the past three seasons and playing in a pair of Big 12 championship games. But Gabbert ascended into the top tier of Big 12 quarterbacks in his first year as starter, throwing for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns. He's the Big 12's top returner in pass yardage and threw the third-most touchdowns in the Big 12 among returning starters. This year could be Kemp and Jackson's turn to emerge after the exit of Danario Alexander, who led the nation in receiving yardage in 2009. Each racked up more than 400 receiving yards, but combined for just five touchdowns. Those numbers will all have to rise for Missouri to see success.

5. Oklahoma State
QB: Brandon Weeden
RB: Kendall Hunter
WR: Hubert Anyiam

What's so scary about them: Call it a leap of faith in offensive guru Dana Holgorsen. He coordinated the country's best offense at Houston last season, and he'll try to do it again this season with a first-year starter at quarterback in Weeden. Hunter will be itching to earn back his 2008 status as the Big 12's most productive back when he rushed for 1,555 yards, but he may do it more in the passing game this season -- catching short balls in the open field and making defenders miss. Anyiam didn't have a catch in the Cowboys' first three games, but became pretty reliable into the thick of the conference season after the NCAA ended star receiver Dez Bryant's college career. He finished with 42 catches for 515 yards and three scores, but only an injury is going to keep those numbers from skyrocketing in 2010.

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