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The Top 5 Big 12 Quarterbacks for 2024

Big 12 Quarterbacks
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah in the mix, the new-look Big 12 Conference promises to deliver an entertaining 2024 college football season. After the departures of Oklahoma and Texas to the Southeastern Conference, the race for conference supremacy is wide open, and some of college football’s biggest stars reside on the rosters capable of winning the league. The quarterback position is a particular strength of this expanded conference, as several signal-callers are athletic marvels with elite playmaking ability. This is the top 5 Big 12 quarterback rankings for 2024.

No. 1: Shedeur Sanders, Colorado

While his response to Colorado's transfer portal situation raised a few eyebrows this offseason, Shedeur Sanders' on-field production speaks for itself. Despite being the most sacked QB in the country and getting sacked on 10.2 percent of his dropbacks last year, Sanders still completed 69 percent of his passes for a school-record 3,230 yards to go along with a sparkling 27-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

He is the Big 12’s best quarterback and arguably the best quarterback in the country. With an improved offensive line protecting him and one of college football's best receiver groups, Sanders may be in for the best season of his career and could find himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation if Colorado wins enough games. 

No. 2: Cameron Rising, Utah

Before suffering an injury that caused him to miss the 2023 season, Cam Rising guided Utah to back-to-back Pac-12 Conference titles. He tore his ACL in the 2022 Rose Bowl, after a season in which he threw for 3,034 yards and 26 touchdowns with just 8 interceptions. 

Rising has also shown the capability to be an effective runner, rushing for 953 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career. How Rising looks after that extended layoff will determine Utah's ceiling, but if he reaches the same heights to which he ascended before the injury, he will be one of the more reliable offensive leaders in the nation. 

No. 3: KJ Jefferson, Central Florida

KJ Jefferson is a transfer portal sleeper who could shine this season for UCF. He’s also one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the country with 39 starts over the last five seasons at Arkansas, where he holds almost every significant quarterback record. He spent three years as the Razorbacks' starting QB, racking up at least 2,500 total yards per year. 

At UCF with coach Gus Malzahn, who loves his running QBs, Jefferson's sixth year of college football could be his best. UCF’s addition of Jefferson makes them an intriguing dark horse in the Big 12. 

No. 4: Jalon Dainels, Kansas

Jalon Daniels has not played more than nine games in a season since he emerged in 2020 as a dual-threat weapon but is a game-changer on the field. The 2022 campaign was his best, as he racked up 2,014 passing yards and 18 touchdowns through the air along with 425 rushing yards and an additional 7 scores. Daniels had an explosive start to the 2023 campaign, throwing for 705 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first three games, but injuries once again derailed a promising season. 

Daniels is not higher on this list because he has yet to play a full season in his four-year career. If he cannot play at least 10 games, the Jayhawks' chances to win the Big 12 decrease significantly, but if Daniels stays healthy he can be a top-tier quarterback in the Big 12 and the country. He has the talent and experience to lead Kansas to a Big 12 title.

No. 5: Noah Fifita, Arizona

Noah Fifita had a phenomenal season in 2023, turning the Wildcats into a legitimate contender in the Pac-12, something no one saw coming. He completed passes at a 72.4 percent clip, forcing Arizona's coaching staff to keep him in the lineup even after ex-starter Jayden de Laura recovered from injury. Teaming up again with his top target, Tetairoa McMillan, Fifita can thrive over a full season. 

It will be interesting to see how he transitions to the Big 12 with new coach Brett Brennan. In 2023, Fifita threw for 2,869 yards and 25 touchdowns, including a school-record 527 passing yards in a win over Arizona State. If Fifita plays up to the level he did a year ago, Arizona could be a dark horse contender to reach the College Football Playoff in 2024.


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