Gerald Goodridge, News9.comOKLAHOMA CITY -- As the season winds down, talk moves to conjecture on National Championship probabilities and the likelihood of award winners.
Two quarterbacks in the Big 12 have seemingly separated themselves from the rest of the conference, at least in the mind of national pundits: Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Baylor's Robert Griffin, III. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, how do the two signal callers stack up?
Brandon Weeden: Senior, Edmond Santa Fe High School. 6'4" 218 lbs.
Stats: 355-486 (73 percent), 4,111 yards, 34 TDs, 12 INTs, 162.2 passer rating.
Possible "Heisman Moment": Two third quarter TD's to overcome a 20-10 deficit against Texas A&M to start conference play.
In his two years starting for Oklahoma State, Weeden has taken it upon himself to rewrite the Cowboys' record books. His 2011 passing total alone is good enough for sixth on the school's all-time career passing list, combined with his junior-season total gives him 8,388 with two games remaining, ahead of Zac Robinson for most all-time.
Weeden had seemingly taken the reins in the Heisman Trophy race, turning up his performance in conference play. During the first seven weeks of Big 12 competition, Weeden passed for 2,481 yards, 23 scores and just three interceptions heading into the Iowa State game. Some of the shine came off of the apple when a crunch-time interception resulted in points for the Iowa State Cyclones in the overtime loss. Weeden sits at No. 2 nationally in yards behind Houston quarterback Case Keenum and third in touchdowns behind Keenum and Boise quarterback Kellen Moore.
The Cowboys are still within striking distance of a BCS National Championship with a Bedlam win and help from members of the SEC. If Weeden takes home the stiff arm trophy, he would tie Chris Weinke as the oldest player to ever win the award and would be the OSU player to win the award since Barry Sanders in 1988.
Robert Griffin, III: Junior, Copperas Cove High School, Copperas Cove, Texas. 6'2" 220 lbs.
Stats: 245-336 (72.9 percent), 3,572 yards, 33 TDs, 5 INTS, 191.7 passer rating.
Possible "Heisman Moment": 34-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams with 8 seconds left to beat Oklahoma for the first time in school history.
Griffin initially chose Baylor over other Big 12 schools for the opportunity to run for a world-class track team and the school's willingness to let him play quarterback, a move that paid off in the long run. After taking a redshirt his sophomore year due to a knee injury, the lanky Texan has made a name for himself and set two school passing records in just two full seasons.
His name appeared in the early-season Heisman talk, after leading the Bears to a 3-0 record, including a two-point season-opening win over then No. 14 TCU, during which he passed for 359 yards and five touchdowns. Through the first four weeks of the season, Griffin had passed for 18 touchdowns and just 19 incompletions and seemed to be a lock to at least get invited to New York for the Heisman presentation. The Bears lost two of their next three games, with Griffin passing for just five scores and Griffin's name seemed to fade from consideration. However, Griffin led the bears to three straight wins, passing for 1,197 yards and 10 touchdowns to put his name back into the ring.
Griffin and Baylor have two remaining games left on the schedule, back-to-back home games against the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns. If the Bears win out, Griffin will have led the Bears to their first nine-win season since 1986 and have them positioned for their first 10-win season since 1980.