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MMQB: Big 12 Quarterback Rankings - Coolness Edition

A different approach to ranking all 10 potential starting QB’s going into the 2019 season.

The rest of the Big 12 is going to have to just “deal with it” when it comes to Oklahoma’s latest cool QB.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We are little less than two weeks away from week one of the Big 12’s opening weekend, which means we are reaching critical amounts of offseason content right about now. It’s not quite the end of August, but you already know I’m back and more on my bologna more than ever before...so I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there:

This is the most important ranking this offseason for the Big 12.

As I have stated in previous articles and countless times in the Frogs O’ War group chat, I am a true blue believer in the “if your quarterback looks good, he will play good” philosophy. Now, good looks don’t necessarily make one the coldest beer in the cooler, but dammit - it doesn’t hurt either; see Brady, Tom/Newton, Cam/Garoppolo, Jimmy, etc.

This ranking is not solely based on looks, but they help, and they almost certainly have little to nothing to do with on the field performance (although that could help in a potential tie breaker). What makes a quarterback cool? Who’s to say, really? I am. I am to say what makes a Big 12 quarterback cool.

Before you, dear reader, take affront or offense to anything that I am about to say, I promise you that this in no way has anything to do with me rooting against your team/your team’s quarterback. Now let’s see where your team’s QB falls on the Cool QB index...let’s bust out the tiers.

Tier 1: Your quarterback can play the first part of Wonderwall on the guitar.

*I think I just roasted myself on accident there*

10) Thomas MacVittie, Kansas

Marshall v Pittsburgh Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pitt transfer is currently slated as the front runner for the starting QB position in Lawrence for the upcoming season. I know Les Miles is the head coach there now, and Rick Ross/Ricky Rosé performed a concert at their spring game, but this guy isn’t going to make it very far on any coolness list. Maybe that’s because he’s an unknown quantity in a lot of ways, but probably not the good kind (more on that later).

Our corn country boy here looks more like a skinny copy+paste of Derek Carr, but without the male model level eyebrows. Looks do not play a huge part in MacVittie’s ranking here - but football in general hasn’t been cool at KU in about 10 years. That being said Tommy here has a lot of potential to climb up the rankings...especially with a last name like MacVittie.

9) Charlie Brewer, Baylor

NCAA Football: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

BIG INHALE

THIS IS NOT BECAUSE HE PLAYS AT BAYLOR

THIS IS NOT BECAUSE HE PLAYS AT BAYLOR

THIS IS NOT BECAUSE HE PLAYS AT BAYLOR

THIS IS NOT BE—OKAY IT’S A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE HE PLAYS AT BAYLOR.

But you know who also played QB at Baylor? RG3, and he wasn’t a quack when it came to being cool, and as a TCU fan that isn’t easy to admit. What isn’t cool is getting a lot of hype, and me not understanding where it is coming from.

At this point, Brewer is like the guy that all of your older friends in college say “oh no this guy is awesome” or “Oh no brother, this Chuck B is a great hang” and then when you finally run into said guy at the party, it turns out that he’s calling it quits at 11pm cause he’s had a few too many brews.

On top of that, he seems a bit too eager to celebrate when doing mundane things on Saturdays. For example, when scoring a rushing touchdown against TCU this year (which would end up being the team’s only score of the game) he pretty much shook his helmet off he was celebrating so much. Again, all here for pettiness in rivalries... but this was just lame with a capital L.

Now Chuck isn’t totally uncool. After all, he was basically following the footsteps of everyone else in his family. His dad and both brothers played football, and I’m pretty sure his sister was a trainer on the TCU sidelines. There’s some merit to that, but Baylor fans don’t distress - a lot of the QB’s that were starting back when you were good weren’t that cool either.

Tier 2: Your quarterback only listens to that one song by Fetty Wap, Thomas Rhett and Creed.

8) Skylar Thompson, Kansas State

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Skylar, you get points for the beard - and to be honest when I saw a picture of Thompson from a couple of years ago, I was like “yikes” - but some of us are late bloomers, so I can’t really knock him for that.

Rising from the humblest of beginnings is a different form of cool, but not quite enough to get you super far on this list. Kansas State isn’t flashy by any means - which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there is something to be said about the quiet form of confidence and swagger - buuuuuut then again...knowing that you are going to be pretty bad and being mediocre in the first place isn’t very cool.

I really feel the least ways about Thompson than I do about any other QB on this list. So I didn’t put him at the bottom, but I don’t think he really has much business being near the top. He’s like your friend that had his first experience with alcohol freshman year - and would get a significant buzz after two shots of patron - but since then has come miles and can always be counted on to have a single beer with you whenever you ask.

7) Sam Ehlinger, Texas

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Having your baby photo flash 18 times on TV during eight games a year is not cool, and it will never be cool. Being loyal to a brand is kind of cool. But Ehlinger is just not that cool. To Texas fans, that’s probably fine. You have what is widely considered to be the best QB in the conference and who cares if he’s as cool as a a glass of warm urine?

He’s shown that he’s very capable, and can sustain drives - however, like I said at the top - on field performance has almost nothing to do with how cool you are. Ehlinger is the guy that can shotgun 5 beers in a row in front of a crowd without breaking a sweat, but he’s doing in whilst in cargo shorts, flip flops and a “Tyler’s” t shirt that has had the sleeves cut off.

More of an acquired taste if anything. But hey...he can really crush those 5 beers!

6) Brock Purdy, Iowa State

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Alamo Bowl - Iowa State v Washington State Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

His name is Brock Purdy. That automatically leap frogs you up to around the middle of the list. That being said, Iowa is a hard place to grow the brand, but being the big man on campus your freshman year is the move that almost all future legends make. He is closer to being cool than he is to being not cool, so don’t worry, but he’s got a lot to prove to me in year 2.

Purdy is like that freshman that kills the last part of an IPA keg almost single handedly, and still manages to walk in a straight line to the bars. AS A FRESHMAN THAT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU LAUGH AT. He is transitioning from a boy to a man right before our eyes - but he’s still closer to boy than man because I want to see him do a little more, like beat a very good team - which is really why he’s not higher on this list.

Tier 3: Your quarterback only posts instagram stories of him drinking white claws with the boys.

*Shots fired at Grant McGalliard*

5) Alan Bowman, Texas Tech

Baylor v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Ah yes, here we are. We have reached the Alan Bowman Diagonal part of this list. Similar to how baseball measures a player’s value/ability compared to where they fall along the “Mendoza Line”, we are essentially comparing every other quarterback on this list to Alan Bowman in terms of coolness.

Does that mean that Bowman is cool? Not necessarily. Well, then, does that mean Bowman isn’t cool? Of course not! Bowman can be cool, but he can also be not cool. He is like your friend that will go out to a karaoke bar with you and the rest of the squad...but then when he goes up to sing, he chooses to cover a Taylor Swift song at 1am after a 3 or 4 beers.

Bowman’s got the hair and the subtle enough BDE for a freshman to be considered cool. I actually think that him having red hair actually helps his case in terms of how cool he is. You already know that the BOW man always stays strapped with a bottle of sunscreen at all times - and I’m not talking that cheap banana boat brand sunscreen - I’m talking about that top grade Neutrogena beach defense. He 100% can be spotted at your local spring break beach destination with a keystone in hand and a fat bottle of sunscreen in his back pocket.
4) Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 13 Oklahoma State at Kansas State Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been too long since we’ve had a quarterback that could potentially rock a good looking Jerry curl. For the love of God, Sanders grow out the top and rock a head band like Prince.
If Sanders does do that, then he’s vaulting up into the upper echelons of cool. His spot on this list is really a testament to how much potential he has. Playing quarterback in Stillwater is a pretty glamorous position under Gundy, I mean just look at the pedigree:

-Brandon Weeden (not really cool at all)

-Clint Chelf (I mean, I guess?)

-JW Walsh (About as cool as stepping in a cow patty)

-Mason Rudolph (decently cool, had his moments)

-Taylor Corenlius (THA GAWD OF PLAYING MANY SPORTS...so a solid meh on the cool factor).

Oklahoma State’s team “coolness” has typically come from the WR position. Their boy Wallace playing outside the numbers is very very cool. Getting nominated for the best WR in the sport as a underclassman is about as cool as it gets. I’m hoping that Sanders will buck that trend and will give Ok State the cool QB and WR connection that it has been desperately looking for for the past decade.

Tier 4: Your quarterback wears sunglasses inside, sits at the back of the lecture hall and will steal your girl anyways.

3) Austin Kendall, West Virginia

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Spring Game Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Kendall has never started a game.
Austin Kendall has 3 Big 12 championship rings.
These are two facts.

You know, Kendall could have stuck around and battled it out with Jalen Hurts to see who would be the starter for the Sooners this upcoming fall. But you know what? AK decided “Nah, I’m going go to the place where I belong” and chose to instead transfer to West Virginia where he has a lot of potential to be the starting quarterback for a team that just lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball as well as their head coach to a non P5 school.

HELL TO THE YES AUSTIN.

Are the Mountaineers going to be bad? MORE THAN LIKELY. I’m talking maybe 2-10 bad, but hot damn is there nothing cooler than leaving a cushy situation to going to a situation where you are 100% going down with the ship. I tip my cap to you Austin Kendall. You are shooting your shot, even if it is a half court shot while being blindfolded.

Morgantown is a cool place to play, and honestly 2 of the past 3 starting quarterbacks at West Virginia would have fallen very high on this cool scale (Clint Trickett and Will Grier). When you play in the land of bathtub moonshine and couch fires...you’re doing something right. Kendall is the guy that is lying in bed at 12:30am on a Friday, but then sees the “Who’s down to go out to the bars” text and is already out the door before the same person can say “who’s in?”.

2) Quarterback No. 1, TCU

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Now before anyone gets upset:

  1. Yes I know that is not a specific quarterback that I have picked out.
  2. Yes, I know that this picture is not even of a quarterback on TCU’s roster

To point 1, I say that there is absolutely no way to call it right now unless you want me to flip a coin on who is going to be the starting QB for the majority of the season. To point 2, technically the above pictured Jalen Reagor took snaps at QB last year, and there’s no arguing how cool the best receiver on the team is.

As of now, TCU’s QB1 is shrouded in mystery, which is very cool. Not good for my mental stability, but cool nonetheless. This person is the guy that everyone has been hearing about, but has literally never met (and maybe never will meet). At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if we just run the wildcat for the entire season - what with 4 capable RB’s who says no!?

For real though, stepping into a QB situation where all you have to do is get the ball to Jalen Reagor, Sewo Olonilua, or Darius Anderson and from there things are roses...that sounds pretty cool to me. Having your squad be so good that they make you look good is a veteran move. Being the TCU QB in 2019 is like being the person in the group project that takes charge of delegating the work - divides most of the work up to the rest of the people in the group, and the end result is an A despite said person doing the least amount of work. That is an absolute veteran move.

Tier 5: Your quarterback has ascended to Johnny Utah levels of cool

1) Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sigh.
Sigh again.
As a noted, Oklahoma hater, this is like committing social seppuku, but I claim myself to be an objective person and I can’t not put Hurts at number one on this list. I mean just look at his “strictly business” look above.

He comes in rocking some Bama Boy (not AJ McCarron) Heart of Dixie level coolness. Which is not easy to do. There hadn’t been a cool quarterback at Alabama since Joe Namath in Tuscaloosa before Hurts was under center. The only cooler person in the entire state of Alabama during Jalen’s time there was Joey Freshwater.

Jalen Hurts is the type of guy that you just send a text to, and he’s already got you hooked up with a table and bottle service at your club/clurb of choice. He’s the one that is at the top of the Bachelor party invite list...and he barely knows the bride and groom. He’s on a level of cool all by himself right now.

Now, while Norman isn’t the coolest of locales, it is a place where quarterback clout has never been higher in all of OU’s successful history as a program. Back to back Heisman winners (would have still given it to Tua, but that’s neither here nor there) and that is nothing to scoff at. He’s coming in trying to fill those shoes and hey...having high goals for yourself is pretty cool.

I hate Oklahoma, but man do they have the coolest quarterback in the conference...and to be honest it may not be particularly close.