Bleacher Reports’ predictions for every CFB conference player of the year are in! If you’re like me, you only care about the Big 12 and if you’re really like me, you’re gonna like who they picked. Sorry Texas fans but BR has put their money on Jalen Hurts.
“Identical to season predictions, this should be an Oklahoma/Texas battle. The most likely winners are Jalen Hurts and Sam Ehlinger, the quarterbacks for the rival programs.
While the head-to-head matchup is important, that result won’t necessarily determine the award. Hurts’ role in a more explosive OU offense gives him an advantage. Though his ability to involve the entire supporting cast is a question, having an All-American-caliber receiver in CeeDee Lamb lessens the concern.
Ehlinger should assemble an excellent year, and his timely rushing production deserves praise. But after the departure of creative slot target Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Ehlinger’s total numbers may dip.
If either program has a more disappointing season than anticipated, expect the other’s quarterback to emerge as the clear favorite.”-Bleacher Report
So it’s not necessarily clear cut but Hurts is the favorite for now and Ehlinger is close behind. BR also mentions Brock Purdy of Iowa, but I wouldn’t consider him a favorite given Iowa’s offensive potential when compared to Oklahoma or Texas.
Looking deeper at Hurts vs Ehlinger, it looks like Hurts has the edge for a couple reasons. First off, Hurts has a stronger receiving core in players like CeeDee Lamb, Theo Wease Jr., Grant Calcaterra, and a recovering Mykel Jones. This core was ranked 3rd nationally by BR. Now Texas’ receiving core is no joke, however; the loss of Lil’ Jordan Humphrey definitely hurts Ehlinger’s (and Texas’) chances this season. Second of all, Hurts has more experience than Ehlinger. As a national champion, former SEC offensive player of the year, and starting record of 26-2, Hurts has proven his potential. Ehlinger does have the advantage of working in a familiar system, which could be a legitimate factor. Unfortunately for me, I forsee a very smooth transition for Hurts with the help of Lincoln Riley.
So who do you think will get Big 12 offensive play of the year? Let us know.
“Pull into Ruby Tuesday’s, rap game Oklahoma Sooners”