West By Pod is most of the way through our Big 12 deep dive series. Let's sift through what we've learned and see if we can establish some sort of positional hierarchy across the conference.
Tier 1 - The Deep State
Spencer Sanders - Oklahoma State
I don't think of Sanders as an elite talent, but I do consider him an elite game manager. He's always been a threat in the designed running game, and last year he cut his turnover worthy play rate in half and wound up leading his team to the Big 12 title game. As the best returning quarterback and possibly the lone known known in the conference, he gets the nod here over some guys who may have a higher ceiling.
Tier 2 - Impact Transfers
JT Daniels - West Virginia; Quinn Ewers - Texas; Dillon Gabriel - Oklahoma; Adrian Martinez - Kansas State
The way this group performs this year is likely going to define the conference. Ewers and Gabriel have understandably garnered most of the headlines, but Daniels and Martinez are both in positions to be dangerous if things go right. However things shake out, all four of these guys are talented and have landed in situations where they’ll have every chance to be successful.
Tier 3 - They've Shown Flashes
Max Duggan - TCU; Blake Shapen - Baylor; Jalon Daniels - Kansas; Tyler Shough - Texas Tech
Max Duggan has played the most football, Blake Shapen has probably played the best football, Jalon Daniels has been the most exciting, and Tyler Shough. Jokes aside, these guys are solid options, but I don't think the objective fan would swap any of the transfers for them.
Tier 4 - Talented But Untested
Hunter Dekkers - Iowa State
Dekkers was a 4-star recruit in Iowa State's outstanding 2019 class, but obviously hasn't had the chance to play much with Brock Purdy around. Now is his time in the sun. We need to see how he looks once the bullets start flying, but at 6'3 235 it's hard not to be intrigued by the physical tools.