5. Baylor Bears
The Bears have their guy. Charlie Brewer almost doubled his yardage total from his freshman season, but he only threw 19 touchdown passes after tossing 11 in 2017. He turned into more of a runner – scoring seven touchdowns – and he was a key reason the Bears blew up from a one-win team into a bowl winner in just one season.
Jalan McClendon is done after his one grad transfer season, but Gerry Bohanon is a terrific talent who might be too good to be merely a backup.
Current Projected Starter: Charlie Brewer, Jr.
– 2019 Baylor Schedule Analysis
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Alan Bowman was on his way to a massive season – completing 69% of his passes for 2,638 yards and 17 touchdowns in eight games – before suffering a collapsed lung and missed most of the last few games. Now he’s back and gets to run Matt Wells’ attack.
There won’t be a massive shift from what Texas Tech is used to doing, but there’s a bit more pace, a lot of pressure on the quarterback to handle the play calls, and the premium is put on accuracy. Bowman can handle that, but the dual-threat Jett Duffey might have a big role, too.
Current Projected Starter: Alan Bowman, Soph.
– 2019 Texas Tech Schedule Analysis
3. Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State was 1-4, Brock Purdy took over the starting job, and the team won five straight and closed on a 7-2 run. Purdy isn’t all that big, but he’s accurate, he proved he could put up huge numbers and win games. He’s a blossoming Big 12 star, even if WR Hakeem Butler is gone to the NFL.
Re-al Mitchell was a great recruit last season and needs a few specific packages to get him on the field. Easton Dean is this year’s big recruit – literally, he’s 6-7 and 220 pounds – but he’ll likely redshirt.
Current Projected Starter: Brock Purdy, Soph.
– 2019 Iowa State Schedule Analysis
2. Texas Longhorns
This is becoming interesting in a big hurry.
Sam Ehlinger turned into the Face of the Program leader and star this past season, and he’s potentially around for the next two seasons. Before, he had to look over his shoulder a little bit at Shane Buechele, but not anymore.
Buechele has thrown for over 4,600 yards and 30 touchdowns in his Texas career, and now he’s expected to transfer along with fellow backups Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson, two of last year’s better recruits.
Ehlinger takes a ton of huge hits, and there’s no developed depth behind him.
New recruit Roschon Johnson is a terrific talent, but the season is going to be Ehlinger or bust unless Tom Herman can convince a mid-level grad transfer to step in as a No. 2 guy.
Current Projected Starter: Sam Ehlinger, Jr.
– 2019 Texas Schedule Analysis
1. Oklahoma Sooners
Of course Oklahoma got Jalen Hurts.
He’s a better passer than you think – he completed 63% of his passes with 48 touchdowns and 12 picks in three years at Alabama – and he can run, too. And unlike Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, Hurts has College Football Playoff wins and a national championship.
He brings instant credibility, leadership, and the skills to step in and shine right away in Lincoln Riley’s offense.
However, Austin Kendall transferred out to West Virginia, putting the pressure on redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai – a decent prospect, but hardly an elite one – and 2019 super-recruit Spencer Rattler.
In a perfect world, Hurts leads the way to another Big 12 title and College Football Playoff berth, Rattler gets a little experience before redshirting and taking over the gig in 2020.
Current Projected Starter: Jalen Hurts, Sr.
– 2019 Oklahoma Schedule Analysis