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Local News

April 25, 2013

Lot of quarterback changes in Big 12 next fall

The Big 12 is facing an identity crisis at quarterback, with a lot of different players preparing to take snaps this fall.

Seven of the league’s 10 teams had senior quarterbacks, providing for a lot of changes during spring practice.

“With new QBs, there are always question marks. I mean, you don’t really know until you know,” Baylor coach Art Briles said Tuesday. “The only way to know is to get out on the field with them in the heat of battle and find out how they respond. Yeah, it changes the dynamics of the league 100 percent.”

Gone are the likes of Landry Jones, who started 50 games for Oklahoma, West Virginia standout Geno Smith, Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein from Kansas State and Baylor’s Nick Florence, who led the Big 12 in total offense last season after Robert Griffin III won the Heisman for the Bears the previous year.

“There’s years where we’ve had the best quarterbacks in the country in our league, and last year was one of them,” Texas coach Mack Brown said during the league coaches’ spring teleconference.

“There’s a little bit of unknown until those new guys get out there and you see their abilities and what they do for their football team. There’s certainly no lack of talent,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “I’m happy certainly that a lot of those guys have graduated and teams are having to break in new quarterbacks, but still fearful of the talent level that remains at that position.”

All the changes at the most high-profile position could lead to a wide-open race for the Big 12 title.

“I would think so,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of question marks in our league and that has not been the case the last couple of years.”

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