Thursday, August 30, 2012
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 2
By David Ubben
Our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players entering the 2012 season marches on. Here's more on my criteria for who makes it, who doesn't and who lands where.
The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day leading up to the season.
We're now in the top 10, so these picks might get a little ugly. Got a beef? Let's squash it. Send your complaints here.
Tomorrow, I'll reveal the No. 1 player in the Big 12 to begin the 2012 season.
Next up on the list:
No. 2: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
2011 numbers: Completed 355-of-562 (63.2 percent) passes for 4,463 yards, 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Most recent ranking: Jones was ranked No. 13 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Jones: I've said it before, I'll say it again: Every time Jones' name comes up, the conversation inevitably turns to what Jones is not, rather than what he is.
He's not Sam Bradford. He's not unflappable. He's not careful enough.
All true. Still, it's unfair. Jones has had a crazy career already, and should break plenty of Oklahoma's passing records this season. That's what happens when you're a four-year starter. Yes, Jones has thrown too many interceptions (41) in his career. Yes, last season was a disappointment. He completed a lower percentage of his passes and threw more interceptions and fewer touchdowns on fewer attempts than when he was a sophomore in 2010. His numbers dipped when Ryan Broyles left, though the importance of his touchdown drought late in the season was overstated, considering the success of the BellDozer.
Bob Stoops defended Jones' late-season slide this offseason when he mentioned Jones' failure to get much support. Stoops is absolutely right. His receivers looked lost without Broyles, and the drops had to be infuriating.
Count me among the believers in Jones, and the believers in his new receivers. They're a better unit than last year, and Jones' numbers will show it in 2012.
He's not the greatest quarterback to ever play for Oklahoma. Still, he's one of the nation's best quarterbacks, and might state his case as the Big 12's best by season's end.
The rest of the list:
- No. 25: Justin Gilbert, CB/KR, Oklahoma State
- No. 24: Ben Habern, C, Oklahoma
- No. 23: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- No. 22: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
- No. 21: Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor
- No. 20: Trey Millard, FB/TE, Oklahoma
- No. 19: Quandre Diggs, CB/KR, Texas
- No. 18: Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
- No. 17: Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
- No. 16: Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
- No. 15: Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma
- No. 14: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
- No. 13: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
- No. 12: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
- No. 11: Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas
- No. 10: A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
- No. 9: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
- No. 8: Kenny Vaccaro, DB, Texas
- No. 7: Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
- No. 6: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
- No. 5: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
- No. 4: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
- No. 3: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia