Is Colt McCoy the best quarterback in the Big 12?

Here’s a fluffy conversation to start everyone’s day-after Thanksgiving recovery: Who’s the best quarterback in the Big 12? Jimmy Burch of the Star-Telegram writes that Texas’ signal caller Colt McCoy holds the honors, even if the Heisman voters don’t eventually think so.

Colt McCoyIn short, McCoy is the league’s MVP. He is more valuable to the Longhorns as a rusher, passer and leader than any player on any other roster in the Big 12.

McCoy drove home that point against A&M. He threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 49 yards and two scores. He picked up his 31st career victory as a starting quarterback, passing Vince Young for most in Longhorns’ history.

Most important, McCoy jump-started the Texas offense — time and again — on a night when the Longhorns (11-1, 7-1 in Big 12) struggled early to rack up the style points they needed to blow away BCS voters.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford? He hands off to three players who could start ahead of any member of the Longhorns’ current tailback tandem. He is protected by a huge, veteran offensive line.

Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell? He throws to Michael Crabtree, the nation’s best receiver and a certifiable first-round NFL draft pick.

McCoy keeps the wheels spinning behind an offensive line that is good but not as dominant as others in the league. Most of McCoy’s most telling tosses wind up in the hands of Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, two undersized and underappreciated guys who won’t wow any NFL scouts with their measurable qualities.

McCoy has my vote, too. I loved him as a freshman, believed last year was just a small setback and think he’s currently having the best season of any quarterback in the nation. Bradford is an absolute stud and Harrell executes Tech’s offense better than any quarterback before him. But McCoy does so much for the Longhorn offense in terms of passing and running that he deserves (at this point) to be the frontrunner for the Heisman. But I think we should wait to see how this year plays out before drawing any conclusions. What if he struggles in the Big 12 Championship Game or stumbles in the title game if UT makes an appearance? Those games ultimately should decide the value of a player – not the ones at home against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night. (Although it’s also fair to judge a player’s entire body of work throughout the season, not just one game.)

Comment starter: Who do you think is the best quarterback in the Big 12?

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