West Virginia’s White makes his debut in the rankings


No. 1: Baylor QB Bryce Petty

(Last week: 1)

After a hard test against an upset-minded Texas team two weeks ago, Petty silenced his critics and threw for 510 yards and six touchdowns against a TCU defense that was being hailed as one of the best defenses in the Big 12 and in the country.

He stands as the lead of Baylor’s potent offense that ranks first in every – yes every – offensive team statistic in the Big 12. He carries an impressive 17-2 record as the starter for the fourth-ranked Bears. The bad news for the Big 12 is that with his back coming closer to full strength, Petty’s arm will keep his team in the hunt for a potential national championship playoff berth.

No. 2: West Virginia QB Clint Trickett

(Last week: 4)

Consistency has been Trickett’s greatest asset in 2014-15. While he doesn’t strike much respect out of the media for being in the category of Petty and Knight, he has proven that he is a legitimate threat to any defense.

Behind an average of 367.2 passing yards per game, Trickett tops the list in the Big 12 for that statistical category. Many assumed that once the Big 12 season was in full swing, his passing numbers would have dropped off. While he hasn’t responded with another 500-yard game like he showed against Maryland, he has yet to drop below the 300-yard mark in a game this season.

No. 3: K-State QB Jake Waters

(Last week: 2)

In a league full of the pro-style, pass-first quarterbacks, you could make an argument that Waters is the most mobile quarterback in the Big 12. TCU’s Trevone Boykin comes in a close second, however. Even with the strength of his legs, Waters’ ability to step back and throw is one of the conference’s best. Overall, his ability to create yardage in both offensive platforms is an extremely valuable asset.

Waters leads his team and ranks eighth in the league in rushing yards per game, averaging 64 yards on the ground. Add in Waters’ ability to get out of the pocket and find an open target and you have as well-rounded of a quarterback as you’re going to find.

No. 4: Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight

(Last week: 3)

Simply put, the sophomore standout has once again slipped into the “pressure zone” that comes with playing for Bob Stoops and Oklahoma. Keeping the Sooners out of the loss column against Texas has aided his standing within our rankings. He has been criticized recently for his play when the stress gets turned on and that criticism is more than valid. He is significantly worse on third downs than on any other down, only completing 44.2 percent of his passes and throwing three interceptions.

Against the Longhorns, the Oklahoma offense struggled mightily on third down, converting only one of 11 attempts. However, a key conversion on the final drive of the game sealed the victory for Knight and company.

No. 5: West Virginia WR Kevin White

(Last week: unranked)

In an often overlooked offense, White has become a standout next to his senior signal-caller Clint Trickett. He has a six-game streak of 100-plus receiving yards and has become his quarterback’s favorite target.

Already racking up 888 receiving yards, White is on top of the nation’s rankings in both receiving yards and yards per game. The senior wide receiver is a deep threat for any secondary he faces and can cause significant mismatches with his tall, physical frame. He will have his chance to prove how good he really is this weekend against one of the Big 12’s best defenses as Baylor steps into Morgantown, West Virginia.