Scintillating Griffin ranks as Big 12's fifth-best player
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It's hard to fathom the development of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin in such a short period of time.
Griffin, who turned 19 in February, had one of the most memorable freshman seasons in Big 12 history. He made the Baylor program relevant and was one of the conference's most exciting players from his opening start.
But his next step this season will be an even bigger challenge. He'll be counted to help carry the Bears in contention for a bowl berth for the first time since the Big 12 was formed.
Considering all of the other talent-laden programs in the Big 12 South Division, it will be a huge test for the Bears.
Look for Griffin should be up for the quest -- particularly if he keeps building on his fantastic early start.
Player: Robert Griffin
Vitals: 6-foot-3, 210 pounds; So.; Copperas Cove, Texas
Why he was picked: As the nation's youngest starting quarterback in 2008, Griffin developed into one of the nation's most explosive players. Griffin picked up a multitude of newcomer of the year awards, including two national first-team Freshman All-America selections. Griffin established an FBS record by throwing 209 passes without an interception to start his career, passing for 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He was also a breakaway threat as a runner, setting school records for rushing yards by a quarterback (843) and rushing touchdowns (13). Griffin ranked fifth nationally among quarterbacks in rushing yards (70.3 yards per game) and second in rushing touchdowns.
What 2009 will hold: A bigger, stronger Griffin will be counted to improve on his huge freshman season. A similar leap forward might be enough to catapult Baylor into bowl contention for the first time since 1994 - longest drought in the Big 12 and tied for the longest among teams in BCS-affiliated conferences. Griffin must improve his abilities to get his teammates involved, which is traditionally one of the hardest parts of the maturation process of a young quarterback. If Griffin can improve his running and passing skills, Griffin could be poised to become the greatest player at his position before leaving school.
6. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
7. Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
8. Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter
9. Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
10. Kansas QB Todd Reesing
11. Oklahoma RB-KR DeMarco Murray
12. Oklahoma State T Russell Okung
13. Texas DE-LB Sergio Kindle
14. Oklahoma T Trent Williams
15. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
16. Baylor LB Joe Pawelek
17. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson
18. Texas WR-KR Jordan Shipley
19. Oklahoma RB Chris Brown
20. Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.
21. Texas Tech DT Colby Whitlock
22. Kansas WR-KR Dezmon Briscoe
23. Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
24. Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas QB-WR Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State LB Andre Sexton
29. Missouri G Kurtis Gregory
30. Missouri RB Derrick Washington
31. Texas Tech LB Brian Duncan
32. Texas S Earl Thomas
33. Kansas State WR-KR Brandon Banks
34. Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
35. Baylor S Jordan Lake
36. Oklahoma State CB-KR Perrish Cox
37. Texas C Ch
38. Texas Tech DE-DT McKinner Dixon
39. Kansas State DE Brandon Harold
40. Oklahoma FB Matt Clapp
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35 Final Rutgers 40 North Carolina 21 Final North Carolina State 34 UCF 27
Final Cincinnati 17 Virginia Tech 33 Final 15 Arizona State 36 Duke 31 Final Miami (FL) 21 South Carolina 24 Final/OT Boston College 30 Penn State 31 Final Nebraska 42 24 USC 45
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State