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Landry or Brandon?



There seems to have been a bit of a lapse in memory of most folks who create those meaningless polls, predictions, and top 10 lists that are so lacking in pertinent information that all of us read them cover to cover every year.

This phenomenon sweeping the nation (and not just the plains) involves all of these pundits confusing the two most famous signal callers currently residing in the state of Oklahoma.

When the bowls wrapped up last year and everyone wrote their postmortems and cleaned out their journalistic lockers (read: shut their computers), one Brandon Weeden was decidedly the best quarterback in the Big 12 conference, and for some, the nation.

A sampling of the All-Big 12 teams five months ago:

Big 12 Coaches: 1st team – Weeden, 2nd team – Jones
Big 12 Media: 1st team – Weeden, 2nd team – Jones 1st team – Weeden, 2nd team – Jones 1st team – Jones, 2nd team – Weeden

And the stats pretty much backed this up:

Weeden: 342-511 (67%) for 4277 yards (8.3 YPA) and 34 TD to 13 INT good for a 154.1 rating.
Jones: 405-671 (66%) for 4718 yards (7.7 YPA) and 38 TD to 19 INT good for a 146.3 rating.

So why is Jones being touted by mostly everyone as the non-Andrew Luck Heisman frontrunner and Weeden being relegated to mingle with the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Robert Griffin III? Why is Jones the consensus All-Big 12 1st team quarterback?

Obviously, OU has a leg up on the 2011 field to get to Nola and play for another mythical national championship, so that helps. Even if taking a knee in Jason White’s backyard probably made whoever is running Jones’ Heisman campaign keel over in agony…

Also, more notably, I think having Blackmon hurts Weeden’s individual merit as one of the nation’s best (not that he cares since Blackmon is the same person who’s about to help make him a 1st round NFL pick).

In fact, Blackmon actually hurts Weeden more than Broyles hurts Jones for whatever reason. The case was made yesterday that Broyles is the best wide receiver in the history of college football and I admit he actually could be statistically after this season. And yet, for some reason, the Landry hype train rolls on.

I’ve turned this over and over in my head and I simply can’t understand the logic. Let’s rewind to this time last year. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon were relative unknowns. People knew Landry Jones as “that guy with the gross facial hair who did an okay job filling in for Sam Bradford.” And people knew Ryan Broyles as one of the best wide receivers in the Big 12. So if it was a four-person race to see who could become the most popular football player in the nation I think we can all agree that Broyles had a lengthy lead on the other three. Then they all four had equally terrific seasons but if you were ranking them on national popularity (in terms of awards) now the list would go: 1. Jones 2. Blackmon 3. Broyles 4. Weeden.

How did that happen?

There seems to be this myth-like aura shrouding every quarterback that steps foot in Norman to the point that nobody in the media can even see straight and they all start saying ridiculous things like, “Landry Jones will be a top 5 pick, he’s better than Sam Bradford, he might be the best Stoops has ever had!” What?!

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Jones is the best of the bunch. Maybe he’ll be the #1 pick and go on to a Philip Rivers-esque NFL career.

But also…maybe not.

Let me lay this out, and if I’m wrong I’m wrong, but I’ll stand by it:

I think Brandon Weeden is about to have the most prolific season an Oklahoma State quarterback has ever had. I think he’s about to put every single-season statistical record (most of which he holds) out of reach for a long long time. I think he’s about to make all the “Landry for Heisman” talk look rather foolish. And I absolutely think he’s going to upstage him on national television when the Sooner Schooner comes rolling into Stillwater this December.

I know I said a few weeks back that I’d put all my eggs in the “Blackmon for Heisman” basket, and I probably still would, but that doesn’t mean Weeden won’t be great, the greatest QB to ever put on the orange black, and especially the greatest football player in the state in the year 2011.

So yeah give me Weeden over Landry…and while we’re at it, give him to me over Luck as well.

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